Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category

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Christmas Decor Decked LRT Cabin

December 16, 2017

LRT Baclaran Station. The train approached and stopped. As I entered the cabin, I was surprised. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw the Light Rail Transit’s cabin decorated with Christmas trees, toys, balls, etc. It was my first time to see one; never saw the “freak” cabin again thereafter. Anyway, it was delightful to see some people who entered the cabin while shouting “Merry Christmas!”

A child marveled at the colorful Christmas decors as the train moves. Happy mood were reflected on the passenger’s expressions though some didn’t seem to care. But I enjoyed the rare mood of seemingly feeling getting lost in a place so unlikely to have hanging Christmas decors. I tried to imagine the joy of the people who decorated the train. I could feel the fun that they had while decorating the place. Kudos to them! And Merry Christmas to you all!

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Mother Delight Rice and Davina Bennett, Miss Universe Jamaica

November 29, 2017

The day I got hold of a book on Delight Rice written by her foster child Ronald Hirano was my first time to read about Ms. Universe-Jamaica Davina Bennett. That was Delight Riceyesterday November 28, a day [GMT] after Ms. Jamaica was proclaimed second runnerup in the 2017 Ms. Universe pageant held in the U.S.A. It was also yesterday, that I went to Rizal Shrine in Fort Santiago with my film made with, and for Deaf people. Entitled ULTIMO ADIOS, it is based on a poem written by our greatest hero Jose Rizal before his execution in 1896. Shot largely in the area six years ago, it is the first-ever interpretation of the poem in sign language.

Ms. Rice was an American with Deaf parents who founded the Philippine School for the Deaf in 1907. Ms. Bennett is a Jamaican who founded the Davina Bennett Foundation for the  Deaf in Jamaica. They both care for Deaf people to give them equal opportunities in the society. Ms. Rice stayed in the Philippines for many years to educate our Deaf youth, and even brought some to the United States to continue their studies in California.

Ms Jamaica

Having learned that Ms. Jamaica wanted the Miss Universe competition as a platform to spread awareness for all deaf people made me appreciate her beauty even more. On an earlier interview when she won the Miss Universe Jamaica competition, she said: “I started the foundation before Miss Universe. I needed a platform to have a voice for these persons who need my support.” With that said, I find in her a noble heart, beautiful inside out. How I wish she won the pageant!

Working and advocating for Deaf people myself, I feel more inspired to know that a lot more people come to recognize that Deaf people need equal recognition, and support.

Ms Jamaica with Deaf model Britney Barnes

Ms. Universe Jamaica Davina Bennett with Britney Barnes, Deaf model

Come December, I heard a monument of Delight Rice shall be erected in the compound of the Philippine School for the Deaf. It is going to be led by Mr. Ronald Hirano himself. Incidentally, the Foundation I am connected with, Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation, Inc. supports a Deaf scholar.

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Kambal na Dalandan – Weird!

November 20, 2017

“Dalandan” [Orange]

Before I peeled what appeared to me as a strange-shaped “dalandan” [Philippine orange], I tried to imagine how it would be like. What I saw made me excited because it was my first time to come across a twin-orange, “kambal” in Filipino language. The amusement in seeing these photos many months after I took the shots elicited the same feeling of excitement and fun. Dalandan is one of our local fruits. It is now in season but I haven’t seen anything like the one shown on the photos here. Indeed, it was a rare find.

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Ferry Boat Ride in Historic Pasig River

November 4, 2017

I accidentally found the photo files of my very first  boat ride in Pasig River via the ferry boat then newly introduced to the people due to mass transit and traffic problems in Metro-Manila. The photos were taken after my research on Apolinario Mabini at the Mabini Shrine in PUP Sta. Mesa in 2014. I didn’t know that the terminal was right inside the campus of the university. I felt both lucky and excited to try it. I am used to plying from Manila to Corregidor Island via a ferry boat. I then wanted to know the difference.

And what a difference! Just a handful — not more than four people including me who was the first to arrive at the station — took the ride. We joined some few others who were fetched from the previous terminal. I bought a ticket from Sta. Mesa to Guadalupe in Makati. We were to pass through the Pasig River alongside which industrial buildings and residential houses are built. Pasig River used to be very popular in the past when industrialization has not yet polluted the place and fishes were said to be abundant in the place. It was immortalized in songs, even in novels. It used to be a center of economic activity during the Spanish period, and an important transport route.

