Posts Tagged ‘A mi Patria’



August 14, 2015

CJ Patriarca’s Special Appearance in The Sublime Paralytic

Former member of the SILENT STEPS, Catherine J. Patriarca joined in the making of THE SUBLIME PARALYTIC as one of the four Filipino Sign Language interpreters in “Apolinario Mabini: The Sublime Paralytic.”

I first met her while she was still studying at DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies. I was then a student of Filipino Sign Language under the FSLLP Program. I interviewed her for my film SILENT ODYSSEY, a documentary that celebrates the talents of Deaf Filipinos. A theater performer and a dancer, she also appeared in one of the five segments of A Mi Patria, the collection of five poems of Rizal interpreted in Filipino Sign Language.


Premiere Showing on August 27, 2015 at DLS-CSB ARG Theater, 5th floor, 4 pm. For ticket reservation and more information, click the following link:


Gallaudet University Letter for Febe Sevilla

June 13, 2015

Finally! I found the acknowledgment letter Febe Sevilla, my buddy sign language interpreter wanted to see. It was sent to me by Gallaudet University. Probably because she is a history teacher, she wanted “historical evidence.” Just telling her about it was not enough. Hahaha!

I personally met Ms. Diana Moore, the university librarian to donate a copy of my film,  A MI PATRIA with the last book that I published for my historian-brother. Febe with husband Jun were my interpreters for the film. It features five poems of our National hero JOSE RIZAL interpreted in Filipino Sign Language by Deaf individuals for the first time over a hundred years after they were written. Deaf students the world over can view it there.



Daily Prompt: Journey with the Deaf

May 28, 2013

Have you ever imagined yourself in a journey with Deaf individuals?

Well, I never did until one day, seven years ago in 2006 when I decided to formally study sign language with the hope of communicating with them. As part of my research for a docu that I wanted to do about Deaf Filipino Culture, I thought it would be wise to learn their language first. That was the start of my journey in the Deaf world. What made me decide to choose them as my subject is another story. Suffice it to say that there’s no turning back, no regrets at all to have spent my time with them.

Shoot with Silent Steps

Shooting with Silent Steps, an all-Deaf student playgroup at DLS-CSB School of Deaf and Applied Studies where I studied FSL. Here, I worked with Deaf photographer / videographer Dennis Balan.

One of the most memorable, and surely one of the happiest and enjoyable time in my life happened on my first day in the sign language class. On that day, all of us hearing students were required to ACT AS IF WE WERE DEAF, that is we were obliged not to speak a word – from morning when the class started up to our dismissal time in the afternoon at 5. To communicate with the Deaf, we had to gesture, act things out or make even the funniest facial expressions to be understood. Last resort would be writing on paper to “talk” with a Deaf buddy assigned to us, or use the celfone as a handy tool to communicate as well. Even during our lunch break, when we went to McDo Restaurant, the session continued. We ordered our food using gestures, hands and facial expressions. The instruction was do anything except speak! It was truly exhausting not to be able to speak for 8 hours. Saliva got dried up. Noticeable during those “trying” hours, I felt that the sound around me switched off as my full attention focused on my Deaf buddy. With the ambient sound seemingly off, all the people except my Deaf buddy defocused.  My full attention was on him because there was that need to understand what he was trying to tell me. I have never laughed as much as I did on that day nevertheless. It was great fun!

For a year, I had Deaf teachers; got exposed with their culture, and came to know what their societal concerns and needs are. During those years, I met many intelligent and talented Deaf in the sector and worked with some of them both as participants and co-workers in my film. In my journey with the Deaf, they eventually became part of my being. I have learned a lot from them as I came to understand, no matter how little who they are and how important their natural language is. Together, we have worked and eventually made the first docu on Deaf Filipino Culture and Language [Silent Odyssey / 2008] as well as the first-ever interpretation in Filipino Sign Language of our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal’s [1891-1896] selected patriotic poems [A mi Patria / 2011-2012 / in four language versions]. Both films became a vehicle to relay the need to respect their person, and recognize Deaf’s linguistic human rights.

Shooting at the Plaza Park in Calamba

“A Filipinas” is one of the five poems of our National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal forming part of A MI PATRIA / To My Motherland

In several of my journeys with special people, I have learned that inequality and discrimination will never exist, if only we look beyond the so-called “disability”, be it physical or intellectual.


Busy, Buzy, Bc for the Film Showing

February 1, 2013

Bussssssssssssssssssssssy preparing for tomorrow’s showing of my film, A MI PATRIA / TO MY MOTHERLAND / INANG-BAYAN — 5 Selected Poems of Dr. Rizal [Philippine National Hero] interpreted for the first time in Filipino Sign Language with spoken language versions in Spanish and Filipino.

Venue: UP Film Center, 3 pm. The Film Center used to be my “home” having worked there for over 10 years as researcher, artist, lecturer and one of the film workshop facilitators before the Institute of Mass Comm took over.

Guest Speakers:

1) Mr. JOSE RIZAL LOPEZ [88 yrs. old], first generation grandson of Gen. Paciano Rizal, older brother of Dr. Jose Rizal

2) Dr. RICARDO NOLASCO, former Director, Komisyon ng Wikang Pilipino; Professor, Department of Linguistics, UP College of Arts and Letters

3) Dr. VIM NADERA, former Director, UP Institute of Creative Writing Center; Professor, Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature, UP CAL. He is one of my consultants for A MI.. The other consultant is Dr. Marie Therese Bustos of UP College of Education Sped Area.


In Promotion of FSL as National Sign Language of Deaf Filipinos_A MI PATRIA / To My Motherland/ Inang-Bayan

January 10, 2013

Sa pagsusulong ng Filipino Sign Language Bilang Pambansang Wikang Senyas ng mga Bingi sa Pilipinas

Inihahandog ng

 DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies

Philippine Federation of the Deaf

Support and Empower Abused Deaf Children

Filipino Deaf Women Health and Crisis Center


UP College of Arts and Letters





ni Miranamedina

3 p.m., Saturday /  FEBRUARY 2, 1013 / UP FILM CENTER THEATER

Diliman, Quezon City



Meeting this afternoon with Dr. Belen Calingacion, UP CAL Representative and Program Facilitator to discuss the program and related acitivites with Deaf org representatives led by Giselle Montero, SDEAS OPD Director.

2 pm., Faculty Center, UP Diliman


Screening of A mi Patria / To my Motherland Fixed on Feb 2013 – UP Film Center

December 15, 2012

Yesterday, we met at SDEAS to discuss about the showing of my film – Rizal’s Selected Poems in Filipino Sign Language. Present were Giselle Montero of SDEAS OPD, Weng Rivera, President, Filipino Deaf Health and Crisis Center and Rey Lee, Philippine Federation of the Deaf President. Since the President of SEADC [Support and Empower Deaf Abused Children] wasn’t able to attend, I just contacted its founder Liw Caldito and asked her if she would accept our proposal to join our activity.

It was decided as per suggestion by our UP partner, the Dean of the Department of Arts and Letters of the University of the Philippines, Dr. Elena Mirano to have the showing before the full blast activity during the UP Diliman Month in February 2013. The date has been set on February 2, Saturday from 3 – 6 pm at the UP Film Center. We hope to have again with us as guests some of the members of the Rizal clan who are here in the country; also known supporters and sympathizers of House Bills for the Deaf some of which are still currently under debate. Dr. Jose Rizal is the Philippines’ National Hero — a Renaissance Man, poet, novelist, writer, teacher, scientist, sculptor, painter, traveler and a historian as well.

Produced by Miryad Visyon in collaboration with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and DLS-CSB School of Deaf and Applied Studies, versions in Filipino, English, Spanish and the first-ever interpretation in FSL more than 100 years after they were written will be shown. The films were made in connection with the Sesquicentennial Celebration of Dr. Rizal’s birth anniversary in 2011. The initiative is part of the continuing effort to advocate for the use and recognition of the Filipino Sign Language as national sign language of Deaf Filipinos so that the Department of Education would be exposed more on what FSL really is and its significance to our Deaf brothers as index to their cultural identity. Currently, DepEd authorities recognize more the importance of American Sign Language. [To see the photos during the FSL Rally, click deaf-voices-raised-using-talking-hands-and-whistles_long-live-fsl]


The Search for the CP Notes

September 17, 2012

It’s been quite a time since I have started my work on the CP subject. I was forced to set the work aside because of more pressing tasks that I had to attend, and rare opportunities that I could not let pass, like working on Asiong Salonga 2011 [the 4th remake / DC version] and A mi Patria [Rizal 2012  / a film on Rizal 100 years after the first film on him  was made in 1912]. Though the former had been an exercise in creative futility, I can’t discount the fact that it helped me finish the latter. The producers of Asiong do not realize that they lost a gem of a film. Admittedly, it was like having a miscarriage. The producer’s cut that was delivered is akin to a child which as in the case of a CP kid, has lost some oxygen while in the process of delivery. It gasped, and came out with developmental disabilities only the knowledgeable and those within the circle would know what they are. In exercising what they thought to be their prerogatives, powers or rights, the producers actually got fooled; fooled by their own thinking and belief that it was better than the DC because of their lousy film aesthetics. For what could have been a classic film became less than what it should have been. Otherwise, it would not have been disowned by its maker.

It’s funny that this parallelism entered my mind. But the idea jibes.

Now, let’s see what they will come up with next. The yardstick has been set. If their aesthetics remain the same, I wonder what the outcome of El Presidente would be. If they keep the old script [seen and browsed on it], a boring film is in store for us. If they use their rewritten script [which I also happen to see and leaf through], which kept the bullets of historical notes at the end of it, the audience would thank Tikoy for the sequences he directed with Nora Aunor because of his aesthetics that goes beyond the physical film! For sure that would help in lifting the interest of the viewers! I have seen Baler and I have worked with Tikoy long enough to know his film aesthetics.

