Posts Tagged ‘Mirana Medina’


Soroptimist International of San Jose del Monte Leaders with GMEFI Officers and Members Previewed “PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon”

June 21, 2016

Reblogged from

Last Saturday June 18, Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation, Inc. [GMEFI] board members welcomed the leaders of Soroptimist International of San Jose del Monte [SI of SJDM], Bulacan. The latter tagged along with them some high school students to have a preview of an educational documentary entitled PULE:Utak ng Rebolusyon. The screening was held at the audio-visual room of Metro Manila College [MMC] in Novaliches, Quezon City.

Soroptimist Kids

The film is about one of our heroes, Apolinario Mabini whose life is unfortunately not as well known to many Filipinos as Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio. GMEFI plans to screen the documentary in celebration of the 2016 National Heroes Day come August. It aims to make MMC students aware of who Mabini really was and what he did for our country. It eventually hopes to spark nationalism in the viewers, and raise awareness on the potentials and talents of Persons with Disability, majority of whom formed part of the film production team.

SI of SJDM leaders, inspired by what they came to learn about the Interviewlife of Mabini concluded upon watching the film the need to share it to more students to expand their knowledge about him. Dr. Rosalyn Cabuco, an obstetrician, said: “Na-appreciate ko. Maganda po … inspiring po talaga and natouch po ako at hindi man po ako maging hero siguro, pero I’ll try my best na ma-impart po sa mga kabataan…”

Likewise, its president, Ms. Corazon Flores added: “… na-inspire din po ako. Being the president, gagawin ko din po yung ano, parang kay Apolinario Mabini. Kailangan marami pong matutunan. Kailangang mag-aral pa! Kumbaga di po dito natatapos yung buhay natin… Maganda po yung napanood natin! Bilang president, gagawa po tayo para magkaroon ng malawak na kaalaman [tungkol kay Mabini] ang mga estudyante.”

Group Photo1[Right to Left Standing]: Nina Padua [GMEFI Administrative Assistant], Marian Villanueva, [MMC student aide], Gil Reoma [GMEFI Executive Director], Karen Aquino, unnamed student, Yolanda Delos Santos, Dr. Evelyn Dominguez [GMEFI President], Corazon Flores [SI of SJDM President], Mirana Medina [PULE filmmaker], Dr. Rosalyn Cabuco, and Ms. Natividad Villano. On the extreme left is MMC Head Librarian Zosima Balulot with high school students from San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

Meanwhile, one of the Soroptimist members, Ms. Yolanda Delos Santos, English teacher at San Jose del Monte National High School said: “I am grateful that I was given a chance to watch this film…kasi it is an eye-opener, different from what we reading from the books. I think the students will be interested in watching this… Syempre nowadays yung mga students medyo bored na sila magbasa but if they watch this talaga papasok sa kanilang puso…” Ms. Delos Santos added: “Ngayon ko lang talaga nakilala si Ka Pule… Saka inspiring talaga yung kanyang life pati dun sa mga Persons with Disability hindi dapat maging hadlang ang kapansanan….Pati pagka-Pilipino [ko] natouch din.”

Ms. Natividad Villano, one of the founding members of  SI of SJDM, and currently Fund Campaign Head of GMEFI when asked for her comment on the film retorted: “Reaction ko? Parang nalulungkot ako’t kaawa-awa ang Pilipinas. Nakipaglaban sila tapos hanggang ngayon tayo hirap na hirap pa rin. Kaya sana mamulat ang kabataan ngayon para naman maging malaya tayo, at hindi tayo laging nagkakagulo, nag-aaway-away. Maganda! Napakaganda!”

On the other hand, GMEFI Executive Director Gil Reoma said: “Maganda! Very historical at the same time very personal. Ang nagustuhan ko dun yung Decalogo at saka yung kanyang [Mabini] sinasabing inner transformation. Napakahalagang elemento ng rebolusyon: Inner Revolution [kalooban]…” His companion, Karen Aquino also a teacher from Bulacan added: “Napaganda!…nagbibigay ng inspirasyon sa mga kabataan, and challenging, hindi sabagal ang kapansanan tungo sa success ng isang tao.”

