Good news to all our Filipino Deaf friends out there. The very elusive board examination for teachers has been conquered by a lady! Her name is Mary Catherine Dela Torre. Most of the deaf after graduating from a bachelors degree in education, will land as teacher aide without any assurance of becoming a regular teacher, unless they pass the licensure exam. Now, it can be done!
I’m not saying that she is the first board exam passer. I know of two persons who successfully made it in the past. But one unique thing about Mary Catherine is that she came from a regular college in Iloilo City (Central Philippine University) without the aid of an interpreter although she comfortably communicates in sign language. Also, she broke the tremendous odds by enrolling in a good review school which had helped her a lot. But the best part of it all is the all out support of her loving mother which was always there helping her through her lessons and examinations.
Mary Catherine, thank you very much for inspiring other deaf that they too can pass the test. This blogger salutes you! :-)
* – This Abs-Cbn breaking news video is in Filipino language without an English subtitle.
So, even in a rich country like Canada, discrimination against the deaf still exists. Their main reason is that it would be costly, $91,500 to be exact, for them to shoulder her “disability”. Would the discrimination also be because she is a foreigner, specifically, a Filipino? This action is what we Filipinos termed as “Pera pera lang pala yan!” (It’s just a money thing.) tsk tsk tsk
Filipino caregiver Karen Talosig is faced with the choice of giving up her teenage daughter in the Philippines or her dream of permanent residence in Canada.
After waiting in the queue for her immigrant status for five years, Talosig received a letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada this week that her 14-year-old daughter, Jazmine, has been found “medically inadmissible” to join her in Canada because she is deaf.
While immigration officials speculated Jazmine’s deafness could cost Canadians $91,500 for health-related services over five years, Talosig said the girl is just a normal kid and does not require any special care.
“Jazmine loves photography. She loves dancing. She enjoys cooking with my mom. She likes Selena Gomez like a lot of teenagers do even though she can’t hear her music,” said Talosig, 38, who says she works four jobs, up to 80 hours a week, looking after children, the elderly and a paraplegic client in Vancouver.
“She is very independent, highly functional. The only difference is she is deaf. She was born so profoundly deaf that even a hearing aid is not needed. To me, the government’s decision is discriminatory.”
A registered nurse in the Philippines, Talosig came to Canada in 2007 under the then live-in caregiver program. In 2010, she worked enough hours to qualify for permanent residency and submitted her application.
Talosig’s immigration application was opened at the Manila visa post at the end of 2013 and Jazmine was asked to submit to a medical exam, during which authorities learned she was deaf. Last June, Talosig was asked to file further documentation on the girl’s condition and needs.
“Your child . . . is a person whose health condition might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on social services in Canada,” said the June 3, 2014, letter from the Canadian embassy in Makali City.
“This client has bilateral profound sensorineural hearing loss (deafness) that might reasonably lead to her requiring social services (special education funding) the cost of which would likely exceed the average Canadian per capita costs over five years.”
Based on reviews of Jazmine’s medical file and history, both the Burnaby Public School Board and the British Columbia Provincial School for the Deaf have submitted support letters arguing that the girl will not likely require special education funding.
“We do not anticipate any additional costs to educating Jazmine at the B.C. School for the Deaf, beyond the regular per pupil funding for all students in B.C.,” wrote the board’s assistant superintendent Heather Hart.
Helene Whitfield, who has hired Talosig to look after her two children for years, said the family’s supporters, including relatives and other employers, have promised to provide for all Jazmine’s needs if required.
“Karen is hardworking and trustworthy. She works four jobs in order to cover all her legal fees. She raised my child at the expense of not raising her own,” said Whitfield.
“After almost a year of providing the Manila visa post with every item of documentation, they still refused the child to join her mother here in Canada, and now the mother has to either give up her rights to the child or leave Canada. Neither of which is a good option.”
Whitfield said a decision on “excessive demand” of social services should be based on the actual circumstances of an individual and not on general stereotypes.
Talosig said she has written to Immigration Minister Chris Alexander in the hopes he will listen to her plea and reverse the bureaucrats’ decision on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
“I’m just devastated,” said Talosig. “Jazmine’s father died of a severe asthma attack when she was 8-months-old. I had to leave her to my parents when she was 7. I’m all she has. All we want is to reunite in Canada and have a better life here.”
Both Alexander’s office and the immigration ministry declined to comment on the case, but said Talosig has been given another 60 days to respond to the notice officials sent her this week.
Attention all deaf high school graduates! Do you want to study Information Technology courses in the “Home of the Filipino Deaf World IT Champions” but are having difficulty financially? Now is your chance to study at MCCID!
We are offering up to 100% scholarship grants on your fees. All you need to do is take the scholarship examination which will be held on Tuesday, March 24 at 9:00 am in our campus in San Mateo, Rizal. The entrance exam is free.
To know more about it, please feel free to contact us at (632)664-7034, text at 09204656138 (Smart) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also go to our website at http://www.mccid.edu.ph to know more about our courses offered.
Visit our Contact Us page to know the directions on how to get there!
Yehey! I reached another milestone in my blogging career! I reached my first 320,000th visits! Last week, I also gained another first; reaching 921 visits in one day alone, on February 20! And within that week, I also had three straight days of nearly 1000 visits!
What’s unique about this sudden surge of visitors is that they did not come from my usual deaf related articles. It came from my copied post of “Humorous Stories from Philippine General Hospital“. This is about a funny collection of stories from doctors, patients and their families while being treated in the first government hospital built by the American colonizers in 1907. Most of the visitors, I presume are my fellow Filipinos. More than 3,000 people read this article this February alone!
Thank you very very much dear readers for being patient with me! On to my another milestone, 350,000th visitors! :-)
This is again another act of discrimination against the deaf! Binibining Pilipinas is a national organization which holds the annual search for Filipina beauties who will represent the country in international contests such as Ms. Universe, Ms. International, Ms. Tourism and Ms. Supranational. According to their website’s FAQ, here are their requirements:
- A single lady, 17 to 25 years old
- A Filipino citizen, minimum 5’6” in height with pleasing personality
- At least a high school graduate and of good moral character
Now, let us check the requirements of Christine Balaguer:
- A single lady, 17 to 25 years old – Check!
- A Filipino citizen, minimum 5’6” in height with pleasing personality – Check!
- At least a high school graduate and of good moral character – Check!
I don’t see any requirement saying, Can hear and speak. Then why the hell was she asked to resign? She is already among the finalist and passed the batteries of test before landing into the top 34. Why? Why? Why?
Here is Rappler.com’s news article about this glaring discrimination published last month:
Deaf candidate Christine Balaguer removed from Bb Pilipinas 2015
Christine says being asked to resign by the organizers has left her ‘depressed’ because it was her big dream to be the first deaf candidate to compete.
MANILA, Philippines – Binibining Pilipinas Charities Incorporated (BCPI) has replaced Christine Balaguer in the official list of candidates for this year’s pageant.
On her Facebook page, Christine said that she was asked by BCPI to resign, which made her “depressed.” She added that it was her big dream to be the first deaf candidate to compete.
Christine was replaced by Cannielle Faith Santos from Marilao, Bulacan. Christine previously joined Miss World Philippines 2014, where she placed in the Top 10. (READ: The Binibining Pilipinas 2015 returning hopefuls)
She is the second candidate to be replaced in this year’s list. Candidate #9 Kimberle Mae Penchon dropped the competition and was replaced by Maolin Yalung. – Rappler.com
Paging BCPI!!! Count this blogger as one of those protesting against this discrimination!