Posts Tagged ‘Jan Peña’


PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon sa Dasma, Cavite

July 21, 2018

The film screening of PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon, a documentary on Apolinario Mabini was shown yesterday as part of the 40th Celebrations of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week in Dasmarinas, Cavite. Venue was the Audio-Visual Room at the Pagamutan ng Dasmarinas located in Barangay Burol II. The program was initiated by Dasma DSWD in collaboration with Jan Pena, former National President of the Autism Society Philippines [ASP}. PULE was participated in by Deaf performers who interpreted Mabini’s El Verdadero Decalogo, and was music scored by a twice exceptional Person with Autism, Thristan Mendoza.

Two screenings were scheduled in the morning. from 8:00 to 12 noon. Viewers were CFDI Presidents, officers and members of ASP, SPED teachers and parents. Another viewing was held in the afternoon to accommodate more SPED teachers and parents. According to the text message of Jan Pena, the film was well-received by the stake holders probably because of their having learnt more about a man who is taken for granted as just one of those images of heroes in the Philippine coins nationally in circulation.

Below is the Calendar of Activities by DSWD Dasma up to July 31

Note: PULE will be shown again but in the province of Rizal on Monday, July 23, Apolinario Mabini’s birthday. Venue on Monday is SM Angono.


Autism Advocates Make Their Mark in Recent National and International Awards

October 16, 2015

[This is a repost dated October 1, 2015 from Autism Society Philippines website.]

Autism is an “invisible disability” which is slowly coming to the fore, as advocates continue their active participation in the civil society community. This is apparent in how visible our humble community has been recognized for their involvement and contribution to the cause.

Apolinario Mabini Presidential Awards 2015

The Apolinario Mabini Presidential Awards 2015 were given at the Heroes Hall of Malacanan Palace on 29 September 2015. The ASP contingent was led by ASP Chair Emeritus Dang Koe, National President Mona Magno-Veluz and National Trustees Jan Pena, Grace Adviento, Gina Bermudo and Helen Cheng.

w team ASP

[L-R]: Grace Adviento, Helen Cheng, MM, Mona Veluz, Gina Bermudo, Dang Koe, Jan Peña

The ASP, two years after our win as the Most Outstanding PWD Organization at the Gawad Gat Apolinario Mabini, was part of this year’s screening committee. Jan Pena, ASP’s immediate past president, served on the committee that helped refine the selection of candidates, before they were forwarded to the panel of judges.


Mirana Medina, the compassionate heart and creative mind behind “Alyana” (a documentary on her grandniece with autism), won the Gawad Gat Apolinario Mabini Media Advocate of the Year honors for her work on a film on deaf. On the same day, Mirana also bagged the second place honors for the under 60-minute category at the We Care Film Festival in India, for her documentary on Down Syndrome.

Unilab Foundation bagged a special award as a PWD Employer, for its work on Project Inclusion and for inspiring hiring of PWAs, such as Vico Cham. Incidentally, Vico, a gifted young artist on the spectrum, also received a special award as a PWD Advocate.

The City of Dasmarinas won the PWD-Friendly LGU honors; while the municipality of Carmona claimed a special award as a PWD-Friendly LGU — after having taken home the Apo Award multiple times in the past.

Jollibee Family Values Awards 2015

The Pena Family — Daddy Al, Mommy Jan, Kids Thea, Muneer and Milli — of ASP Dasmarinas, after weeks of screening, deliberations and interviews, were among the top recipients of the Jollibee Family Values Awards last 24 September 2015 at the Philippine International Convention Center. Jan Pena and her family, who have fueled the growth of autism advocacy in Cavite, were among the six Filipino families selected by an esteemed panel of judges, composed of Senator Bam Aquino, Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Congresswoman Leni Robredo, Professor Winnie Monsod, Ms. Boots Anson-Rodrigo, Ms. Audrey Tan-Zubiri, News Anchor Edric Mendoza and Ms. Ma. Isabel Dionisio.

[Click the link above to read the full article].


My Journey with Mabini to Carmona, Cavite

October 3, 2015

October 2. DespiteTyphoon Kabayan that landed yesterday in Baler, Quezon, the scheduled day of showing my film, I went ahead to take Mabini with me to Carmona, Cavite! It was my first time to be there. It was indeed worth my time and effort to be with their PWD leaders to show my latest docu “APOLINARIO MABINI: The Sublime Paralytic.” It was the first screening after its first public showing at DLS-CSB SDEAS in August..


