Archive for the ‘Deaf Experiences’ Category

Pope Francis together with Filipino Cardinal Antonio Tagle make an "I Love You" sign to the Filipino Deaf in the audience.

Pope Francis together with Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle make an “I Love You” sign to the Filipino Deaf in the audience. (Photo taken from Facebook)

I am not a Catholic. But I’m one with the entire Filipino nation in welcoming the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis! He is such a charismatic and modern yet down-to-earth person. He advocates for openness and respect to others’ beliefs. He connects with everybody. I even made a Facebook post about his statement when asked about his comment regarding the recent attacks in France. He replied, “You can’t provoke. You can’t insult the faith of others. You can’t make fun of faith.”

He is now on his final leg here in our country for a five-day visit (January 15 – 19). He has recently cut short his trip in Tacloban City, Leyte because of the impending typhoon Amang. He will be officiating a mass at the Rizal Park later today.

I won’t be dwelling much about his itinerary because tons of news articles both locally and internationally had already done that. But what I want to highlight is the Pope’s activity touching the Filipino Deaf. Here are the three things I gathered so far:

  1. He made a genuine “I Love You” sign with a sincere smile, at the Mall of Asia Arena where he met with selected families and individuals.

    Here is another image of Pope Francis and Cardinal Tagle doing the "I Love You" sign.

    Here is another image of Pope Francis and Cardinal Tagle doing the “I Love You” sign. (Photo courtesy of Raph Torralba, a prominent Hard of Hearing who works at the Department of Foreign Affairs)

  2. For the first time, the three major National TV networks (ANC for ABS-CBN, TV5 and GMA 7) covered the entire activity with sign language insets. A power house cast of my interpreter buddies were all there to lend their speaking hands in order for the Pope’s message to reach out to the Filipino Deaf. The GMA-7 and ANC telecast were organized by volunteers from DLS-College of St. Benilde while the TV5 braodcast is an ongoing interpreting service of the company. They were all doing a swell job interpreting for the Pope. :-)

    TV Screenshots of President Aquino's speech in Malacanang during courtesy call of Pope Fancis

    TV Screenshots of President Aquino’s speech in Malacanang during courtesy call of Pope Fancis (FB Photo courtesy of Ms. Rosario Dela Cruz)

  3. One of the three families who had an opportunity to express their gratitude for Pope’s visit comes from the Deaf group representing the Persons With Disabilities Sector. His name is Renato Cruz, a Cathecist and one of my friends from Philippine School for the Deaf and Catholic Ministry to the Deaf People. He was very fortunate to be chosen to personally meet and be blessed by Pope Francis. He told the Pope about his conviction as a deaf person in promoting the Catholic faith to his fellow deaf.
    Rene Cruz gives his message in sign language.

    Rene Cruz gives his message in sign language.

    Pope Francis personally blesses Renato and his family.

    Pope Francis personally blesses Renato and his family.

Truly, Pope Francis is the People’s Pope. He did not disregard nor neglect anyone. He embraced everybody including the Filipino Deaf. Mabuhay po kayo Pope Francis and thank you very much for visiting our country. :)

Update Photo:

Pope Francis waves to the faithful riding an iconic Filipino Jeepney converted into a popemobile on the way to Quirino Grandstand to officiate the mass.

Pope Francis waves to the faithful riding an iconic Filipino Jeepney converted into a popemobile on the way to Quirino Grandstand to officiate the mass.

Loved this article! Nicely written and so very true. That’s why I gladly shared it here. Thanks Alexis! :-)

bros flirting

16 things Deaf People are tired of hearing


First Filipina Deaf Beauty Queen

First Filipina Deaf Beauty Queen (Photo courtesy of ANC and Yahoo News)

A college student makes history as the country’s first deaf beauty queen.

17-year-old Princess Pura was crowned among the top three winners in the ‘Queen of the Philippines’ in Subic, Zambales.

Being deaf since birth, the Hotel and Restaurant Management student says winning a beauty pageant is a dream come true.

Princess will represent the country in the ‘Face of Beauty International’ competition in China this September.

