Hello, guys! I know that this lockdown and quarantine is really wearing us down. We experienced more than two months of STAY-AT-HOME activity due to COVID-19 pandemic and most of our countrymen are under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). This May, most of us are now entering the phase of General Community Quarantine (GCQ) although most metropolitan areas are still under the ECQ. So many of us are still at home.
You might be tired of watching Netflix or other streaming videos and cable TV movies. So may I add one more full-length film for you to watch? It’s about the struggles of a deaf boy in finding his mom while discovering his love for music. Dinig Sana Kita (If I Knew What You Said) is a 2009 Filipino drama/romance film directed and written by Mike Sandejas. I have been promoting this movie here, here and here. In fact, this has been one of my top search terms. I am also very much familiar with its lead actor Romalito Mallari. We have been friends many years back and I have always admired his talent as an expressive dancer and actor.
Wikipedia says the movie is about
The romantic film revolved around a rocker and a deaf boy. One lives in silence while the other in noise and fear. The two met in a Baguio camp where hearing kids were mixed with non-hearing kids to find their common ground, which is their love for music. Link
I have been wishing for this movie to be available online for free so that many can watch this! My wish has finally granted! My personal friend, fellow sign language interpreter and kumare Dean Nicky Templo-Perez of College of St. Benilde posted a link of the complete movie uploaded in Vimeo (not YouTube) in our common Facebook group chat. At first, I was doubtful about the link privacy because it is not searchable in Vimeo, the URL has two-level links (a /number/number) and there is a lock icon before the video title. So I posted a comment on the page requesting Director Mike if he can allow me to share it in my blog. He replied, “Go ahead”.
But there is a minor catch. Unlike unlocked YouTube or Vimeo videos, this one cannot be embedded here. So you need to go directly to the site by clicking on the link below or the screenshot image. Happy viewing guys and please share this video so that many people can watch this romantic advocacy movie!!!
Happy Resurrection Day to all my blog followers! As my special Easter greeting to you, please watch this praise song “Mighty to Save” performed by Inigo Pascual, a popular RnB singer from the Philippines. This is special to me because of One Music PH, a music portal owned and operated by ABS-CBN Network’s Star Creatives Group. They requested our school for the deaf (MCCID) to partner with them because they want to add a sign language interpretation of the song. We gladly accepted and happily translated the song into Filipino Sign Language.
Last week, I got hold of this image being shared on Twitter and eventually on Facebook which landed in the Filipino deaf community pages and groups. It was, I guess, owned by a certain @cargel_nation2, as what appeared on the bottom of the image. After a careful search, I found out that the owner of this image did not say who he/she is. Only that he/she is a Carlo Aquino – Angelica Panganiban Loveteam Fan. But I am pretty sure the original image was taken from the Black Sheep Production, the producers of the movie “Isa Pa With Feelings” which I and my deaf students/alumni are excited to watch for free this October 18 courtesy of “Lawyers and Friends for Maine”. 🙂
However, I noticed that the signs were incomplete. These signs were not a one-hand movement but a combination of two actions. People who want to learn sign language might get confused and understood this as a static sign. So, I went to my dusty old Adobe Fireworks software and created an animated version (GIF) of the signs. The movements are not that complex. I simply copied the hand, used the Rubber Stamp and Blur tools and pasted it meticulously to generate the second sign. Lastly, I combined the two using the State command to create an illusion of movement.
To my dear readers, introducing, the Filipino Sign Language (FSL) of the words Deaf and Hearing!!!!
The FSL sign for “deaf” is very much the same as American Sign Language. The index finger first points on the lower part of the ear lobe. Then, the finger touches the side of the lips. As far as I can remember, this is the only sign the Filipino deaf uses to introduce themselves. Pointing both the ear and lips might describe that they cannot hear and speak. Even though we know that there are many deaf who can speak, this sign has been deeply rooted in their culture that any variations or changes on this sign never became widespread use.
Carlo Aquino plays the deaf tutor in the movie. He is a hearing person in real life.
This FSL sign for “hearing” is the one being used by the majority of the Filipino deaf. The first handshape is like a bent “C” near the ear without touching it. The second hand-movement is elongated or long-shaped “O”, also near the ear. The movement needs to be done many times and in quick successions. The sign means a sound can pass through a person’s ears and reverberates or in continuing effect.
The FSL sign for hearing is different from ASL. In ASL, the emphasis is on the person’s ability to talk or speak, so the sign points to the mouth or lips. To compare below is the ASL sign for a “Hearing Person”.
In the movie, Maine Mendoza plays the hearing person who wants to learn sign language. Happy signing!!!!
