Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category
February 18. The first day of the season of Lent this year. Pastors and nuns applied ashes to the foreheads of Catholics, said to be signifying inner repentance.
Inside the compound of the National Shrine of the Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran, people lined up for the cross sign to be applied on their foreheads. It was kind’a festive, falling as it was on Baclaran Day, or the day of the Mother of Perpetual Help. Nevertheless, it wasn’t as crowded as I expected because the Mass was still on-going at the time I went there.
What caught my attention was seeing for the first time the padlocks— a la love lock or love padlocks in Paris bridges — on the fence protecting the wishing font placed behind the statue of Mother Theresa. Symbol of the lover’s love as in the West? Well, I am sure they got the idea from there.
On the 40th Day or the end of the Lenten season, I will most probably check how it will look like…
The Hiranos — Ronald and Catherine, and Renato Cruz, who with his family, Pope Francis blessed when he visited the Philippines last month were DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies [SDEAS] visitors. As I did not watch the encounter of Pope Francis with the three Filipino families in MOA, I did not know who Renato was until I became curious and asked Febe who he is while we were in the van on the way to Taal, Batangas. They were toured last Thursday by Giselle Montero and Febe Sevilla to four places in Taal Heritage Town: Taal Basilica, Camera Galleria, Villavicencio Wedding Gift House, and the Basilica Museum. Gi and Febe are part of Project Mabini production team that I am co-producing with SDEAS.
Paano ako nasabit sa lakad? Oh well, the day before the tour, it happened that I was in the office of Giselle because of the voice recording session that I had with Cris Lorenzana, narrator for our video documentary on Apolinario Mabini entitled “The Sublime Paralytic.” Cris is an inspirational speaker, and host to DZXL’s Sunday program Winner ka, Pinoy! Giselle invited me to join them and upon being told that they were going to a historic site… syempre, yes agad!
Mr. Rodolfo Soriano Jr., octogenarian Deaf brother of actor Nestor de Villa was also in the group. I first met Lolo Rody when I interviewed him with Febe about his life during the Japanese period.
The special guest, Mr. Ronald Hirano is a Deaf photographer who launched his book on his mother, Delight Rice, founder of the Philippine School for the Deaf [PSD] in 1907.
With special people and friends, the day had been quite memorable, fruitful, wonderful, wholesome, and enjoyable! On the way home, we had a stop over at Starbucks in Tagaytay City.
[Except for a couple of shots, I shot all the photos using an ordinary point and shoot HP cam].
The Life Story of Mother Delight Rice and Her Children
Delia Delight Rice was the first teacher of the deaf in the Philippines and her story is told by one of her adopted children, who is an author, a photographer, and a deaf community leader. He is scheduled tomorrow February 4 to talk about his book on Delight Rice and to hold a Photography Workshop with Deaf students on February 5. [Please read the details below]
Pope Francis is arriving in Manila from Sri Lanka this evening at 5.45 for a five day visit here starting today January 15 up to January 19. The preparations for his coming is akin to the preparations made before the coming of recent super typhoon Ruby. The government agencies concerned, and the citizens readied for the typhoon’s onslaught to avoid the same outcome as when Typhoon Yolanda “visited” the country. Media had special coverages. Similarly, preparations for the coming of the Pope were lined up but this time the Church and State are working together to welcome the Pope. The media is playing an important role in giving information to the people. Radio is observably turning to be more reliable since schedules shift from time to time. For ex., an earlier radio report says that Mass at the Cathedral will start at 12.15; in an hour or so, the same station says it will be at 11.15am.
As almost all sectors are affected by Pope Francis’ coming, it can be said that he is like a super typhoon. But unlike typhoons that bring devastation to life and properties, the Pope restores lost hope and faith to Man. Thus, hundredfold activities to welcome him are being prepared by all concerned including ordinary citizens, with his security and protection against lawless elements topmost in the list of “to do’s.” Understandably, visiting us is Christ’s representative, Shepherd to over 80 million Catholic Filipinos, and head of state of Vatican City as well.
Ordinary citizens in Manila and Tacloban, places the Pope are visiting are quite excited to see him. It is also like preparing for the coming of Superman. Though the Pope already said that focus should be on Christ not on him, still it seems that he is seen as a hero. For many who are looking for someone to lift their spirit up from feeling of distress perhaps, or from poverty – either of spirit and economic lack, the Pope with his enchanting and charismatic personality loom large as figure of hope. With so much news on corruption, drug lords living as kings, leaders who think of themselves more that the country and the people that they should serve, the Pope’s coming serve as a breather… a rest…He is seen as Light, as Hope for renewal, for change. He brings Christ.
