Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category


Blacksmithing – A Dying Industry in Kawit, Cavite

April 19, 2016

Last Saturday, April 17, we met Panday [blacksmith] Walden “Waldy” Cabigona,  in Kawit, Cavite. Part of the itinerary of Cavite El Viejo Tourism Association’s “Explore Kawit FREE HERITAGE TOUR,” we were brought to Panday St., where “Pandayan” or the blacksmith’s shop is located. Owned by Mrs. Germinia Santulan, it is one of the only three remaining blacksmith’s shop in Kawit. Forging bolos and knives was then most popular to the people, our country being agricultural. They were also commonly used as weapons by our revolutionaries during the Spanish regime in the Philippines. Nowadays, less and less young people want to engage in it.

The Heritage Tour project was in partnership with NHCP, Kawit Tourism, Fundacion Santiago and the Municipality of Kawit. We commend and thank all the people who were behind this project. [Will later post the complete blog about this tour…].


Working with “The Voice”

April 10, 2016

I am working on a documentary for the Philippine Federation of the Deaf [PFD] and Discovering Deaf Worlds [DDW]; in fact, I have been at it for over a year now. It is about the Expanding Participation of Persons with Disabilities in the Philippines. Waiting for interpretations takes time especially if there are lots of them for interpretation. Who is who to do the voicing has not yet been decided. It is not easy to work on a Deaf film — that I know because of the translation processes involved in its making.


Interview with Yvette Apurado, Vice-President of the Philippine Federation of the Deaf

But the voice over for its narration was already done yesterday. I asked the same man who did the voicing for my Project Rizal. What I find myself amusing — is I have never met in person THE VOICE, or the man doing the voice over for me. We have already worked on several projects in the past, and to think that we have worked so smoothly and harmoniously only through email and text messages??? Yes! that is what is wonderful about it. We do not lose time on chatting. We deal directly about the work to be done.

Bottomline is: it is possible to work together — for as long as there is trust, confidence, commitment, and understanding of one’s work. I always give him the script, not just the texts for voicing to have an idea of the content, and give specific instructions when revisions are to be done.

What is most important is of course, giving his talent fees on time. I always keep my word anyway. Trust begets trust. Above all, I love his cool voice, and his professionalism. He also works fast so meeting deadlines won’t be a problem. The man’s name is George Castro.

[Note: Today is April 28. A week ago or two, a decision to have a female voice instead was made by DDW. The Voice sounded “dramatic” they said…Hahaha! I charge that to experience. That’s how flexible I am! So next month, we are recording again].


UPFC Burned Down on April Fool’s Day

April 1, 2016


UP Faculty Center during the early morning hellish moments [Photo courtesy of]

Learning that the UP Faculty Center burned down to ashes today pained me. I walked down its corridors countless times for many years even after the death of my brother Prof. Isagani R. Medina of the History Department who occupied Rm. 2020. Our Humanities Classes were held at Palma Hall but I worked and had great time with several friends from the UP CSSP and CAL Faculty until recently. I was there last February to meet Dr. Apo Chua and Dr. Ruby Alcantara who were part of my team on Project Apolinario Mabini.

I could easily emphatize with all the fire victims.  Six years before my brother passed away in 2004, we ourselves lost our house and everything in it to a fire, including the research materials for the history book my brother and I were then working on, and my own researches and materials on Vicente Salumbides, a film producer in the 20’s, and Atang de la Rama. [In fact, one of my brother’s books was launched at the UPFC garden under the auspices of CSSP.]

It is difficult to find words to describe how I feel … “panlulumo” is the closest I could think of.

It was no joke to lose everything. But as a consequence, it made me gained Courage to rise above the loss. My faith in God became stronger, and I was so full of gratitude to realize that I was not quite attached to things I possessed, [except perhaps for irretrievable family pictures and research works!!! But I have learned to let go of them anyway. I had to. Otherwise, I’d wallow in self-pity perhaps, and waste my time crying for things that can never be replicated after all]. Though the material loss was great, I did not cry then or shed a single tear because everyone in the family were spared — my then disabled brother, my octogenarian mother, and my child. In an event like this, the lives of our loved ones matter more than anything else.


