Deaf Person Hurt in Multiple Vehicle Smash Up

Please pray for the fast recovery of our MCCID College Batch 07 Deaf Alumnus Alvin Abian. He suffered body bruises from a vehicular accident in EDSA last March 23. Watch this news video link from GMA News:

Here is the screenshot of Alvin Abian together with his mom. The accident happened in EDSA, Munoz at around 5am, March 23.. The truck smashed two buses in front which were then dominoed to a jeep and another van. At least 10 persons were hurt. Please pray for the speedy recovery of Alvin and other victims.

Facebook and the Deaf’s Changing Social Life

MCCID Facebook Screenshot

I started out with Facebook when it was introduced to us during our Web Based Networking Seminar in Thailand September of last year. One of the organizers encouraged us to open a Facebook account so that we can still get in touch even when we go back to our respective countries.

At first, I was hesitant to open a Facebook account. I’m not a fan of social networking sites. They are too teen-ager-ish and their primary purpose is simply to get as many friends as you want. The more friends you have, the more popular you are, so it may seem. Look at Friendster. 90% of its traffic comes from Asia with the Philippines on top with nearly 13 million unique users monthly as of 2008. My country is currently number one based on the average worldwide Google traffic of friendster in all years. That means Filipinos search Friendster the most.

As I have mentioned earlier, Friendster mostly caters to the younger generation. Facebook which appeals to both the young and the young at heart, basically everybody. That includes me. So when I started using Facebook, Whoa! I got hooked! Its interface is easier to use. There are no flashy, trendy but oftentimes eyesore backgrounds, heart pounding sounds, and freakish themes like Friendster. It’s a straightforward, friends-sharing-things-about-friends style. You connect with everybody whom you know. It’s not a popularity contest. It’s getting closer with the ones you love and connecting to your old friends.

Aside from that and of course, hours upon hours of Pet Society, Restaurant City and Scrabble (teeheehee), what appealed to me most is Fan Page. You can join any organization, celebrity, activity, causes, TV programs that you believe in. You can also create one. That’s just what I did.

I created a Fan Page for our school only last December 14, 2009. I figured out that since our school cannot reach all of our alumni and update them about their school’s latest activities, I might as well create one that could solve it. I have no way of encouraging them to visit our official site. I heard from the grapevine that many IT literate deaf are now switching to Facebook. So I guess opening up a fan page would at least keep some of them informed.

During the first few weeks, I posted some news articles I copied from the MCCID official site into the Facebook Fan wall. Then, I occasionally invited my friends, now numbering 334, to become a fan. You can say that majority of MCCID fans are my friends. That is a perfect observation since most of my circle of friends are deaf students and alumni of the school.

I decided to test how “sociable” Facebook is by inviting our Deaf alumni to attend the school’s Sports Fest 2010 Opening Ceremony on February 6, Saturday. We usually don’t generate much interest from our alumni to participate in this yearly activity. Since we started this sporting event a decade ago, we sometimes see ten or more alumni who joined.

In January 29, a week before the event, I made a Facebook Event Entry inviting the deaf alumni. Then, on the day before the event, I made this entry on the Fan Page Wall without expecting any impact on the “fans”:

Sports Fest 2010 Opening Ceremony tomorrow at Lutheran Church Grounds, Sta. Mesa, Manila. Eight students from MCCID Quezon Branch will join us. 🙂

Well, surprise, surprise!!! Aside from the 100 regular students, nearly 50 alumni showed up! Some of them were the schools graduates from our second and third batches (1996-97).

Sports Fest 2010 Banner

Some of the Alumni who attended

After the ceremony, I greeted the alumni and thanked them for attending. I also made an informal survey as to how they were able to know the event. Almost all of them said, they were informed thru, you guessed it right, FACEBOOK!

As of today (March 20), there are 617 Fans of MCCID College of Technology. Although this is too insignificant compared to the total number of Facebook users in the Philippines (yeah, we are now the tenth largest Facebook users worldwide), we are on the right track. We can now disseminate information to many of our alumni and students faster than ever before. We can now say that we are taking advantage of the available technology.

Last week, I again created a new Fan Page. This time, I made one for Liliane Foundation Philippines, one of our generous funding organizations. You can view their official website here.

I appeal to my WordPress blog readers to subscribe to our fan page. If you have Facebook account, kindly add us among one your favorite pages. We need to reach 1,000 fans in order to shorten the URL or web address from the one that we currently use. 🙂

“Facebook is not a contest as to how many friends you have but as to how long you keep the friends you have.” 🙂

PFD Rescues Baguio Deaf Boy

Henz, Deaf from Baguio City

Philippine Federation of the Deaf through their President Racquel Estiller-Corpuz was among those responsible for the rescue of a deaf boy from the cold streets of Baguio City. She now asked for help from those who might know this boy so that he can be brought back to his family.

Here is Ms. Racquel Corpuz’ email to Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) seeking assistance. She gave her permission for me to post her letter. Since her letter is in Filipino language, I took time to translate it in English (hopefully and properly) for our international readers.

Ma. Suzette M. Agcaoili
Director IV, Social Welfare Institutional Development Bureau

Dear Ms. Agcaoili:

Greetings from the Philippine Federation of the Deaf!

We would like to seek your attention and ask for any assistance for the Deaf boy that the Baguio City police caught walking around the streets in Baguio City wearing a very thin clothes, shivering and hungry.

The policemen brought him to DSWD and then to Baguio SPED hoping that he was a student there. The assigned teacher called me up to visit the child. He knows sign language but he doesn’t understand my standard signs so I opted to communicate with him in gestures. By the time the school is out, I hoped that the child will be fetched by the DSWD staff. But they did not come so I decided to bring her under my custody and informed the Social Welfare staff that I would like to make an assessment about the child. They agreed.

Here is my assessment, a copy of which was furnished to the DSWD Baguio.

  • He writes his name as “HENZ”
  • He wrote “Rizal” when I asked where he lives.
  • He is holding a port ticket which indicates Abra De Ilog, Calapan City, Mindoro
  • Based on his gestures, he did not buy or picked the ticket from somewhere.
  • He is silent and knows household chores.
  • He does not like to eat vegetables. He prefers fish and meat.
  • He said that his house was too far and fire has already burned it. He also gestured that his father was dead, a drunkard and a devil.
  • He said his mother was abroad, based on his gestures.
  • In spite of the afternoon heat, he still feels cold.
  • He doesn’t know how to read, write and count.
  • He motioned that he is already 13 years old.
  • On February 7, we brought him to an outing in Itogon, Benguet Swimming pool. He is a skilled swimmer and a diver. We had a difficulty telling him to get out of the pool.
  • On February 8, I brought him back to Silungan DSWD. According to the other staff, he already escaped from their place since January 30.
  • He cried when I left him.

In my opinion, he is from a coastal part of Occidental Mindoro. I hope that he would be brought back to his family because Silungan Center is too gloomy and he has nobody to talk to. I made this assessment in order for the people from DSWD to know how to find his family.

Thank you very much.

Marites Racquel Corpuz
Philippine Federation of the Deaf

I hope that through my blog, readers might provide some vital information on how to bring the child back to his family. To President Rack, “Mabuhay ka!” May your tribe increase. 🙂