The documentary, produced by Miryad Visyon in collaboration with De La Salle-College of St. Benilde School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts was directed and edited by Mirana Medina, GMEFI Board Member and Educational Assistance Program Head.


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].


With Down, but not out_on Kids Three 21

August 31, 2014


Scenes from “KIDS THREE 21” featuring Geneticist Carmercita Padilla and Nutritionist-Dietician Eleanor Dominguez. Except for Jeremy Lapena [2nd inset], all the children come from Zambales

I was surprised to see for the first time the online article of Ronald Lim posted last May…on facebook entitled “With Down, but not out.” I rarely check it except during these past few days when I started posting about Jojo’s death, my production assistant in the making of my sped docus starting from Silent Odyssey.

Mr. Lim writes:

For filmmaker Mirana Medina, doing a documentary on children with Down Syndrome (DS) isn’t such a far-fetched thing.

After all, Medina has already made “Alyana,” a documentary about her grandniece which has autism. Initially intended to be just a 30-minute documentary, the film grew to two and a half hours, and has been screened in schools and at international film festivals.

For the complete article, click



November 30, 2013
            The Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA), in cooperation with Museo Pambata, celebrates Andres Bonifacio’s 150th birth anniversary through a one-day fiesta dubbed Perya ni Andres, today Nov.30 from 2pm onwards at Museo Pambata, Roxas Blvd., corner South Drive, Manila.
 POSTER PERYA VERTICAL (center)           It will be in honor of the Supremo’s enduring contributions to our colorful history, culture, and the arts. PHSA believes that through a perya, people from all walks of life will relive the works, ideals, and life led by the Great Plebeian.
            The event will feature eight arts booths conceptualized by Gerry Leonardo that represent the eight provinces where members of the Katipunan hailed from. Each tent will have its own exciting and educational activities. There will be roleta, beto-beto, pabunot, crafts booth, tessellation, memory games, and other perya fun prepared by PHSA students, academic and non-academic staff directed by Victor Emmanuel Flor and his team.
            This collective and collaraborative effort will be opened by three National Artists
— Virgilio Almario, Francisco Sionil Jose, and Bienvenido Lumbera — who will share their thoughts on who the real Andres Bonifacio is. It will be followed by PHSA kids’ showcase through rituals, singing,  dancing, stage play and reading, shadow play, painting exhibit, among others.
            A compact disc recording of Katipunan-related songs was produced under the supervision of Radioactive Sago’s Francis de Veyra. Three stories about Andoy, Oryang, and others will eventually be shown after a series of animation workshop was specially conducted by Teta Tulay, Hazel Joy Gutierrez and Inshallah Montero. A video documentary entitled “PeliTula kay Maypag-asa” by Mirana Medina and Vim Nadera about Bonifacio featuring the PHSA students will be premiered on this historic event.
            Proceeds from Perya ni Andres will be collected for Pondong PHSA as “Pera ni Andres” to  support young art scholars and their families who are effected by the recent earthquake and storm. Parents, Teachers, and Staff Council (PTSC) and PHSA alumni are expected to play significant roles too. For details, please get in touch with Ms. Lyza Amat via or by calling or texting Ms. Shirley de Quiroz at 0906317-0903.

Philippine Embassy in Ankara Participates in Second Universal Kids Film Festival in Istanbul

November 22, 2013

It was before the Filipino audience that KIDS THREE 21 was premiered. French students were also present.

[Reposting a Report from the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs]

13 November 2013 – The Philippine Embassy in Ankara led by Charge d’ Affaires, a.i. Leilani S. Feliciano participated and lent moral support to the holding of the Second Universal Kids Film Festival (2nd Evrensel Cocuk Film Festivali, UKFF) in Istanbul during its Opening Gala on November 01 at the Tuzla Cultural Center on the Asian side of Istanbul, and during the Philippine Gala on November 03 at the Church of the Holy Spirit Function Hall in Harbiye on the European side of Istanbul, respectively.

