Posts Tagged ‘Raphy Domingo’


Rendezvous with Deaf Students

February 5, 2017

February 3, Friday, Noon Time. CSB Bldg., Rm. M510. “Silent Odyssey” [2008], a documentary on Deaf Culture, History, and Filipino Sign Language [FSL] origin was finally ana shown to Fourth Year students of Ms. Ana Arce upon her request. An arrangement since last year was made to have it shown during this semester. Ana is now a faculty member of DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies [SDEAS]. I used to see her when she was still a student of SDEAS. That was a decade ago. I was making Silent O while at the same time studying FSL intended for hearing people under SDEAS’ FSL Learning Program. In fact, she was captured in one of the forums that I shot during that time for Silent O.


Ms. Ana Arce with her students

Anyway, some of her students who viewed the film are members of the Silent Steps, the school’s playgroup. I have worked with them in my documentaries on Mabini. After the screening, I have asked them: “What’s the most important thing that you have learned from the film?” “FSL!”, they retorted in unison. [Oh yes! I managed to communicate with them without an interpreter. Sounds unbelievable but my little knowledge of FSL signs helped a lot. I am not daily exposed to sign language so without practice, my receptive skill is honestly poor. Nevertheless, I survived the day].

I was happy of course because one of the main objectives of the film — to make Deaf appreciate their language, and know its origin has been met. Hoping too that with that understanding they would fight and advocate for its use and recognition. Moreover, I have seen again the timelessness and value of the content. It is as important as when I first showed it to the public nine years ago. I am sure the interest and significance won’t diminish for as long as FSL is not recognized here, and Deaf continues to experience discrimination. For sure, the interview with the World Federation of the Deaf President Markku Jokinen by Raphy Domingo greatly helped in making the students understand better the importance of sign language in their life, culture and identity as Deaf individuals.


Watching the interview with World Federation of the Deaf Markku Jokinen


As for me, the fight to advocate for the use of Filipino Sign Language and highlighting PWD’s abilities through my films has not yet ended. Currently, I am preparing for the showing of PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon. It is participated in by the Silent Steps, and music scored by a Person with Autism [PWA]. It is intended for hearing people so that they would get exposed to FSL, and hopefully get to appreciate and have an interest to learn it; in addition, to be able to listen to the first music scoring work of a PWA. Primarily meant for Deaf audience to give them full access to information about our hero, Apolinario Mabini, it was largely interpreted in FSL and fully captioned in English. DLS-CSB SDEAS and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts collaborated in its making. The latter must have been convinced by my rationale that Deaf’s culture and language should be respected as much as the Indigenous Peoples’ culture and language. After all, like the IPs, Deaf should be considered as a cultural-linguistic minority group.


May you all succeed!!!


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!!!


Fr. Cyril Axelrod, CSsR_Deaf-Blind Priest who Encouraged the Establishment of PFD

March 1, 2015
The Philippine Association of the Deaf [PAD] was first established in October 17, 1926 by Filipino Deaf leader, Mr. Pedro Santos. PAD was an official member of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), an international non-governmental organization representing approximately 70 million Deaf people worldwide. WFD is recognized by the United Nations or UN. In 1990s, PAD and PAD Demonstration School were both closed due to internal mismanagement. PAD had no communication with WFD since its dissolution so WFD asked Fr. Cyril Axelrod, CSsR, the former director of Macau Deaf Association to check the status of PAD through the Catholic Ministry to Deaf People (CMDP) and its former Executive Director, Dr. Jandi Arboleda. He reported to WFD that the PAD was officially dissolved. 
Fr. Cyril Axelrod

Fr. Cyril Axelrod [Courtesy of DEAF Advocating News & Travels in the Philippines from fb account of CBDagani]

There was an informal community meeting in 1995 but did not push through. Fr. Axelrod, CSsR did not give up and push the community meeting with the assistance of CMDP. He proposed to the Filipino Deaf community to establish a new organization to replace PAD, In its stead, the Philippine Federation of the Deaf or PFD was founded on October 19, 1996. It was formally established the following year on May 18, 1997. This story was  shared by Raphy Domingo, former president of the Philippine Federation of the Deaf.