Nonetheless, I still pray for the success of El Presidente because of Emilio Aguinaldo; that truth about him be known to the people especially to those who continue to malign him without knowing what we may call as “the other side of the coin” based on historical evidences. I have worked with my brother Isagani R. Medina, a Cavite historian on all his books where I was enlightened by his researches on parts vague to me, especially on the Magdalo-Magdiwang feud. But I continue to hail Andres Bonifacio as the Katipunan Supremo. His importance in our history is undebatable. It is just that for me, the timeline for the role he played as a Supremo ended from the Battle of Pinaglabanan onwards. Its fall was also the beginning of his downfall heightened by his lost as President of the Revolutionary Government in the election held during the Tejeros Convention. But of course, his spirit continues to haunt I guess the Aguinaldos because of people and history teachers who cannot accept how Bonifacio died. What actually happened and why he was led to a sad ending, even if already known by now, are still unacceptable it seems.

Oh well, I’ve gone too far away from my topic. haha! i just couldn’t help it. So –going back to my CP notes, I have yet to find them. And I have to review again what I already shot. Que sera, sera! I will pursue with this while the other project gets “cooked.”



August 18, 2012

From Angono, Rizal, our film A MI PATRIA – 5 POEMS OF RIZAL in Filipino Sign Language will proceed to UP Los Baños in Laguna. The screening in Laguna is part of UPLB’s WISIK event [Wika, Sining at K-alusugan, Kalikasan at Komunidad] Pls click for details, Screening will be next week on August 24, 7 p.m. at Umali Hall, UPLB.

The film aims to advocate for respect of Deaf Filipino’s Linguistic Human Rights and to promote the use and recognition of Filipino Sign Language. At the same time, it aims to spread the nationalism/patriotism, sentiments and ideas/ideals of Dr. Jose Rizal to the Filipino youth in a more popular medium: the visual and aural form. The first-ever interpretation of Rizal’s poems in sign language was produced in collaboration with SDEAS and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

The FSL and the spoken language versions are to be shown.

All performers are Deaf while majority of the readers are faculty members of the UP College of Arts and Letters in Diliman from the following Departments: Filipino, European Languages,  Arts Studies, Speech Comm and Theater Arts and Creative Writing Center.


A mi Patria Screens at University of Rizal System – Angono

August 13, 2012

Meron palang University of Rizal? Well, that’s where A mi Patria is going to be screened tomorrow at 5 pm in Angono, Rizal. Rem Vocalan emailed me A mi’s poster today. I would like to invite you all to join us at the university’s viewing room. You may contact Rem or Pat Tiamson for more information. See contact details on the poster.

The screening and art exhibits [A Convergence of Angono’s Art Expressions] to be held until August 18 is part of the weeklong celebration of Angono’ Foundation Day.


RIZALPABETO Book Launching

July 21, 2012

Elmer Borlongan [Left] and Vim Nadera [R]
Photo Courtesy of Vim

Autographed Page by Elmer and VIm

Last night, I attended the opening of the exhibit and the launching of a highly interesting and beautiful book “RIZALPABETO” – Mga Tula ni Vim Nadera at Dibuho ni Elmer Borlongan sa iPad. It was a cozy affair held in Alpha Village, Quezon City. I am not familiar with the venue so I just joined and went there with Vim, his students [Wika at Lipunan?], and his family as well [had a good talk with Dinah re possible work collaboration]. While waiting for his class to finish, I went to the Office of the UP Dept. of Speech Comm and Theater Arts with the hope of meeting friend Belen [Calingacion]. I met Jannette Pinzon instead. Belen left the office early she told me. Konting chika kay Jannette syempre. She was one of the readers in my A MI PATRIA project – Filipino version. The book’s publisher is CANVAS [Center for Art, New Ventures and Sustainable Development].

Close Up of Vim’s “Dedication”…haha! Sobrang personalized! Ganda!

It was good that the heavy rains poured later in the evening, otherwise, I would not have been able to attend the affair again. Julius Babao, the most familiar face in the crowd [other than Vim of course] was one of the attendees. Attending exhibits must be one of his de-stressing activities, I thought.

I have not attended book launching and art exhibition openings for years now. I actually can’t explain how I feel every time I attend one. But definitely, I feel sad…always sad and nostalgic in fact. Sad, because once upon a time, I used to join painting exhibitions myself organized by the Art Association of the Philippines. I used to paint and draw, until I got involved, and completely immersed myself in film production. There’s no regret for the diversion, or going into the film making path; I found my “mission for being” and definitely happier making advocacy films. It is specifically, using film as my research tool to answer the need for society’s awareness on conditions I focus on, that I discovered to be the right task for me. Because of that, the sense of distance from the activity that I used to love doing became more intense. Nevertheless, I know that one day I’d find myself dabbling colors on canvas again. The hope is still there however remote it may be at this point. SIGH!!!