Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category


Aguinaldo Shrine to Screen “Tiga-Isla, The Islanders of Corregidor”

November 12, 2014

At 2 pm this coming Saturday, November 15, my first feature-length documentary entitled Tiga-Isla, a historical film on pre-war Corregidor will be shown at NHCP-Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite. The film is about the lives of some of the residents who lived there before World War II. Three of my siblings, now all deceased and four others including their elementary school teacher, Ms. Simeona Fragante of Cavite City were interviewed for the film. They are personal accounts of their experiences there. I made the film to share their stories that are unknown to most Filipinos. Fortunately, an American doctor, Dr. Selma Calmes Harrison, who was born there joined us during the shooting proper.


My historical consultant and of course one of my interviewees was my brother Dr. Isagani R. Medina, a historian. In fact, he was one of the reasons why I pushed through with the film’s making. Knowing how much he loved his birthplace, I thought that it would help in keeping his spirit alive at the time when he was bedridden. When he saw the final output, he was overjoyed. It must have been because his childhood memories were relived as I found archival materials to complement their stories. When I asked him what grade would he give me for my research, he said: “Excellent! or “1”. Hearing it from a strict history professor, and seeing his happy reaction, I was as happy as he probably was.

Formerly called Fort Mills, Corregidor is now a national historical shrine. It used to be an American military fort and was noted for being the place where Escuela Pia, the first American public school was established. My mother studied there. During the Japanese period in the Philippines, it was notably the last island to surrender to the Japanese. Produced in 2003, to be shown however is the shorter version of the film.

Tiga-Isla was premiered at the CineManila International Film Festival in 2003, and was also shown at the New York Filipino Film Festival (2005), and the Chicago-Filipino-American Film Festival (2007) in the U.S.A.


Deaf Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines Used FSL

November 8, 2014

Sometime last year, I visited Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. with my relatives. I had an appointment to meet its librarian Ms. Diana Moore. I previously had email communications with her because of her interest to have a copy of “Silent Odyssey,” my documentary on Deaf Filipinos for their library collections.

My relatives wondered how communication would go between me and the Deaf guard. It didn’t bother me a bit that I do not know how to sign ASL [American Sign Language]. Whether I would be understood or not, I used Filipino Sign Language [FSL], visual gestural communication and finger spelling. I was understood. For me, that was a “big” accomplishment since I only have basic knowledge of sign language. It was my first time to “talk” with a Deaf American.

Anyhow, at the time we visited the library, there was an ongoing exhibition of the Peace Corps activities worldwide. They were active here in our country especially in the 70’s. Ms. Moore led us to the exhibition place.


Gallaudet Univ Librarian Ms. Diana Moore leading us to the Exhibition Area


I was surprised to know that FSL was used by some Peace Corps members. I have always believed that they only used American Sign Language primarily because they are Americans. At the time that they started coming here in the 70’s there were no formal studies yet with regards the existence of Filipino Sign Language. I was mistaken in my belief when I read one of the testimonies displayed.

PC in favor of FSL

Recognizing the use of FSL by a Deaf Peace Corp volunteer surprised me. I used to think that they only promoted and used ASL and SEE [Signing Exact English]

Signing Exact English [SEE], the type of sign language Peace Corps volunteers introduced and popularized here is still being taught and is being adopted up to now by Miriam College, and by most schools in the Philippines, especially those that are handled by hearing teachers. However, from the 90’s FSL started to get popularized and is currently being advocated by majority of Deaf Filipino leaders as the natural sign language of Deaf Filipinos. The number of FSL users continue to grow as they become aware of their Deaf identity as a cultural-linguistic minority group.

It took me more than I year before I managed to write about this. I was only reminded again when I saw the photos above as I started looking for my travel files to review the shots for a music video that I am preparing for a family reunion tomorrow. My balikbayan relatives from Maryland who brought us to Washington D.C. are here. So, tomorrow, we’ll have fun reminiscing the long walks we did over there, as well as in Baltimore and Pennsylvania through my travel videos.


Developing an Accessible Tourism Strategy

October 5, 2014

“…It would be nice to think that travelers with a disability were free to travel the Universe with nothing more than their trusty towel. In reality, travel even to a local attraction, is far more difficult than it needs to be. Travel, recreation and leisure are all about about the “experience” which ideally should be seamless from planning, to arrival back home. Enjoyment comes from those experiences and the way they are shared with others. The experience lingers in the memories of those who participated. A truly remarkable travel experience leaves the visitor changed in some way. The reason it is so difficult for people with a disability to travel freely is that industry as a whole has not yet recognized that fundamentally a traveler with a disability is no different from any other traveler in their aspirations for a remarkable experience. To the travel industry Accessible Travel is still about access and not the experience. There is a fundamental difference and it stems from a misunderstanding that Universal Design means design for the disabled and not human centered design...”

Disabled Traveler's GuideTo read the full article, click below:—disabled-travelers-guide-to-the-galaxy.html




Parents of Deaf Children Attended Silent O’s Screening Today at PSD

September 25, 2014

Today’s screening of “Silent Odyssey” at the Philippine School of the Deaf was held at 8 am in their Conference Room. It was attended by parents of Deaf children in pre-school and kindergarten levels.


Jun Sevilla, president of PSD Faculty Club [extreme right] welcomes the attendees


Parents of Deaf Children


Jun Sevilla introduces the film


MM gives background explanation on the making of Silent O

PSD Before Screening

The audience

A short forum was held after the screening…We got positive reaction from parents re the film. A few who were touched shed tears. Three screenings are scheduled tomorrow for teachers, students and parents who were not able to view the film today.


SILENT O Screens Tomorrow and Saturday at PSD; ALYANA next week; TIGA-ISLA next month

September 18, 2014

PSDsilent odysseMMMore screenings of “Silent Odyssey” have been added. Instead of just holding the showing on September 20 in celebration of the International Deaf Day, the Philippine School of the Deaf represented by Jun Sevilla called me up to inform me of additional showings tomorrow as follows:

SEPT 19 [Friday] – 8 am; 1 pm and 2.30 pm. Venue: PSD Conference Room

SEPT 20 [Saturday] – 8 am; 10 am; 1 pm. Venue: PSD Conference Room

Yesterday meanwhile, Autism Society President Jan Peña informed me about Dasmariñas’ DSWD’s decision to hold ALYANA’s screening on September 27 in Cavite. ALYANA is my docu on autism in the Philippines.

On the other hand, Gina Ayran of Aguinaldo Shrine, also in Cavite in behalf of Curator Angelo Aguinaldo has informed me about their decision to postpone the showing of TIGA-ISLA in October instead of September end. TIGA-ISLA is my first feature-length docu. It is about the socio-cultural life of the inhabitants in prewar Corregidor Island.


Gerardo de Leon’s ‘Philippine Army or Navy Story’ [?] in “Apat na Bandila”

September 13, 2014

This is an omnibus film with Gerardo de Leon’s name on the press kit cover, yet with Director Artemio Tecson’s name written on the credit list instead of Mr. Gerry at the back of the same 8-page kit. Just included for record purposes. The story behind it must be an interesting!! Sino kaya nakakaalam tungkol dito? Sino ba talaga sa kanila? Pa-share naman!

Happy Birthday to Manong Gerry wherever you are!

Today, his Centennial Year ends with the showing of “Pedro Penduko”(1954/Premiere Productions) at 4pm. The film is based on the novel serialized in Liwayway magazine by the new National Artist Francisco V. Coching. The adventure drama film stars Edna Luna, Ramon D’Salva, Ruben Rustia (who won FAMAS best supporting actor for this film), Lito Anzures, Purita Alma, Nina Morales, and Renato Robles. Pedro Penduko will be presented by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and the Society of Filipino Film Archivists (SOFIA).

Venue: Tanghalang Manuel Conde (CCP Dream Theater), Cultural Center of the Philippines organized by SOFIA, NCCA and the CCP.


4 na BANDILA_Credits


Gerardo de Leon’s “Shirley, My Darling”

September 13, 2014

Today marks the end of the Centennial Year of National Artist in Film Gerardo “Gerry” de Leon… as targeted I am posting the remaining materials that I have on Gerry de Leon’s films produced by Premiere Productions. “Shirley, My Darling” was released in 1958 starring then popular tandem Zaldy Zchornack and Shirley Gorospe.





Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 275 other followers