Posts Tagged ‘Myra Medrana’


Through the Eyes of my Deaf Teacher

August 31, 2017

UP Advoc4

Foreground: my Deaf teacher Rey Alfred Lee. Behind him are members of the Silent Steps, Faculty staff of DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies, as well as GMEFI and UPSEC officers. Also in the photo is PULE film scorer Tumtum Mendoza [in white t-shirt with eyeglasses], a Person with Autism, standing between GMEFI President and me. 

Last August 25, PULE: UTAK ng REBOLUSYON, a documentary on our hero, APOLINARIO MABINI was shown for the benefit of the scholars of Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation, Inc. [GMEFI]. The film participants include Deaf students and members of the Deaf playgroup, SILENT STEPS. They interpreted in Filipino Sign Language for the first time after 1898, one of the popular writings of the docu’s subject entitled El Verdadero Decalogo/The True Decalogue.  It was voiced by a man paralyzed by Guillain-Barre Syndrome who read Mabini’s writings. The film was scored by a twice-exceptional Person with Autism, his first time to do  so.

The screening was held at the UP Film Center in Diliman, Quezon City. Members of the Deaf community from DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies where I studied Filipino Sign Language came to attend the screening. One of them was my Deaf teachers, Rey Alfred Lee, former President of the Philippine Federation of the Deaf. Below are some of the photos he took.


Finally! The Pizza Treat…

February 24, 2016

Simple treat, and simple joy of being together with the Silent Steps, and the other participants of Pule production…unfortunately without Giselle Montero whom we missed a lot also during the launching of Pule , our docu on Apolinario Mabini. Organized by Joyce Dalawampu, and Leah Osido, the members of the Silent Steps group was finally gathered by Myra Medrana, Deaf choreographer. Thank you so much for your cooperation and participation!

With Silent Steps

Members of the Silent Steps who interpreted Apolinario Mabini’s  “El Verdadero Decalogo / The True Decalogue” [1898]; With Myra Medrana [Deaf Chreographer], Joyce Dalawampu, Leah Osido, Eugene Sordilla, hearing interpreters Bayani Generoso, Febe Sevilla, Susan Abad and me.

With Silent Steps4


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!!!


COMING SOON! The First-Ever Deaf Interpretation of “The True Decalogue” [1898] in the First Film Music Scored by a Filipino Person with Autism

August 13, 2015
Tum at Work

Thristan Mendoza at Work

A Filipino Person with Autism [PWA] music scored a film. A first in Philippine film history? Thristan Mendoza, twice exceptional PWA did his first-ever music scoring on APOLINARIO MABINI: THE SUBLIME PARALYTIC, a digital documentary on the life of Mabini, the First Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and Chief Adviser of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, President of the First Philippine Republic. Despite the limitations of the music software he used, and perhaps the frustrations he might have felt when the instruments he wanted and needed were not provided by the software, Thristan, fondly called Tumtum created refreshing compositions that enhanced the mood and enlivened the historical photographs used, aided by the sound effects expertise of sound designer Bert De Santos. Tumtum graduated from the UP College of Music, major in percussion.

On the other hand, one of Mabini’s most famous writings, “El Verdadero Decalogo / The True Decalogue” [1898] was interpreted for the first time in Filipino Sign Language [FSL] by the SILENT STEPS, an All-Deaf Performing group of DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies [SDEAS].


The SILENT STEPS choreographed by Myra Medrana [Deaf]

Surely, the first in Philippine language history! There are hundreds of languages and dialects in the Philippines, sadly, Filipino Sign Language [FSL], the natural and national sign language of Deaf Filipinos is still NOT officially recognized by the Philippine government.

The film is not only our vehicle to show FSL’s beauty. It will help preserve Deaf language and culture. FSL is the rightful language of Deaf Filipinos in our country. It is important to preserve it. George W. Veditz of the National Association of the Deaf in the U.S. who initiated the preservation of the American Sign Language between 1910-1920 was the one who called deaf people “People of the eye, first, last and all the time.” As early, he realized that the medium of film was the perfect vehicle for preserving sign language. With pendling legislations on the passage of FSL Bill, FSL should actively be promoted to prove that it is being used and preferred by Deaf Filipinos. Respect and its recognition by the government is a must.

Largely interpreted in FSL, APOLINARIO MABINI: THE SUBLIME PARALYTIC is narrated and captioned in English. Interviews in Filipino language are also interpreted and subtitled in English.

A special preview for DFA personnel and some PWD leaders will be held tomorrow at the Department of Foreign Affairs as part of their post-celebration of the National Disability Prevention Week.

Premiere Showing on August 27, 2015 at DLS-CSB ARG Theater, 4 pm.