Then and now, the change is undoubtedly quite great. Industrialization has changed its face altogether. The price of industrial development and population explosion???

Anyway, it was for me an experience to have seen and watched the way of life of people living near the river. I saw ordinary boats loading and unloading people, especially students to take them to destinations or points not under the watch of the Metro-Manila Development Authority [MMDA], the government agency handling the ferry transport. They must have been the inspiration of MMDA. People surely would reach their destination faster than if they take ordinary buses or jeepneys — the most popular mass transport modes.

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FerryBoat Ride to Guada5

And despite murky waters, and water lilies floating on the river, children enjoyed swimming by the riverside. FerryBoat Ride to Guada3

Approaching Guadalupe Bridge

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I would have wanted to go up to Escolta in Manila but I was in a hurry to get back home. Indeed, it did not take me long to reach my destination – Guadalupe Station in Makati City. It was a good ride but for people who need to take another ride or transfer in EDSA, a boat station near the main road or closer to the station would be great. As per my experience, it was walking to MRT station that took me more time. Nevertheless, I just enjoyed walking around, learning the curves of Guadalupe area after taking a short ride to get near the train station.

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Up North in Aparri Where Cagayan River Meets South China Sea

October 26, 2017

AparriAparri5For four days — from October 18-21, we were away from the madding Manila crowd. Up North of the Philippines, we attended the 38th National Conference on Local and National  History held at the Audiovisual room of the Lyceum of Aparri. Philippine National Historical Society President Bernardita Churchill invited us via Metro Manila College. The group was welcomed by no less than the Most Rev. Sergio Utleg, Archbishop of Tuguegarao and President of Lyceum of Aparri, their EVP Rev. Fr. Joel Reyes, and the Governor of Cagayan himself, Hon. Manuel Mamba, brother of Pat, my co-teacher at Don Bosco Technical Institute who became a close friend. We joined the school almost at the time. Sad to know that she died two years ago of breast cancer according to the Governor.

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Anyway, it was good to learn a lot of things about Northern Luzon in particular. Experts from different fields and discipline delivered their papers with enthusiasm including two foreigners. Papers on precolonial matters interest me the most and the one about the contemporary literature of Sulu. Papers supplemented with visuals proved to be interesting unlike those that are purely textual. Hopefully, video documentation would be in the future used as supplement to their lectures.

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Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba welcomes the group

It was my first time to be in Aparri and my first time as well to  join the PNHS conference. My brother, a historian, friend and colleague of Dr. Churchill used to speak in the said conference. It was through him that I became familiar with it. I went there with my niece, Oying Villafuerte as an observer. And since I am into making historical video documentaries, I immediately acceded to MMC’s invitation to join it in their behalf. Dr. Churchill by the way was my guest speaker when PULE was shown in UP Film Center last August.

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[L-R]: Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba, Lyceum of Aparri EVP Rev. Fr. Joel Reyes, PNHS President Bernardita Churchill, Archbishop of Tuguegarao Archdiocese Most Rev. Sergio Utleg and NCCA Plan/Policy Formulation and Programming Division Head Mr. Bernan Joseph Corpuz who delivered the message in behalf of NCCA Chair National Artist Virgilio Almario

On our first day in Aparri, or the day before the conference we visited the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Lady of the Rosary. I was quite happy to know that Mama Mary is their patron saint. Day after finding a chance to go to the place they say is “where Cagayan River meets South China Sea or West Philippine Sea” we hurriedly went to take a peek at the place.

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The Preservation of the Sign Language by George Veditz

October 9, 2017

As early as 1913, American Deaf Veditz espoused on the importance of preserving sign language using film. Though I am a hearing person, it it his thoughts that inspire me in fact to do the same in our country for our Deaf sector, especially since the clamor to recognize Filipino Sign Language as their national sign language is still on-going.

Below is a translation by Carol A. Padden, Professor of the University of California – San Diego of Veditz message taken from the film produced by the National Association of the Deaf, in 1913.

Friends and fellow deaf-mutes:

The French deaf people loved de l’Epee. Every year on the occasion of his birthday, they gather together at banquets and festivities to show their appreciation that this man was born on this earth. They journey to his gravesite in Versailles and place flowers and green wreaths on his grave to show their respect for his memory. They loved him because he was their first teacher. But they loved him more for being the father and inventor of their beautiful sign language.