Session with Therese

April 21, 2011

Funny but our session yesterday with Prof.  Therese Bustos, PhD was held in a fast food restaurant corner Vito Cruz. I knew that CSB, supposedly our session venue would be closed, nevertheless I decided not to postpone the meet because Therese earlier told me that her sked will be hectic next week. The purpose of the meet was to finalize the signs of the last four stanzas of Ultimo Adiós. Raphy was so much in a hurry then to leave because of an earlier commitment during our first session with Vim Nadera so their interpretation were not as “polished” as the first 10 stanzas. True enough, some signs had to be revised after the review. The same thing happened with Juventud Filipino—all except one had to be corrected. Awit ni Maria Clara had the same fate….but all for the best.

The place was noisy, so the advantage of knowing sign language worked well for Therese. She just had to look at Febe as she was interpreting for Vim and Raphy. We were not able to work on the last two poems— Flowers of Heidelberg and Sa Aking Kababata because there was no interpreter during our last meet with Vim. Homework na lang ang Therese. Good thing is that she will give us some of her precious time on Tuesday morning to work on interpreting the remaining poems for Raphy and Myra. Salamat!!!

We have set the shooting of Ultimo Adiós on May 4 and 5. FSL is so beautiful I feel so positive about how our film will look like. It takes a lot of “pain” before giving birth to Ultimo Adiós-FSL version. Ang haba ng proseso! Mahirap! But it’s all worth the effort. I am learning in the process which of course will help me further as I continue to work with Deaf persons. God led me to them, to FSL advocates and the like, turning me into an FSL advocate myself because I saw the need for it. Well!!! Having my project “Mga Natatanging Tula ni Rizal sa Wikang Senyas” accepted by NCCA is clear sign, the way I see it, that FSL is really being recognized as a language just like any other. DepEd should take heed I guess!!


Picture-Picture and Catching the Moon

April 9, 2011

The Translation Process: Vim explains the poem line-by-line and per poem stanza; Febe interprets for Raphy; Raphy interprets after understanding the poem's message through contextualization, not literal translation of the poem; I record the proceedings and gives suggestions when asked and when I had to.

Yesterday, our second session with Vim Nadera for the project of interpreting Rizal’s poems in sign language was held at the UST Publishing House. Vim was rushing to meet his deadline for his upcoming book “Kayumanggi.” Only Raphy, Febe, I and Jojo came over. “A La Juventud Filipino” and “Awit ni Maria Clara” were explained and discussed with Raphy for his interpretation of the poems. We started at about 2.30 pm, finished and left at nearly 6 p.m. Magic hour pa. Nagpapicture-picture kami!!!

With Raphy and Febe

"Welcome, home!" - Bit of nostalgia unavoidable

(L-R) Vim Nadera, book designer, musician, MM, Raphy and Febe

Til I caught the moon up high. Nakasilip! Nakikita nyo?

Take Two!

(Hmmm! Maliit pa rin ang buwan… Next time na lang)


Meeting with Vim Nadera

April 6, 2011

Si Vim -- malumanay magsalita, mabait, magalang at higit sa lahat -- napakagaling na tao!!!

My project’s Filipino Sign Language Consultant Raphy Domingo, Silent Steps Choreographer Myra Medrana, voice interpreter Febe Sevilla, UP Sped Education Professor Dr. Therese Bustos who has been helping me as interpreter from Audition 1, and I met with Vim Nadera, project’s poet-hearing consultant [reader as well]  at the UP Faculty Center. Vim slowly and clearly explained to Raphy and Myra [including us] — line by line — the message of Rizal after which Raphy signs his interpretation with Febe and Therese helping him to refine the whole stanza interpretation. My role?? To visually judge, and feel its impact on me as a hearing person, particularly on how he ends each stanza because I already have plans in my head re each one of them, and, also to record the “proceedings” for further study by the group to improve and better some signs to make it more poetic.

For better and full understanding of the passages, Vim also gave background notes on Rizal and his milieu. Vim’s explanations led to powerful interpretation by the Deaf of Rizal’s message because of the translation transformation from literal to poetic level–very well, what Rizal anyway intended, as a poet!

The afternoon from 1 pm – 4 pm was spent on understanding MY LAST FAREWELL / ULTIMO ADIOS. Next meet will be on Friday, from 1 pm for the rest of the poems.

I am very happy to have accomplished what I envisioned to be — at least — that proper understanding of the poems would lead, at best, to excellent interpretation of Rizal’s poem, not only in simple Deaf signs but in their expressions — facial and body — and one that comes from the heart.

