Posts Tagged ‘Minnie Crouse’


KIDS THREE 21 at the UP Film Center in Celebration of 2014 Down Syndrome Consciousness Month

February 9, 2014
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Rowena Ulayan, Universal Kids Film Festival Founder

A small social and special gathering of old time friends with very special guests was held on February 6, 2014 at Bernal Gallery, UP Film Center through the initiative of Rowena “Weng” Ulayan-Martinez, founder of the Universal Kids Film Festival in Turkey. KIDS THREE 21-international version was premiered here with PELITULA KAY MAYPAG-ASA.

KIDS.. was first shown last November 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey. Opposite in nature and content — the former is a film on Trisomy 21; the latter, a film on Andres Bonifacio that shows the Philippine High School for the Arts student’s insights on the hero and the activities they readied in celebration of his 150th Birth Anniversary. Both films are timely  since in the Philippines, the National Arts Month and the Down Syndrome Consciousness Month are both being celebrated in February. 2014 is also the Sesquicentennial Year of Bonifacio.

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Weng Ulayan welcomes the guests

Weng gave the opening remarks with tone of nostalgia followed by my introduction of the above docus. Present were the featured resource persons in KIDS: Dr. Carmencita Padilla, geneticist and Eleanor Dominguez, nutritionist-dietician. Both saw the film for the first time.

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KIDS THREE  21 shown in celebration of 2014 Down Syndrome Month features
Dr. Carmencita Padilla, top geneticist in the Philippines


PELITULA KAY MAYPAG-ASA, a film I made in collaboration with Vim Nadera, director, Philippine High School for the Arts; shown in Celebration of National Arts Month and the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of Andres Bonifacio

KIDS THREE 21 gives an overview on Trisomy 21 or what Down Syndrome is, the maternal risks involved, the plight of parents, and the realities of having a Child with Down Syndrome. A segment focuses on the importance of nutrition awareness and intervention – an element oftentimes neglected because of the conventional stress and attention given to physical and occupational therapies and special education. The film was made possible because of Eleanor Dominguez, then M.A. student of the UP Sped Area. There are two versions of the film: the thesis version which is about 13 minutes longer than the copy shown last February 6.

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Reunion photo with Direk Tikoy Aguiluz; our last film was Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story/ photo courtesy of Janus

Other special guests were my colleague, producer-director Tikoy Aguiluz, co-founder of the UP Film Center [with Ms. Virgie Moreno]; balikbayan Ed Tamondong, one of the center’s original staff cameraman; CHED Legal Counsel Head Atty. Carmencita Yadao-Sison and her husband, Atty. Roberto Sison who described KIDS.. as “a film that introduces and comprehensively treats the subject of Down Syndrome…Opened my eyes on this ‘accident of nature’ that happens to one out of 800 births worldwide. With the current population of 100 million Filipinos, that’s a lot!”

Weng’s friends who joined us were Romanlito Austria, UP Fine Arts Professor and former head of the Graduate Studies at the UPFA, Princess Nemenzo, UP professor and wife of former UP President, Fides Bagasao, UN International Consultant for Urban Poor and Human Settlements, Cora Despabiladeras, book writer for children, Ephraim Despabiladeras of USAID, Kuya Bogie, lead character of the TV program for children, “Batibot”, Avic Ilagan, filmmaker, Marili  and Boni Fernandez, Eliza  Quiambao and Ben Agunod.

Weng and Belen

Weng and Belen

Of course, the affair wouldn’t be complete without longtime friends, UP KAL Professor and former Chair of the UP Department of Theater Arts and Speech Communication Dr. Belen Calingacion, writers Roshan Jose, Rochit Tañedo and Corito Llamas, artist Alma Quinto, environmentalist Minnie Crouse and writer-filmmaker Janus Victoria, now with Channel 7. Joseph Lena, the KID’s cameraman, formerly with ANC Channel recorded the event.

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[R-L]: Castillejos Mayor Jose Angelo Dominguez and Mom Evelyn, Vice-President of Metro-Manila College; Fides Bagasao, UN Consultant for Urban Poor and Princess Nemenzo, UP Professor; [Extreme right behind: Ed Tamondong

And in support of Eleanor’s effort, her husband, Castillejos [Zambales] Mayor Jose Angelo Dominguez with Mom Evelyn, Vice-President of Metro-Manila College, and her friend, Clarisse de Leon, a daughter of Angat, Bulacan Mayor and the town’s municipal administrator also attended the event.