Pope “fever” is high: radio stations promise mega and non-stop report from his arrival; on newspapers and on television the Pope is headline. As I live in Pasay, the first city where he is arriving tonight – in between Villamor Airbase where the Pope would disembark and the Mall of Asia where his Mass with selected families is to be held on Sunday — it has become common to hear and see helicopters hovering around the area; part of the authorities’ dry run possibly on the routes the Pope would take from the airport to the Nuncio’s house in Manila. For several days now, priests are daily being interviewed about him by different radio stations. Like them, I heard Cardinal Tagle sounding very “high” and happy when he recounted his experiences with Pope Francis. His coming is most anticipated.
Inside Baclaran Church yesterday afternoon –just a day before the Pope arrives, I saw a team of foreign correspondents, taking notes about the on-going Wednesday novena, perhaps having their preview of the community who would welcome the Pope. Much unlike in Europe, where Catholicism seems “dead” [I remember entering a very huge church in Belgium with not more that 10 people inside it]; here it is quite alive, especially in the Mother of Perpetual Help Shrine in Baclaran, the Catholic church located nearest to our house.
Souvenirs with his photos, T-shirts, fans and badges are also all over. Photo standees were made so that people who won’t be able to go near Pope Francis in person could at least take their photo with him. Classes are suspended until he leaves; offices are closed; roads are to be blocked; airplanes cannot plane in before and until he arrives / leaves. Prayers and petitions are being readied by people hopeful of change from within and without one’s self.
I can feel the Hope that he is bringing to our country. Stories about him abound regarding his Love, Mercy and Compassion for the poor and “the least of our brethren.” He goes to the people; he serves his flock. His simplicity and Humility is something our corrupt leaders should emulate and follow.
I am not a practicing Catholic anymore but I am as excited as any pious and religious Catholic who are waiting for “The People’s Pope.”
I am just praying that typhoon “Amang” which just entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility dissipate, if not, completely melt away, or change its course of direction. It is currently bringing rains to Tacloban and Samar, the two most-devastated places affected by Typhoon Yolanda. So many believe in the power of prayer. That includes me! Nevertheless, in case he experiences the typhoon rains in Tacloban, it would be giving him a more complete picture and feel, even just for a fraction on what the victims of Typhoon Yolanda actually encountered.
Last November 21, I interviewed two descendants of one of our great heroes, Apolinario Mabini whose Sesquicentennial Birth Anniversary is being celebrated this year. He was most vocal and active against Spanish and American sovereignty over the Philippines at the turn of the century. American newspaper reports called him the “Brains of the Insurrectos”. Fearing that his presence in our country would bring in trouble, they sent him on exile to Guam in 1901. He could only return to the Philippines — as their term of conditions — if he swears his oath of allegiance to the US. Ms. Pelagia Mabini, a third generation descendant recounted that when asked to kiss the American flag, Mabini vehemently refused.
An “insurrecto” to the Americans; he was to the Filipinos — the “Brains of the Revolution” and “The Sublime Paralytic.” Yes! he was a physically disabled man, paralyzed in 1896 two years after he graduated from UST. As a writer and political philosopher, Mabini was feared, and quite annoyed the Americans because of his unwavering conviction to fight for absolute independence. It just showed how much the Americans valued the power of the mind and the pen over physical disability. Isn’t that cool?
Mabini was appointed as Chief adviser of the first Philippine President, Emilio Aguinaldo in June 1898. He was also the first Minister of Foreign Affairs. He could have been the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court were he not discriminated due to his disability. In January 1899, he became the prime minister or president of the council of secretaries of Aguinaldo Cabinet.Mabini resigned however when factions and clashes of ideas with the ilustrados arose; time when he felt that was not serving the popular will as many were against his convictions. Even then, he continued to write inflammatory articles against the Americans when they took over the Spaniards after the Treaty of Paris was signed on December 10, 1898. The Filipinos’ trust was betrayed as time and history would reveal.
Anyway, during my research, I actually saw the need of providing Deaf access to information on Mabini. The audiovisual materials at the Mabini Museums, both in Tanauan, Batangas and in Sta. Mesa, Manila obviously only target the regular hearing audience and elementary students it seems, based on the treatment and the type of graphic presentations used. For our project, I want the students to feel the ambience of Mabini’s time. And that is only possible by showing actual photos and documents available, sparse illustration, if none at all, and news reports about him in the 1900’s. Most importantly, I want to expose the students to lesser known heroes at the time of Mabini and Rizal.
From July of this year, I have already visited museums, archives, went to the National Library to check on available microfilms that are relevant to his life, and maximized on the use of available books in the personal library of my deceased historian-brother Isagani Medina — a big influence on the type of docus that I am doing, and want to do. I also interviewed for the film a historian, Arch. Jaime Silva, the blind architect, and the curator of the Mabini Museum.
Apolinario Mabini was born in Talaga,Tanauan, Batangas on July 23, 1864. It is a town located outside Manila. Without traffic, one can get there in an hour or so. Nearly a month ago, I was there.
[The project is being made in collaboration with DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies].