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Adiós to DEWS3 2011 or “ADEWS!!! in Short”

October 1, 2011

DEWS3 or the 3rd Deaf Education Weekend Seminar ended with the showing of ULTIMO ADIOS in Filipino Sign Language at Benitez Theater in UP College of Education. The invitation to end a Deaf seminar with my work was really quite a surprise for me then. But considering the fact that Filipino Sign Language was the language I used in the film and one of the issues tackled was respect of linguistic human rights — respect and recognition of FSL in case of Deaf Filipinos — swak talaga ang Ultimo. Some of my aims in making that film as I’ve told them were: 1) To tell Deped authorities that FSL exists; in 2006 a Deped authority when interviewed told me that there is no FSL; 2) I have the ulterior motive of “seducing” hearing persons to study FSL by exposing them to the beauty of FSL; 3) to help preserve FSL. Like what George Veditz did 100 years ago, using the video format in our times should be maximized I personally believe to continue the documentation of FSL so there will be never be excuse in the future that it never existed. It is extinct.

I came in late – after 10 am I think – so I didn’t know what actually caused the delay. I was scheduled at 11.45 but I finally managed to show the film at nearly 1 p.m. By that time, the audience must have been hungry already, myself included. It was a well attended affair nevertheless. I saw some old friends and faces. Aldrin Gabriel, our Rizal in two of the five films that I am doing was present.

Even came to fetch me. I went to attend the Alumni Homecoming of Novaliches Academy now Metro Manila College, the oldest institution in Novaliches that my brother in law Ka Mentong founded, and later managed by my eldest sister, Ligaya until her death in 2008. It was festive and the attendees were all visibly happy and excited. What caught my attention was an old man on a wheelchair as he reminded me of my brother Gani. In the beginning, a few bothered to greet the man. I took his photo during that moment. Later, when a tribute was read about him and he was introduced, the Novaleños, they called themselves swarmed to him — he was NA’s principal from 1967-80s. Obviously, they did not recognize him when they first saw the man. No one would miss seeing him as he was seated just below the platform. He was nearly 90 years old. I was happy to later see him enjoying posing for souvenir photos with his former students. It must have been a very happy moment for him. If I remember it correctly, his name is Mr. Salinas. I also noticed the presence of several councilors – Alfred Vargas, Candy Medina, a certain Hipolito and a Congressman. Is the election coming I thought… but at least I saw young politicians — with a lot of vigor I hope to work for the betterment of their community.

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