Blind Architect Jaime Silva on screen talks about discrimination

At least, by the time I reached the town, only drizzles not heavy rains welcomed me. I traveled for more than two hours from Baclaran. That included the traffic jam caused by a vehicular accident at the entrance of Carmona. I just arrived with time enough to test the equipment. A few Deaf students were present. Classes were suspended all over the province so less students managed to come. About 50-60 people attended anyhow.

Anyhow, after the film showing, I felt how happily inspired the audience were by knowing the life of Mabini, what his background really was, and what he had done for our country including the discrimination he experienced because of his physical disability. Their satisfaction as shown on their reactions and attentiveness even after the showing made me equally glad, even elated. The general reaction proved that the audience need to be provided only by new, right and proper information to understand and know better the person in focus, and his condition. And if the subject is a hero made human by informing them of his own travails before he actually became one, then he comes alive again even if he were born more than 150 years ago.

iMPACT OF MABINIMore importantly, if the film really impacted them, then he will live in their consciousness. Maisasabuhay nila ang karanasan ni Mabini at magiging gabay pati ang sinulat niyang “The True Decalogue / Ang Tunay na 10 Utos” laluna’t ito’y napapanahon. As I have said before I left the hall, Mabini will stop being just an image on the P10 bill or on the P10 coin. Probably, the value of the coin will even become heavier learning who he really was. Before the screening, they were amazed to know that  the film were participated in by more PWDs than non-PWDs.

Group pic2

The PWD Leaders of Carmona, Cavite

My thanks to PDAO of Carmona, its officers and staff…in particular Ms. Rosebelle and Ms. Alegre, and of course my conduit to the group, Jan Peña.

I will later upload an improvised video because of synchronization problem with my sound and picture taken by the cel fone. It is not compatible with my editing software.


“APOLINARIO MABINI: The Sublime Paralytic” Screens in Carmona, Cavite

October 1, 2015

A two-day Leadership Training for PWDs sponsored by Carmona LGU is currently being held with the theme: Leaders For Tomorrow. Facilitator is Super Mom Jan Pena, ASP President-Dasmariñas City. To inspire them, Jan thought of showing “The Sublime Paralytic,” our docu on Mabini, a PWD icon. So, tomorrow, October 2, may lakad kami ng Dakilang Lumpo. The film is intended to be shown to 60 PWD leaders of Carmona. Venue: 2nd Floor, PDAO Office, Carmona Elementary School, Carmona, Cavite. Time: 10:30 a.m.

CAUSE of Para_w Descendants 1

Grabbed frame from the docu “Apolinario Mabini: The Sublime Paralytic”

Anyway, sa lahat ng nagtataka, nagtatanong, o nagtatanga-tangahan bakit lagi nakaupo si Mabini sa pelikulang HENERAL LUNA, iniimbitahan ko rin kayo para marinig ang kwento mula sa descendant nya, curator ng Mabini Shrine-Tanauan, kasama na rin ang tsismis sa loob ng kamara, at polio nga ba [1980 Pujalte findings], o Guillain-Barré Syndrome [2014 Dr Jiggs Gilera findings] ang dahilan ng paralisis ni Mabini??

Take note that in the making of this docu, PWDs outnumbered the non-PWDs. We had largely Deaf participants led by Myra Medrana, Blind architect Jaime SIlva, GBS victim Abner Manlapaz, music scorer Thristan Mendoza, a person with autism.


Great Coincidence!!!

September 30, 2015

That’s what I can say… when both awarding ceremonies — for the same reason, and the same cause, that is, for my film works focusing on Persons with Disability were held on the same day [yesterday, September 29] at the same time [1.30 pm in Manila; 11 am in India] but in two different places [Manila and New Delhi]. I was accompanied by my niece Even Dominguez.

WE CARE-Malacanang2

The Apolinario Mabini 2015 Media Advocate Award of the Year was in recognition of the films that I made on Deafness, principally the promotion of the use of Filipino Sign Language in respect of Deaf Linguistic Human Rights; also my docu on Autism. On the other hand, the award given by We Care Film Festival in India was for the docu on Down Syndrome. The former was held at Malacañang Palace in Manila and the trophy was handed by Philippine President Benigno Aquino III; the latter was held at Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication in Dwarka, New Delhi and the award was handed by Festival Director Satish Kapoor to my best friend forever in India, Dipti Bhalla Verma.

SDEAS group1

My group from DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies: Hearing Interpreters Febe Sevilla and Jun Sevilla, Raphy Domingo [Deaf leader], Myra Medrana [Deaf choreographer] and Leo Sulse [Deaf Faculty].

