Posts Tagged ‘Heather Whitestone’

Even if having a blog hiatus for more than two months, I still reached another milestone. Today I celebrate my 260,000th visits since I created this in 2008! Hooray!

English: Filipino Sign Language Font

English: Filipino Sign Language Font (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I now have 365 posts, 967 comments, 23 categories and 752 tags. I also have 199 active followers (up from 40), 51 comment followers and  Facebook readers! I had 280 shares, majority of which are from Facebook.

My top referrer is still Google Search followed closely by Deafread.com. My Facebook links now overtook WordPress tags on the third place, fifth from our school’s official website and sixth from deafvideo.tv.

My top search engine term remains the same. Deaf Icon Marlee Matlin followed by “Dinig Sana Kita“, a Filipino movie about being deaf, Heather Whitestone and Filipino Sign Language. My most popular blog post is still about the most popular Filipino Person With Disability, ex-governor Grace Padaca followed by Spider-man with I-love-you Sign while my most popular video log post (vlog) remains the Philippine National Anthem in Filipino Sign Language. However, my top search for this month is “successful person with disability in the Philippines.”

Thank you very very much to my dear readers for staying patient with me! Now, on to my first 280,000th visitors! 🙂

 

FSL Wordie Collage of Words

Wow! Wow! Wow! I reached another milestone in my blog experience. After 18 posts since July 27, today I celebrate my 240,000th visits since I created this in 2008! Hooray!

I now have 349 posts, 883 comments, 23 categories, 729 tags, 40 active followers (up from 29), 46 comment followers and 791 Facebook readers. I had 248 shares, majority of which are from Facebook.

My top referrer is still Google Search followed closely by Deafread.com. My Facebook links now overtook WordPress tags on the third place, fifth from our school’s official website and sixth from deafvideo.tv.

My top search engine term remains the the same. Deaf Icon Marlee Matlin followed by “Dinig Sana Kita“, a Filipino movie about being deaf, Heather Whitestone and Filipino Sign Language. My most popular blog post is still about the most popular Filipino Person With Disability, ex-governor Grace Padaca followed by Spider-man with I-love-you Sign while my most popular video log post (vlog) remains the Philippine National Anthem in Filipino Sign Language.

Thank you very very much to my dear readers for staying patient with me! Now, on to my first 260,000th visitors most likely in 2013! 🙂

Yehey! This is a real surprise for me because I did it at a shortest time! With only nine posts and eighteen days later, I got my first 20000 visits! This is also significant because I now have a total of 100 posts since I started blogging actively last April. Congratulations to me! hehehe

I only had one video log, the rest are blogs. However, I achieved my all time most number of visitors yesterday (350) followed by the preceding day [Saturday] with 332. This is due mainly to my video log post about deaf girl’s ordeal while being kidnapped. I guess many people got interested about it and sympathized with Grace Gonzales. Someone even commented that I request Project Readon to add a closed caption on the video.

My other surprise is the photo of Pres. Barack Obama waving I-L-Y sign to the crowd which was just forwarded to me by my deaf friend. It has so far received more than 200 visits, third only to the kidnapped story and the people’s choice all time favorite blog about Marlee Matlin and Heather Whitestone (235). These two posts are of international interests.

This sealed my belief that it will be very hard for my blog to appeal to my local readers. Although my American viewers dropped by a single point (60 – 59%), still my Filipino viewers for the past months remained constant at 25%. Increase of visitors came from other countries. The “kidnapping” blog post happened in the Philippines. However it was appreciated worldwide.

But I’m not going to rest. I would still blog about anything and everything related to the deaf in my country. They are my inspiration. On to my next 22,500 visitors! 🙂

Heather's Photo I personally shot

Heather Whitestone (I took this photo during her 1997 Philippine Visit)


Marlee Matlin

Marlee Matlin

I thought the comparison between these two icons of the modern American deaf community is a non-issue until I watched this video and read this blog post. The video owner obviously sided with Marlee Matlin because she signs. The deaf blogger sympathizes with Heather Whitestone because she is also a mom.

I would most likely be biased for Ms. America 1995 Heather Whitestone-McCallum because I already met her personally. I was her official sign language interpreter during her visit in the Philippines in 1997. I even promised to make a personal web page for her which I did. The page still exists since it was online in 1997. I also maintain a Wikipedia article about her. Here is what I wrote about Heather:

As her sign language interpreter during her four-day visit in Manila, I had a chance to be with her on a personal basis. At first, I was very much scared because I haven’t had any experience with American Sign Language before and with MS. AMERICA!!! WOW!!! I learned from Julie that Heather is an oralist. How will I sign to an oralist? I’m a pure Philippine Sign Language interpreter.

When I saw her enter the VIP Lounge, I was the first one who shook hands with her. I was enthralled by her beauty. I even signed “Good Afternoon” at 9:30 pm!! How embarrassing!!! When I start to sign to her during the press conference, I did not mouth the words. I learned later that she needs to read people’s lips in order to understand them. So I changed my method. A big shift for me but it was worth it. I began to make contact with her.

Heather guesting at Dong Puno Live TV Program with me in inset

Heather guesting at Dong Puno Live TV Program with me in inset

Aside from that, Heather and I are of the same faith. During her stay here, I had a chance to talk with the McCallum couple inside the van while waiting for her call. I learned that they are very wonderful and faithful Christian couple. They shared with me about how the Lord Jesus Christ changed their lives. I also told them about my burdens with the hearing impaired. John comes from a family of Baptist pastors and both of them faithfully attend a Christian church at Georgia. Heather also comes from a Christian family. All of us love Sandi Patti and her inspiring Christian songs.

I was an instant fan of Marlee Matlin when I watched her debut movie “Children of a Lesser God” where she won the Best Actress award. I don’t remember the movie being shown in theaters here in late eighties. But I bought the original CD copy and we often play it in our Deaf Culture class in school. I also watched her Reasonable Doubts TV series which was shown in the Philippines in its entire run. My whole deaf class had a field day when we watched Hear No Evil when it was shown in theaters here.

Without a doubt, both Heather and Marlee are equally good looking although Heather won in a beauty pageant so she is ahead in beauty points. Both of them lost their hearing ability when they were still eighteen months old. Heather’s winning piece in Ms. America contest was her ballet rendition of “Via Dolorosa”. Well, Marlee also competed in Dancing With the Stars and stayed in ranking for six weeks. Marlee wins hands down in acting ability with major performance awards on her sleeves. I haven’t heard Heather guested in any theater or had any acting stint.

Heather speaks during Philippine Institute for the Deaf Activity with me interpreting

Heather speaks during Philippine Institute for the Deaf Activity with me interpreting


Here lies the big difference. Although Heather knows how to sign, she does not encourage it. She actively promotes oral method of communication. During her stay here, although I’m her interpreter, however, most of the time, I feel like I’m interpreting for the deaf audience than for her. She can lipread quite well. She only needs my assistance when the speaker is way too far for her to understand his lip movements. A controversy arise when she decided to have a cochlear implant operation in order to hear to an extent in her right ear, something that she had never been able to experience before. Whitestone said the primary motivation for electing the surgery was an incident when she did not hear her son’s cries for help.

There are times when Marlee also uses her voice. But not often. She signs perfectly well. Her movements are flawless and typical of a deaf person. She greatly encourages the use of sign language. She even campaigns for mothers to teach sign language to their babies. I learned that she was elected as one of Gallaudet University’s Board of Trustees.

If I were a hearing person who knows nothing about deaf and their wonderful culture, I would definitely root for Heather. She is what these group label, “success against all odds“. However, if I belong to the hearing group who understands the deaf and their quaint intricacies, I would side with Marlee. She embodies the true blue Deaf person.

I may be biased for Ms. Whitestone because of association. But I would, beyond reasonable doubt, root for Marlee. I love sign language. I encourage deaf people to sign and be proud of their culture. And with Heather’s cochlear implant, I’m not even sure if she is still deaf. 🙂

Now, which deaf are you? A Heather or a Marlee? 🙂

Please read the entire Article of Ms. America’s 1997 Philippine visit here.

PS: I hope Ms. Whitestone will read this post and get in touch with me again. 🙂

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