Posts Tagged ‘Romalito Mallari’


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:


A Mi PATRIA – 5 Rizal’s Poetry in Film Interpreted in FSL Previews Tomorrow

May 17, 2012

The collection of Dr. Jose Rizal’s poetry [in film] done in four languages: Filipino Sign Language, Filipino, English and Spanish will finally be previewed tomorrow, May 18 at 1pm. The viewing scheduled at PEN Learning Room at DLS-CSB SDEAS is limited to performers, production staff and a few guests only. It is just my SOP to show it to the staff before any premiere screening is held to welcome suggestions to further improve the film, if and when necessary. Its public / premiere showing is targeted next month, June 19, the start of the 151st celebration of Rizal’s bday. Notably, A mi Patria was made exactly 100 years after the first film on Rizal in the Philippines was produced by the Americans, Yearsley and Gross. The film features Aldrin Gabriel, Mark Gaspar and Romalito Mallari as Rizal; Jorelle Faytaren as Maria Clara, and the Silent Steps.

The title “A MI PATRIA” / INANG-BAYAN / TO MY MOTHERLAND [FSL version] – which has taken a year to finish came from Noli Me Tangere, Dr. Rizal’s novel. It is the dedication title of Rizal in the said book. A MI is thematic; it centers on Rizal’s love of country and/or patriotism. All are inspiring poems; some sad, others hopeful. The poems interpreted in FSL are: A Filipinas, A la Juventud Filipina, Canto de Maria Clara, A las Flores de Heidelberg and Ultimo Adios. Rizal started writing poetry from his teenage years.

SDEAS will facilitate the special screening tomorrow.


100 Years After the First Film on Rizal Comes “A mi Patria”

April 25, 2012

The first film on Rizal was made in 1912. According to Vicente Salumbides’ Motion Pictures in the Philippines,  (c. 1952), a certain Mr. Yearsley who owned the Majestic Theater on Azcarrage St. near Bilibid, produced the silent movie, “Life of Dr. Jose Rizal / La Vida de Rizal.” Another American, E.M. Gross who operated the Zorilla Theater at Azcarraga [now Rizal Avenue] and Evangelista in Sta. Cruz, Manila also produced a film on Dr. Rizal’s life. Both films were simultaneously shown in Manila theaters.

100 years later, or this year [2012], A mi Patria – consisting of Rizal poetries in film were produced and soon to be released. In four languages, the Filipino Sign Language [FSL] version has a 10-min short biography of Rizal. It was finished last December but will be released this year. The spoken language versions: Spanish, English and Filipino were finished in February. Honorio Lopez acted in Rizal film in 1912; our versions have Aldrin Gabriel, Mark Steven Gaspar and Romalito Mallari as Rizal. All three of them are Deaf.

I have just readied the preview copy of A mi Patria / Inang-Bayan / To my Motherland. Since it may be too long to preview over two hours of the film in all four language versions – I will just project the FSL version [50 mins], and the spoken language versions totalling to nearly 27 mins as follows: Sa Filipinas [Read in Filipino, Interpreted in FSL, Captioned in English]; To the Philippine Youth [Read in English, Interpreted in FSL, Captioned in Spanish]; Awit ni Maria Clara [Read in Filipino, Interpreted in FSL, Captioned in English]; A las Flores de Heidelberg [Read in Spanish, Interpreted in FSL, Captioned in English] and Mi Ultimo Adios [Read in Filipino, Interpreted in FSL, Captioned in Spanish]. All poems were written by Dr. Jose Rizal. The preview is temporary scheduled on May 11 and will be limited to all those involved in the project: production staff members, performers and a few stakeholders. Public viewing will be held on June 19, 2012 in celebration of Dr. Jose Rizal’s 151th birthday.


Mala-Forget Me Not Flowers sa Neckar River?

December 8, 2011

These days, many “researchers” come to visit my blogsite to search for photos of forget me not flowers. I could only think of Gregorio Zaide who wrote that forget me not was Rizal’s fave and the flowers of Heidelberg must have reminded him of said flowers. I know it because I too researched on the same topic before shooting the Flowers of Heidelberg for my omnibus film, A mi Patria. By coincidence, during those days when I was researching, I saw forget-me-not flowers in bloom near the tomb of my parents at the Manila Memorial Park. All the forget me not photos in this site were taken there in fact. However, in my continued research, I found among the many books of my historian-brother the Pictorial Album on Rizal published in 1961 [Centennial Edition] which I used to browse when I was a kid. The book is still intact though silverfishes have already eaten some of its leaves. There I found a more plausible picture of the flowers of Heidelberg because the Neckar River could be seen in the background, and the flowers though taken from a higher angle are in the foreground. Unfortunately, it is in black and white [Will post the photo later as it is in my laptop]. I did not use any forget me not flower in my film at all.