PS: I did not personally ask the permission of the image uploader to use his photo. I hope he won’t mind. 🙂
I can only embed YouTube videos here. Sadly, Facebook videos may only be viewed inside Facebook. So I uploaded one video in our MCCID YouTube channel although it is unlisted. You may view more videos in their Official Facebook Page.
As a brief backgrounder, all the Bible stories are signed by deaf persons who are prominent within the Filipino Christian Deaf community. They are Ptr. Mamerto Cortez Jr. of Deaf Evangelistic Alliance Foundation in Laguna, Ptr. Peter Ding Basa of Assembly of God in Cavite and the husband and wife team of Ptr. Jose Irish and Joylyn Pascual from Bible Institute for the Deaf in Valenzuela City. Their signs, as well as a near accurate translation of the Bible stories in FSL, were reviewed and validated by Bible Translation experts from the Filipino Deaf community, the Asia Pacific Sign Language Development Association, Summer Institute of Linguistics Philippines and the Philippine Bible Society. As a partner-member, Manila Christian Computer Institute for the Deaf also provided inputs and evaluation on the videos when their team visited the school in 2016.
Of the 32 titles, twelve are taken from the Old Testament stories while the remaining twenty are from the life and times of the Lord Jesus Christ starting from His birth up to the fellowship of His disciples. PDSLA and PBS formed the Filipino Sign Language Bible Translation Project in 2013 which aims to make God’s Word available to Filipino Deaf in a language that they fully understand.
In their brochure, PDSLA stated that the Deaf are one of the largest unreached people groups in the world.
“Deaf people have been without the life-changing words of Scripture in a language that imparts their hearts. We are joining a global movement among Deaf people who are translating the Word of God into their own sign language and seeing spiritual growth among those who previously struggled to know God.”
Why stories instead of Bible passages?
According to the group, Deaf people tend to understand best when communicated to with stories. Chronological Bible Translation (CBT) is being used by many Deaf translation teams in Asia and around the world. The format is used in order to help the Deaf understand three (3) Biblical foundations:
Know God. How?
Follow God. How?
Serve God. How?
Using a video camera, lighting rigs and a green screen, sign language videos are produced including graphics and images to support the signs. The Old Testament Bible story selection starts with “God Created the World” up to “God’s Chosen Servant”. The New Testament Bible story begins with “Birth of Jesus” and ends with “Believer’s Fellowship”. The 32 stories are just their initial offering. Additional Bible stories will be produced in the years to come.
A Blessed Project Close to My Heart
Prior to this activity, I have been exposed to many Bible stories and Christian songs converted into sign language. I remember way back in the late nineties, there were tapes in VHS format as well as VCDs freely distributed by American missionaries and churches/organizations with established deaf ministries like Door International, Deaf Bible Society, and Deaf Missions which produce the Daily Devotions for the Deaf, an “Our Daily Bread” book written in Deaf way. But all of them are signed using the American Sign Language (ASL).
As a sign language interpreter of Capitol City Baptist Church (CCBC) for nearly three decades now and a native FSL user, I greatly long for a way by which the Bible stories can be explained so that the Filipino deaf can fully grasp and comprehend. However, I was very much constrained at how to go about this because there are many underlying constraints to consider like sign names of Biblical characters, better visual and gestural approach in expounding the story and faithful translation of doctrines and teachings.
Thankfully in 2013, faith-based leaders from the Filipino Deaf community met and discussed a better approach in spreading God’s Good news, one that would speak through their own language, the Filipino Sign Language. Aside from that, the group raised up goals that would touch all aspects of language environment such as linguistics and research, community and language development, deaf culture and church development training. PDSLA was born.
Since then, they invited same-faith individuals, church groups, institutions and other organizations to partner with them. Because of my close affinity with the group, I was very glad that they invited me representing our School Manila Christian Computer Institute for the Deaf to join as a partner institution with which we are very much honored. Officers/leaders of the association, all of whom are my personal friends and brothers and sisters in Christ, include the Ptr. Julius Andrada of CCBC Deaf Ministry together with his lovely wife May, Deaf Pastor Brothers Mamerto and Nehemiah Cortez, Ptr. Albert Mercado and Ptr. Peter Ding Basa.
With the recent passing of Filipino Sign Language Act of 2018, projects like this would surely be a welcome addition to the growing number of FSL resource materials and teaching aids as well as advocates in recognizing and promoting this unique language that is very beneficial for the Filipino Deaf Community.
To know where to get free DVD copies of the Bible Translations in FSL or learn more about the group and would like to partner with them, you may contact them thru: