Posts Tagged ‘Ultimo Adios in FSL’



November 5, 2013

Kids Three 21, a docu on Down Syndrome and Ultimo Adios / Last Farewell in FSL were shown to the Filipino community in Istanbul last Sunday, November 3. Philippine  Consul based in Ankara, Turkey  Leilani Feliciano opened the event with her opening remarks.

Consul Leilani2

Consul Leilani Feliciano delivered her opening remarks to the Filipino audience who attended the showing of Ultimo Adios and the premiere screening of KIDS THREE 21 in Istanbul, Turkey

With Don Bosco students

Group photo with Don Bosco students. [Front row]: Members of the organizing committee of the event including Rowena Ulayan, UKFF founder and Chairperson [4th L-R] and Consul Feliciano [4th R-L]. By the way, I [3rd L-R] – used to teach Art Education in Don Bosco, Makati City

Am now at the Philippine Embassy in Ankara, Turkey. Went to Ataturk Museum yesterday and the Ankara Castle.


Caya Consunji_Rizal Descendant: Proud to be a Deaf Kababayan

February 7, 2012

I have been corresponding with Caya [Narcisa Rizal branch direct descendant] for months now[since before June 2011] because she has showed interest in ULTIMO ADIOS [Filipino Sign Language version] that I was then about to have previewed in time for the Sesquicentennial anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal’s birthday. In fact, I did not know that she is Deaf. It was only much later that I came to know about it. I also  had no idea how she looks like until I stumbled upon the online news of SDEAS today [caya-consunji-proud-to-be-deaf.html. [I wasn’t able to attend the special screening because I had a shoot on that day]. In a email that she sent me today, she said: “Thank you for making the video in fsl or I wont bother who Jose rizal is. “ I find those lines significant coming directly from a Rizal descendant who is Deaf. So I am addressing this to DepEd authorities: Can’t you see the power of using Deaf’s natural and national sign language???? Use FSL in schools please! I am not saying that you totally relegate Signing Exact English to the background but give priority to FSL!!!

Deaf e-news reports:

De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies invited the Benildean community to another special screening of the First-ever Interpretation in Filipino Sign Language of Mi Ultimo Adios by Dr. Jose P Rizal last Jan. 13 at the SDA Cinema. Mirana Medina’s film was recently launched at the Rizal Shrine last Dec 29 on the occasion of the 115th death commemoration for our National hero, Jose Rizal. It has also been accepted to the 2nd Hong Kong International Deaf Film Festival this February. Ms Caya Consunji, a Deaf descendant of Rizal, was the guest of honor and warmly shared her insights about her family.

Consunji shares, “I didn’t grow up in the Philippines. That means I did not grow up with the other Filipinos who respect my Lolo Jose Rizal. I was not able to participate in the events of Rizal that happen each year at his birthday on June 19th and his death on December 30th. Growing up in the US has allowed me to witness how admired Dr. Jose Rizal is even in other countries. I have seen plaques dedicated to him in San Francisco, in Chicago, in Paris, France and in Mexico City. I hope to see more plaques to Rizal in other countries because like Rizal who loves to travel, I love to travel too. I am a sixth generation Rizal. I am a direct descendant of Narcisa Rizal, the sister who got the lamp from Jose Rizal with the poem “Mi Ultimo Adios”. It is a great honor and privilege to be part of Rizal family as it taught us to carry a lot of responsibility. My parents and lola always reminded us of this responsibility.

Rizal taught us many things. One of these things was to stand up for the oppressed. Remember his quote, I’ll go where there are no slaves, tyrants or hangmen” He died fighting for freedom and equality for the Filipino. He also taught us to fight for what is right and never be afraid as long as what we are doing was right. Rizal made decisions that were sometimes bad for him and his family, but good for the country. Those are very difficult decisions. Luckily we do not face those decisions anymore because of a foreign power.
But now we still have to make our own decisions in this country between doing something wrong that will benefit us but will be bad for the country or doing the right thing that will help improve the lives of our people. If we apply the values and teachings of Rizal to these decisions, we will always know what is the right thing to do. Let us remember Rizal always in our hearts and minds and also actions. He loved the Filipino and the Philippines.”


What Keeps Me Going

January 3, 2012

Positive responses to the work I have done encourages me to continue my advocacy for the marginalized individuals. This morning, I received this note from the Curator of the Rizal Shrine, Zarah Escueta. ULTIMO ADIOS interpreted by Aldrin Gabriel [Deaf] was officially launched at the Rizal Shrine on December 29, and shown whole day in Fort Santiago on December 30.

The curator noted:

a photo of the couple who watched the Ultimo Adios in FSL last
December 30 at the AVR of Fort Santiago and the note they wrote:

We were deeply impressed by the presentation of the film of “Huling
Paalam”.  Very Touching and full of memories of the greatness of the
last moments of this national hero.  Congratulations to the Commission
and the most of “presentors” of the film.

B.M. Villarias, P.S.

They were from US on a vacation for the the holiday.  They were teary
eyed while talking to me about the film, so touched.


