Deaf Performers to Interpret Rizal’s Poems in Filipino Sign Language

April 2, 2011

More than I expected joined the second audition at DLS-CSB SDEAS. And less number of panel members managed to make it yesterday at the final deliberation to choose the performer for Project_Rizal’s Poems in FSL (Filipino Sign Language). Twenty-two in all [including those who auditioned last March 26] were viewed by six panel members inluding me to be able to choose the performers. The panelists were Raphy Domingo [project’s FSL Consultant], Dennis Balan [founder of Teatro Silencio and Dulaang Tahimik Philippines, Myra Medrana [project’s choreographer and Teatro Silencio co-founder], Deaf advocate Dr. Therese Bustos [UP Sped Area professor who interpreted for me — thank you so much!!], and our host, Giselle Montero [one of tSDEAS’ department heads] who will play angel to help in the project’s realization.

I was asked what do I want from the performers—if they have to look like Rizal, dark, fair, etc. That doesn’t really matter. For me, what I really count on is how well do they communicate to the Deaf not only in signing but in their expressions—facial and body— the poems that they are to interpret. Will their interpretations have impact on them? Only the Deaf can tell that. The FSL version is largely and mainly for the Deaf, and so, for me, the looks come second in importance. I want the audience to look, focus, really connect with Rizal’s thoughts to understand well what the message of the poems are. That way, Rizal’s transformation as a normal human being with feelings becomes real— not sort of a superman, or a super genius — not just popular nationwide as a detached bust or monument of stone.


With music that will enhance it [meant for FSL students], I am sure appreciation of Rizal’s poems in sign language to Deaf Filipinos, the way I envision it to be will rise among the members of the community.

Anyway those who joined the second audition were: [To My Fellow Children] – Ferdinand Cruz; [To the Filipino Youth] – Mark Laygo, Mark Kelvin Marcial, Melvin Jayson Sibay and Jay Sunico; [To the Flowers of Heidelberg] – Angelo Maniago, Jivson Sta. Ana, and Josef Serrano; [ Song of Maria Clara] – Maria Lozada, Sabrina Vertigan, Christina Betito and Patricia Cagumbal.

And here’s the panel’s decision: To interpret Ultimo Adiós, ALDRIN GABRIEL; A la Juventud Filipino, MARK GASPAR; A las Flores de Heidelberg, ROMALITO MALLARI, and Canto de Maria Clara, JORRELLE G. FAYTARAN. Since there was only one boy who auditioned [FERDINAND CRUZ] to interpret Sa Aking Mga Kababata, they have decided that they will have to search for a few more.

I scheduled the shooting after the Holy Week between April 25-28. On April 5, Tuesday, we are meeting with Vim Nadera of UP Creative Writing Center, project poet/hearing consultant to clear for the Deaf the meaning of Rizal’s message to avoid misinterpretation, or wrong translation.


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