Posts Tagged ‘NHE’


Weekly Photo Challenge: On the Move_Men on Wheelchair

May 9, 2015

Literally, on the Move — these two people are miles away –Manila and New York City — yet they surely share and practice the philosophy of independent living… They do not confine themselves in the comfort of their homes, nor in their shells. Afterall, they are part of us, and should be treated like anyone else in an enabling society.

On the Move 2

This is Abner Manlapaz. I first met him in an Indignation rally of Persons with Disability [PWD] demanding the government to respect the rights due to them. He is the President of Independent Living Foundation. He is one of the participants in the docu that I am currently doing on Apolinario Mabini, our hero who himself was a PWD. Mabini was the Prime Minister, First Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Chief Adviser of Emilio Aguinaldo, the First President of the Philippine Republic in 1898. This photo was shot at Mall of Asia, Pasay City in Metro Manila where Autism Walk was held a couple of years back.

On the Move

I do not know this man. But he caught my attention because in the crowd, he was the only one going around on wheelchair. And since I advocate for PWDs, I felt quite happy for him because he could move like anyone else around him. This was shot in Times Square St., New York City.

Great coincidence!!! I just realized now that aside from being on wheelchairs, look at what they are wearing! Red t-shirt and blue jeans; both wear eyeglasses, and their heads?? Aren’t they nearly the same?

The Non-Handicapping Environment is a must in all places in the world. Here in our country, NHE has been introduced but the idea should ripple around, especially in Southeast Asia where PWDs should be given as much importance, priority and equality as any of the so-called abled individuals. They should be given opportunities, chances to prove their ability and capacity, and the right to co-exist with others.


PWD ID Application Form

December 22, 2010

I have tried searching from the NCDA Website the application form for PWDs for downloading purposes so that I can apply for Alyana’s ID—my grandniece with autism— that will give her the same rights and privileges as the senior citizens but I could not find any. I really had to meet Cristy Castañeda, focal person for PWDs here in Pasay to get a copy. I have learned from her that only one resident from our barangay is registered. I was surprised. I know that there are other PWDs in our area so I got extra copies for them, only to later find out that there are more children with disability other than those I know of. Since I needed more copies, I just scanned the original copy that I got from the DSWD office and used it. They were accepted when I filed them yesterday. I was very happy to finally get three more IDs aside from Alyana’s with the necessary booklets that they will use to enjoy their benefits.

Anyway, in case you just want to know how it looks like, and if you think your DSWD area office will accept a scanned copy you may download the form below. However, if you are a resident of other cities, you have to erase what’s written in the box under “Municipality” and “Region” if you are not from NCR. The requirements are listed below the form. “…resident of Pasay City” on the first line must be changed however, if you are not from Pasay. Probably, it would be best if you just go to your respective City Hall.

Thanks to Cristy of Pasay DSWD Office and the rest of the staff for being so accommodating! Happy to learn too that UNICEF categorized Pasay City as a Child-Friendly City. Incidentally, I was given for some suggestions if I have any, a copy of a proposed ordinance on “… providing for child survival, development, protection, and participation, and establishing a comprehensive children support system in Pasay City…” I browsed on it and I just believe that the Non-Handicapping Environment (NHE) concept should be injected, and BP344 should be stressed since that law affects all PWDs not just the adults. If the Pasay City Council is really bent, serious and sincere in keeping a Child-Friendly City, then they should consider the implementation of the Accessibility Law in the whole of the city as soon as possible. There was no mention of BP344 anywhere in the said proposed ordinance. It is just good that they are passing it around to concerned individuals for suggestions and additional ideas. For that alone, congratulations!!!

To view the short film made for PWDs entitled A BLIND ARCHITECT that tells of the introduction of Non-Handicapping Environment in the Philippines as well as the partial and non-compliance of BP344 or the Philippine Accessibility Law, please click below


Alyana in Pasay

July 30, 2009

Pasay audience4_Aly(On screen, my niece Eileen Cruz and her daughter Alyana, now 15 yrs. old)

At long last  on July 21, Tuesday, Alyana was shown in her area, our own area! Alyana and I both live in the city of Pasay. Although I wanted to have it shown right after its premiere in 2006, it took 3 years before it was finally shown here.

Pasay audience_reverse

Over a thousand viewers came— mainly composed of barangay health workers who attended the four-day Early Detection Intervention Program (EDIP) workshop of Autism Society Philippines (ASP), students and teachers of Philippine School for the Deaf, DSWD personnel and some parents of children from Pasay Sped Center who approached me with gratitude in their eyes after the screening. Some tagged along their child with autism to view Alyana which is a film salute to parents with special children.


Pasay City Sports Complex is located at Derham Park, which used to be a playground and the place where we actually used to play during our high school days at Pasay City High School (PCHS). Though not an ideal venue because of daylight source from the roof and the acoustics problem [it wasn’t designed as a movie theater afterall] and the seats were not enough because only about 350 viewers were initially expected, the bleachers served as good alternative to seat the viewers that tripled before the screening finally started at 3.30 pm.

Pasay audience_Hor

Produced by APCD Foundation and JICA “A Blind Architect…” which presents the Non Handicapping Environment (NHE) history, concept and importance of the Philippine Accessibility Law (BP344) preceded the screening of Alyana. With sign language inset options (FSL or ASL) that interpret the sound dialogues, it got the full attention of the Deaf audience as well.

Pasay audience

Pasay audience_Hor3

The event was coolly and successfully managed by Cristy Castañeda, PWD focal person of Pasay City Social Welfare Department who like me was a product of PCHS with all out support from DSWD heads and officers who were all present.