I forwarded the above to Atty. Ramoncita Reyes, a Rizal descendant who was one of our speakers during the film’s launching last December 29, 2011 at the Rizal Shrine. She says:

Congrats! I think when things are done from the heart, it will shine through and touch people.



Ultimo Adios_FSL+Multitract,Trilingual Version Screen Dec 29

December 26, 2011

Aldrin Gabriel

The Official Launching of Ultimo Adios_interpreted by Aldrin Gabriel [Deaf] in Filipino Sign Language [FSL] is slated to be shown on December 29, 2011 at 4 pm. [Read NHCP Press Release: 115th Year of Rizal’s Martyrdom, The Language of Heroism and from GMA online news: mi-ultimo-adios-in-filipino-sign-language]Unfortunately, seats are limited. Just for production team members alone, 1/4 of the seats could be occupied. Anyhow, I hope we could all fit in the room at the Rizal Shrine where the showing is to be held. For sure the spirit of Rizal will be with us. He!He!

The show is sponsored by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines in collaboration with NCCA and DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies. A preview of the multitract/ spoken language version [Filipino], with FSL, and subtitled in Spanish is sked as the program’s closing activity. Incidentally, we already availed of the PAL promo yesterday for a trip to HongKong to attend the showing of the same film at the HongKong Arts Centre on February 24, 2012 for the HIDFF2.

By the way, Tikoy, now OGUM ARAVI has sent me a message asking me what the gist of A La Juventud Filipina is because he dreamt of his his lola holding a ‘book’ titled La Juventud Filipina. Of course, La Juventud is not a poem; but in a dream, anything is possible. That was before the TRO filing he said. It was most appropriate that he – fighting for filmmaker’s freedom would dream of Rizal’s Juventud who was trying to encourage the Filipino students during his time to rise up from lethargy. His first lines say: “Flourish! O timid Flower!”. Its third stanza fittingly says it: “Bearing the good light of art and science, to the battleground descend, O youth, and smite: loosen the heavy pound of chains that keeps poetic genius bound.” For those who wants to castrate true artist’s freedom, or kill his spirit, you will never succeed. Sisid Tikoy!!!


My “Slow-Paced” Film ULTIMO ADIOS in FSL Screens in HongKong February 24

December 25, 2011

Xavier Tam of HongKong International Deaf Film Festival informed us yesterday of the schedule of ULTIMO ADIOS in Filipino Sign Language [the 132nd and latest translation of Ultimo since 1897]. It is according to him scheduled to follow the Opening Ceremony of the HKIDFF2 on February 24, 2012 at HongKong Arts Centre, Wan Chai. With DLS-CSB SDEAS friends, we are planning to attend the fest. My film is intrinsically slow, so I want to invite all those who are making a lot of fuzz on the “slow-paced cutting” of Tikoy’s Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story, the commercial film feature and his come-back film that I edited. (To watch Ultimo trailer, click watch?v=wqnhlunLwH0])


Rizal Day Preparations 2011 at NHCP and Ultimo Adios in FSL

November 18, 2011

For the first time in my life, I have joined a meeting, and at the end of it, became part of a group tasked to prepare for the Dec 30 Rizal Day preparations. Happening on the 150th year of Rizal is quite memorable! Being at gathering like that must have been brother Gani’s ordinary group setting. I went there not knowing what the agenda was except that it was going to be about Rizal Day. I didn’t expect the meeting to be that big. When I was advised by Atty. Ramoncita Reyes, a Rizal descendant to attend the meeting, I thought of a group consisting of not more than 15 people. It turned out to be a meeting consisting of different government agencies. I do not belong to any group.

I was surprised but very happy to meet Dr. Bernardita Churchill, a close friend and colleague of my brother Gani; she is the Philippine National Historical Society and Manila Studies Association President. She was as surprised as I was when we met because it was the most unlikely place for me to be–the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. She told me that she had been looking for me because she had a book launched.

I presented Ultimo Adios in Filipino Sign Language [FSL] although the place was not ideal for screening films — the room was well lighted; and the sound was bad. The room is meant for meetings and conferences. Anyhow, Ultimo was shown. I then proposed that it be shown on December 30 for people to watch the film. I want as many people to watch it to be exposed to the beauty of Filipino Sign Language, and as I told them for the Department of Education to see that there is FSL that needs recognition. The committee headed by Exec. Director Badoy agreed. Maybe because Atty. Reyes was all out to support its showing. Afterall, it was her idea for me to attend it, something I really had no idea about until I entered the room. I was asked from what agency I belonged, and I replied: “None.” Then I was asked if I am a Rakista. Again, I was surprised but amused. “Mukha ho ba akong rakista?” Anyway, I signed the attendance sheet, and was given the meeting agenda.  When Arch. Veronica Dado [the person referred to me by Atty. Minney] told me on the phone that I shall be accommodated, I thought it would literally be just accommodating me – sort of a sit-in- because I am an outsider. So when I read the agenda, I was quite astonished to see my name under “OTHER MATTERS”.

But it had a fruitful outcome. They accepted my proposal to show the film, and to sell Ultimo at the Rizal Shrine — to  help me raise the additional funds to finish the rest of the film [versions in English, Spanish and Filipino that will serve the interests of the Blind and regular students of Rizal Course], and for the showing that I intend to hold next year at the UP Film Center. They even want to request big cinema houses to show the film on December 30. Good idea! Until we later talked and thought about the fact that control of copies is not possible. Piracy is quite easy. I couldn’t guard their showings, and be there all the time with the film. I was advised by Atty. Minney to have the film copyrighted by the way.

For unexpected blessings such as this one where never in my life I imagined myself to be, I thank no one but God. As I have always believed since my “conversion,” I am led to the right people and places, and leading me to be doing work that He knows I can contribute something to, no matter how small that contribution may be.

After that meeting, I went to CSB SDEAS to show my docu on Deaf Filipinos, Silent O to new Deaf students. Then went to the Dance Room where Myra and the Silent Steps were practicing. They were going to have live performances of two poems from the omnibus film, now entitled A mi Patria.


ALYANA Showing at Benitez Theater in UP, July 16

June 27, 2011

Once more, my docu ALYANA—A Study of Autism in the Philippines will be showing at the University of the Philippines. Its premiere screening was held on July 2006 at the UP Film Center. Sponsored again by Autism Society Philippines in collaboration with the University of the Philippines Special Education Council (UP SEC), the film is scheduled to be shown on July 16, 2011.

UP SEC is an active organization based in the UP College of Education promoting Special Education in the college, university, and the greater public. Because of this advocacy, UP SEC has been chosen as a finalist in the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) by the National Youth Commission (NYC) in 2005.

Through the years, UP SEC has been working towards establishing an organization that shall exemplify genuine concern for children in general and special learners in particular. UP SEC commits itself to forming a community that shall foster equality by providing opportunities to all individuals.

In commemoration of the 11th year of the organization, UP SEC will be hosting its major event, SPEDminar: A.C.H.I.E.V.E. (Awareness and Conquest in Helping, Educating, and Valuing the Exceptionals). Alyana showing is part of their event, and ASP’s aim to consistently advocate for autism and to respond to the demand of students to know more about autism.
It is personally a part of my film advocacy to let people know that persons with autism are not mentally-ill.
I just spoke with my niece last night. She is a school administrator. I have asked her about a propective librarian, a recomendee of the head librarian, who she believes can do the basic job of cataloging the books of my brother for the library-museum that we are intending to set up in their school. My niece told me that she knows the girl and there is that perception running around that the librarian is “crazy.” I told her that I have already spoken with their head librarian about it, and she assured me that she can do the job. My knowledge of what pwa’s can do did not make me think otherwise. Give the girl a chance for she is not what they think she is. It is so timely that there is a plan to also show Alyana in their shcool in the coming weeks. I hope they pursue with the plan because by then, I will have the opportunity to raise the issue up…to make them understand and welcome the “truth” about persons with autism.

Meanwhile, Ms. Wena of the PWD Affairs Office of Mandaluyong called me up this afternoon to ask if I can show MI ULTIMO ADIOS in Filipino Sign Language to the Deaf sector in their city on July 22, 2011 as part of their celebration of the National Disability Month. Since there is no conflict with Alyana schedule, why not? Dennis Balan (Deaf), one of the film’s cameramen I think presented the idea to them…


Rizal Did Not Write “Sa Aking Kababata”

June 23, 2011

That’s the current issue ongoing—RIZAL COULD NOT HAVE WRITTEN SA AKING KABABATA—the reason why I had to remove it from the list of five poems that I wanted to have interpreted in Filipino Sign Language (with blessings from the NCCA since NHCP is also in sort of a limbo bout it). I first came to know about the issue when Vim Nadera told me. Ask National Artist Virgilio Almario about it for details!

Anyway, as I really want to have a representative poem of Rizal when he was very young, I am considering as a replacement, MI PRIMERA INSPIRACION, written for his mother before he was 14 years old. But still I need to verify this because some sources are not sure about it and attributing it to his cousin as well.

CANTO DEL VIAJERO  and MI PIDEN VERSOS are also in my list… which one to choose is my dilemna right now. Anyway, this will be the last poem that I will do.

This afternoon, Aldrin Gabriel, Deaf interpreter in FSL of Ultimo Adios will join the rehearsals for the cultural night show tomorrow of the International Rizal International Conference. Will take him to the venue and leave him to the care of Dok Apo, then I will most probably attend the event of Aling Barang Moreno at the UP Film Center. (WOW! She’s returning to her “baby.”) It is for us, a momentous event — to see her at the UP Film Center, our beloved UP Film Center!!! Nostalgia bigla!

And next week! I’ll probably be able to join again the Asiong Salonga team…with full focus on it by July. I am well bent in finishing its editing next month, well, interspersed with Alyana showings at the UP or MMC if they will be able to finalize their plan over there in Nova.