ASP group1

With the Board of Trustees of Autism Society Philippines including ASP current President Mona Veluz, former ASP President Jan Peña and Chair Emeritus Dang Koe.

Note: I earlier thought that the award given here was for the docu that I made on Apolinario Mabini, “The Sublime Paralytic.” I was wrong!!!


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.


Alay ng Sektor sa Kaarawan ni Apolinario Mabini

August 6, 2015

It was on July 23, 2015 when the 151st birth anniversary of Apolinario Mabini started. He is the subject of my two educational documentaries [The Sublime Paralytic / Pule: Utak ng Rebolusyon]. Primarily aimed at giving Deaf access to information, they are at the same time intended to help promote the use and recognition of Filipino Sign Language in the country and showcasing Deaf talents.

SM Aura_tiketOn that day, the Philippine Foundation on the Rehabilitation of the Disabled, SM Cares, PAGCOR and AKAP-PINOY sponsored a musical event they called “Isang Gabi ng Musika: Alay ng Sektor sa Kaarawan ni Apolinario Mabini.”

SM Aura_Excerpts

Scene from the Documentary: Interview with Dr. Paul Dumol, historian; Filipino Sign Language Interpreter Febe Sevilla.

I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen. But I had an arrangement with Jan Peña, President of Autism Society Philippines-Dasmariñas City chapter that I would ready excerpts from the documentary that I am working on – in fact until now – since the program is a tribute to Mabini. I was busy working at that time with the docu’s sound designer. Jan was quite keen in her invitation for me to attend the event. Anyway, since I wanted to see how the excerpts would fare when shown to the public, I went to SM Aura [my first time], but stayed for only an hour or so. Our sound designer was waiting for me at home. Met a few friends, watched my work with the audience who were receptive the way I observed them, enjoyed the first group who sang songs during the 60’s, and  yes! heard my name read before the program as one of the Mabini awardees. I earlier thought the names of the nominees would be announced.


Meeting the Empowered Women of Dasmariñas City

March 27, 2015

The Venue at Barangay San Simon, Dasmariñas City, Cavite

Last Tuesday, I went to Dasmariñas City, a place located an hour away from Manila. It was for the third-sponsored screening of my documentary on autism, ALYANA as part of autism awareness campaign being conducted in the area. The City Social Welfare Office supported by the Hon. Mayor Jennifer Barzaga once more initiated the activity. Women leaders called the Kababaihan ng Dasmariñas sa Bagong Milenyo [KDBM] attended. As the venue is small, the screenings were held in the morning and in the afternoon. Both showings were preceded by Jan Peña’s lecture on “Early Detection of Autism.” She is the president of Autism Society Philippines-Dasma Chapter. Her son Muneer, an adult with autism participated by singing a birthday song for his Mom, who celebrated the day before the event. Muneer is suppose to be non-verbal, but according to Jan, he has started to speak little by little.

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Dasma4_Group foto

Anyhow, after the lecture and screening, participants were asked to react, comment or share their feelings towards the activity and the film. One of those who came forward was a tearful woman who sounded somewhat remorseful for not having given importance and taken good care of her son because of lack. And I believe, more so because of ignorance of autism condition. The lecture and the film showed what autism is, the plight of parents and their families, and what they should do in case they see one as community leaders. Learning about the condition for sure would have made her realize what she should have done had she known about it. Click below to see the reactions of some of KDBM members:


ALYANA Screening at Bicol State College_December 13

December 12, 2014

As part of Autism Society Philippines-Naga City Chapter’s autism awareness and advocacy campaign, Alyana — A Study of Autism in the Philippines, my documentary on autism will be screened at the Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology in Naga City, Bicol Province. The showing is scheduled tomorrow, December 13 from 8 am. To represent the National Office is Jan Peña, ASP Board of Trustee member. She left Manila last night for Naga City.

Mr. Santos Braga, president of ASP-Naga City Chapter is hosting the event. The group believes that the film will help raise their community’s awareness on the condition of persons with autism. And just like them, I know that our society will find it easier to embrace their children once they get to know what exactly autism is.

Alyana, by the way is my grandniece with autism. The film however, is not only about her. It is about ALL children/persons with autism. It covers from low function to high function / Asperger Syndrome cases like Gabby Atienza. He interestingly described his own condition as an aspie. Symptoms and causes, the plight of parents, even the doctor’s explanations and thoughts are included for better understanding of autism.

It will be the second time around for Alyana in Naga…


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 Saturday, 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?

See Tiga-Isla on page 17 of the 17th Gawad CCP souvenir program below: