In Memory of Rev. Elena “Ellen” Castillo, Bible Institute for the Deaf President

September 3, 2013

Yesterday, I was in Castillejos, Zambales shooting for the Down Syndrome project when I received a text message – from I dunno who – informing me of the sad news that Rev. Ellen Castillo passed away on September 1 at 6.15 pm. Sister Ellen, as she was fondly called was the Bible Institute for the Deaf President. Today, I got the confirmation re her death from Giselle Montero of DLS-CSB SDEAS.


Photo taken during the shoot of Silent Odyssey

She was one of my important interviewees for my docu, “Silent Odyssey.” I allotted a segment about her in the film, in recognition of her being one of the first sign language interpreters in the Philippines. A very soft-spoken, nice, loveable, kind and truly a wonderful lady she spent her entire life serving the Deaf community. At least, through SO she will be known, not only by future BID students but by sign language interpreters who could look up to her as a role model and as an inspiration.

I can say that I am privileged to have known her. I won’t forget her being accommodating, being kind, being always ready to serve the Deaf. I have last seen her, two years ago in 2011 when she attended the screening of “Ultimo Adios,” whose interpreter in Filipino Sign Language was her former student, Aldrin Gabriel. But I have last spoken to her over the phone when I invited her last February 2013 to attend the showing of “A mi Patria.”

BID Prez bday

BID President Ellen Castillo’s birthday in 2010 that I attended.

With fond memories, I pay tribute to a dedicated and a very inspiring woman.


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