Posts Tagged ‘Philippine Accessibility Law’


“Before this film, kulang ang alam ko about Mabini. Now I understand.”

August 19, 2015


The Blind Architect, Jaime Silva with Febe Sevilla, hearing interpreter. [Grabbed frame from The Sublime Paralytic; Segment on Mabini disability]

“...Mas naintindihan ko yung hirap ni Mabini as a writer, the policies that he did for the government para alam natin yung magiging direksyon ng Pilipinas, and the problems na hinurdle nya with his disability…Hindi rason yung kanyang disability, his love for [the] nation, his love for what he is doing was really something that the nation benefited from. Before this film, kulang ang alam ko about Mabini. Now I understand. Ni hindi ko alam na naexile pala sya sa Guam. These are some things that I’ve learned ngayon sa aking napanood,” says Architect Jaime Silva after “watching”, rather listening to the story of Mabini as my documentary, Apolinario Mabini: The Sublime Paralytic screened last Friday, August 14. A special preview was held at the Department of Foreign Affairs as part of their 2015 Post Celebration of NDPR Week. Arch. Silva is United Architect of the Philippines Chair on Disability Affairs. Known as THE BLIND ARCHITECT, he is the subject of a 14-min documentary with the same title that I made for APCD, JICA, NCDA and the UAP.

Interviewed for The Sublime Paralytic, Architect Silva talks about the discrimination Mabini must have experienced as a Persons with Disability [PWD]. The only difference then and now, he said was the fact that during Mabini’s time, there were no assistive technologies for PWDs and there was no law that protected the rights of PWDs. The Philippine Accessibility Law was enacted only in 1983, or 87 years after Mabini contracted paralysis in 1896.

A segment on disability matters and the causes of Mabini’s paralysis forms an important part of the film. The latest findings of Dr. Jiggs Gilera contests the pronouncements in the 80s that polio was the cause of Mabini’s paralysis. Guillain Barre-Syndrome [GBS] he says caused it. Incidentally, the reader of El Verdadero Decalogo / Ang Tunay na 10 Utos, Abner Manlapaz was crippled by GBS at the age of 16.

PREMIERE Showing on August 27, 2015 at DLS-CSB ARG Theater, 5th floor, 4 pm. Taft Campus, Manila. Contact DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies for more information.

Apolinario Mabini: The Sublime Paralytic’s Filipino-narrated version, PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon is now in post-production. Mabini was the Chief Adviser of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, First President of the Philippine Republic [1898] and his First Secretary of Foreign Affairs [1899].



September 27, 2010

Just want to take note that search and research on BP344 or the Philippine Accessibility Law seems to be on the rise based on the blog stats here. If that is so, then I see that as a good sign—very good sign indeed that people  seem to care now, or at least interested in knowing what the law is all about.

(To read, see from the list on the right column)


Ms. Gigi Ruiz_in “A Blind Architect”_Touched a Human Rights Lawyer

September 7, 2009

Last August 26 I met for the first time Atty. Chato Olivas-Gallo, a UP College of Law professor, after the forum on sign language, “Wikang Senyas…” through a friend, Liw Caldito, founder of Support and Empower Abused Deaf Children Inc. (SEADC). Atty. Chato told me that she had seen my short docu, “A Blind Architect” produced by APCD Foundation and JICA, and the film touched her so much she wants to specialize on laws concerning persons with disability, presumably BP344 or the Philippine Accessibility Law. Of the film, she says:

“One of the things that has really really touched me recently is this DVD [she is holding the DVD while being interviewed on cam] about the blind architect kasi I didn’t know about the situation of the disabled people, how some laws maybe so beautiful and yet the implementation…‘if there is partial compliance, there is no compliance at all.’ * I heard this statement in this DVD [A] Blind Architect and it really touched me and for that reason, it’s in my heart to specialize in Disability Laws here in the Philippines, especially for the Deaf and for those who are physically disabled, and perhaps someday for those who face other disabilities. So, I thank you for initiating and suggesting the idea of this and I think everybody should see this for personal awareness…

*Partial Compliance is No Compliance at All” is a statement made in the film, “A Blind Architect: The Vision Towards Non-Handicapping Environment” by Ms. Geraldine “Gigi” Ruiz, National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) Executive Director. I must say that her personal testimony and her demonstration on how difficult it is for them to function when the Accessibility Law is not fully implemented is really an outright insult and violation of their human rights. It is the most poignant part of the film and the one that has touched me the most especially during the shoot.


Filipino Sign Language: a Spark plug

August 23, 2009

“Silent Odyssey” and “A Blind Architect” elicited and sparked lots of remarks from Deaf viewers during the special screenings held for Mrs. Nora Shannon from PEN International in Rochester, New York, and the students of DLS-CSB SDEAS’ Deaf Learner’s Preparatory Course (DLPC). Mrs. Shannon attended the viewing with her husband. Many of the Deaf reacted on the Filipino Sign Language (FSL) issues and Deaf identity problems. Meanwhile, Architect Jaime Silva, the blind architect was able to inspire the Deaf by making some of them wish to emulate his role as a strong PWD rights advocate. One student whose interest is in law centered his remarks on the need for the Senate to know of Deaf Accessibility Law problems and their rights. He wants to become a lawyer he said. Another felt that the attention being given to persons with physical disability seems to be more than what the Deaf sector receives. I told him that personal initiative is quite necessary and very important…that Arch. Silva started advocating more than 10 years ago [since 1997], that he had taken his own initiative to make known to people in authority and the building establishments regarding the need to implement the Philippine Accessibility Law or BP344 to help alleviate their condition. Even then, up to now 30-35% has just being implemented, the reason why the concept of Non-Handicapping Environment (NHE) would hopefully help in removing all types of barriers in the future—not only physical but attitudinal with the latter being suffered by the Deaf. That if the Deaf should want to be heard, then they should also work on their own, take the initiative to advocate, be strong, be empowered as a group so that they could be heard better, rather than remain as splintered groups working for individual causes. I truly hope that the Deaf Development Center, a group which has just been formed last week will push through and succeed as one umbrella group that will unify all Deaf organizations. I enjoined the Deaf to work together strongly as one so that they can fight for their rights, their linguistic human rights (LHR). I personally believe that they should not wait for the hearing persons to decide for them or move them to action. They should move on their own, take the rein, the initiative to work for their good.. Only by having a louder “voice” and having a common goal starting with the fight to recognize their language that the authorities responsible to attend to their human rights needs could hear and hopefully listen to their woes. Yes! Deaf awareness is a must. It is a slow process but it should start now more than ever because of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

The film showings were held yesterday, August 22 at DLS-CSB School of Design Cinema located in P.Ocampo St., Manila. When Mrs. Nora Shannon was asked for her reaction she said:

“What really struck us…one, was when the young Deaf man talked about Filipino Sign Language as having history and then going back in really researching and finding out that there is an actual history of the Filipino Sign Language; and the second thing was having that man from PFD talked directly to the people about how they should perceive themselves as Deaf Filipino people because sometimes you listen more to people who are far away….

I also like…how balanced it was…how much you showed what Deafs can do instead of focusing out on their struggles and trials which are showing the Deaf’s feats…Deaf poetry…That’s really moving.”