Moreover, in an article posted by Dr. Penelope Flores last August 2011, she wrote that when she went to Heidelberg in Germany, he asked Mr. Rainer, a retired English, History, and Social and Political Studies teacher that she  wanted to know  what kind of flowers  Rizal  saw when he wrote the poem “To the Flowers of Heidelberg.”  Mr. Rainer drove her to Philosopher’s Way. “There,” he pointed, “Those were the flowers he saw.”  She looked at a wide expanse of blooms and saw what appeared to her were white “Cadena de amor.”  The roadside presented a painter’s palette of varied hues and texture.” [To read the full article, click day-11-of-three-perfect-days.html]

I used the picture above with Dr. Flores’ permission, and many pictures from the book Pictorial Album on Rizal extensively in my segment, Flowers of Heidelberg interpreted by Romalito Mallari in Filipino Sign Language [FSL].


To the Flowers of Heidelberg_English-Filipino Sign Language Version Edited

November 27, 2011

A las Flores de Heidelberg, a poem written by our National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal, and translated from Spanish into English by National Artist in Literature Nick Joaquin was read for A mi Patria [omnibus film on Rizal’s poems] by my good friend, Belen Calingacion. I started editing it with the Filipino Sign Language version interpreted by Romalito Mallari last night. This morning before 7 a.m., I have finally finished the edit.

Today, I need to focus on the materials that I’ll use for the powerpoint presentation that I’ll do on November 30 during the 2nd Asia-Pacific CBR Congress. I’ll be speaking about “Documentary Films as Effective Tools in Promoting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” It will be a gathering of many different agencies in the region. It will be my first time to present using powerpoint so I need to familiarize myself with it. It is suppose to be easier than filmmaking but I got so used to making films and avp’s that I find it rather uncomfortable to adjust to something simpler…which is bad of course! I’ll probably be adopting filmmaking techniques to it so I won’t feel much the change. Well! Let’s see what I’ll come up with. I have yet to look for some images for the 15-minute presentation.


Sa Mga Bulaklak ng Heidelberg_Filipino Version

November 26, 2011

Am sked to work on the Filipino-Filipino Sign Language [FSL] version [composite] of “Sa Mga Bulaklak ng Heidelberg” originally written by Dr. Jose Rizal. It was read by Marot Flores of U.P. KAL, and interpreted in FSL by Romalito Mallari [Deaf]. I have edited Marot’s part a month ago but today I’ll be combining it with FSL version. Again, I am expecting the problem of timing to be there. There are parts where they can “sync” or timing will be the same; but there are parts where I need to hold one or the other because either one is shorter, or longer. I have finished the composite work on the Filipino-FSL version of “Huling Paalam” translated from Spanish into Filipino by Andres Bonifacio, read by Vim Nadera and interpreted by Aldrin Gabriel. [For the copy of Huling Paalam, here’s the link: huling-pahimakas_binasa-ni-vim-nadera]


Rizal’s Heroism and Patriotism Interpreted in Filipino Sign Language

October 13, 2011

The film on Rizal’s interpretation in FSL of five of his most popular poems is forming. Right now, except for Flowers of Heidelberg, they are individually edited. It is my problem to connect them all. The intro will help definitely. Music will also thread them all. I need to finish soonest. But I still need a lot of shots to make that happen. In film editing, there are many transition devices that can do that. But that would be my last resort. What I have in mind should first be tried, and trying all ways to achieve them should be maximized.

The Rizal Monument is located opposite the new Calamba City Hall; Aldrin is shown in the photo with the production team

Anyway, the poem’s sequence will be: A FILIPINAS as interpreted by Aldrin Gabriel, A LA JUVENTUD FILIPINA [Mark Gaspar], CANTO DE MARIA CLARA [Jorelle Faytaren], A LAS FLORES DE HEIDELBERG [Romalito Mallari], and ULTIMO ADIOS [Aldrin Gabriel]. All interpreters are Deaf.

Aldrin practices while Lynn Cappal looks on. Photos by Rem Vocalan


Shooting Rizal’s To The Flowers of Heidelberg Was a Reunion

August 27, 2011

It was more of a reunion! Yesterday’s shooting which started after lunch was rather tiring but we all went home happily because the day we spent together was more like reuniting with ‘old’ friends. The bonding strengthened. It was the third poem we shot for Project Rizal.

From right - Yuka, Rome, MM, Jenny

Even Yuka, old time friend, and Asiong film editing accomplice came over to join us. It was his first time to be at CSB and to be in a Deaf territory. Aldrin Gabriel, our Rizal for Ultimo Adios replaced Toby as production assistant. He was very helpful. Nelson Demetillo, our makeup artist was as usual at his best in making everybody laugh. He is a live wire, really fun to have around. The group will miss him when the project is over.

