GMANewsTV 11 Episode Featuring MCCID Deaf

Guys please watch this 3-min. video clip with English caption of “I Juander” in GMANewsTV 11 shown last Monday, June 27 where MCCID deaf students where interviewed focusing on the topic, “Why are Filipinos addicted to Facebook?”. Enjoy. πŸ™‚

Philippine Web Designers Organization, Inc.

Philippine Web Designers Organization
In the Philippines, there are thriving graphic arts groups. There are animators’ council. There are bloggers’ group which even rewards their bests. There are SEOs, WPs, SEMCONs, IMMAPs, PWAGs, what-have-yous. All of them revolve around the Internet and involve web designing. Then, why not form a group of web designers? The community is already there. All it takes is to band them together.

PWEDO SEC Registration
Many said it wouldn’t be done. But guess what, we did it! The Philippine Web Designers Organization (PWDO) is now officially recognized by the Philippine government through the Securities and Exchange Commission. After my series of visits to the SEC office for the processing of the documents, I was able to get the certificate on April 13. It’s my own humble way of helping the group because I believe in their ideals and what they want to accomplish. We encouraged our own Philippine Web Accessibility Group to partner with PWDO.


a group of professionals and hobbyists who create human interfaces for the Web, champion the use of standards, accessibility and usability, and aim to uplift the state of web design in the country.

Special thanks to the Plurkers who floated this idea on the air. Congratulations to the PWDO officials Regnard Raquedan (President), Ia Lucero (Treasurer) and Mae Paulino (Secretary) for working their asses off to make this group a reality.

Form Function and Class Logo
What’s next? The Web Design Conference on July 10, 2009 at the Asian Institute of Management, Makati City. See you there!

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What’s in a Sign Name?

A few hours from now, the American nation will be witnessing a historic event. The most powerful nation in the world will inaugurate its first African-American president in history, Barack Obama. Most of the news articles on DeafRead are related to that momentous event. The most popular blog post happens to be the sign name the American Deaf community assigned to their newest president.

I got very curious so I immediately viewed the video post. It was kinda cool and the explanation on how Kirsi Grigg (Deaf lady) arrived to that sign name was pretty unambiguous. She said that having a sign name is very important for the deaf community. Deaf parents give much thought in giving a name that is significant for everybody.

President Arroyo (Notice her left mole?)
President Arroyo (Notice her left mole?)

Filipino Deaf community also value their sign names. It’s easier to refer a person through their sign names instead of fingerspelling every letter. It also makes them feel proud about their culture and being identified into a community. Hearing people associated with the deaf must also have their own sign names. However, it’s better for the deaf to assign a sign name to the hearing person instead of inventing his own. Deaf people are more creative. Your sign names will be much striking and easier to remember if you are “baptized” by a deaf.

When I started associating with the deaf in 1991, I still wear those dorky eyeglasses that keep on falling from my oily nose. I often use my nickname instead of my real name because I’m a junior. My Dad and I have the same name. Since my Dad is also involved with the deaf through me, I decided to use my moniker instead. I’m Jojo Esposa, so my deaf friend Christened me as “sign J-E near right eye corner.” I was stuck with that until now.

President Estrada (Notice his wristband?)
President Estrada (Notice his wristband?)

Our current Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was given a sign name of “index G hand points to cheek“. This was because of the noticeable mole on her left cheek. Former President Joseph Estrada (1996-2001) has a sign name of “E slicing left wrist“. It was due to his signature wristband. When I first interpreted for the deaf in a congregation, the president then was Fidel Ramos (1991-1996). Since he always sport an unlit tobacco on his mouth, the deaf gave him a sign name of “thumb R near mouth” like holding a cigar.

President Ramos (Notice his hand holding a cigar?)
President Ramos (Notice his hand holding a cigar?)

The Philippine Federation for the Deaf assigned unique Filipino Sign Language (FSL) signs to their deaf colleagues. I said unique because it doesn’t use the first letters of their names. They argued that using the old style of assigning sign names often confuse them with somebody else. So they give signs based on their observations about the deaf’s common gestures, behaviors or even mannerisms. As an example, their President Rack Corpuz was given a sign name “claw hand face down twists clockwise” like turning a person’s head to face you. They gave that sign to her because she always signs that whenever she wants to catch her audience’s attention and to focus more on her.

I may not agree with that method. But who am I to contradict? So long as they understand each other, that’s good enough reason for me. πŸ™‚

PS: I am using a code system to refer to a sign. I hope you understand how to execute my sign codes. πŸ™‚

Mini-web design conference, a success

Form, Function and Class Logo
I know this is kinda late but I just have to blog this. Successful events like this must be etched in my blog, not because I took part in it, but because it was the first time Filipino web designers banded together and took a significant step in professionalizing this amazing craft. πŸ™‚

The mini-web design conference formally called Form, Function & Class was launched at the G2VC Techbar in Ortigas last October 30, thanks to the commendable efforts of Mae (venue used was her company) and the rest of the Philippine Web Designers Organization (PWEDO) organizers (Ia, Marie, JP, Helga, Aja, Sarah, and Kaffee). Good job guys!

Ervin, Darius and Kepler
Ervin, Darius and Kepler

One thing I’m proud to share about this mini-event is that Persons With Disabilities (PWD) community who are also web designers came in full force, thanks to the invitation posted in Philippine Web Accessibility Group’s e-group. Among those who attended were Rene Orense and Lourdes Borgonia of ATRIEV together with Julius Serrano of Evengrounds Accessibility Consulting. They represented the visually impaired sector. Our American friend Mr. Kepler Gelotte of Neighbor Webmaster came all the way from New Jersey, USA. He is orthopedically impaired yet a highly skilled web designer. MCCID’s Ervin Reyes was also there representing the deaf group. Some of our PWAG members also attended including Darius Del Rosario and of course, Rey Mendoza who was one of the speakers.

The speakers of the event were:

Me explaining about PWD population in the Philippines
Ia also has a recap of the Mini Web Design Conference.

Special thanks to our sponsors: Syndeomedia Labs, dotPH, and Pinoy Web Startup for helping make the event a success.

Since this is the first mini-conference, the group is again brewing another one hopefully this November. All of these will be in preparation for the big event scheduled in April next year.

As I have responded during the feedback session wherein each attendee expressed their sentiments, the main reason why I joined this remarkable group in behalf of PWAG, is in order for web accessibility to be promoted not only to our PWD circle, but also to the mainstream Filipino web designers. This is a good opportunity to advocate the cause of persons who cannot access vital information on the web. Based on the positive replies, I believe we are on the right track. πŸ™‚

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Hello world!

Hello everyone and that includes all my Filipino deaf friends out there! I am Jojo Esposa Jr. Welcome to my newest blog. This is all about the latest happenings and issues about the Deaf in the Philippines and also some latest computer and web technologies. I hope to hear from you soon. AfterΒ  more than a year, this is my first time to write an actual blog. I hope I can sustain this. πŸ™‚

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