Posts Tagged ‘Ultimo Adios in Filipino Sign Language’


A Message of Hope: Ultimo in FSL Launched at the Rizal Shrine

January 13, 2012
by Joyce Dalawampu I found myself walking down the cobbled streets of Intramuros on my way to Rizal Shrine. 
There's an air of reverence as I entered Fort Santiago as preparations continued for the Celebration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Dr. Jose P. Rizal since June 19 of this year and the eve of the 115th commemoration of our National Hero's Martyrdom. 

It is fitting indeed that the National Historic Commission of the Philippines in cooperation with Miryad Visyon, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde   School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies officially launched the First – ever Interpretation of ULTIMO ADIOS (My Last Farewell / Huling Pahimakas) in Filipino Sign Language, by Filipino Independent Advocacy Filmmaker Mirana Medina last December 29, 2011. Most of the Deaf consultants and actors of the film are scholars of the school.

[To read the whole article, click message-of-hope-ultimo-in-fsl-launched.html]

Rizal Shrine Foto_Dec 29 w SS

Photo with the Silent Steps



ULTIMO ADIOS in Filipino Sign Language

January 8, 2012

Last night, I read this from the website of MY RIZAL, organized by a  “group of relatives and friends of the Rizal clan, formed by Lisa Tinio Bayot, great granddaughter of Saturnina Rizal Hidalgo, Jose’s eldest sister, and those involved in the Binhi English Literacy Foundation, Inc.”

It reads: “…it is quite notable that Filipinos like Miss Mirana Medina, an independent advocacy filmmaker produced the FSL version of Ultimo Adios 115 years after Rizal wrote it. For until now, nobody has given serious attention to FSL. No one saw that using the language of the Deaf to present Dr. Jose Rizal’s literary work could even be more touching than hearing the poem recited in the most passionate way…”

To read the full article, click mi-ultimo-adios. To watch, click


Adiós to DEWS3 2011 or “ADEWS!!! in Short”

October 1, 2011

DEWS3 or the 3rd Deaf Education Weekend Seminar ended with the showing of ULTIMO ADIOS in Filipino Sign Language at Benitez Theater in UP College of Education. The invitation to end a Deaf seminar with my work was really quite a surprise for me then. But considering the fact that Filipino Sign Language was the language I used in the film and one of the issues tackled was respect of linguistic human rights — respect and recognition of FSL in case of Deaf Filipinos — swak talaga ang Ultimo. Some of my aims in making that film as I’ve told them were: 1) To tell Deped authorities that FSL exists; in 2006 a Deped authority when interviewed told me that there is no FSL; 2) I have the ulterior motive of “seducing” hearing persons to study FSL by exposing them to the beauty of FSL; 3) to help preserve FSL. Like what George Veditz did 100 years ago, using the video format in our times should be maximized I personally believe to continue the documentation of FSL so there will be never be excuse in the future that it never existed. It is extinct.

I came in late – after 10 am I think – so I didn’t know what actually caused the delay. I was scheduled at 11.45 but I finally managed to show the film at nearly 1 p.m. By that time, the audience must have been hungry already, myself included. It was a well attended affair nevertheless. I saw some old friends and faces. Aldrin Gabriel, our Rizal in two of the five films that I am doing was present.

Even came to fetch me. I went to attend the Alumni Homecoming of Novaliches Academy now Metro Manila College, the oldest institution in Novaliches that my brother in law Ka Mentong founded, and later managed by my eldest sister, Ligaya until her death in 2008. It was festive and the attendees were all visibly happy and excited. What caught my attention was an old man on a wheelchair as he reminded me of my brother Gani. In the beginning, a few bothered to greet the man. I took his photo during that moment. Later, when a tribute was read about him and he was introduced, the Novaleños, they called themselves swarmed to him — he was NA’s principal from 1967-80s. Obviously, they did not recognize him when they first saw the man. No one would miss seeing him as he was seated just below the platform. He was nearly 90 years old. I was happy to later see him enjoying posing for souvenir photos with his former students. It must have been a very happy moment for him. If I remember it correctly, his name is Mr. Salinas. I also noticed the presence of several councilors – Alfred Vargas, Candy Medina, a certain Hipolito and a Congressman. Is the election coming I thought… but at least I saw young politicians — with a lot of vigor I hope to work for the betterment of their community.


Deaf Education Weekly Seminar (DEWS)_Oct 1 Program

September 26, 2011

The Deaf Education Weekly Seminar (DEWS) organized by: UP EDSP 129 Class, Philippine Deaf Resource Center and Philippine Federation of the Deaf entitled BREAKING THE SILENCE: Understanding Deaf Culture and Filipino Sign Language will be held on October 1, 2011, Saturday, from 8:30 – 12:00 noon at Benitez Theater, UP College of Education, Roxas Avenue, UP Diliman, Quezon City.

My film, ULTIMO ADIOS in Filipino Sign Language has been invited to close the seminar. It was unexpected and it did surprise me…It was encouraging nevertheless.


Opening Remarks –  Dr. Dina Ocampo, Dean, UP College of Education

Topic 1: Culture – Dr. Nestor Castro, Chair, Department of Anthropology, UP Diliman

Topic 2: Deaf Culture – Mr. Rey Lee, President, Philippine Federation of the Deaf and  Ms.    Rowella Tanjusay, Officer, Philippine Federation of the Deaf Youth Section

Topic 3: Sign Languages and Sign Systems – Dr. Liza Martinez, Executive Director, Philippine Deaf Resource Center,  Mr. Rommel Agravante and Ms. Yvette Bernardo, Deaf Sign Linguists

Topic 4: Hearing and Deaf views on Deaf Education – Mr. George Lintag, Secretary, Philippine Federation of the Deaf and Dr. Marie Therese A.P. Bustos, Assistant Professor, UP SPED

Topic 5: Multilingual Education – Mother-Tongue Based Education – Dr. Ricardo Nolasco, President, 170+ Talaytayan and Professor, Department of Linguistics, UP Diliman

Topic 6:  Language Policies in Deaf Education – Mr. Raphael Domingo, Coordinator, Educational Access for the Deaf, De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde.

Topic 7:  Legislation and Filipino Sign Language – Congressman Antonio Tinio, ACT Teachers Party List

Closing Remarks –  MiranaMedina, filmmaker, Mi Ultimo Adios in FSL

Please register online at ADMISSION IS FREE!


Seminar on Understanding Deaf Culture and FSL

September 24, 2011

Because of my film, ULTIMO ADIOS in Filipino Sign Language, Dr. Marie Therese Bustos of UP Sped Education Area has invited me to the 3rd Deaf Education Weekend Seminar to be held on October, 1, 2011, entitled Breaking the Silence: Understanding Deaf Culture and FSL.


3rd Deaf Education Weekend Seminar or DEWS_October 1

September 19, 2011

This morning, I was still in Ormoc City when I got a call from Dr. Marie Therese A.P. Bustos of the UP College of Education to ask me if my film ULTIMO ADIOS in Filipino Sign Language can be screened as the “closing remark” in the 3rd Deaf Education Weekend Seminar or DEWS which they are going to conduct on October 1, 2011. I was rather surprised about the idea of me giving the closing remark to an activity that includes experts on Deaf education. However, it sort of confirmed the importance and significance of what have I initiated to do and created with talented Deaf persons in the community. Afterall, we made history by making the first ever interpretation of Ultimo Adios in sign language. Ultimo has already been translated to over 50 spoken languages, maybe more.

I actually got a text invitation from the PINASLI group about two days ago re the same activity I suppose. The seminar theme is BREAKING THE SILENCE: Understanding Deaf Culture and Filipino Sign Language.

In part, her email says: “The film best exemplifies the beauty of FSL and the heroism of Jose Rizal.”


Making a Small Film for a Renaissance Man

June 21, 2011

Working on perpetuating further the greatness of a man is a big task and responsibility. And when it is done for what they call the ‘least in the society’ the responsibility becomes even heavier.

Finishing and accomplishing the task of making the film ULTIMO ADIOS in Filipino Sign Language to launch this afternoon at 1 o’clock will be one responsibility off me. It will now fly to be in the senses of sensitive Deaf Filipinos and the hearing persons who look up to the greatness of Dr. Jose Rizal. He wrote the poem in 1896 before he was shot to death by a firing squad.

I do not know what its impact would be to the DEAF but I have seen how it worked and touched the hearts of several literati at the UP where I had it previewed before the organizing committee members of the First Rizal International Conference last June 15. Their reaction has proven the universality of emotions, film language and music. They actually decided to show two stanzas from the film interspersed with a live performance by Aldrin Gabriel who acted as Deaf Rizal in the film.

My tasks do not end today after the launching of PROJECT RIZAL. It is but the beginning… I have yet to finish LA JUVENTUD FILIPINA, and to shoot THE FLOWERS OF HEIDELBERG, ALAY KAY MARIA CLARA, and a fifth poem which I haven’t yet decided to replace SA AKING KABABATA. I had to remove from the list the last poem because of the current issue now ongoing that Rizal could not have written that poem.


Showing of ULTIMO ADIOS_FSL Version Moved to June 21

June 11, 2011

The showing of Ultimo Adios_FSL Version still in production has been moved from June 20 to June 21, the former having been declared a holiday since June 19 which falls on a Sunday is Dr. Jose Rizal’s birthday. Not only that, it will be his Sesquicentennial Birth Anniversary.

In connection with my film, I met the head organizers of the UP International Rizal Conference — Overall Chairman Dr. Apo they call him, Dr. Crisanta “Marot” Flores, Conference Director, Vim Nadera, our project consultant and Rex Flores, member of the Cultural Committee group who initiated the meet. Rex happens to be the husband of Marot and the Production Designer of Ultimo. Anyhow, they could not decide yet whether to show the full film which is nearly 15 mins long or the excerpt which is one-and-a-half mins long because of time constraints. They will watch the finished film and decide on Wednesday. They were actually after Aldrin Gabriel the Deaf actor who interpreted the poem in my film. Anyway, Aldrin already said yes!

Also informed Caya Consunji, a descendant of the Narcisa Rizal family branch about the participation of the Paciano Rizal and Gemma Cruz family branches during the opening of the conference on June 22 at 7.30 am. Got the info from Marot who is in charge of the program. The conference will be held from June 22 to 24, 2011.