She says she wants to be an inspiration to other disabled women to pursue their ambitions. Full video article below:

Congratulations, Princess Pura!! Your achievement is the first of its kind in the Philippine Deaf community. This blogger salutes your success!!! You are truly blessed.  :-)


Facebook has been a perfect place for people to mingle without being physically present. It gives them (me included) a chance to be or stay informed about the whereabouts of everyone.

However, this is also a place where some people tend to show off to others that they are better and had experienced the finer things in life. That’s when bullying comes in. When they see someone who is not within their level in life, it triggers their senses to make their status known by giving others a piece of their mighty minds.

Enter the Deaf. His name is Mininio Buhat. Here is his FB post:

Deaf's FB PostTo those who are natural English speakers, you might certainly experience a little headache in trying to decipher what the deaf meant. But for those who are familiar with the Filipino deaf’s way of writing, this would be a tad easier to understand.

Now here is where the Bullies come in. This head bully copy-pasted the deaf’s post and remarked insults about his English using our Filipino language while sharing it with others. Then his cohorts posted more insulting messages below.

Twenty one insults, 34 likes and 24 shares later, the post caught the attention of the Defender. Mr. Mike Sandejas, the director of Dinig Sana Kita, a story of a deaf person who was in love with a hearing felt that he needs to also say his piece about the matter. Having experienced the deaf and their culture, he then turned to the “bashers” and explained his side on the issue.

Here is what he aired in FB last August 2:

OF GREAT CONCERN! PLEASE READ THIS CAPTION FIRST! I saw this posted on facebook. I saw a pattern in the misuse of English that I have seen before in my dealings with Deaf people and I immediately looked up Minino Buhat. Yes, the person who wrote it is Deaf and according to Facebook is a student of College of St Benilde which has a School for Deaf. This is where I found my actors for Dinig Sana Kita If you look at the right side of the picture you will see how people have made fun of the English this Person with Disability has used. Deaf people rarely have a mastery of English Grammar because they only understand English as used in sign language which is shorthand in nature. The writing ability sometimes is still being developed while in college. I am outraged by how people are so quick to judge others by their use of English. This is why I made the film Dinig Sana Kita. To open the eyes of hearing people to the world of the Deaf so that they will not be insulted like this. SHAME ON ALL OF YOU WHO POSTED THIS IN JEST! Just the same no one should judge people by their inability to use English, whether Deaf or non-Deaf. Feel lucky that I blotted out your names lest you now be judged the same way.


12,152 likes, 4,288 shares and 339 comments later; Direk Mike received tons of praises defending the deaf.  I was one of those who shared and posted “a piece of my miniscule mind”. Here is my FB status:

Even though I consider this to serve primarily as a wake up call for our deaf friends to polish their messages first before posting them in social media, I also greatly salute Director Mike E. Sandejas for understanding and defending them. Mabuhay po kayo

Then it went viral. As of this writing, here are the videos and articles posted by the mainstream and social media.

They even made a news-reply from the bullied Deaf.


Having been with Filipino deaf education for more than twenty years now, I still find it amusing how they construct their sentences. While I am always on the defensive side whenever they are insulted, I still remind them, especially in my English class, that written English is the water as sign language is the oil. They should never mix the two because it would certainly wont.

To my deaf friends; admit it. Everybody can have access to your post whether you are deaf or not. I’m not saying that we should all be grammar policemen. I am definitely not siding with the bullies.  But at least our dear Deaf should also consider that they have hearing friends who read and try to understand their posts the best way they can. :-)

Although some hearing people have occasionally bully deaf people because they feel that they are more superior than them. Deaf people on the other hand tend to exhibit their “pity-me” effect to the hearing people in order to get concessions. But pitting them against each other is counter-productive and does not promote rights-based approach.

I got hold of this image from a Facebook page of my friend who got it from another friend. I felt amazed at how the image-maker compared the Deaf from the Hearing. Here it is:


I don’t know where he got this view. Probably he is deaf.  But I believe most of the statements of comparison are true. Based on this I can summarize that deaf people are more open, blunt and straight-to-the-point while hearing people are more subdued, respecting and mind-your-own-business type.

Dear readers, what do you think?


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