Posts Tagged ‘2017 Ms. Universe pageant’

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Mother Delight Rice and Davina Bennett, Miss Universe Jamaica

November 29, 2017

The day I got hold of a book on Delight Rice written by her foster child Ronald Hirano was my first time to read about Ms. Universe-Jamaica Davina Bennett. That was Delight Riceyesterday November 28, a day [GMT] after Ms. Jamaica was proclaimed second runnerup in the 2017 Ms. Universe pageant held in the U.S.A. It was also yesterday, that I went to Rizal Shrine in Fort Santiago with my filmĀ made with, and for Deaf people. Entitled ULTIMO ADIOS, it is based on a poem written by our greatest hero Jose Rizal before his execution in 1896. Shot largely in the area six years ago, it is the first-ever interpretation of the poem in sign language.

Ms. Rice was an American with Deaf parents who founded the Philippine School for the Deaf in 1907. Ms. Bennett is a Jamaican who founded the Davina Bennett Foundation for theĀ  Deaf in Jamaica. They both care for Deaf people to give them equal opportunities in the society. Ms. Rice stayed in the Philippines for many years to educate our Deaf youth, and even brought some to the United States to continue their studies in California.

Ms Jamaica

Having learned that Ms. Jamaica wanted the Miss Universe competition as a platform to spread awareness for all deaf people made me appreciate her beauty even more. On an earlier interview when she won the Miss Universe Jamaica competition, she said: “I started the foundation before Miss Universe. I needed a platform to have a voice for these persons who need my support.” With that said, I find in her a noble heart, beautiful inside out. How I wish she won the pageant!

Working and advocating for Deaf people myself, I feel more inspired to know that a lot more people come to recognize that Deaf people need equal recognition, and support.

Ms Jamaica with Deaf model Britney Barnes

Ms. Universe Jamaica Davina Bennett with Britney Barnes, Deaf model

Come December, I heard a monument of Delight Rice shall be erected in the compound of the Philippine School for the Deaf. It is going to be led by Mr. Ronald Hirano himself. Incidentally, the Foundation I am connected with, Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation, Inc. supports a Deaf scholar.