Archive for the ‘daily post’ Category


Out of Making Special Films_Psychic Rewards

March 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.


WPC: Landscape_Taal Volcano

April 3, 2016

<a href=””>Landscape</a&gt;

advoc_volcano Taal

Photo of what is believed to be the smallest, if not, one of the smallest active volcanoes in the world. Taal Volcano is located in the province of Batangas, Philippines. This was shot from Tagaytay City in Cavite, the province adjacent to it.

Taal Volcano, part of the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’ is located on an island [Volcano Island] within a lake [Taal Lake] within an island [Luzon] in the Philippines. It consists of 47 different overlapping cones and craters.

For more information, here is the url:


Weekly Photo Challenge: Time_Clock Museum at Dolmabache

February 6, 2016

In response to:


The Clock Museum in the premises of Dolmabahce Palace, Istanbul. Taking photos inside the museum was prohibited. Because it was nearing closing time, people had to rush around the big palace grounds.




Weekly Photo Challenge: Cat’s Eyes

December 6, 2015

In response to: Eye Spy


My cat’s name is Oliver, a stray cat who never left us once it landed here from nowhere. Intelligent, loveable, cuddly at times; in fighting mood during mating season; loves dog food. This is one of my favorite of his photographs also because of the story behind it. He was there because Pitz, our half-breed Japanese Spitz was “bullying” him, so he had to go behind the screen and just observe from where he was with the expression that seemingly asks: “What the hell is happening to Pitz?”


Weekly Photo Challenge: Trio of Bullets

November 22, 2015


Trio of Bullets designed as a display, souvenir item. This was made before 1941 by my father, a resident of Corregidor, the last island fortress of the Americans that surrendered to the Japanese. [Actual size including the base: Width: 2 3/8″; Length: 2 3/4″; Height: 2 1/4″

My father and eight of my siblings were all born in Corregidor, an island located at the mouth of Manila Bay in the Philippines. He lived and worked there as a civilian employee of the American government until all the Filipino and American civilian families were forced to evacuate the island — the last batch in 1941. My father stayed there until the the Americans surrendered to the Japanese forces who bombarded and nearly pulverized the Island. Though a civilian, my father formed part of the Death March saga.

During what they call “Peacetime,” one of his hobbies was turning bullet materials into utility and functional objects. There must be an abundance of used bullets in the island because missile bullets a little over 12″ in height, and 4″ in diameter would be welded and designed into lampshades and flower vases. He also made a powder box for our mother, about 6″ diameter in size, with a height of three to four inches. All of them can now be found at the War Museum in Corregidor Island in a small room, solely for civilian artifacts. The objective was to let the Filipino youth of today that there used to be Filipino civilians living in five villages in the island before 1941.



Autism Advocates Make Their Mark in Recent National and International Awards

October 16, 2015

[This is a repost dated October 1, 2015 from Autism Society Philippines website.]

Autism is an “invisible disability” which is slowly coming to the fore, as advocates continue their active participation in the civil society community. This is apparent in how visible our humble community has been recognized for their involvement and contribution to the cause.

Apolinario Mabini Presidential Awards 2015

The Apolinario Mabini Presidential Awards 2015 were given at the Heroes Hall of Malacanan Palace on 29 September 2015. The ASP contingent was led by ASP Chair Emeritus Dang Koe, National President Mona Magno-Veluz and National Trustees Jan Pena, Grace Adviento, Gina Bermudo and Helen Cheng.

w team ASP

[L-R]: Grace Adviento, Helen Cheng, MM, Mona Veluz, Gina Bermudo, Dang Koe, Jan Peña

The ASP, two years after our win as the Most Outstanding PWD Organization at the Gawad Gat Apolinario Mabini, was part of this year’s screening committee. Jan Pena, ASP’s immediate past president, served on the committee that helped refine the selection of candidates, before they were forwarded to the panel of judges.


Mirana Medina, the compassionate heart and creative mind behind “Alyana” (a documentary on her grandniece with autism), won the Gawad Gat Apolinario Mabini Media Advocate of the Year honors for her work on a film on deaf. On the same day, Mirana also bagged the second place honors for the under 60-minute category at the We Care Film Festival in India, for her documentary on Down Syndrome.

Unilab Foundation bagged a special award as a PWD Employer, for its work on Project Inclusion and for inspiring hiring of PWAs, such as Vico Cham. Incidentally, Vico, a gifted young artist on the spectrum, also received a special award as a PWD Advocate.

The City of Dasmarinas won the PWD-Friendly LGU honors; while the municipality of Carmona claimed a special award as a PWD-Friendly LGU — after having taken home the Apo Award multiple times in the past.

Jollibee Family Values Awards 2015

The Pena Family — Daddy Al, Mommy Jan, Kids Thea, Muneer and Milli — of ASP Dasmarinas, after weeks of screening, deliberations and interviews, were among the top recipients of the Jollibee Family Values Awards last 24 September 2015 at the Philippine International Convention Center. Jan Pena and her family, who have fueled the growth of autism advocacy in Cavite, were among the six Filipino families selected by an esteemed panel of judges, composed of Senator Bam Aquino, Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Congresswoman Leni Robredo, Professor Winnie Monsod, Ms. Boots Anson-Rodrigo, Ms. Audrey Tan-Zubiri, News Anchor Edric Mendoza and Ms. Ma. Isabel Dionisio.

[Click the link above to read the full article].


My Journey with Mabini to Carmona, Cavite

October 3, 2015

October 2. DespiteTyphoon Kabayan that landed yesterday in Baler, Quezon, the scheduled day of showing my film, I went ahead to take Mabini with me to Carmona, Cavite! It was my first time to be there. It was indeed worth my time and effort to be with their PWD leaders to show my latest docu “APOLINARIO MABINI: The Sublime Paralytic.” It was the first screening after its first public showing at DLS-CSB SDEAS in August..


Blind Architect Jaime Silva on screen talks about discrimination

At least, by the time I reached the town, only drizzles not heavy rains welcomed me. I traveled for more than two hours from Baclaran. That included the traffic jam caused by a vehicular accident at the entrance of Carmona. I just arrived with time enough to test the equipment. A few Deaf students were present. Classes were suspended all over the province so less students managed to come. About 50-60 people attended anyhow.

Anyhow, after the film showing, I felt how happily inspired the audience were by knowing the life of Mabini, what his background really was, and what he had done for our country including the discrimination he experienced because of his physical disability. Their satisfaction as shown on their reactions and attentiveness even after the showing made me equally glad, even elated. The general reaction proved that the audience need to be provided only by new, right and proper information to understand and know better the person in focus, and his condition. And if the subject is a hero made human by informing them of his own travails before he actually became one, then he comes alive again even if he were born more than 150 years ago.

iMPACT OF MABINIMore importantly, if the film really impacted them, then he will live in their consciousness. Maisasabuhay nila ang karanasan ni Mabini at magiging gabay pati ang sinulat niyang “The True Decalogue / Ang Tunay na 10 Utos” laluna’t ito’y napapanahon. As I have said before I left the hall, Mabini will stop being just an image on the P10 bill or on the P10 coin. Probably, the value of the coin will even become heavier learning who he really was. Before the screening, they were amazed to know that  the film were participated in by more PWDs than non-PWDs.

Group pic2

The PWD Leaders of Carmona, Cavite

My thanks to PDAO of Carmona, its officers and staff…in particular Ms. Rosebelle and Ms. Alegre, and of course my conduit to the group, Jan Peña.

I will later upload an improvised video because of synchronization problem with my sound and picture taken by the cel fone. It is not compatible with my editing software.


Do Not Judge a Book by Its Cover_PWDs Can! – Paralympic Games 2016

September 21, 2015

Yes!!! The amazing feat of Powerlifter Luicano Santas, amputee sprinter Vincius Rodriguez, and blind jodoka Lucia Teixeira who strolled into the gym, and were filmed by hidden cameras did astound the regular gym goers with their sporting prowess in a Brazilian training centre.

A room full of male judoka fighters looked particularly apprehensive as Teixeira began subduing each opponent.

“She beat everybody,” one man said. “At first they didn’t want to fight her.
“Then in the end, they really didn’t want to fight her.”

So! Don’t judge a book by its cover. Persons with disability [PWDs] each have their own uniqueness which non-abled people may not or can not do. Respect them!

This is in promotion of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janiero, which began on September 7 2016.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Grid_Liberty Bell

September 20, 2015

In response to:


The Liberty Bell Center in Philadelphia


“When the Angels Walk for Autism” Nearly Over

September 18, 2015

“When the Angels Walk for Autism” is the working title of the abridged edition of ASP’s Autism Walk 2015 coverage. Its original length is two-and-a-half hours, and presented in linear form. As of this aw_d-walk-15time, I have cut it down to 15 minutes, my target length. But with the additional materials that I still need to add, I hope it will not reach 16 minutes. This should be over in a few days…

I have reshuffled the shots and sequences, and warped the time so to say. I got only what I find important and essential, for my purpose of course. For example, in the long, edited version, Dang Koe’s interview on the historical background of Autism Walk could only be heard one-and-a-half hours after watching the coverage. I positioned it aw_d-walk5immediately after the introductory shots for people to know the Walk’s evolution minutes after they sit down to watch it. And the end part in the actual program jumped up in the mid portion of my version to give importance and showcase the talents in singing performance of the Persons with Autism in montage form. Ahh! I am wondering until now why they had to be programmed at the end when half of the people in the filled arena were gone, including the energy of the remaining audience. Oh, well!!! Probably because Hans Sy was there, and the SM Care girls should wow their patron.

Recalling that day, I feel sad for not being able to take a single shot as my practice because I had to lend my camera to a member of the Coverage team. I felt so frustrated seeing a lot of scenes to take, but felt so helpless without a camera. [Photos here were shot in 2014].