Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category

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2017 Visita Iglesia

April 15, 2017

It is Black Saturday today. Last Thursday, we visited seven churches, one of the traditional customs that is still being observed here in the Philippines. We first went to San Sebastian Church in Manila, and glided down to Baclaran Shrine in Paranaque City where we attended the 6 pm Mass. The priest washed the feet of the relatives of the victims of extrajudicial killings. “The biblical story of the feet-washing ceremony is mainly interpreted as an act of humility and service, a recurring message in the observance of the Holy Week.” [from Rappler News]

BASILICA MENOR DE SAN SEBASTIAN, (SAN SEBASTIAN CHURCH), Quiapo, Manila

MINOR BASILICA OF THE BLACK NAZARENE, (St. John the Baptist Church / QUIAPO CHURCH)

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STA. CRUZ CHURCH

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THE MINOR BASILICA and METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION (MANILA CATHEDRAL)

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SAN AGUSTIN CHURCH

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OUR LADY OF REMEDIES (MALATE CHURCH), Ermita, Manila

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SHRINE OF MOTHER OF PERPETUAL HELP SHRINE, BACLARAN, Paranaque City

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Visita Iglesia is a Holy Week practice where devotees visit and pray in at least 7 churches. It was introduced to the Philippines by Augustinian missionaries. [To read about its origin, click http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/55546-origins-visita-iglesia)

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From Discovering Deaf Worlds …

April 11, 2017

Last April 7, Friday in Rochester, New York, U.S.A., [April 8, Saturday in Manila], Discovering Deaf Worlds USA gave me a most unexpected recognition called “Service Provider of the Year Award”. It is only given once a year they said, to an organization or an individual their Board and staff feel has gone above and beyond to have a pivotal impact on DDW’s work. In my case it was for making a 35-minute documentary covering their two-year presence and activities here in our country that benefited our Deaf leaders. It is entitled “Signs of Change: Deaf Filipinos’ Campaign for Equality.” I was really surprised when I was informed via email about it because when I accepted the work, it was for me just doing another advocacy film meant to inspire Deaf Filipinos. I treated it as a personal work.

Anyhow, I am thankful for the recognition of the hard work we all exerted on it.  Thank you Davin Searls and David Justice! Had great time working with both of you!

David, by the way, emailed the day after the event to say that it was a HUGE success. Over 400 people came breaking their fundraising goal!

Thanks to my nephew as well, and his wife who flew all the way from Maryland to N.Y. to receive the award on my behalf.

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Searching for Blind and Deaf Scholars

April 4, 2017

Went last week to scout for scholars from the Philippine National School for the Blind [PNSB] and the Philippine School for the Deaf [PSD]. With the help of Jun Sevilla, husband of my interpreter-buddy Febe Sevilla who currently teaches at PSD, I passed on the intent of Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation, Inc. [GMEFI] where I am a volunteer to support a couple or so number of students. Though I live near the two schools, it was my first time to roam a little at the PNSB. I shot some footage and interviewed the principal of PSD for a feature-length docu on Deaf Filipinos ten years back, so, I am a little more familiar with the latter’s school setup.

At the Board meeting yesterday of GMEFI, I reported about my meeting with PSD teacher Jun and the PNSB Social Worker and Guidance Advocate Ms. Ma. Elena Rances-Carino.

Will be back after the Holy Week to get the requirements.

 

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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.

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A Cultural Afternoon with Apolinario Mabini

March 16, 2017

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The historic Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan where the First Philippine National Assembly of the First Philippine Republic was held on September 15, 1898. [MM with Even / 2017]

It was on February 23, 2017 when the partnership presentation by the Provincial Government of Bulacan and Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation, Inc. [GMEFI] was held at the Maximo Viola Hall, Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center in Malolos, Bulacan. The Honorable Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado [photo below] graced the occasion. He welcomed the select audience consisting of educators, cultural officers, art and heritage advocates, and members of Bulacan provincial art and tourism board.

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Honorable Governor of Bulacan Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado delivers his Welcome Message to the Audience below

Audience“PULE: UTAK ng Rebolusyon” an educational documentary which features the life of Apolinario Mabini, Chief Adviser of the First President of the Philippine Republic was introduced before its screening by Mirana Medina, board member of GMEFI and the film’s director. She gave background information as to why and for whom the film was actually made giving stress on the film’s inclusivity as it has narration in Pilipino, with captions in English and largely interpreted in Filipino Sign Language. Participants in the making of the film are Deaf students, a Person with Autism and a wheel-chaired man.  Gil Reoma, GMEFI Executive Director later joined to talk about what GMEFI does and asked how the partnership between Bulacan counterpart could be made possible so as to make the film’s content widely known to Bulakenos. The Malolos Congress was highly given importance in the documentary. There were good exchange of ideas during the open forum [photo below] as viewers saw the importance of the film, and history for our young students.

W some of the participantsThe select Audience / participants with the organizers.

Bulacan-w GMEFI and OrganizersGMEFI staff: [L-R]: Gil Reoma on the extreme left, GMEFI President Even Dominguez, 3rd from left, Mrs. Natividad Villano and Mirana Medina, GMEFI Board Members with the co-organizers from the Governor’s Provincial History, Arts, Culture and Tourism Office  led by Mr. Ely dela Cruz, 4th from left.