Shooting with Gawad Metronian Scholars

March 15, 2016

My busy-ness and involvement with Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation, Inc. [GMEFI] these past weeks has delayed my usual weekly postings… Been preparing — shooting, interviewing, and currently, editing an AVP for this Friday’s presentation. Photos below were for just a segment in the presentation done last March 5, 2016 — the Grand Launching of the Foundation. It will also be a part of this Friday’s presentation. Shot with Dennis Balan [Deaf]. It was the rest of the staff’s first working encounter with a Deaf videographer. The Gawad scholars interviewed are high school students of Metro-Manila College located in Novaliches, Quezon City.


Preparing for the Shoot


Finally! The Pizza Treat…

February 24, 2016

Simple treat, and simple joy of being together with the Silent Steps, and the other participants of Pule production…unfortunately without Giselle Montero whom we missed a lot also during the launching of Pule , our docu on Apolinario Mabini. Organized by Joyce Dalawampu, and Leah Osido, the members of the Silent Steps group was finally gathered by Myra Medrana, Deaf choreographer. Thank you so much for your cooperation and participation!

With Silent Steps

Members of the Silent Steps who interpreted Apolinario Mabini’s  “El Verdadero Decalogo / The True Decalogue” [1898]; With Myra Medrana [Deaf Chreographer], Joyce Dalawampu, Leah Osido, Eugene Sordilla, hearing interpreters Bayani Generoso, Febe Sevilla, Susan Abad and me.

With Silent Steps4


A Day to Remember: PULE Screening

February 10, 2016

This morning, the premiere screening of my educational documentary on our hero Apolinario Mabini, PULE: UTAK ng REBOLUSYON was finally held. It was quite successful based on the remarks of the people who watched it. Viewers reaction is my gauge in knowing the impact of my works. And I would like to share with you one of them. I just received it tonight from a friend, Retired Professor of UP Manila, Fernando Sison, M.D. who attended the film’s launching. In his email, in part I quote:

Pule 7

Poster and Tarp Designed by Leah Osido [Deaf]

“Your work is critically significant because it shares history in an enlightening and engaging way because it uses gracefully choreographed body movements of PWD [Silent Steps–MM], clarifying interviews with knowledgeable people, well-researched historical records and documents, authentic battle scenes, and the musical scoring of the PWA was inspiring (awesome God-given talent).

More importantly, Mabini’s Sampung Decalogo [Ang Tunay na 10 Utos /El Verdadero Decalogo–MM] reminded me of how times have not changed – foreign power domination under the guise of big brother concern, the flawed political system, the low regard for women, factionalism / regionalism, crab mentality, etc.

Your film has enriched me as a person and as a Filipino. I feel honored to know you. You deserve the accolades earlier given by your invited guests. “

Before the screening: Registration and Waiting Time

NHS_Agnes group

Novaliches High School Deaf Students and Hearing Teachers Led by my former classmate under the FSLLP Program of DLS-CSB SDEAS, Agnes Dizon [wearing white blouse]. They trooped down from Nova, Quezon City to CSB ARG Theater in Taft Avenue, Manila

Program Proper
Our Special Guest Speakers who all gave wonderful and inspiring messages: Mr. Jayson Septimo of the NCCA Monitoring and Evaluation Department; Dr. Paul Dumol, historian-playwright, and Ms. Maite Gallego of MyRizal website, great grandniece of Maximo Viola, the man who saved Noli Me Tangere. Dean Nicky Templo-Perez of DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies gave the welcome remarks sans voice.

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After the Program

Pule 8

[L-R]: Jayson Septimo of NCCA, Mr. Miko Liwanag, Ms. Maite Gallego, Classmate Pet Almazan-Robles with Hubby Gideon, Mirana

I would like to thank our Production Coordinator Joyce Dalawampu, Leah Osido, graphic designer, Maria Elena Lozada who emceed for us, FSL Interpreters John Baliza and Febe Sevilla, Myra Medrana and the Silent Steps, Thristan Mendoza and his mother, Belina Regalado, all the technicians of SDEAS, personnel from PEN lab, volunteers and all those who came to watch the film I started working on sometime mid-2014 — like my ever-supportive FSL classmate Agnes Dizon, [second from the last photo] now a sped teacher at Novaliches High School who came with her students and co-teachers, and my high school classmate Pet Almazan who shared her precious time with her husband just to be with us [last photo]!

Lastly, thanks to your never-ending support: DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

Photo credits: Jala Louise Santiago, Mikee de Leon, Leah Osido, and other Deaf student volunteers