Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category


Awesome Schoolteachers of Corregidor Is. in the 30s

November 27, 2015

I interviewed Ms. Simeona Fragante in 2003 for my historical docu on prewar Corregidor Island. 89 years old at the time, she was one of my sibling’s teacher that included my brother, Prof. Isagani Medina, a historian. Given the lead when he recounted about their school life back then, I started to look for the teacher, starting from the Municipal Hall of Cavite City. It was Willie Pangilinan however, a local historian who finally introduced me to Ms. Fragante.

Ms Fragante 2003

Interview with Ms. Simeona Fragante, Corregidor Elementary Schoolteacher from 1931-1938

Coming from a teacher during the 30s, I was so delighted and awestruck when I heard her say: “We are comfortable with the earnings that we make. We are living comfortably with our expenses, with our needs, we don’t miss the help of a husband. We are women of independent needs. We don’t bother anybody. We don’t need anybody.”


Grabbed frame from my historical docu on prewar Corregidor, “Tiga-Isla.” Take note of the “planted bullets” — now in vogue at NAIA!

It was surprising because during the prewar years, Filipino women were largely dependent on their husbands. Women were usually left to take care of the house and the children. Working women were uncommon unlike today.

I last saw Ms. Fragante when she watched the film in Cavite City in 2004.


Meet Haben Girma, Harvard Law’s first deaf-blind graduate

November 19, 2015

By Arthur Chatora on November 18, 2015 — Haben Girma was born deaf-blind but she had access to opportunities afforded by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Girma is Harvard Law School’s first deaf-blind graduate and her academic achievements have catapulted her advocacy career, fighting for the rights of people with disabilities

Haben Girma poses with President Obama at a White House ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. (White House photo/Courtesy of Haben Girma)

Eritrean-American Haben Girma, who is the first deaf-blind graduate at Harvard Law School’s story is a true inspiration.

Girma’s extraordinary story highlights her courage and determination despite physical challenges, and she is living proof that disability is certainly no barrier to achieving academic excellence.

Girma is an attorney who “advocates for the civil rights of persons with disabilities. A celebrated speaker, she provided the introductory remarks for the 25th Anniversary of the ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] at the White House”.

[Here is the URL to the full article:]



Sign Language Interpreters in the Philippines Information and Survey Form

November 9, 2015
SIgn L

Screenshot from fb

This Information and Survey Form is being collated by the Technical Working Group on the Sign Language Interpreting System of the National Council for Disability Affairs (NCDA) with the goal of gathering information from the sign language users and interpreters (Hearing and Deaf Relay Interpreters) in the Philippines. Your responses to this survey will greatly help NCDA in its aim to create an Interpreting System in the country responsive to the needs of the Deaf for access to information and communication as well as addressing the issues and challenges being faced by the interpreters nationwide. NCDA encourages you to fill up this survey as complete as possible. Thank you for giving a little amount of your time in answering this survey form.
Please click the link below:


Autism Advocates Make Their Mark in Recent National and International Awards

October 16, 2015

[This is a repost dated October 1, 2015 from Autism Society Philippines website.]

Autism is an “invisible disability” which is slowly coming to the fore, as advocates continue their active participation in the civil society community. This is apparent in how visible our humble community has been recognized for their involvement and contribution to the cause.

Apolinario Mabini Presidential Awards 2015

The Apolinario Mabini Presidential Awards 2015 were given at the Heroes Hall of Malacanan Palace on 29 September 2015. The ASP contingent was led by ASP Chair Emeritus Dang Koe, National President Mona Magno-Veluz and National Trustees Jan Pena, Grace Adviento, Gina Bermudo and Helen Cheng.

w team ASP

[L-R]: Grace Adviento, Helen Cheng, MM, Mona Veluz, Gina Bermudo, Dang Koe, Jan Peña

The ASP, two years after our win as the Most Outstanding PWD Organization at the Gawad Gat Apolinario Mabini, was part of this year’s screening committee. Jan Pena, ASP’s immediate past president, served on the committee that helped refine the selection of candidates, before they were forwarded to the panel of judges.

Mirana Medina, the compassionate heart and creative mind behind “Alyana” (a documentary on her grandniece with autism), won the Gawad Gat Apolinario Mabini Media Advocate of the Year honors for her work on a film on deaf. On the same day, Mirana also bagged the second place honors for the under 60-minute category at the We Care Film Festival in India, for her documentary on Down Syndrome.

