Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category

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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.

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Power of Play

September 1, 2017

As always…wonderful photos and theme from one of my favorite photographers, Steve McCurry.

Steve McCurry's Blog

Mobile Mini Circus for Children, Kabul, Afghanistan

Life is playfulness.
We need to play so that we can
rediscover the magic all around us.
– Flora Colao

Forte Di Bard, Italy

We are never more fully alive,
more completely ourselves,
or more deeply engrossed in anything,
than when we are at play.
– Charles Schaefer

La Fortuna, Honduras

Afghanistan

Creative people are curious,
flexible, persistent, and independent with a
tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.
– Henri Matisse

Mexico

Men do not quit playing because they grow old;
they grow old because they quit playing.
– Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Paris, France

Play energizes us and enlivens us.
It eases our burdens.
It renews our natural sense of optimism
and opens us up to new possibilities.
– Stuart Brown

Umbria, Italy

As we play, we open ourselves
to the exploration of our edges, always
creating new adventures…

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“Signs of Change” Screens at the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C.

July 11, 2017

SIGNS of CHANGE is the last documentary that I made for Discovering Deaf Worlds and the Philippine Federation of the Deaf. It is scheduled to be shown next week July 20 in the U.S. [See the Philippine Embassy’s announcement below].

Meanwhile, on July 19, or  a day before that, my other docu about the First Secretary of Foreign Affairs Apolinario Mabini entitled “The Sublime Paralytic” will be shown at the Department of Foreign Affairs Bldg., in Pasay City, Metro-Manila. It is sponsored by DFA’s Human Resource Management Office. Both advocacy films are to be shown in celebration of the 2017 National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week.

SIgns of Change

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UP Film Center Reunion with Ms. Virginia R. Moreno on Rizal’s Birthday

June 22, 2017

Last January 19, Jose Rizal’s birthday J.Moreno Foundation hosted through its President Virginia R. Moreno, Founder of the UP Film Center the reunion of the former and current staff of the UP Film Center. Supposed to have been a celebration of the 41 Aprils of Cinema Artists, it has been moved to coincide with Rizal’s birthday. Because of that, I have had the chance of screening my film MI ULTIMO ADIOS, the first-ever interpretation of the poem in Filipino Sign Language, and the 123rd version of the poem. Aldrin Gabriel, the Deaf actor attended. Cannes Palme d’Or winner Raymond Red was present.

Ultimo _ smaller file

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Aldrin Gabriel [Deaf actor], UP Film Center Founder Ms. Virginia R. Moreno, and me, original staff of UPFC

After the screening, Aldrin thanked all those who watched our film. He said he was very happy to see hearing people watching a Deaf film. Rizal descendant Ms. Lisa Tinio-Bayot was as happy for having the film shown. She was unable to come because they also celebrated the birthday of her lolo Jose.

[Note: Preparing the exhibit with Clare Salaverria and Sheila Red was fun and quite reminiscent of what we used to do decades ago at the Film Center. All photos here were courtesy of Aldrin except for the poster]

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Art of Friendship

May 10, 2017

For those who LOVE and who value FRIENDSHIP, a must see—a must read!

Steve McCurry's Blog

One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.

– Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Luoyang, China

Myanmar (Burma)

There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship. 

– Thomas Aquinas

Loikaw, Myanmar (Burma)

There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends.
I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.
– Jane Austen

India

A true friend freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly,
takes all patiently, defends courageously, and
continues a friend unchangeably.

– William Penn

Afghanistan

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work.
If one falls down, his friend can help him up.
– Ecclesiastes 4

Pagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Katmandu, Nepal

Kashmir

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Kampala, Uganda

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand,
not the kindly smile…

View original post 143 more words