The Festival is an international annual non-competitive film event. It provides children the opportunity to understand different cultures from around the world and enhance international communication and cooperation for children’s films as well as promote worldwide development of children’s cinema. This is done by screenings of a selection of feature length and short films, such as the UNICEF Top 10 Cartoons on Children’s Rights, the winning films from the Plural Plus Contest of the United Nations Alliance on Civilizations (UNAoC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), selected children’s films from Norway, Australia, Iran, the Netherlands, Japan, Azerbaijan, and Turkey, and a special section on films for Children with Special Needs from the Philippines.

The festival’s main feature is “Mi Ultimo Adios” from the Philippines, a short-film and the first-ever interpretation in Filipino Sign Language with English subtitles, of Dr. Jose Rizal’s last poem written before he was executed in Bagumbayan in 1896. The film was made by independent and advocacy filmmaker Mirana Medina who is a University of the Philippines (UP) Film Center scholar to the Film and Television Institute of India where she obtained a post-graduate Diploma in Cinema. She has produced and directed educational films on special children and persons with disability that advocate for their rights and inclusion in society. Among her films featured in the festival include “Mi Ultimo Adios” and “Kids Three 21” (her latest film that focuses on Down Syndrome in the Philippines).

Following the success of last year’s First Universal Kids Film Festival, the Second Universal Kids Film Festival is organized by renowned Istanbul-based Filipina Painter Mrs. Rowena Ulayan-Tuzcuoglu, Festival Directress, Children’s Film & Art Association (CFAA) & President of the International Filipino Friendship Society (IFFS) and Mrs. Sevin Kakalicoglu. It ran from November 01 to 08 in Istanbul.

[Click to read the whole article: Ph Embassy Participation]


Autism in Media

October 11, 2013

ASP Flicker Photos

[Reposted from an article published by Dang Koe in Manila Bulletin last October 7  – Autism in Media]

A quick search of #autistic on Facebook or Twitter will show you a long list of updates which use the word as an insult or joke.

Mag Cruz Hatol, secretary general of Anak TV — an organization that is at the forefront of media education efforts and campaign to promote responsible and child-sensitive television — opined on what this phenomenon means for Filipinos as a society.

“Philippine media is replete with stereotyping for as long as we can remember. Actors and directors milked laughter from audiences through comic and oftentimes insulting performances that were shamelessly prejudiced against physical deformities and mental deficiencies. In fact, local media perpetuated the idea that if people who were physically or mentally challenged were not to be pitied, they were to be made objects of laughter,” said Hatol.

Furthermore, he said that it was media, more than anything else, which swayed the Filipino mind into thinking and accepting what was portrayed for them as “the normal.”

“It does not surprise therefore, that in small villages, one gets known by little monikers that point to peculiar traits of his physique. Consequently, the disabled either became the brunt of painful jokes (painful on the part of the subject), source of cheap entertainment (again at the expense and embarrassment of the subject) or because they were considered “punishment” for their parents’ former sins, were shackled or kept away from public view. Keeping them indoors meant avoiding the snickers of the community and lessening the chatter of neighbors who always conjectured that having bred children who bore some form of disability was nature’s way of exacting vengeance on the family for its infractions,” he added.

Angels Talk asked members of Autism Society Philippines what media professionals can do to build an honest and compassionate public perception of autism.

Len Macasaquit, mother of a 10-year old girl with autism, believes that “truthful, honest and more complete depiction of what people with autism go through should be pursued. Enough with physical manifestations as focus but instead explore what goes on in an autistic mind.” The HBO film “Temple Grandin” is a good example of what goes on in an autistic mind.

Raissa Marian Cruz suggested “more documentaries and interviews of families of persons with autism (PWA), instead of the usual portrayals in mainstream movies and TV series.”

Independent director, writer and researcher Mirana Medina describes her documentary “ALYANA” as a “concrete example of a film on autism that fully recognizes the PWA’s being; it tells the audience who they really are through testimonies of their primary caregivers, as well as through information coming from people directly handling them or working for their welfare. The shared experiences evoke empathy that leads to a better understanding of the PWA’s condition, and greater appreciation of their presence in society.”

Medina focuses her work on special children and persons with disability.

“It is my advocacy as part of a personal journey to make educational and informative films about them with the major aim of breaking attitudinal barriers. With that in my heart, any film form that I’ll shape up I know will, in turn, help shape the public perception of my subject. That way, I have the heavier role of making the society understand their condition, recognize their BEING and their potentials, NOT to pity but welcome them instead to the fold.”

She also agrees with another autism advocate, JC John Sese Cuneta, that “media professionals should first do proper and extensive research about autism spectrum before writing their reports or a new film/TV series.” This brings to mind a lot of pseudo-autistic TV/film characters that can mislead people about understanding autism.

Wikipedia reports that “television programs featuring characters with autism or characteristics stereotypical of autism spectrum disorders have become commonplace, most notably in sitcoms. Series such as “The Big Bang Theory” have been criticized for their depictions of characters with ASD traits as whimsically detached, one-dimensional characters.” On the other hand, recent TV-series characters with autism were given super powers! Jake of “Touch” who never says a word but can predict future events, and Gary Bell of “Alphas” who processes information as fast as any computer.

But even with well-researched TV shows/movies, autism cannot be pinned down by just one well-portrayed autistic character. People have to also understand that while we have a near-genius “Temple Grandin,” a Raymond Babbitt (from the famous movie “Rain Man”) with savant abilities in Math and memory, we also have Dafu from “Ocean Heaven” who struggles to learn basic tasks, and the non-verbal Charlie from “Black Balloon” who strips half-naked while running in the neighborhood.

As another ASP member Chel Gan wrote, “PWAs can be as varied as any group of people, which is exactly what media needs to show.”

Finally, advocate mom Aileen Ni pleads for her 20-year old son: “Media, including social media, must help in promoting public awareness about autism. Netizens should be sensitive not to use words like “abnoy, autistic” to associate with corrupt and evil public servants. Every medium must be used not to malign but to advocate for them.” And this is exactly what ASP’s online campaign “1Pangako” calls for. (http//


Dok APO on “A mi Patria”

June 18, 2012

This is what Dr. APOLONIO “Apo” CHUA, Chairman, Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature, U.P. College of Arts and Letters wrote about A MI PATRIA, the project that I produced with Deaf individuals:

Central in the conception of Mirana Medina’s latest opus A mi Patria are the intersecting planes of spoken languages and the language of the deaf. It is for the viewer of the film, whether Filipino Sign Language abled, or literate in any of the three spoken languages used in the film—-English, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino—-to probe, ponder on and understand the world the film had created, a world celebrating the joy and magic of literacy, literature and the basic human desire of expression. At the very core of the film, questions arise. Have we really understood our national hero’s poems? Is it possible the deaf have a better comprehension of their meanings? If only we had just a little bit more insight into how the deaf construe their ideas. The film’s title also suggests other relevant questions. Have we Filipinos, blessed as we are with the ability to learn languages, really been communicating to one another as a nation? Aiming high, A mi Patria addresses an intelligent and select viewership.
Sentral na dalumat ng A mi Patria ang pagpapanagpo ng mga wikang binibigkas at wika ng mga Bingi. Nasa manonood, bingi man o nakapagsasalita, na pasukin, lasapin at unawain ang nalikhang daigdig na ito ng mahika at ligaya ng kakayahang makapagpahayag. Sa pusod ng pelikula, kumikintal din ang mga tanong.  Naunawaan na ba natin ang mga tula ng ating pambansang bayani?  Hindi kaya mas nauunawaan ito ng mga Bingi?…Pahiwatig din ng pamagat ng pelikula ang tanong, nag-uusap na ba tayo bilang isang bansa? Matayog ang asinta ng A Mi Patria.  Karangalan ng pihikang manlilikha at manonood ng pelikulang Pilipino. Mabuhay!”


Caya Consunji_Rizal Descendant: Proud to be a Deaf Kababayan

February 7, 2012

I have been corresponding with Caya [Narcisa Rizal branch direct descendant] for months now[since before June 2011] because she has showed interest in ULTIMO ADIOS [Filipino Sign Language version] that I was then about to have previewed in time for the Sesquicentennial anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal’s birthday. In fact, I did not know that she is Deaf. It was only much later that I came to know about it. I also  had no idea how she looks like until I stumbled upon the online news of SDEAS today [caya-consunji-proud-to-be-deaf.html. [I wasn’t able to attend the special screening because I had a shoot on that day]. In a email that she sent me today, she said: “Thank you for making the video in fsl or I wont bother who Jose rizal is. “ I find those lines significant coming directly from a Rizal descendant who is Deaf. So I am addressing this to DepEd authorities: Can’t you see the power of using Deaf’s natural and national sign language???? Use FSL in schools please! I am not saying that you totally relegate Signing Exact English to the background but give priority to FSL!!!

Deaf e-news reports:

De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies invited the Benildean community to another special screening of the First-ever Interpretation in Filipino Sign Language of Mi Ultimo Adios by Dr. Jose P Rizal last Jan. 13 at the SDA Cinema. Mirana Medina’s film was recently launched at the Rizal Shrine last Dec 29 on the occasion of the 115th death commemoration for our National hero, Jose Rizal. It has also been accepted to the 2nd Hong Kong International Deaf Film Festival this February. Ms Caya Consunji, a Deaf descendant of Rizal, was the guest of honor and warmly shared her insights about her family.

Consunji shares, “I didn’t grow up in the Philippines. That means I did not grow up with the other Filipinos who respect my Lolo Jose Rizal. I was not able to participate in the events of Rizal that happen each year at his birthday on June 19th and his death on December 30th. Growing up in the US has allowed me to witness how admired Dr. Jose Rizal is even in other countries. I have seen plaques dedicated to him in San Francisco, in Chicago, in Paris, France and in Mexico City. I hope to see more plaques to Rizal in other countries because like Rizal who loves to travel, I love to travel too. I am a sixth generation Rizal. I am a direct descendant of Narcisa Rizal, the sister who got the lamp from Jose Rizal with the poem “Mi Ultimo Adios”. It is a great honor and privilege to be part of Rizal family as it taught us to carry a lot of responsibility. My parents and lola always reminded us of this responsibility.

Rizal taught us many things. One of these things was to stand up for the oppressed. Remember his quote, I’ll go where there are no slaves, tyrants or hangmen” He died fighting for freedom and equality for the Filipino. He also taught us to fight for what is right and never be afraid as long as what we are doing was right. Rizal made decisions that were sometimes bad for him and his family, but good for the country. Those are very difficult decisions. Luckily we do not face those decisions anymore because of a foreign power.
But now we still have to make our own decisions in this country between doing something wrong that will benefit us but will be bad for the country or doing the right thing that will help improve the lives of our people. If we apply the values and teachings of Rizal to these decisions, we will always know what is the right thing to do. Let us remember Rizal always in our hearts and minds and also actions. He loved the Filipino and the Philippines.”


The Legacy Lives on with Jose Rizal’s Descendants

January 25, 2012
From the Curator’s Notes, Zarah Escueta of the Rizal Shrine Fort Santiago, December 30, 2011:
A very successful launching of the first- ever translation of Ultimo Adios in Filipino Sign Language yesterday [Dec. 29].  Thanks to our guests who graced the occasion, DepED, neighbors in IA, NHCP family, Rizal Descendants, our speakers; Director De Larrazabal of De La Salle- CSB, Mr. Raffy [Raphy] Domingo of the Deaf Community, Prof. Vim Nadera, Poet of UP Diliman and Atty. Ramoncita Reyes a descendant of Saturnina Rizal- Hidalgo sister of Jose Rizal and most of all the woman behind this event,MS. MIRANA MEDINA an independent advocacy film maker who edited the controversial Director’s Cut of Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story, a Tikoy Aguiluz film.

Atty. Ramoncita Reyes, descendant of Saturnina Rizal, receives gift from Arch. Veronica Dado of NHCP; Curator Zarah Escueta on the extreme right

This success is dedicated to the legacy of our national hero, his descendants who continuously enrich the hearts and minds of the Filipino people through their endeavors in life be they a lawyer, a doctor, a writer or an artist; they surely give honor to their forefather who gave them honor first.  It is truly a legacy that lives on through Jose Rizal’s descendants and uninterruptedly advocating through his last literary work, Ultimo Adios. [legacy-lives-onwith-jose-rizals.html