Unilab Foundation bagged a special award as a PWD Employer, for its work on Project Inclusion and for inspiring hiring of PWAs, such as Vico Cham. Incidentally, Vico, a gifted young artist on the spectrum, also received a special award as a PWD Advocate.

The City of Dasmarinas won the PWD-Friendly LGU honors; while the municipality of Carmona claimed a special award as a PWD-Friendly LGU — after having taken home the Apo Award multiple times in the past.

Jollibee Family Values Awards 2015

The Pena Family — Daddy Al, Mommy Jan, Kids Thea, Muneer and Milli — of ASP Dasmarinas, after weeks of screening, deliberations and interviews, were among the top recipients of the Jollibee Family Values Awards last 24 September 2015 at the Philippine International Convention Center. Jan Pena and her family, who have fueled the growth of autism advocacy in Cavite, were among the six Filipino families selected by an esteemed panel of judges, composed of Senator Bam Aquino, Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Congresswoman Leni Robredo, Professor Winnie Monsod, Ms. Boots Anson-Rodrigo, Ms. Audrey Tan-Zubiri, News Anchor Edric Mendoza and Ms. Ma. Isabel Dionisio.

[Click the link above to read the full article].


Apolinario Mabini Hindi Kilala ng mga Kabataan

September 28, 2015

Tonight, Thristan Mendoza, music scorer of my docu “Apolinario Mabini: The Sublime Paralytic” sent me the link to a news report re interview with Epi Quizon who acted as Mabini in “Heneral Luna.” It is really sad how the youth of today either do not know who Mabini was or know so little about him. Problem in educational curriculum?

My wish is to have our film shown to as many people for them to know who Mabini really was and what the cause of his paralysis was. Our film on Mabini was actually shown before Heneral Luna was released. The main difference of course is the fact that ours is a small, documentary film made largely for Deaf access and PWDs. However, it is also meant for all Filipinos, including the hearing audience. Historian Paul Dumol found the interpretation of El Verdadero Decalogo touching. I already incorporated some of his comments to the final copy.


Do Not Judge a Book by Its Cover_PWDs Can! – Paralympic Games 2016

September 21, 2015

Yes!!! The amazing feat of Powerlifter Luicano Santas, amputee sprinter Vincius Rodriguez, and blind jodoka Lucia Teixeira who strolled into the gym, and were filmed by hidden cameras did astound the regular gym goers with their sporting prowess in a Brazilian training centre.

A room full of male judoka fighters looked particularly apprehensive as Teixeira began subduing each opponent.

“She beat everybody,” one man said. “At first they didn’t want to fight her.
“Then in the end, they really didn’t want to fight her.”

So! Don’t judge a book by its cover. Persons with disability [PWDs] each have their own uniqueness which non-abled people may not or can not do. Respect them!

This is in promotion of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janiero, which began on September 7 2016.


“When the Angels Walk for Autism” Nearly Over

September 18, 2015

“When the Angels Walk for Autism” is the working title of the abridged edition of ASP’s Autism Walk 2015 coverage. Its original length is two-and-a-half hours, and presented in linear form. As of this aw_d-walk-15time, I have cut it down to 15 minutes, my target length. But with the additional materials that I still need to add, I hope it will not reach 16 minutes. This should be over in a few days…

I have reshuffled the shots and sequences, and warped the time so to say. I got only what I find important and essential, for my purpose of course. For example, in the long, edited version, Dang Koe’s interview on the historical background of Autism Walk could only be heard one-and-a-half hours after watching the coverage. I positioned it aw_d-walk5immediately after the introductory shots for people to know the Walk’s evolution minutes after they sit down to watch it. And the end part in the actual program jumped up in the mid portion of my version to give importance and showcase the talents in singing performance of the Persons with Autism in montage form. Ahh! I am wondering until now why they had to be programmed at the end when half of the people in the filled arena were gone, including the energy of the remaining audience. Oh, well!!! Probably because Hans Sy was there, and the SM Care girls should wow their patron.

Recalling that day, I feel sad for not being able to take a single shot as my practice because I had to lend my camera to a member of the Coverage team. I felt so frustrated seeing a lot of scenes to take, but felt so helpless without a camera. [Photos here were shot in 2014].


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