Out of Making Special Films_Psychic RewardsMarch 29, 2017
There are times when I stare at the ceiling and look beyond it while shuffling footage from my memory bank … like today. Fleeting moments as my mind flashed back in 2006 when I premiered my first docu on special children, “ALYANA– A Study of Autism in the Philippines” at the UP Film Center in Diliman, Quezon City. I vividly remember a mother with her family members in tow rushing to me as viewers flocked out of the theater after the viewing. With the look of deep gratitude in her eyes, she held my hands and warmly shook them. It lasted longer than the usual momentary and ordinary handshake. She did not say a word but I strongly felt what she wanted to communicate. Joy was in her heart and mine as well knowing how it impacted her as a mother of a child with autism. ALYANA featured many mothers of CWAs like her. One other Mom later emailed me to say: “Hindi pala ako nag-iisa!” [I realized I am not alone!] She thanked me for making a documentary on it.
In Iligan City, Mindanao, I happened to sit down beside a woman during one of its road show screenings conducted by Autism Society Philippines in major cities. She whispered to me to say: “Thank you for giving us hope.” I later came to know that she has two sons — both of them with Autism.
Those moments are memorable and they are the very reasons why I still work on Persons with Disability — subjects not usually dealt with. Eventually, I ended up working with Deaf performers, choreographer and videographer; a Music Scorer with Autism; a Physically Challenged Person, and a Blind Architect as active part of my production staff or as resource persons. They are for me, gems, whose friendship, I’d forever keep. I consider these special people as more “real” and quite sincere. Inspirations too for showing how good they are when their potentials are tapped, and their capabilities tried. Undoubtedly, people like them who are labeled as “disabled” proved wrong a lot of people through the special films we did together.
Anyhow, we both get encouragement from each other leading me to carry on making special films with the intention of shifting the viewer’s thinking against myths or beliefs that they still have out of ignorance regarding the subjects that I tackled and would focus on in the future.
“What do you gain from doing all these?” some of my friends ask. “Psychic rewards,” I tell them.