Sadly, no representative from Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines — the film’s target audience — joined Dr. Padilla because of other priorities. Nevertheless, the latter’s presence, as one of its founding members made the occasion complete. She entertained the questions re the matter. [See the photos below]:

The event ended with the sumptuous Turkish cuisine prepared by no less than Weng Ulayan-Tuzcuoglu who is leaving the country today, February 9.

Turkish dinner delight4 Turkish dinner delight3TURKISH CUISINE MENU

Entree White cheese rolls, Green and black olives with red pepper, Sarma (spiced rice wrapped in grape leaves), Dolma (stuffed tomatoes and eggplants), Pita bread with hummus, Kisir Salad (bulgur and red lentils)

Main Dish: Green beans with ground beef, Buttered Chicken, Pilav (buttered rice with peas), Borek (Turkish Pie stuffed with potato & minced meat), Pasta (with Olive oil, white cheese mint and hazel nuts)

Dessert: Turkish Delight, Irmik Tatlisi (Semolina), Dried Fruits, Çorek (twisted cookies with sesame seeds). Pishmaniye

Drinks: Ihlamur Tea (Linden Tea), Kushburnu Tea (Rosehip Tea)


Minnie’s Mini Xhibit_2012 Womens’ Month

March 18, 2012

With friends old and new: [standing l-r ]: William and Nonoy of the UP Film Center, MM, Imee Gines of Blessing’s and ISKO, Minnie Crouse; Anna on the extreme right and Belen next to her”

I was 15 mins late – had to finish the edit of Project Speak Right’s Modules 2-10 – but I watched the bulk of the film screened by friend Minnie Crouse at the UP Film Center Videotheque last Tuesday, March 13 in celebration of the Women’s month. The film which features Minnie is quite sleek… very good as a TV feature.  Saw familiar footages from my film “When the Spirit Soars” in the film…Met old and new friends…

She dreams of a film about her life. By now, quite a number have been made about her. But many more will be done for sure because she has so many things to do; more of her fruitful life are yet to be written, and filmed. She is by the way, a PWD — with cancer of the bones, low vision left eye…but she continues to inspire many so-called abled individuals. Mabuhay ka Manay!


UP Lantern Parade 2011

December 17, 2011

UNEXPECTED MEETS YESTERDAY. Went to UP supposedly to meet Vim Nadera at the Institute of Creative Writing office at 5pm but met Mr. Rio Alma instead who was also waiting for Vim.  While waiting for Vim, I took some shots at Bulwagang Rizal where an exhibit on Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero are displayed. I then continued to enjoy watching the lantern parade then on-going. [Will post some photos later]. I met Anton Juan who at least recognized me too. He used to frequent the UP Film Center because of Ms. Virginia Moreno, then our center director. I also met Egay, now EGHAI Roxas he said standing in front of FC also watching the parade pass by. Finally, Vim sent a message an hour past our meeting time saying that he got caught in the traffic at SLEX. I proceeded to ISKO at Dilimall to meet Minnie Crouse who called me up day before yesterday to say that she just arrived from Siquijor Island. We decided to eat at the new Rodic’sl. Sitting in a corner as we looked for seats was  Sheila Red who said she’s to meet her son who was at the parade. I later wanted to continue with my lantern parade watch but because it was difficult for Minnie to walk down the road since it was dark and she might collapse [she wasn’t feeling well earlier], it was decided that we would just go to Belen’s [Calingacion] house at Apacible where she is staying. Minnie knocked at the door while I pressed the door bell. I peeped through Belen’s window and saw someone walking towards the door. I said to Minnie: “I don’t know the girl.” Great surprise because again, an unexpected encounter! It was Alma Quinto who came with a Japanese artist friend Miho from Osaka. Belen herself who I thought was still with her group at the lantern parade was there. She was surprised to see me because I normally do not and could not attend chika sessions because of my edit works.  She is host to another Japanese named Akiyo from Tokyo. Both the Japanese girls are leaving for Japan within two days. The last surprise was the arrival of Roshan, Indian friend and former neighbor of Belen who has become a friend to us all as well. She too will leave the Philippines soon. It was a great evening…Of course, picture-picture was there. It is something we always do, to record short, happy moments of being together with friends you don’t see often but never misses them because they are just texts away. Ha!Ha!