Posts Tagged ‘Architect Jaime Silva’


“Before this film, kulang ang alam ko about Mabini. Now I understand.”

August 19, 2015


The Blind Architect, Jaime Silva with Febe Sevilla, hearing interpreter. [Grabbed frame from The Sublime Paralytic; Segment on Mabini disability]

“...Mas naintindihan ko yung hirap ni Mabini as a writer, the policies that he did for the government para alam natin yung magiging direksyon ng Pilipinas, and the problems na hinurdle nya with his disability…Hindi rason yung kanyang disability, his love for [the] nation, his love for what he is doing was really something that the nation benefited from. Before this film, kulang ang alam ko about Mabini. Now I understand. Ni hindi ko alam na naexile pala sya sa Guam. These are some things that I’ve learned ngayon sa aking napanood,” says Architect Jaime Silva after “watching”, rather listening to the story of Mabini as my documentary, Apolinario Mabini: The Sublime Paralytic screened last Friday, August 14. A special preview was held at the Department of Foreign Affairs as part of their 2015 Post Celebration of NDPR Week. Arch. Silva is United Architect of the Philippines Chair on Disability Affairs. Known as THE BLIND ARCHITECT, he is the subject of a 14-min documentary with the same title that I made for APCD, JICA, NCDA and the UAP.

Interviewed for The Sublime Paralytic, Architect Silva talks about the discrimination Mabini must have experienced as a Persons with Disability [PWD]. The only difference then and now, he said was the fact that during Mabini’s time, there were no assistive technologies for PWDs and there was no law that protected the rights of PWDs. The Philippine Accessibility Law was enacted only in 1983, or 87 years after Mabini contracted paralysis in 1896.

A segment on disability matters and the causes of Mabini’s paralysis forms an important part of the film. The latest findings of Dr. Jiggs Gilera contests the pronouncements in the 80s that polio was the cause of Mabini’s paralysis. Guillain Barre-Syndrome [GBS] he says caused it. Incidentally, the reader of El Verdadero Decalogo / Ang Tunay na 10 Utos, Abner Manlapaz was crippled by GBS at the age of 16.

PREMIERE Showing on August 27, 2015 at DLS-CSB ARG Theater, 5th floor, 4 pm. Taft Campus, Manila. Contact DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies for more information.

Apolinario Mabini: The Sublime Paralytic’s Filipino-narrated version, PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon is now in post-production. Mabini was the Chief Adviser of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, First President of the Philippine Republic [1898] and his First Secretary of Foreign Affairs [1899].


PWD’s Outnumbered NON-PWD’s in the Making of “THE SUBLIME PARALYTIC”

August 18, 2015


Deaf talents highlighted in “The Sublime Paralytic.” It features the Silent Steps, the ALL-Deaf Performing Group of DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies [SDEAS] with their interpretation of Mabini’s El Verdadero Decalogo / The True Decalogue / Ang Tunay na 10 Utos in Filipino Sign Language, choreographed by Myra Medrana [Deaf], music scored by Thristan Mendoza [Person with Autism]

More than 50 people made possible the documentary on Apolinario Mabini [1864-1903], the crippled Philippine statesman who defied American sovereignty over the Philippines at the turn of the century. Entitled THE SUBLIME PARALYTIC, it is our tribute to Mabini who is considered the icon of Persons with Disability [PWD] in the Philippines.

Notably, PWDs outnumbered non-PWDs in the film’s production as nearly 30 PWDs joined either as participants or members of the production crew. The featured artists largely consisted of Deaf students of SDEAS [SILENT STEPS]; one of the interviewees is Blind [Architect Jaime Silva]; the Mabini reader had Guillain-Barre Syndrome [Abner Manlapaz]; and the music scorer is a person with autism [Thristan “Tumtum” Mendoza].

If there is one thing this film wants to prove is the fact that Pwedeng-Pwede ang mga PWDs. They can do what we can do. Sabi nga ng mga Bingi, “Deaf Can!”

APOLINARIO MABINI: THE SUBLIME PARALYTIC Premieres on August 27, 2015 at DLS-CSB ARG Theater, 5th floor, 4 pm. For inquiries and ticket reservations, click:


On The Sublime Paralytic: “Very inspiring!…touching!” says DFA Director

August 15, 2015

DFA OPAS Director Lenna Sison, Master of Ceremonies introduced OPAS Executive Director Mardomel Celo Melicor who gave the welcome remarks

Very inspiring. Actually, I know a little about his life after he got captured so it was nice to know what happened to him after the capture. And your presentation [treatment] of Decalogo is beautiful — profound [reading in] Tagalog [Filipino language] simultaneous with interpretation [in Filipino Sign Language] plus the English subtitles — I felt more its significance. It was touching! I fully appreciated how Mabini’s mind and heart worked.” [Original recorded statement: Very inspiring! Actually kakaunti alam ko about his life after he got captured so it was nice to know what happened to him after the capture and maganda ho pagkakapresent ninyo ng Decalogo eh! like malalim yung Tagalog tapos sabayan pa yung interpretation [FSL] plus yung English na subtitles, mas naramdaman ko significance nya. Nakakatouch! Na appreciate ko nang husto kung papano rin nagwork ang mind ni Mabini – mind saka heart.] This was Department of Foreign Affairs’ Office of Personnel and Administrative Services Director Ms. Lenna Sison said when asked for her reaction after the screening of The Sublime Paralytic held at DFA’s CMOAS Rm. yesterday afternoon.


Ang Pangatlo sa 10 Tunay na Utos. Abner Manlapaz, PWD leader reads with one of the two Deaf students who interpreted it in FSL. El Verdadero Decalogo is presented in multilingual, multitract form: Reading in Filipino, Subtitles in English and interpreted in Filipino Sign Language.

Ms. Sison’s reaction just proved how important and powerful communication is to anyone. The oral [voice narration], textual [subtitles or caption] and visual-gestural [sign language] modes of communication effectively worked well in her. Through them, the message succeeded in getting deeply through in the hearts and minds of the audience, like Ms. Sison, including perhaps the Deaf and the Blind. A group of Deaf employees at DFA led by Ralph Torralba, [Hard-of-Hearing] attended. They enjoyed watching it they said because of the FSL interpretations which made them come to learn more and know Mabini better.

DFA_Febe interprets

The audience before the special screening starts. Febe Sevilla [foreground] interprets for the Deaf. Muneer Peña [PWA] sits with the group.

When I introduced the film, I told the audience that hopefully after watching the documentary, Mabini would stop just being a statue seated at the ground floor of DFA Main Bldg. Appreciation of his great contribution to our country, and gratitude to him after knowing him a little more than just the fellow on the 10-peso coin are the reactions I am hoping for from those who would watch it. He was a great statesman, and a courageous one despite his disability. High hopes! but if there are those who would feel that way, then I would have succeeded in achieving one of my aims before embarking on this project which took me a year to finish.

DFA_Deaf Employees

Deaf Employees of DFA led by Ralph Torralba, second from left; From R – L: Bert de Santos, docu’s sound designer, Mr. Rizalio Sanchez, Information Chief of the National Council and Disability Affairs and Febe Sevilla, one of FSL interpreters in the film


MM between Mr. Rizalio Sanchez [R] and Bert De Santos [L]

Thanks to OPAS Asst. Secretary Noel Servigon for the opportunity to share the film to DFA personnel. I did not meet him though because he was in Iloilo at that time. In 2012, he was supportive of our film, ULTIMO ADIOS in FSL when selected as the lone Philippine entry in the Hong Kong International Deaf Film Festival. He helped in promoting the film and welcomed us [Giselle Montero and I] at the Hong Kong Consulate. Unfortunately, then Charge d’affaires in Ankara, Turkey, now Director of African Affairs Leilani Feliciano was not able to come because of important meetings she had to attend. Luckily, I met her days before the show. In 2013, she graced our film showing event in Istanbul as our guest speaker. She later hosted my stay in Ankara, Turkey for a couple of days.

DFA_Group Shot

With DFA Deaf employees, organizers from DFA Office of Personnel and Administrative Services, Jan Peña of ASP with Muneer and Mr. Rizalio Sanchez of NCDA

Also, thanks to soft-spoken Ms. Anna Arzadon who served as our liaison [DFA and me], Ms. Thelma Sta. Ana and Ms. Jazmin for their assistance. And of course, to Jan Peña for the coordination work with PWD leaders Architect Jaime Silva and NCDA Information Chief, Mr. Rizalio Sanchez who managed to attend.

DFA_AdThe Sublime Paralytic premieres on August 27, 2015, 4pm, at DLS-CSB ARG Theater, Taft Campus, Manila. For inquiries, contact DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies.


Filipino Sign Language: a Spark plug

August 23, 2009

“Silent Odyssey” and “A Blind Architect” elicited and sparked lots of remarks from Deaf viewers during the special screenings held for Mrs. Nora Shannon from PEN International in Rochester, New York, and the students of DLS-CSB SDEAS’ Deaf Learner’s Preparatory Course (DLPC). Mrs. Shannon attended the viewing with her husband. Many of the Deaf reacted on the Filipino Sign Language (FSL) issues and Deaf identity problems. Meanwhile, Architect Jaime Silva, the blind architect was able to inspire the Deaf by making some of them wish to emulate his role as a strong PWD rights advocate. One student whose interest is in law centered his remarks on the need for the Senate to know of Deaf Accessibility Law problems and their rights. He wants to become a lawyer he said. Another felt that the attention being given to persons with physical disability seems to be more than what the Deaf sector receives. I told him that personal initiative is quite necessary and very important…that Arch. Silva started advocating more than 10 years ago [since 1997], that he had taken his own initiative to make known to people in authority and the building establishments regarding the need to implement the Philippine Accessibility Law or BP344 to help alleviate their condition. Even then, up to now 30-35% has just being implemented, the reason why the concept of Non-Handicapping Environment (NHE) would hopefully help in removing all types of barriers in the future—not only physical but attitudinal with the latter being suffered by the Deaf. That if the Deaf should want to be heard, then they should also work on their own, take the initiative to advocate, be strong, be empowered as a group so that they could be heard better, rather than remain as splintered groups working for individual causes. I truly hope that the Deaf Development Center, a group which has just been formed last week will push through and succeed as one umbrella group that will unify all Deaf organizations. I enjoined the Deaf to work together strongly as one so that they can fight for their rights, their linguistic human rights (LHR). I personally believe that they should not wait for the hearing persons to decide for them or move them to action. They should move on their own, take the rein, the initiative to work for their good.. Only by having a louder “voice” and having a common goal starting with the fight to recognize their language that the authorities responsible to attend to their human rights needs could hear and hopefully listen to their woes. Yes! Deaf awareness is a must. It is a slow process but it should start now more than ever because of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

The film showings were held yesterday, August 22 at DLS-CSB School of Design Cinema located in P.Ocampo St., Manila. When Mrs. Nora Shannon was asked for her reaction she said:

“What really struck us…one, was when the young Deaf man talked about Filipino Sign Language as having history and then going back in really researching and finding out that there is an actual history of the Filipino Sign Language; and the second thing was having that man from PFD talked directly to the people about how they should perceive themselves as Deaf Filipino people because sometimes you listen more to people who are far away….

I also like…how balanced it was…how much you showed what Deafs can do instead of focusing out on their struggles and trials which are showing the Deaf’s feats…Deaf poetry…That’s really moving.”



July 14, 2009

Next week on July 21, the latest docu that I have just finished, “A BLIND ARCHITECT: The Vision of a Non-Handicapping Environment” [14 min] doubles with the scheduled showing of my film on autism “ALYANA.” It features Architect Jaime “Jimmy” Silva and Arch. Armand Eustaquio of the United Architects of the Philippines Committee on Accessibility. Produced by APCD Foundation and JICA, it will be the first run of A Blind Archi with any of my docu-features. The free showings are scheduled from 3pm at Pasay City Sports Complex.

DVD BAKGROUND_Blind Archi+RETArch. Jaime Silva (above) in a corridor of the office building where he works as a Manager and (below) while listening to the film presentation during a special preview for him and Arch. Armand.

Arch Silva listensIMGA0582

Architects Jimmy Silva (left) and Armand Eustaquio (right)

Then on July 23, it will be shown with “SILENT ODYSSEY” in San Julian, Samar in the Eastern Visayas organized by the group of Ma. Gilda Quintua [Deaf Go-Negosyo Awardee] who, although featured in the film has not seen SO yet.

Both feature films are aimed at raising awareness about the PWD conditions and needs, and that ability not disability matters. A Blind Architect focuses on the introduction of Non-Handicapping Environment (NHE) in the country, the people advocating for it so that better lives for PWDs, especially the physically impaired shall be effected through implementation of BP344 or the Philippine Accessibility Law.

My thanks to Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD), Japan Information and Cooperation Agency (JICA), National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) and United Architects(UAP) of the Philippines Committee on Accessibility for allowing me to show A BLIND ARCHITECT with my other films.

(See Page on the right column for more on A BLIND ARCHITECT).