Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category

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Dagami Binagol

January 11, 2017

A petite friend, Jill Untivero brought home from Tacloban City, Leyte a delicacy called Binagol. Tacloban became globally known when Typhoon Haiyan, locally named Typhoon Yolanda struck it and the nearby provinces, especially so, when Pope Francis held the most solemn mass I’ve ever seen, made dramatic while the heavy rain falls as he officiated it. Jill says the rise of Tacloban is great, a feat indeed from an area quite devastated and where thousands drowned and died.

Anyway, I marveled at the pasalubong’s packaging. It was tied with dexterity. The tie could easily be removed in just one pull of the string. Wrapped in banana leaves, the ingredients as listed contained coconut, gabi [talyan], sugar, milk, margarine peanut, vanilla, malagkit rice and eggs. Coconut shell serves as the bowl. It was my first time to eat it, and I found it quite yummy.

“Binagol is a delicacy that originated in Eastern Visayas, in Dagami, Leyte…It is taro pudding with nuts, which derives its name from its container — a polished coconut shell, called “bagol” in the local dialect. It’s just half of the coconut shell, because if it’s in the whole shell (with glutinous/sticky rice as the main ingredient), that would be the kalamay of Bohol.” For the recipe and how first-timers should eat it, click: http://andelsblog101.blogspot.com/2014/07/binagol.html
I unfortunately read this blog after I have consumed it. I ate it as if I was eating any kalamay [glutinous sweets]. I did not realize that it should be treated like leche flan which should be turned upside down first so that the caramel sugar would coat it, the reason why at first taste, I found it bland.

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It’s All About Love…

January 7, 2017

…Of God, of Others, and most importantly, of Oneself. It is about being positive and being happy, of becoming truly Xtra-Ordinary. But not without effort though. That is what for me Cris Lorenzana’s book, “Refuse to be Ordinary” is all about having read it from cover to cover. True enough, how else can one become extraordinary if we concern ourselves too much on what others would think or say when we do something different, unusual or uncommon; or, when we trod to take a path less traveled? How can one be a Jonathan Livingston Seagull if you would always have to go with the flow, or do what flock members are expected to perform ordinarily; or, when you stop or refuse to explore your potentials. The ripple effect is there I believe. When we love ourselves, it will be reflected on how we treat others — be they to human beings or any of God’s Creations. “When there is Love; there is Kindness,” that is very true. War and conflict will never arise. Peace, Harmony, Love are only possible if first of all, there is God within our hearts, for God is Love.

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Cris Lorenzana Launches Her First Book

Even before its publication, I was expecting the book’s content to be akin to WINNER KA PINOY! — that it would be a radio program on print, if not, an extension of it. I was right! On page 235, Cris says anyone who’d prefer hearing, rather than reading The Optimist Creed and Desiderata may send her a request for their audio file copies; I say that — for her radio listeners like me, there is no need at all because from page one, I could already hear her voice as I read the book. It is as if she is reading in front of me, or over the radio; her presence is felt despite a lot of quotable quotes from those whom she considers her mentors. What a voracious reader, you couldn’t help but think.

However, there is big difference between printed matter, and virtual, aural, and digital materials like CD’s where her weekly episodes are recorded. The former needs no gadget. You can at anytime leaf through the pages to read and re-read, review or just be reminded of fave segments…You can touch the pages lovingly, or tear them with bitterness because some truth may have cause pain in you for realizing that you have wasted a lot of your time doing nothing, or your existence itself seem a complete waste. Which is what Cris is trying to tell everyone all along, to think positive and be with positive people: “Move On! Do not surrender!” What a warrior, this gal!

booklaunch-cris2Indeed the book is quite awesome; it is easy-reading yet thought provoking. At some point, you will have to stop, look back and reflect on your own experiences, relationships, interactions with others; or wallow in the deeper meaning of the quotable quotes as they apply to your own life. Her examples help in understanding them better.

Amidst contemporary chaos locally and globally, amidst daily news reports of deaths, especially EJK’s, of the dangers and fear terrorists sow and spread; of corruption in the government, and apathy now wrapping many of our citizen’s Being, Refuse to be Ordinary is refreshingly a must-read — for downtrodden hearts, those feeling hopeless and useless as it shares thoughts and tips that will help raise self-worth and self-esteem, providing keys to success to become a winner in life. Again, with Love as the bottomline.

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Illustration by Ma. Kristina Ham

Regarding the book cover though, I prefer the illustration on her CD, “Live an Extraordinary Life” simply because literally and graphically, showing someone off the ground, and levitating is in itself extraordinary.  Don’t you find being off the earth magically uplifting? And metaphorically seeing or feeling the spirit being taken up in Cloud-9? The ecstatic stance depicts being triumphant, victorious, in euphoria. Besides, the title size as used in the cover snatches the attention that could have been given to the visual element of the girl dancing. In fact, I did not notice the love/heart sign formed by her hands until I intently looked at the form. I could sense the love in labor from Ms. Ma. Kristina Ham’s illustrations and dexterous calligraphy.