For the last 33 years, with eyes filled with tears and hearts broken, the French deaf people have watched this beautiful language of signs snatched away from their schools.

For the last 33 years, they have strived and fought for the restitution of signs in the schools but for 33 years their teachers have cast them aside and refused to listen to their pleas. But their teachers would much rather listen to the worthless, cruel-hearted demands of people that think they know all about educating the deaf but know nothing about their thoughts and souls, their feelings, desires and needs.

It is like this in Germany also. The German deaf people and the French deaf people look up at us American deaf people with eyes of jealousy. They look upon us Americans as a jailed man chained at the legs might look upon a man free to wander at will. They freely admit that the American deaf people are superior to them in matters of intelligence and spirituality, in their success in the world, in happiness. And they admit that this superiority can be credited to – what? To one thing, that we permit the use of signs in our schools.

The French deaf people base their inferiority on one thing, the fact oralism must be taught in their schools. They have eliminated fingerspelling; they have eliminated signs. But we American deaf are rapidly approaching some bad times for our schools. False prophets are now appearing with news to the people that our American means of teaching the deaf are all wrong. These men have tried to educate people and make people believe that the oral method is really the one best means of educating the deaf.

But we American deaf know, the French deaf know, the German deaf know that in truth, the oral method is the worst. Our beautiful sign language is now beginning to show the results of their attempts. They have tried to banish signs from the schoolroom, from the churches and from the earth. Yes, they have tried, so our sign language is deteriorating. From olden years, the masters of this sign language, the Peets, the Dudleys, the Elys, the Ballards, are rapidly disappearing. And we, in past years, loved these men. They had a precise command of sign language. They could communicate to us using only signs and we could understand them.

But fortunately, we have several masters of our sign language still with us. Edward Miner Gallaudet learned this sign language from his father, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. There are several others, like Dr. John B. Hotchkiss, Dr. Edward Allen Fay, Robert P. MacGregor who are still with us. And we want to preserve the signs as these men now use them, to keep and pass on to coming generations. There are many men now alive who have learned their signs from men like these. Many have tried to preserve and pass on their signs. But there is one known means of passing this on, through the use of moving picture films.

Indeed, our National Association of the Deaf has raised a fund of $5000 for this purpose. We have made a number of films. We have films of Edward Miner Gallaudet, of Edward Allen Fay, of John B. Hotchkiss and Robert MacGregor and many others. I regret that we do not have $20,000, for we could have used it all. If we had this amount of money, we could have performances in sign language, sermons in sign language, lectures in sign language. And not only would we American deaf enjoy the benefits of this, but no — deaf people in Germany, in England, in France, in Italy would also see these moving picture films. Fifty years from now, these moving picture films will be priceless.

“A new race of pharaohs that knew not Joseph” are taking over the land and many of our American schools. They do not understand signs for they cannot sign. They proclaim that signs are worthless and of no help to the deaf. Enemies of the sign language, they are enemies of the true welfare of the deaf. As long as we have deaf people on earth, we will have signs. It is my hope that we all will love and guard our beautiful sign language as the noblest gift God has given to deaf people.

Source: http://aum.dartmouth.edu/~larry/cc2_2011/readings/veditz/veditz.pdf

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For Bringing Issues and Concerns of PWDs to Light through the Medium of Film

September 10, 2017

dsc_0087-e1504584195787.jpgThat’s what’s etched on the plaque of appreciation handed by De La Salle-College of St. Benilde’s School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies last August 30 when I attended their lunch treat supposedly meant for their partners during their 25 years of existence.

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Me [second from right] in between Febe Sevilla who received the award for TV5 interpreting and Dean Veronica “Nicky” Templo of SDEAS who gave a touching closing remark.

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Quite unexpected from an institution whose people I have worked with for 11 years now — from the time I studied Filipino Sign Language to learn and understand their concerns. I also met Yeye Dominguez, wife of my grandnephew, Mayor Angelo Dominguez of Castillejos, Zambales for supporting annual Deaf seminars led by SDEAS staff — both hearing and Deaf. It is usually being held during their school break, an activity we actually started some years back with Giselle Montero, and when Mackie Calbay was still around and connected with SDEAS.

[For more info about the event, click: http://deaf-e-news.blogspot.com/2017/09/fun-food-and-camaraderie-at-sdeas.html%5D