Rizal for the Deaf by Angelo Garcia in MB

June 26, 2012

I would like to say that A MI PATRIA though primarily made for the Deaf eventually ended up to serve the interests of ALL Filipinos. The spoken language versions [in English, Spanish and Filipino] are meant for the BLIND, all HEARING PERSONS, STUDENTS of RIZAL COURSE, even RIZAL SCHOLARS and the LITERATI. A mi’s audience turned out to be universal when I pursued making the spoken language versions. However, all of them have the FSL version intercut or simultaneously spliced with the spoken versions. My reason? For all viewers [except the Blind], to be exposed to the beauty of Filipino Sign Language [FSL]; for them to know that FSL exists. The film is an advocacy for the use and official recognition of FSL by the Philippine government. By using FSL to translate the poems of our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, it has become the Deaf sector’s most significant contribution to the voluminous works on Dr. Rizal. It is afterall, a film on Rizal made 100 years after the first film on him were made in 1912. Above all else, the film is meant to show that “DEAF CAN.”

Very early this morning before 1 am,  I received a text message from Vim Nadera informing me about something in p. I-1 of Manila Bulletin. I found it quite surprising to receive a message at that time. What could he be referring to, I thought. Then I remembered the journalist who interviewed me during the showing of my film A MI PATRIA. However, I knew that MB’s sped section, or matters on sped education and activities are scheduled by the newspaper on Mondays. I was right when I checked Manila Bulletin’s online news; the article “Rizal for the deaf” was published yesterday. [To read, click rizal-deaf]

Since I got the information today at 1am, I wasn’t able to get hold of the MB publication yesterday. Anyway, after having read the article, I just want to reiterate – that from the time I studied sign language, Filipino Sign Language specifically, and from the time I came to know and uphold the cultural perspective or view that the Deaf is a cultural-linguistic minority group, I have stopped using the word HEARING IMPAIRED [HI] to address Deaf individuals. I never mentioned that in Mr. Garcia’s interview with me, neither in my introductory talk before the screening of A mi… DEAF is the proper term to use if one believes in the cultural, not the medical view of deafness. So, calling on Mr. Garcia, if not the editor of MB — [this is the second time that MB “imposed” on using the word HEARING IMPAIRED by changing the word from Deaf to Hearing Impaired. In Vim Nadera’s interview with me, the editor changed the word DEAF to Hearing Impaired.] If the editor is the same as last year — then he should know that there’s a difference between DEAF and HI. I think he should watch my docu SILENT ODYSSEY for him to understand better our Deaf Filipino brothers and sisters — how they should be called and want to be treated].

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