Rome practicing

Our shooting with Romalito Mallari who lost his being “Rome” the way I used to know him and perceived him to be, to become Rizal was very patient despite the many takes that I had asked him to do. I saw another side, probably the real side of Rome. I first saw him in 2006 when I studied Filipino Sign Language at CSB. He was one of the Silent Steps members who performed in the company of CJ Patriarca and Myra Medrana when I made my docu on Deaf Filipinos [Silent Odyssey/2008]. He was distant. But from our pre-production period last month until our shoot yesterday which lasted until 7.30 pm., Rome was different. He was funny; did many comic acts, at home with everybody. The work was tiring but fun. It was work and fun together. The aura of camaraderie was there; the spirit of advocating for a cause was strong. Working because you have to earn is common. I advocate for a cause, and working on my project gives me joy and fulfillment. The monetary compensation is not sufficient or too small for what they are / we are actually doing, they all know that. But still everybody’s there — more I guess because of working for fun and the higher aim of advocating for a cause, and doing something that has never been done before. Our project is the first ever interpretation of Rizal’s poems in sign language, and we can claim that our initiative IS the first in the translation history of Rizal’s poems.

It was the shooting of the FSL and Spanish versions of TO THE FLOWERS OF HEIDELBERG. And I would like to thank Romalito and Ms. Beatriz Alvarez-Tardio for joining us. By merely taking part in our film, they have joined our advocacy for information accessibility to thevDeaf and the Blind, and all those who are interested in Rizal and his works. When I told my team that Beatriz was coming, they asked me how she looked like. I said I had no idea. We just communicated via email. She was the first to respond to my call for readers


in Spanish of Rizal’s poems, forwarded to her by the cultural attache of Instituto Cervantes, Mr. Fons. It was only from Rex Flores, our PD that I came to know that she was one of the participants at the Rizal International Conference in UP last June. It was my first time to meet her last night. When I asked her what made her decide to participate in our project, she told me that she loves reading poetry, and she liked the interesting idea of having to translate Rizal’s poems in sign language.

Romalito Mallari

I wanted a lot of close ups — of Romalito’s facial expressions and the signing hands. Even then, I still feel I should have added more!!! I see it as an editor’s film because I want to play up with shots. It will be different from Ultimo that way. That’s my hope. That was preconceived. However, since I haven’t really found the pictures appropriate for it, I can’t tell how it will look like. But, I am sure — if there are no problem with the takes, no virus on the files, and the like — the interpretation will be as good and memorable as the first two other poems in FSL that were already shot.

I would like to thank PEN Learning Center — Ms. Techie, Giselle, Mackie and PEN staff for their full support; and of course, all the members of our team. For your information, our next shoot will be SONG OF MARIA CLARA with Jorelle and the Silent Steps for the tandem shots with the Spanish readers. Sked should be this September!!


Goodbye Asiong Salonga 2011 For Now! Welcome Back Rizal!

August 23, 2011

I am set to do the continuation of my small film for a great man, Dr. Jose Rizal, leaving behind gangster Asiong Salonga, and the big budgeted film for a while. They are going to shoot the four [not two] remaining sequences, and I have to shoot my 3rd poem for my own project almost at the same time. Good timing!!! Anyway, if it hadn’t jibed, I would have to take time off from editing it just the same because this has long been programmed.

”]Deaf interpreter / performer of A LAS FLORES DE HEIDELBERG will be Romalito Mallari, of Dinig Sana Kita fame. He also appeared in my docu on Deaf Filipinos, Silent Odyssey [2008] as dancing partner of CJ Patriarca, another talented Deaf gal. Rome is scheduled to fit his costume tomorrow. Shooting will be at PEN Learning Center at DLS-CSB SDEAS on Friday, August 26. This is the first time to have very, very short time allotment to spend for my pre-production work which I consider to be very important. Tomorrow and Thursday require heavy preparations and running around to coordinate people, places and things. I have yet to restudy my shot lists. And since this will be my first chroma project, I do find it interesting! I know I will learn something new.

I am also coordinating with Spanish readers from Instituto Cervantes referred by its Cultural Attache, Mr. Fons. Ms. Beatriz Alvarez-Tardio already confirmed her participation in the project.


Shooting of Rizal’s Flowers of Heidelberg with the Deaf Set

August 11, 2011

Yesterday, our production meeting pushed through despite the absence of Rem Vocalan [hearing cameraman] who hopefully has now recovered from flu, and Rex Flores [production designer]. Romalito Mallari, our fair-skinned Rizal, Deaf “comrades” Dennis Balan [cameraman], Myra Medrana [choreographer] and Raphy Domingo [FSL interpreter] were present with Febe Sevilla, our interpreter. Giselle Montero, busy as always could not join us. She helped us in facilitating our logistic needs at CSB.

Rome was concerned about the fact that he has no resemblance at all with Rizal, including the color of his skin. He, in fact looks excellent in the role of a Spanish officer or a fraile. Anyhow, as what I had told the deliberation committee when we were choosing the performers-to-be  — the color of the skin, nor the looks [Rizal-look alike] doesn’t matter. For me, what is important is how well he signs, and how effective his Filipino Sign Language communication ability is, and that includes his facial, visual and gestural expressions. The impact of what he is trying to tell his audience is most important because his performance will far outweigh the fact that yes! he doesn’t look like Rizal. So what? It is showing the beauty of FSL that we are trying to come up with, and really how easily it can communicate the thoughts and feelings of Rizal to the Deaf community. Long live FSL!

Shooting date was decided to be held on August 26.