A repost from gawadmetronian.org

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“Autism is part of who I am.” ~ Temple Grandin

February 19, 2017

Temple Grandin, or ‘the cattle lady,’ is a Colorado State University professor of animal sciences and spokesperson for autism. Prof Grandin is one of 10 women to be named to the National Women’s Hall of Fame for 2017.

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The organization describes the inductees’ work as having changed the course of human history. Grandin has been a professor of animal sciences for more than 20 years, and her contributions to the livestock industry include methods of humane slaughter that are now an industry standard.

“Honoring Dr. Temple Grandin in this esteemed group of women not only speaks to the power of her research and advocacy but also her impact as a role model for young women everywhere,” said CSU President. “Early in her career, her determination helped her break into what was a largely male-dominated animal production industry, and she continues to serve as an advocate for women in the sciences, for young people with autism, and for anyone unwilling to let artificial boundaries stand in the way of their personal and professional success.” Source: Temple Grandin added to the National Women’s Hall of Fame

Temple Grandin’s work started in the cattle industry back in the 1970s.”Being a woman in a man’s world in the 70s was not easy. There was a scene in the HBO movie where they put bull testicles on my car. That actually did happen. And one of the things that kept motivating me is I wanted to prove I could design equipment, and I could do things. It was long, sustained hard work.”

The HBO movie she refers to is the 2010 biopic titled for her, which tells the story of Grandin’s efforts to change the way livestock is handled on ranches, as well as complete her degrees, all the while struggling with the social challenges associated with autism. Grandin conquered those hurdles.

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Her unprecedented success is in part thanks to the incredible way her brain operates. Grandin thinks in pictures. She sees thoughts in pictures. Her work with livestock started by observing how cattle behave based on what they see, like a shadow. She said: “I don’t think in a language, and animals don’t think in a language. It’s sensory based thinking, thinking in pictures, thinking in smells, thinking in touches. It’s putting these sensory based memories into categories.”

Quotable quotes from Temple Grandin

“I can remember the frustration of not being able to talk. I knew what I wanted to say, but I could not get the words out, so I would just scream.”

“I had people in my life who didn’t give up on me: my mother, my aunt, my science teacher. I had one-on-one speech therapy. I had a nanny who spent all day playing turn-taking games with me.”

“I was so afraid to go out west to my aunt’s ranch. But the only choice my mother gave me was to go for two weeks or all summer. I wound up staying all summer. And that’s where I learned about cattle. I could relate to their behavior, their fears.”

“Language for me narrates the pictures in my mind. When I work on designing livestock equipment I can test run that equipment in my head like 3-D virtual reality. In fact, when I was in college I used to think that everybody was able to do that.”

“You can learn (to think in pictures) somewhat. But think of it as a continuum. You can’t get from one end of the continuum to the other. I’m never going to really be a mathematical thinker.”

“What I’ve tried to do is combine both my personal experiences with scientific research. I like to cross the divide between the personal world and the scientific world.”

“People are always looking for the single magic bullet that will totally change everything. There is no single magic bullet.”

“I get satisfaction out of seeing stuff that makes real change in the real world. We need a lot more of that and a lot less abstract stuff.”

Temple Grandin is “A Woman To Admire,” – Against The Odds.

Read more at, Temple Grandin’s Website and Webpage 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/against-the-odds/“>Against the Odds

Source: Surprising Lives Temple Grandin: The Cattle Lady, Honoured by Amanda Ricks

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Partnering with UP Special Education Council

February 18, 2017

The partnership between UP Special Education Council [UP SEC] and our foundation, Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation, Inc. [GMEFI] was finalized last February 9. They accepted our offer of collaboration in support of my educational documentary, PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon. I had several UP groups in mind to choose from as partner[s] but it was UP SEC that I gave priority to because the participants in this particular film are special, and my subject, Apolinario Mabini, one of our great heroes is the recognized icon of Persons of Disability [PWDS] in our country.

I know that sped teacher’s training would be to maximize a person with special needs’ potentials. It so happened that in this film, the talents and capabilities of Deaf students as performers, and a Person with Autism who is a music genius are showcased. Our objectives aligned.

Though I was a little disappointed in my last partnership with UP SEC some years back, I still reached out to this group, since this time, I know that there would be a new set of officers. Comparatively, they appeared to be quite a happy lot too as shown in the photo below.

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[L-R seated]: Joey Guardiano, Mela Mendoza, Cherry Nicdao, Lowe Crisostomo, Selina Sandiego, Mirana and Shaira Odono; Standing: Gil Reoma

Well, my first impression was that this batch is promising —and that they are going to be different. They initially showed enthusiasm and interest in the project, and I could feel that full COMMITMENT, unlike before would be there in their hearts. Still, I do hope that they would really put into practice good Service, awesome Excellence, and 101% Commitment to make our joint project a success.

I was referred to them by U.P. College of Education Dean Therese A.P. Bustos, my consultant in A MI PATRIA, a collection of Five Poems of Rizal in Filipino Sign Language. This is my fifth time to work with the UP College of Education – Special Education Area. The first time was when ALYANA was premiered in 2006.