Well, speaking of euphoric moments, I once dreamt of being in such an amazing feeling and setting. I remember being high up in the clouds, standing and actually riding on a giant flower that gave me an aerial view of the entire city; the flower moving like a magic carpet as it took me on a journey around, while soft breeze enveloping my Being drowned me with bliss. An unforgettable dream, yes!

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Proof of Attendance

Above everything, my preferred illustration reminds me of my favorite writer, Kahlil Gibran. His book illustrations possess surreal, and ethereal qualities that I admire. Beauty is relative but that is how I perceive them in comparison. Having said that, I want to thank Cris for inviting us to her book launch with matching souvenir photo during the occasion held last December 15.

Below are some photos sent by Cris as documented by Col. Clark Abellera.

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Photo Op with the rest of the Privileged Few who Attended the Book Launching

ONE MONTH LATER —
I was supposed to treat Cris for giving birth to a dream; pero hindi nangyari. Siya ang nagtreat — birthday treat daw. Anyway, we had nearly three hours of fun just talking, and laughing with some exchange of notes re her book. Our last moments at Chili’s [left photo below] spoiled Cris’ mood though because of sudden ‘bad element’ that came her way…

However, Gelatos at Cafe Ti-Amo [right side photos above] helped in regaining her cool back.

Being with a very positive person, and seeing how she reacted to a negative element was quite notable. I would have reacted the same way she did. Naiimbyerna rin! How one says something really matters.

My treat next time!

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Best SDEAS Deaf Cultural Show that I’ve Seen

November 21, 2016

“Of signs and wonders: Jesus made the lame walk and the blind see. At the 22nd Deaf Festival, in His Name and for His Glory he made the Deaf dance! And that is truly a miracle…” – Susan Abad, a relative I tagged along with to watch the show texted this to me, a day after witnessing for the first time the culmination of the 22nd Deaf Festival held at the ARG, CSB Theater in Taft Avenue, Manila.

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From Facebook – photo from CJ Patriarca of the Silent Steps

Last Saturday, November 19, I managed to find time to attend the 22nd SDEAS Deaf Cultural Show. I met old friends — both Deaf and Hearing. Many of them were members of the Silent Steps, the All-Deaf playgroup with whom I have worked with in several of my Deaf films, and the current faculty staff of the DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies [SDEAS]. I have seen Deaf theater presentation for the first time a decade ago in 2017 when I first enrolled as FSL student of SDEAS’ Filipino Sign Language Learning Program [FSLLP], a module intended for hearing persons.

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Me [3rd from right] in between hearing interpreter Febe Sevilla [4th from R] and Susan Abad [in dark glasses]. The rest are Deaf Faculty Staff of SDEAS. Jenn Balan on the extreme right and Anna Arce [2nd from left]

This year is, I would consider the best Deaf Fest presentation amongst several other cultural shows that I’ve seen in the past. All the participating performers were highly charged, energetic and were visibly enjoying their performances. The only thing they should consider next time when presenting is the pace with which they change from one performance to the other. There should be no long breaks in between presentation. In film, it is called transition. There should be fast but smooth transition flow.

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The Silent Steps with Myra Medrana, their choreographer on the extreme left [with eyeglasses]. Photo from her fb post. I recognize Mary Rose Gozon and Marvin [extreme right]

Myra Medrana’s choreography was great! The integration of film and theater which is something that I’ve done in several of my films for the Deaf was quite impressive, and really wonderful. A memorable performance that really touches the heart, and must have made some Deaf in the audience cried was the one that tackles Deaf issues on discrimination.

Even the video presentations highly leveled up in quality and form. Congratulations to SDEAS for the continuous support that they are providing their students!

Visit: https://www.facebook.com/22ndeaffestival2016/

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A Touching Adoption Story of a Child with Special Needs

November 3, 2016

Sharing with you a video that made me teary-eyed but happy. This is about a child with no limbs adopted by an American family who came all the way to the Philippines to fetch her. For the first time ever, I clicked “like” on youtube.

A story of love, yes!!!…unconditional love! I am sooooo happy for this girl, and very grateful to the family who adopted her.

May she grow up to be like Nicholas James Vujicic, a very inspiring person, without limbs like this girl, but who can easily put to shame those who call themselves abled for being courageous in overcoming his difficulties, living a wonderful life as a great inspiration to Persons with Disability and non-PWDs alike.

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Remembering the UP Film Center

September 30, 2016

Tree planting ritual was part and parcel of celebrating important events at the UP Film Center, then headed by its co-founder, first Director, and my Humanities Professor, Ms. Virginia R. Moreno. I worked there as an artist-researcher, and was later sent as scholar to the Film and Television Institute of India.

Now, as Board Member and Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation Inc.’s [GMEFI] Community and Educational Fund Assistance Program Head, I thought of adopting the tree planting idea for GMEFI as part of Metro Manila College Foundation Day Celebrations. GMEFI is MMC’s Community Social Responsibility arm. Since a tree is one of the major design elements of GMEFI’s logo, it has become more than just replicating the UP Film Center’s activity. GMEFI scholars, I thought could be likened to a young plant which has to be nurtured to be able grow properly, and become productive in the future.

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The mango seed that I planted and tended was sent to MMC to grow within the compound where the centennial-old Katipunan tree is located. Above are some of the Gawad Metronian scholars. The activity was held last September 27.

 

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Hearts Full of Joy and Hope at CBR-SMILE Center, Payatas

September 5, 2016
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Patti Rivera with the participants

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Teacher Ana with Bryan Bautista, son of CBR-Smile President Sanny Bautista

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[L-R]: Teacher Ana Rivera with daughter Patricia

It was quite exciting to see Children with Disabilities gathered together accompanied by their parents/caregivers to undergo sessions in Dance Movement Therapy [DMT] last Saturday, September 3 at the CBR Center. The Heart at Play Foundation led by Teacher Ana Rivera and her daughter Patti were there to train them.We witnessed varied expressions of anticipation from the participants of CBR-SMILE [Samahan ng mga Magulang na Iniingatan ang Lahat ng batang Espesyal Inc.] as they wait for the program to start. Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation, Inc. [GMEFI] is co-sponsoring the project].GroupAs GMEFI’s Community Education Fund Assistance Programs Head, I joined the group led by our president Even Dominguez,  Administrative Staff Nina Padua, and Grace, an MMC student who is about to write a thesis focused on Persons with Disability. When we arrived, Mr. Ranil Sorongon, former ASP Executive Director, and currently the PPCWD Convenor and Norfil Foundation Consultant was giving the group a warm up talk, so to say.

The program started with the singing of the National Anthem led by a low-vision child, Perlyn Brevano followed by a prayer by Renea Leyva, mother of Terrenz Lukas Leyva, a child with cerebral palsy. The opening remarks was delivered by CBR-SMILE coordinator, Nitz Caliwan, in behalf of their president, Mrs. Sanny Bautista who came late because she had to attend another important meeting. GMEFI President Even Dominguez was the Guest speaker while Ranil Sorongon gave an inspirational talk. When Ms. Bautista arrived, she thanked GMEFI and all those who extended their hand to make the project possible like The Heart at Play Foundation, GMEFI and Norfil. Her voice cracked at one point.

An intermission dance was amazingly performed by CBR SMILE KIDS, namely: Bryan Bautista, Levilyn Bendal, Marie Claire Yeong, Teza Carl Cervantes, and Judy Ann Goyala. They danced and swayed their bodies gracefully and with gusto. They visibly enjoyed dancing; their talents, honed by patient teachers, and/or parents evident.

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Patti Finally, an introductory lecture on what Dance Movement Therapy is – as a combination of science and art — was explained by Patricia “Patti” Rivera who was aiding her mom, Teacher Ana. The Dance Movement Therapy session then started. THP prepared an IEP-Based Movement Teacher A about to beginGrading Sheet to serve as their tool to gauge the development of the individual participating child. Their main criteria, physical baseline has percentage of 40%, while the Elements of Dance were set each at 12%, as follows: Direction, Size, Level, Speed, and Balance.

Indeed, it was “heart at play” [to borrow from THP’s acronym] that we, as outside observers witnessed. For only committed hearts and soul could make such a unique activity happen in the name of love and in embrace of Persons with Disability.

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Unfortunately, we had to leave early so we were not able to watch the entire session. Sayang!! Hoping for the success of the project, joy for the participating children and their parents!

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[L-R]: Ranil Sorongon, Even Dominguez, Mirana, Nitz Caliwan, Sanny Bautista, Nina Padua

[Reposted from https://gawadmetronian.org/2016/09/05/hearts-full-of-joy-and-hope-at-cbr-smile-center-payatas/%5D

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Picture Editing of Spring Rhapsody Finalized

August 3, 2016

Janus Victoria’s “Spring Rhapsody” – her documentary in the making with lovely images she herself shot – was finalized yesterday. Started editing it a few weeks back. — with no script to follow. A tedious but challenging task as a film editor, but one I consider common. Tikoy Aguiluz’s “Father Balweg, The Rebel Priest,” also a documentary, shaped and formed in the same way too. In Spring though, after the images were lined up, and the structure was formed, Janus wrote to narrate her experiences during the trip. We then hear the interviewees mostly off-cam in between. Another friend of Janus cutely named Silver added shots and is responsible for the sound design and music. Nice one, I should say…

The docu is a visual essay dealing with a topic Janus wants to make into a feature film — the journey she took in Japan, the people she met to see for herself, better understand and have a deeper insight of the “kodokushi” or the lonely death phenomenon Japanese people have as part of their culture. Interesting subjects were interviewed, featuring an amazing woman artist named Ami, a photographer, a musician in the park, an elderly woman who wishes a painless death, and most importantly, the kodokushi cleaners.

Setting is Japan.

Journey ni Janus. That is how I describe it. Kodokushi segments maybe culturally shocking to some though; with life and death metaphorically paralleled with spring and autumn. However, journeying with Janus will surely be a wonderful and memorable experience.