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1st Scientific Congress on Cerebral Palsy 2012

September 22, 2012

My first time to set foot on the grounds of the Veteran’s Memorial Hospital yesterday! Valdez Auditorium where the 1st Cerebral Palsy Scientific Congress was held is located in the hospital. There, the only person whom I know in the crowd is Cerebral Palsied Association of the Philippines [CPAP] President Charito Manlapaz who talked about her experiences as a CP and the PWDs right to vote. She’s one of my first interviewees for the CP docu.

CPAP President Charito Manlapaz listens as NCDA Acting Executive Director Ms. Carmen Zubiaga delivers her speech

Ms. Precy Declaro-Deluria, PCPI Executive Director and Chair of the 9th CPAP Week 2012

Dr. Xavier Dimalanta, PCPI Medical Director

Spearheaded by the Philippine Cerebral Palsied Inc. (PCPI), different topics were delivered starting with a lecture by its Medical Director Dr. Francis Xavier Dimalanta on “What is Cerebral Palsy.” It was preceded by a talk on “The Philippine Situation” by NCDA Acting Executive Director, Ms. Carmen Zubiaga followed by Chato Manlapaz. The congress started late but the working lunch made up for the delay. Surprisingly, it ended up earlier than expected. It was ably facilitated by the PCPI Executive Director and Chair of the 9th CPAP Week 2012, Ms. Precy Declaro-Deluria. Before leaving, I talked to her regarding the possibility of including their org in the CP docu that I am now continuing to produce. I came to know that PCPI was founded as early as 1956, and therefore a pioneer when it comes to providing service to CPs. The historical aspect in everything that I do is something I can’t do away with. I always want to know the beginnings of anything that I am working on. Doings of my deceased historian-brother I suppose. I have a lot of research works to do, many people to run after as a consequence of looking for those who are actually dealing with people with CP.

Open Forum Period – Lulu Abejero,  a member of Autism Society Philippines – Manila Chapter on the floor

The topics were all interesting, the speakers mostly engaging. As usual God led me where I should be. As I commute via MRT to North Ave., I was recalling the time when I was on the way to attend a Sped Education Seminar in 2004 led by Dr. Edilberto Dizon of UP. That time, it was a baptism of sort for me; the start of my journeying into the sped world. I had the same feeling yesterday because I didn’t know what was in store for me. The same thoughts recurred when I walked down the hospital corridor looking for the auditorium.

I knew the topics before going there because I google searched and talked with the PCPI Nurse Ms. May before going there, but it is really quite different when practitioners talk about them. Reading and hearing about them, for me, are two different things. Interactions are there when in a forum. I met besides several people who are in the same advocacy track as I am, and practiced my little knowledge of FSL because there was in the audience, Victor Vargas, a Deaf person. The interpreter from the Archdiocese of Manila, Wilmer Bajao, happens to be Cathy’s friend. To interpret, he said he is using ASL. Meeting these people were added bonus for me since being with them energized my spirit.

Wilmer Bajao, Archdiocese of Manila interpreter [L] and Victor Vargas from Quiapo Ministry [R]

Especially so when the group of allied health personnel delivered their topics on Physical Theraphy, Occupational Theraphy and Speech Pathology. Because they used visual aids that I am sure ALL came from the internet, if not from their books, there is for some reason, that feeling shielding me away from the speakers. It only became interesting to me when they brought out the actual adaptive equipment that they are using. As the youtube material that one was suppose to play didn’t work, I wondered, thought and confirmed my belief about the lack, if not the absence of films that show our own people. Topics such as the ones they talked about should be seen or demonstrated rather than just talked about. Anyway, a film on them is also in my priority list. If God wants me to do it, His will be done.

Dr. Rosarion Maria Villasor of ADVOCATA

Most engaging speakers were Dr. Dimalanta and Prof. Marie Grace Gomez of UP who talked about “Guidance and Counselling: Families Dealing with CP Through the Different Stages of Development.” When I am ready with my film structure, I’d try to interview them for my CP docu, if they are willing to. Their knowledge and shared experiences should be known to more people. The topic on the “Raging Hormones” was most interesting. I also met Prof. Rosario Maria S. Villasor, President of Advocata. I came to learn that she was the one who requested for the showing of Alyana in Assumption College. Her talk about AAC [Augmentative and Alternative Communication] is something to consider for inclusion in the docu. More so, because I personally believe in anything alternative, like, Alternative Medicine, Alternative Learning Solutions!!! haha!

That’s the reason why the use of the headmouse and virtual keyboard when introduced, a technological device developed by Indra that can help those who can’t use their hand to move the mouse quite caught my attention. It is a

“virtual mouse that can be moved with head movement alone. Using artificial sight technology, the user’s head movements are converted into movement on the screen.” [To download, click index.htm]. But it’s only limited right now to typing and opening folders. But its use could open doors to persons with CPs definitely.

Nevertheless, it reminded me of Mr. Peewee Kapunan, CPAP founder. I wish they include the use of Photoshop in the program so that Mr. Kapunan need not have his wrist tied so tightly on his wheelchair to be able to hold the mouse to do his animation works. He inspired me then when he showed me his works and demonstrated to me how he created them. In my docu, that segment is definitely going to be in.

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