For inquiries, contact: DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies [SDEAS]
Email: / Tel: 230-5100 local 1661 / Cel: 09178698231
For ticket reservations, click:

To have a peek at some of the scenes in the docu to see the Silent Steps and to listen to Tum’s music sample composition, watch the film excerpts below:


Meet the Silent Steps!!! FSL Signers in Mabini’s “The True Decalogue”

April 23, 2015

The True Decalogue [El Verdadero Decalogo / Ang Tunay na 10 Utos], written more than 100 years ago in 1898 by one of our great heroes, Apolinario Mabini was interpreted in Filipino Sign Language [FSL] by the Silent Steps, an all-Deaf student playgroup of DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies [SDEAS]. It is aimed at showing the talents of Deaf performers, promote FSL, expose the hearing audience to the beauty of FSL as a visual language, and to give the viewers — both Deaf and hearing — information and knowledge about one of the most popular writings of Mabini. The hero wrote it for our revolutionary leaders to serve as their guiding principles. He believed that a person’s “internal revolution” is important to the success of the country’s “external” revolution.

Deca 1

Gess Michael Abrenica Jr.

Deca 2

Lorhen Sumili

Deca 3

Ryan C. Revilleza and Bryan Santos with reader Abner Manlapaz

Deca 4

Marvin Pagtalunan

Deca 5

Alissa Salinas and Dinah Fe Jason

Deca 6

Brion King Lasutaz

Deca 7

Mark Joseph Albert

Deca 8

Nicole Mae Magpayo

Deca 9

Charlotte Punzalan

Deca 10

Mary Rose Gozon

Their performance was filmed as one of the highlights in the 50-minute biographical docu on Mabini entitled The Sublime Paralytic / Pule: Utak ng Rebolusyon. Myra Medrana [Deaf] choreographed the movements. Only half of the total time performed by the group is featured in the docu. Abner Manlapaz [PWD] read the Pilipino verson of the Decalogue.

The segment was shot by Dennis Balan [Deaf], Rem Vocalan, Yuka Eucasion and Mirana Medina. The film is produced by Miryad Visyon and SDEAS with the support of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts [NCCA]; Direction and Editing by Mirana.


Shooting of El Verdadero Decalogo Mabini Reader & The Silent Steps

March 17, 2015

Finally! After so many delays and postponements, a segment in the short educational documentaries that I am currently doing about one of our great heroes, Apolinario Mabini entitled “The Sublime Paralytic” / “PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon” was finally shot. Mabini, first prime minister of the First Philippine Republic, and the first Minister of Foreign Affairs is the icon of Persons with Disability in the Philippines. I have in this film  the participation of Deaf, Blind and Physically Impaired individuals. I just wish Tumtum Mendoza, a person with autism who graduated from the UP College of Music joins us as music scorer…


Shooting with Decalogo reader Abner Manlapaz, President of Life Haven, a PWD organization guided by the Independent Living Philosophy

El Verdadero Decalogo / Ang 10 Tunay na Utos was read by Abner Manlapaz who happens to have “Guillain Barre Syndrome,” said to be the cause of Mabini’s paralysis according to a recent research by Dr. Jiggs Gilera. Along with his reading, I shall be editing the Filipino Sign Language interpretation of the same piece. Mabini’s Decalogo is the preamble to Programa Constitucional de la Republica Filipina written in 1898. The segment is part of presenting Mabini’s bio. It was especially conceived to help promote and advocate for the use of Filipino Sign Language while at the same time showcasing the talents and capabilities of potential Deaf artists-performers. The films are intended for the general audience especially the students — both Deaf and hearing, also for history teachers and interested laymen. Silent Steps performed under the direction of Myra Medrana… while jolly Nelson Demetillo, an excellent makeup artist rejoined us. We worked together in Project Rizal.

Myra Rehearses Silent Steps [foreground] while we shoot "Mabini" [background].

Myra Rehearses Silent Steps [foreground] while waiting for us as we shoot “Mabini”


Project Mabini Production Crew Members with Silent Steps Performers

The docus are being made 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.


“Solace…by the Shore of Laguna de Bay in Los Banos”

September 6, 2012

Going to the house of Gen. Paciano Rizal where he found “solace… by the shore of Laguna de Bay in Los Baños” a day after the screening of A mi Patria [Rizal’s Poems in Filipino Sign Language] at UPLB wasn’t really planned. Nagkayayaan lang! It isn’t a usual shrine. There’s no sign announcing the visiting hours. Oh well! That’s how I remember it. [Meron ba?] We just knocked at the closed gate which bears the distinguished name of Dr. Jose Rizal’s beloved brother Paciano whom Rizal described as “The noblest Filipino of them all” [See the marker/last photo below].

