KIDS THREE 21 at the UP Film Center in Celebration of 2014 Down Syndrome Consciousness MonthFebruary 9, 2014
A small social and special gathering of old time friends with very special guests was held on February 6, 2014 at Bernal Gallery, UP Film Center through the initiative of Rowena “Weng” Ulayan-Martinez, founder of the Universal Kids Film Festival in Turkey. KIDS THREE 21-international version was premiered here with PELITULA KAY MAYPAG-ASA.
KIDS.. was first shown last November 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey. Opposite in nature and content — the former is a film on Trisomy 21; the latter, a film on Andres Bonifacio that shows the Philippine High School for the Arts student’s insights on the hero and the activities they readied in celebration of his 150th Birth Anniversary. Both films are timely since in the Philippines, the National Arts Month and the Down Syndrome Consciousness Month are both being celebrated in February. 2014 is also the Sesquicentennial Year of Bonifacio.
Weng gave the opening remarks with tone of nostalgia followed by my introduction of the above docus. Present were the featured resource persons in KIDS: Dr. Carmencita Padilla, geneticist and Eleanor Dominguez, nutritionist-dietician. Both saw the film for the first time.
KIDS THREE 21 gives an overview on Trisomy 21 or what Down Syndrome is, the maternal risks involved, the plight of parents, and the realities of having a Child with Down Syndrome. A segment focuses on the importance of nutrition awareness and intervention – an element oftentimes neglected because of the conventional stress and attention given to physical and occupational therapies and special education. The film was made possible because of Eleanor Dominguez, then M.A. student of the UP Sped Area. There are two versions of the film: the thesis version which is about 13 minutes longer than the copy shown last February 6.
Other special guests were my colleague, producer-director Tikoy Aguiluz, co-founder of the UP Film Center [with Ms. Virgie Moreno]; balikbayan Ed Tamondong, one of the center’s original staff cameraman; CHED Legal Counsel Head Atty. Carmencita Yadao-Sison and her husband, Atty. Roberto Sison who described KIDS.. as “a film that introduces and comprehensively treats the subject of Down Syndrome…Opened my eyes on this ‘accident of nature’ that happens to one out of 800 births worldwide. With the current population of 100 million Filipinos, that’s a lot!”
Weng’s friends who joined us were Romanlito Austria, UP Fine Arts Professor and former head of the Graduate Studies at the UPFA, Princess Nemenzo, UP professor and wife of former UP President, Fides Bagasao, UN International Consultant for Urban Poor and Human Settlements, Cora Despabiladeras, book writer for children, Ephraim Despabiladeras of USAID, Kuya Bogie, lead character of the TV program for children, “Batibot”, Avic Ilagan, filmmaker, Marili and Boni Fernandez, Eliza Quiambao and Ben Agunod.
Of course, the affair wouldn’t be complete without longtime friends, UP KAL Professor and former Chair of the UP Department of Theater Arts and Speech Communication Dr. Belen Calingacion, writers Roshan Jose, Rochit Tañedo and Corito Llamas, artist Alma Quinto, environmentalist Minnie Crouse and writer-filmmaker Janus Victoria, now with Channel 7. Joseph Lena, the KID’s cameraman, formerly with ANC Channel recorded the event.
And in support of Eleanor’s effort, her husband, Castillejos [Zambales] Mayor Jose Angelo Dominguez with Mom Evelyn, Vice-President of Metro-Manila College, and her friend, Clarisse de Leon, a daughter of Angat, Bulacan Mayor and the town’s municipal administrator also attended the event.
Sadly, no representative from Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines — the film’s target audience — joined Dr. Padilla because of other priorities. Nevertheless, the latter’s presence, as one of its founding members made the occasion complete. She entertained the questions re the matter. [See the photos below]:
The event ended with the sumptuous Turkish cuisine prepared by no less than Weng Ulayan-Tuzcuoglu who is leaving the country today, February 9.
Entree White cheese rolls, Green and black olives with red pepper, Sarma (spiced rice wrapped in grape leaves), Dolma (stuffed tomatoes and eggplants), Pita bread with hummus, Kisir Salad (bulgur and red lentils)
Main Dish: Green beans with ground beef, Buttered Chicken, Pilav (buttered rice with peas), Borek (Turkish Pie stuffed with potato & minced meat), Pasta (with Olive oil, white cheese mint and hazel nuts)
Dessert: Turkish Delight, Irmik Tatlisi (Semolina), Dried Fruits, Çorek (twisted cookies with sesame seeds). Pishmaniye
Drinks: Ihlamur Tea (Linden Tea), Kushburnu Tea (Rosehip Tea)