3rd Araw ng May Kapansanan sa DaetDecember 12, 2010
Night of December 8 [Wednesday] when we left Pasay Philtranco terminal for a 7-hour bus trip [8 hours when we returned] to Daet, Camarines Norte. We took a long, and winding zigzag trek starting from the Quezon boundary at dawn the following day. [I was informed that the zigzag road actually starts at Sta. Elena, which they call the gateway to Cam Norte]. It was raining at 4:30 a.m. when we reached Daet. We were fetched and brought to Bagasbas Lighthouse Hotel in an area famous for surfing, the Bagasbas Beach.
It was my first time in Daet, and my first time to travel with DLS-CSB School for the Deaf and Allied Studies (SDEAS) group for Silent O and Alyana presentations as part of the celebration of the 3rd Araw ng May Kapansanan sa Daet. [Last month’s showing in Camarines Sur was initiated by HELP Learning Center with Autism Society Philippines].
Through SDEAS, I was linked and later invited by Mr. Rex Bernardo, 2008 Mabini and TOYM Awardee, and Director, Research and Promotions of Mabini Colleges to take part as one of the resource persons in the 1st Provincial Forum on Inclusive Education and Disability: Towards an Inclusive Society. Anyway, my having studied under the Filipino Sign Language Learning Program (FSLLP) of SDEAS made me feel quite a part of their mission since Silent O advocates for the promotion of FSL in the Philippines.
The two day event started with the Forum last Thursday, Dec. 9 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm which was held at The Lobby of the Mabini Colleges and the showings of Alyana and Silent O the following day at Central Plaza Cinema. The speakers during the forum were: Ma. Giselle Montero, Director, Center for Partnership and Development of DLS-CSB SDEAS on “Orientation on Inclusive Education: How Does It Work”; Rex Bernardo on “Implementing Disability-Inclusive Development at Local Setting”; Councilor Rosa Mia King on “Initiatives of LGUs in Implementing Disability-Inclusive Development,” and Miranamedina [this blogger] on “Advocating an Inclusive Society Through Cinema.” I showed excerpts from my film Alyana [watch?v=tk_cDBq8F9Q], the Silent O trailer [fFUeGiYyH6I], the coverage of PWD Indignation Rally held last July [watch?v=E2qR38Lq1cA] and ended the
presentation with the screening of A Blind Architect: The Vision of a Non-Handicapping Environment produced by APCD. In all the films that I showed, the issue of being excluded or included caused by barriers, physical and attitudinal exist — the reason why there are misconceptions as to what PWDs can do— “disability” not “this ability” [or PWD ability] is quite often stressed by uninformed or misinformed people. I just hope that the information in my films contributed in making some people in the audience think deeper about the integrative role of PWDs in our society. Change of wrong perceptions or ideas about them is one of my docu’s aims.
Intermission numbers were performed by the CNSC Little St. Vincent Deaf Class, and the heart-tugging song renditions of Vhon Brian Asis of Daet SPED Class, and Princess Necy Gonzales, blind student of BS SPED, Mabini Colleges.
I was actually late in the forum as I arrived when Giselle was about to finish with her talk. I had to fix and check the DVDs that I brought, and the sound system at Central Plaza Cinema. It wasn’t rare that I encountered problems because of lack of simple gadget like a sound split jack. As the LCD projector is fixed for current HD presentations, especially of Harry Potter’s film, I couldn’t forced the actual format [4:3] in which my docu was shot. Anyhow, everything went on smoothly. We finally managed to at least visit the first monument built in memory of Dr. Jose Rizal  and Daet’s small heritage museum. It was quite windy and suited for surfing. There were actually a few surfers enjoying the sea last Friday. The weather was quite good by then.
We left Daet with fond memories of having met Rex and Mariz Bernardo, and the hospitality that they extended to us. We felt quite at home with them as well as with all the other people that we met in the process. Many plans are being hatched by Mabini Colleges through Rex and the CSB-SDEAS through Giselle heavily slanting on Deaf teacher-training education, research and outreach programs. The future is bright for our Deaf brothers.
Finally, we were introduced to Daet Mayor Tito Sarion, a simple-looking, unassuming, but receptive man.
Incidentally, the Autism Society group of Daet is eagerly waiting for Ranil Sorongon, Autism Society Philippines Executive Officer for their induction. A small group attended the showing of Alyana.