From the gate, I saw the house which for me appeared like any provincial old house common in Laguna. It must have been built after the Spanish period. There’s nothing imposing in the look of the house. It reflects the simplicity and solitariness of the owner the way I know Gen. Paciano Rizal from my readings about him up close from the book of Agustin Coates which I find to be one of the best books written about Rizal. When Rizal was studying in Manila, it was Paciano who took care of his needs. When he studied abroad, again it was Paciano who provided what he needed most probably “assigned” by his parents out of obligation and being the eldest son in the family. Until now, I only remember seeing a photo of Gen. Paciano – and blurred at that. He clearly shied away from the camera which was quite in contrast with Rizal who loved to be photographed as attested by the existence of his many photos from the time he was small – and most especially, when he was abroad. Pero buti na lang din! Rizal’s fully documented life – in photos and writings – has given us concrete pictures as to how he looked like and lived.

Gen. Paciano Rizal’s Family Tree Located at the House Entrance

The caretaker allowed us in… after telling her that I did speak with Ms. Ester Azurin but that was to invite her for the A mi Patria showing. Oh by the way, Mr. Lopez [I suppose the patriarch of the clan] replied on the screening day that they couldn’t attend much as they want to. I was actually expecting the negative response because we unfortunately came to know their contact numbers a day or two before the screening. It was honestly embarrassing for me to call Ms. Azurin [her contact number was provided by Zarah Escueta, former Rizal Shrine curator] and texted Mr. Lopez at too late a time …pero nagbakasakali lang talaga. I really hoped and wanted some members of the Paciano Rizal clan to be there. We thought of it when the idea of showing it in Laguna was forming. Afterall, the film is a tribute to their great Lolo. But we didn’t know how to get the message to them. We forgot that Zarah is from Laguna and she was the Rizal Shrine Curator in Fort Santiago. Anyway, should another screening be held in Laguna, I’ll surely tell them much ahead of time.

Here’s more of our journey’s record in the house of Gen. Paciano Rizal:

[L-R]: Giselle Montero, Lynn Cappal, Myra Medrana and me. Foto by Dennis Balan

View from Inside the House of Paciano Rizal, Laguna de Bay waters still flooding the area. I’m sure Gen. Paciano would be upset to see this.

Another View of Laguna de Bay from the Back of Paciano Rizal’s House with Floodings Caused by Habagat 2012

On the way out we posed for a foto with Gen. Paciano Rizal [Precious Leaño in blue blouse and Dennis Balan


Showing Today A MI PATRIA – A Tribute to Dr. Jose Rizal

June 19, 2012

I’ll be presenting today the Sesquicentennial Editions of A MI PATRIA [Rizal’s Poetry in Film] translated into four languages: Filipino Sign Language, English, Filipino and Spanish. I would like to thank all those who supported, helped and participated in the realization of the project meant for Deaf Filipinos as well as the Blind to help them in appreciating Rizal’s work. However, responses of the hearing persons are equally positive re appreciation on the other hand, of the Filipino Sign Language used to interpret Rizal’s nationalistic poems.

A mi Patria Features:
Lynn Cappal, Catherine Joy Patriarca, Maria Elena Lozada, Graceren Pearl Santiago, Emmary Glor Batain, Janile Bustamante, Patrick Silver Padao, Joanna Canuto, Christina Betito, Melvin Jason Sibay, Relvic Joseph Taray

POEM READERS: English / Filipino


POEM TRANSLATORS: Spanish to Filipino / English

Production Staff:
Direction, Editing, Research, Concept & Treatment: Miranamedina
Camera: Dennis Balan (Deaf), Rem Vocalan
Choreography: Myra Medrana (Deaf)
Production Design: Rex Flores
Music: Diego JM, Roselle Pineda, Divine Leano
Sound: Bert De Santos
Make-up: Nelson Demetillo
Asst. Director / Production Manager:  Cathy Genovia
Production Assistants: Jojo Sia, Jr., Tom Salvador
Editing & Technical Assistant: Ritwic Bhunjun, Fiona Borres
Writer [Introduction]: Janus Victoria
Voice [Intro Narration]: George Castro
Interpreters: Febe and Jun Sevilla
FSL Consultants: Raphy Domingo (Deaf), Myra Medrana (Deaf)
Hearing Consultants: Vim Nadera, PhD., Marie Therese A.P. Bustos, PhD.

DLS-CSB to Interpret Rizal’s Poems in FSL

Below were some of the Deaf reactions after the screening of the film. [Source of the video and to see more photos during and after the screening click: