Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement_Making Docus

November 19, 2014

For me, it is an achievement to hop around towns in our country to spread Autism and Deaf Awareness through my documentary films — “Alyana” [2006] and “Silent Odyssey” [2008] . From the time I made them some 8 years ago up to now, they continue to be shown in different provinces. The impact has not waned, only the statistics. The power of film cannot be contested…

More than anything, finishing them quite gave me great sense of triumph. All of them took many months to finish: Alyana took me two-and-a-half years; Silent Odyssey and “Tiga-Isla” both took me one-a-half years. The reason??? I started with only some great desire to do them, borrowed cameras especially when I made Alyana and Tiga-Isla, and help from friends. I have no full budget at hand every time I start working on my personal docus, only the belief that I would finish them, come what may — with God behind me in whatever I do, passion and determination to achieve my goals.

DASMA Zone 1A_4

Reaching out to the masses to raise autism awareness; my docu on autism was shown in a covered court at Barangay Zone 1A in Dasmariñas, Cavite last October 24, 2014. On the screen is Alyana.

PSD Before Screening

Parents of Deaf children studying at the Philippine School of the Deaf watched “Silent Odyssey”, a docu touching on Audism/Discrimination, history and Deaf Filipino culture. It advocates for Filipino Sign Language use. Showing was held last September 25, 2014

Tiga Isla Screening

Even “Tiga-Isla,” my historical film docu on prewar Corregidor, the last island that surrendered to the Japanese during World War II still had impact on the viewers though made 11 years ago in 2003. It was shown last week on November 15, 2014. The docu ends with an anti-war sentiment.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/achievement/

 

 

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Old Corregidor Revisited in “Tiga-Isla”

November 17, 2014

iSLANDERSThe abridged edition of “Tiga-Isla” [The Islanders of Corregidor] / 62mins was shown for the first time last Satirday, November 15 at NHCP-Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite. It turned out to be sort of a reunion with “long time no see” friends: Shrine Curator Angelo Aguinaldo, NHCP Aguinaldo Shrine – Historic Sites Development Officer Gina Ayran, Cavite Historical Society members Belen Nocon and Willie Pangilinan.

Also present were: Chit A. Sambile – Kawit Tourism Officer/ FAMAS President; Annie R. Sarile – President, Cavite Association of Historic Sites and Museums/ Director, Marketing Communication Office – DLSU Dasmarinas; Aquino Garcia – President, Cavite Provincial Tourism Board/ Faculty, DLSU-Dasmarinas; Myra Oestrich – Asst Principal, IMUS Institute; Ige Ramos – Editor, Rustan’s SansRival; Columnist – BANDEHADO, Bandera; Cavite Culinary Historian, and Jigs Medina – Historian – Faculty, DLSU-Dasmarinas.

Tiga Isla Screening8

From R-L: Willie Pangilinan, Aquino Garcia, Angelo Aguinaldo, MM, Mrs. Chit Sambile, Annie Sarile, Belen Nocon, Jigs Medina, Myra Oestrich, Imus Institute history teacher and Jan Peña

Students of Imus Institute Adult School came with their history teacher while some students of St. Dominic School who previously viewed my docu on autism arrived with Jan Peña, former president of Autism Society. Her family members also came [photo below]. Incidentally, her son Emille she told us is named after Emilio Aguinaldo. They are currently residing in Dasmariñas.

Jan's fam

Jan Peña’s Family: Husband Al, daughter Thea and youngest son, Jan Emille. Behind them is the house of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo

Despite the delay due to technical problems, they all patiently waited. It was worth their time I guess as they enjoyed listening to the stories of my interviewees. Majority of them are gone now but their memories and stories shall remain for as long as the digital video disc survives the test of climate change, humidity and man’s negligence. Some segments elicited laughter from the audience when they heard some of the experiences of my brother Isagani Medina who also served as my film’s consultant; especially so, when he started singing a song that they used to sing at a time nationalism of the Filipinos started to brew against the Spaniards and the Americans:

“One, two, three. Amerikanong nahuli.
Saan ililibing? Sa puno ng saging.
Anong kandila? Titi ng Kastila.
Ano ang korona? Bulbol ng señora”.