The following day at noon time, July 22 I flew to Tacloban City en route to Eastern Samar for the showing of ” Silent Odyssey” on July 23.


Below is Autism Society Philippines’ official report on “Alyana Comes Home to Pasay”

ASP news Pasay



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).


A Blind Architect_The Vision of a Non-Handicapping Environment

May 22, 2009

Finally! My latest film is now over.

Entitled “A Blind Architect: The Vision of a Non-Handicapping Environment,” the film produced by Asia-Pacific Development Center Foundation (APCD) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was made in collaboration with the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) Committee on Accessibility and JICA Philippines.

Very short in duration (13.46 min) compared with my own personal advocacy films (usually feature-length), it nevertheless required from me the same amount of effort, commitment and involvement. Working at it was no different too from my own since I have worked with the same people in my previous SO production— 3 Js Janus Victoria, Joseph Leña and Jojo Sia, Jr. The major difference being that I had to contend with stakeholders which took me longer time than usual as I had to wait for a collective decision before I could move on.

The film is about the background history of the Non-Handicapping Environment (NHE) movement in the Philippines, with a time span covering 1997 to 2008. Arch. Jaime “Jimmy” Silva, a good and inspiring gentleman who became blind at the peak of architectural design career is the film catalyst. Turning blind because of glaucoma, he also turned into an NHE advocate in the process by making known to those involved with the built environment how important accessibility is to those with physical disability. It was a realization he only came to know when he became blind.

“Networking” as in the words of Arch. Jimmy is what I have “earned” in the process of making this film. It was really great to have met many other people who are dedicated and sincere in trying to make the society change their attitude towards the PWD sector by starting to effect a change on the built environment through enforcement of Batas Pambansa (BP 344) which had been around since 1983 but remains not fully implemented or taken for granted. I am right to say that my advocacy is not a lonely one.

If before I was only conscious in targeting the change of attitude towards the PWDs, now, the NHE concept has added a new dimension in my knowledge which had given me a more rounded idea about their needs. New terms are added in my memory bank— “access audits and talkshops,” “non-PWDs” instead of “abled” persons; and new concept and ideas— “barrier-free environment,” “rights-based concept,” “story-based knowledge management” strongly registered in my consciousness.

New people along the road were encounted as the APCD Staff —consisting of Japanese and Thai people; Arch. Jimmy and his deputy Arch. Armand Eustaquio from UAP, Ms. Gigi Ruiz and her staff from NCDA, the JICA staff and from SM, their staff working on disability affairs. I would like to make special mention of  Ryuhei Sano, Noriko Fort, Naoko Ito and Daisuke Sagiya from APCD and JICA Phil.—people I directly worked with for months. Enthusiastic and very passionate in their work, their spirit has helped to pump up added energy in me to realize the film.

Above all, I acknowledge that without help or spiritual upliftment from above and from Mama Mary of Manaoag, making this film would not be as it has been. Or, would have been much more difficult for me.


Focus on Non Handicapping Environment (NHE)

March 11, 2009

Work on my personal advocacy film centering on the Cerebral Palsied has stopped for a while. Last February 24-26, I started shooting for a short 15-minute documentary on Non Handicapping Environment (NHE) movement in the Philippines. I have six more days left to shoot for the film. Tomorrow, we are leaving for Cagayan de Oro and from there go to Opol to shoot one of the two pilot municipalities for this project.

My involvement in the making of this film made me confront the “other barrier” — the built environment which is more obvious than the invisible barriers my personal films are trying to break. My advocacy films are intended to break attitudinal barriers, myths and the negative stigma that the society have towards the sector that my film focuses on by showing them the right information about them. It is my belief that if these barriers are removed, if understanding of their difficult situation to cope up with our world will be addressed, then breaking all the “sister-barriers”  may follow. Working on this NHE project now made me understand the encompassing nature of its philosophy—and the barrier free concept which includes all barriers, such as physical and attitudinal.

This film (the shortest so far on PWDs that I am making) focuses on the inaccessibility problem of PWDs caused by non-compliance of the Accessibility Law or BP 344 enacted way back in 1983. Physical barriers prevent them from moving around freely to perform their personal and social functions making them unproductive. They make it difficult for them to go to school, work, go to places where they should have been enjoying themselves as much as we do and have equal opportunities as we are. “Partial compliance is no compliance,” according to Ms. Gigi Ruiz, Executive Director of the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA).

However, with the NHE concept starting to permeate the minds of our architectural students and designers, our builders and engineers through the efforts of our accessibility advocates who trained at Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability where they have learned what NHE is, especially access auditing, the future is bright for our PWDs.

If the built environment and future infrastructures will be designed well with PWDs in mind, there will be more exposures of PWDs in our midst. They will have reason to come out. Accessibility to their needs will be easier. Struggling to move around will not be there or at least minimized. And once the society gets used to seeing and being with PWDs, then PWDs will stop being conscious being with non-PWDs and vice-versa. The dividing line between the two will hopefully go. The two will merge. Oneness will be there…

With a barrier-free environment comes an empowered people who could show that they are equals to anyone. A Non-Handicapping Environment is the solution to PWDs inclusion in our society. With the project implementation focused in our rural communities starting with Opol in Misamis Oriental and New Lucena in Iloilo, the hope is there that it will ripple to all the other municipalities in the Philippines, and hopefully become models to be followed by other rural places in our neighboring countries.

The film is sponsored by Asia Pacific Center on Disability (APCD), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) and United Architects of the Philippines (UAP).