Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category

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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…

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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.