Some were touched, and a few must have cried as they empathized with the feeling of loss by the Corregidorians, strongly exemplified in the words of Mr. Jose Estrella: “…I have lost a birthplace.”

Mrs. Chit Sambile said the documentary quite relived her childhood days during the Japanese period. She looked quite nostalgic. Angelo Aguinaldo was quite surprised to see Dr. Selma Calmes-Harrison and to hear her story about two generations of her family who lived in Corregidor. The viewers wowed upon seeing her parent’s wedding picture. Her mother was wearing a typical Filipino dress we call “saya.”

Dr Selma n parents

[Leff photo] Wedding picture in Corregidor of Dr. Selma Harrison-Calmes’ parents; [R]: Grabbed foto of Dr. Selma from the film “Tiga-Isla”

The history teacher from Imus Institute was quite appreciative of the film as they have learned something new from it. Most books written on Corregidor are about war and destruction; not about the lives of the Filipinos and Americans who lived and enjoyed their days there. Unfortunately, my brother’s wish to be buried there, later, that he be cremated instead and his ashes be spread in Corregidor were not realized due to opposition from all the members of our family.

Observing how the people reacted on a film made 11 years ago just only showed the film content’s timelessness, and of course, the power of the film medium as a tool in teaching history.

Looking back, the process of making this particular documentary would not have been possible —believe it or not — without the power of prayer and God’s intervention. Of the many unexplainable experiences that I encountered in the making of this film quite unforgettable was the magnet-like desire that I felt to go to Corregidor so suddenly. I rushed that morning to the CCP Complex, and arrived at the ferry boat terminal just a few minutes before the boat disembarked. I had no plans at all to go there. But the push within me to visit the island was so powerful, I had to leave my chores to catch the boat scheduled on that day. I felt like a real tourist on that day. I was first brought there when I was small and I couldn’t remember any of the places that I had been to. I only remember the white pebbles that we collected. The turning point was when I heard a Balikbayan tourist from Hawaii exclaiming while viewing the photo exhibit at the Museum: “May mga tao pala dito at villages?”

On the boat back to Manila that afternoon, I have decided to document the stories of my siblings –on how they lived there, their experiences, and how Corregidor looked like during their time. I also felt a strong sense of loss — of never having experienced going home to a province — “our own” that is, when I get tired of the city jungle; and felt angered somewhat by what the War has brought to what could have been my home too….Anyhow, the decision to make the docu helped me in finally finding something to keep my brother Gani’s spirit “alive” and busy for many months. I finished the film and premiered it in 2003; my brother Gani died the following year on September 26, 2004. Had I not documented their stories, current generation of Filipinos will never come to know how happy life in Corregidor Island was for residents who lived there.

Last note: On the usual question as to why TIGA, not TAGA-ISLA was used… According to my brother, TIGA is a Cavite-Tagalog word. Residents of Corregidor before the War were called “Tiga-Isla.”

Also take note that some revisions on the feature-length version of the docu will be done..Extra characters will be erased for good..One would easily know copies marketed without my knowledge.

Paksiw_Lunch at Agui

Ulam namin nung lunch time… first time ko makakita ng nakapilang paksiw na isda…waiting to be eaten….Sarap!!!

Thanks Angelo and Gina for the opportunity to show the film again!!! Pero umorder na kayo ng LCD projector ha?

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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.

iSLANDERS

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.

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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.

IMG_5819

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.

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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:
http://www.slideshare.net/srains/developing-an-accessible-tourism-strategy-disabled-travelers-guide-to-the-galaxy?ref=http://www.rollingrains.com/2014/10/developing-an-accessible-tourism-strategy—disabled-travelers-guide-to-the-galaxy.html

 

 

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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.

SILENT O in PSD3

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

SILENT O in PSD2

Parents of Deaf Children

SILENT O in PSD

Jun Sevilla introduces the film

SILENT O in PSD4

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.

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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.

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