Ang galing mo Vim! Saka ni Raphy at Myra!!! Saludo ako sa inyo!


Deaf Performers for Project Rizal to be Chosen

March 31, 2011

Tomorrow at 4 pm, footages of the Deaf who auditioned for my “Project Rizal” [project to translate in Filipino Sign Language some poems of Rizal] will be viewed by a panel consisting of Deaf and hearing advocates of the Deaf. The first audition was held at the Lutheran Church hall last Saturday while the second audition were held yesterday and today at the CSB School for the Deaf and Allied Studies (SDEAS). A deliberation will be held to choose the best FSL interpreters among them.

Raphy Domingo, Project's FSL Consultant Heads the Audition; Myra Medrana in front of the camera assists him

Dr. Therese Bustos of Philippine Deaf Resource Center and UP Sped Education Area interprets for me [standing beside her]

Romalito Mallari, lead actor of Dinig Sana Kita auditioned to interpret "Ultimo Adiós" (Last Farewell)

I studied FSL for a year but without practice I only remember and can only sign “survival words.” I remember Therese saying that it takes at least seven years of daily and continous signing to be able to sign like Deaf persons. Unfortunately, I have no regular contact with them. I expect around 2o people to audition in all. Five will be chosen to interpret / translate the following poems: Last Farewell, Flowers of Heidelberg, Song of Maria Clara, To the Filipino Youth and To MyFellow Children.

Aldrin Gabriel interprets a stanza from Ultimo Adios

I have started making a preliminary shot list for Ultimo Adiós being the longest poem among the lot, and the poem I find most interesting. I need to go to the actual location to finalize my shots.

The project by Miryad Visyon “kuno” is under a grant from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.


Deaf Audition 1 for Project RIZAL

March 25, 2011

We are pushing with the audition of Deaf individuals interested to take part in my project under NCCA grant: Mga Natatanging Tula ni Rizal sa  Wikang Senyas/ Rizal’s Poems in Sign Language tomorrow at Liw’s place — Lutheran Trinity Church opposite GMA at 1 pm. Next week, a second audition will be held for those who won’t be able to attend tomorrow at CSB. The deliberation of the panelists, largely composed of Deaf persons, and a couple of hearing persons will be done after the second audition. We hope to find the best!!! The audition was suggested by our FSL Consultant and Deaf relay, Raphy Domingo.


You Can’t Escape Destiny

February 5, 2011

Am just reflecting…how accidental (?), or is it by coincidence (?) that what I believe and think to be important and crucial to Deaf Filipino history must have been “assigned” to me — by DESTINY, I guess!! Am thinking of SILENT O for example — In the centennial year of the Philippine School of the Deaf (PSD) in 2007, I was in the midst of making SO, the first feature-length digital documentary on Deaf Filipinos that delved on their history, culture and education. I started producing it in 2006 by studying Filipino Sign Language (FSL) and finished it in 2008 which means that the bulk of my work on it happened during the PSD Centennial Year. I actually thought that it had to take a century before anyone could touch on the subject, and that was me!!!

Now, I am to work on the translation of five of our beloved Jose Rizal’s poems in sign language, without question in FSL…A FIRST!!! — by a hearing person, unless someone else claims it. I do not claim it to be original though, in the sense that I got the idea when I helped the group led by Raphy Domingo when they worked on their project for Rizal Course. I actually proposed that the idea is so good, we must do it seriously but he said that the [Deaf] market is small. My mind never stopped though that the idea is novel and that it should be pursued. That if God wills it, He will find the way. And God probably led me to think more on how to realize it. To make the audience scope larger, I thought of having them translated too, or read in Spanish so that it will cater not only to Deaf but also to the Blind, students of Rizal Course, Spanish subject, and to everybody interested in Rizal–Persons with Disabilites (PWDs) or not. With limitless audience in mind, and one that will cater to ALL, I submitted my proposal to NCCA thinking on top of everything that 2011 will be the 150th Birth Anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal.

This project is my tribute to “Pepe.” And although realization will be difficult because of lack of funds, I believe help will come, first from above as I always pray for, and from those whose help will make this project possible. This is first and foremost, meant for the Deaf community, the same sector my docu SO served. I have 10 months to work on this — timed to finish in November 2011, incidentally the month Deaf Awareness Week is being celebrated in the Philippines.