Last March 16, a Monday, I shot the segment for my docu, The Sublime Paralytic / Pule: Utak ng Rebolusyon. El Verdadero Decalogo was interpreted in Filipino Sign Language by the Silent Steps, an all-Deaf student playgroup of DLS-CSB SDEAS. Venue of the shoot was at DLS-CSB School of Design and Arts Building Theater.
Cris Lorenzana at Soundesign Manila
Last March 23, again on a Monday, the voice recording of Cris Lorenzana for the same docu as narrator was held at Soundesign Manila located at Milelong Building in Makati. Cris is an inspirational speaker. I listen to her program every so often on Sundays at DZXL when I am at home. I have been using male voices for my past projects. So I thought that this time I would use a female voice over. When I was writing Mabini’s bio for Project Mabini, I thought of Cris’ voice. I believed that her voice would sound quite inviting to the students. I found her voice cool, and quite good to listen to. History is a boring subject to many students. But with good voice and music integrated with proper visuals, I am confident that it could be made interesting. Well, that’s my hope for the hearing viewers! Of course, that wouldn’t matter to my Deaf audience. Hahaha!
Before the recording… Cris inside the booth waiting for the sound recordist’s signal
So, I decided to contact Cris. She didn’t know me. I didn’t know her either. But the internet was there. It yielded her contact number and email address. I preferred the latter. I emailed her about my current project with the Deaf, and asked her if she could join us as narrator. Would she respond after I clicked the send button was a big question. “Suntok sa buwan, sabi nga nila.” After a few days, I received a reply re acceptance of my invitation. I was very happy. I just hope that Cris really enjoyed the venture with us, her first as a narrator she said. The day I emailed Cris by the way, I also contacted Joey Ayala. I was dreaming of a song for Mabini by Joey. Vim Nadera volunteered to provide the lyrics. Joey Ayala never responded when I told him my budget. Too small for someone like him perhaps! I emailed him again to ask him how much he charges. Wala pa ring sagot. “Awit para kay Mabini”? – Malamang wala na…
El Verdadero Decalogo Interpretation of Silent Steps in Filipino Sign Language; Stage Direction by Myra Medrana [Deaf]; Decalogo’s Pilipino version read by Abner Manlapaz; Captions in English. [Grabbed frame from the film]
Nonetheless, expect “The Sublime Paralytic” as a pioneering docu on our hero, Apolinario Mabini. For one, it will contain the first-ever interpretation of one of his important works in Filipino Sign Language. Having sign language alone is a plus factor that would distinguish it from other works. Add the presence of a Person with Autism, Thristan “Tum-tum Mendoza,” a graduate of the UP College of Music as music scorer, and it becomes more than pioneering. The first time I talked to his mother Belina [I first met her during the preview of my docu on autism in 2006], she asked me if I can take a risk. He hasn’t done any music scoring for a film. I told her that Tum Tum can make the film his Guinea Pig to show his talent. If you call that risk, so be it. But I believe in Tum tum. And I believe in God who leads me to the right people to work with for my advocacy films. It already happened so many times. Tum tum will be as guided I know. I shall be meeting them after Tum’s concert this month re the project.
Abner Manlapaz, reader of Mabini’s Ang Tunay na 10 Utos, the Pilipino version of El Verdadero Decalogo said that it was also his first time to be in a film. So many first timers and firsts!!!
After the recording session… Kunwari ako ang narrator!!! Cris’ reflection on the glass a la selfie while taking the photo
Like — it was my first time to work with Soundesign Manila. No regrets. I commend the professionalism of the people at Soundesign… The first time I contacted them a month before the recording date last Feb 23, I already felt, and knew that these people work professionally. That was the impression I got from Zed, the first person I talked with when I contacted their office to ask about the rates and facilities. I booked immediately and was quickly sent the confirmation that I had asked for. I haven’t met Zed and Jackie, the other person I talked with over the phone from Soundesign but both sounded friendly, and happy. It was Andro who welcomed us a month later, on recording day. Karlo Vicente did the recording. Both were kind, accommodating and worked with efficiency. These are the type of people who are great to work with. Punctual, polite and reliable.
Thank God I found Soundesign which is so unlike Soundweaver studio! The latter boasts of land line numbers you cannot contact because they have to mute it during a recording. I also had to whisper the first time I went to see the place. Quite small especially the reception area. The space reminded me more of a doctor’s clinic in San Juan de Dios Hospital if you had been there. There was that unwelcome feeling somehow, capped by this incident: I booked on Feb 23 for a recording to be done on Mar 23. I was told that they would call back. They did text me — a month later, on Mar 23, the recording day itself. “…pasensya na. Di ko nasagot mga text mo. Fully loaded lang studio. Wala talaga bakante ng March.” says the text message. Whew! It was good my tolerance is high for nega matters like this one. And also that I banked on my instinct which told me then that that group seemed unreliable. Definitely undependable! Imagine replying to you a month after they were contacted! I was right afterall. I looked for other sound studios after hours of waiting for nothing.
I thank Edit Cube for giving me Soundesign’s contact number.
I thank Cris for her patience and cooperation, and for taking up the challenge to venture and to do volunteer work for a project aimed at the marginalized.
I thank Tum Tum and his mother who would take the risk with me.
I thank Abner for deciding to join us!
I thank Soundesign for being PRO, accommodating and kind.
And I especially thank Zed for giving me a discount! Hahaha! Totoo ba yun? Kung totoo, thank you! Thank you!
Maybe Mabini’s spirit was with me as I contacted and approached people I never knew before yet decided to join without not quite knowing me, or not knowing me at all.
Lolo Apolinario “Pule” Mabini must be very happy and as grateful to all Deaf and hearing participants involved in this project, in particular from SDEAS!