2nd National Interpreters’ Conference on May 19

Are you a Filipino Sign Language interpreter? Are you a team player? Do you like to “level up” your interpreting skills?

Then join us this Saturday, May 19. Look at the details in our tablet below. For more details, visit the Philippine National Association of Sign Language Interpreters (PNASLI) official website at pnasli.webs.com. See you there! 🙂

lebel up invitation written in tablet pc

Impeachment Trial of Chief Justice Corona televised with Sign Language Inset

Two historic events are unfolding in the Philippines. The first one was the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona for his alleged ill-gotten wealth and most of his rulings favor his former boss Ex-president Gloria Arroyo. The second one is the impeachment trial being televised for the first time with sign language inset.

Gloria Arroyo and Renato Corona

Abs-cbn’s Studio 23 saw the need to let our Filipino brothers and sisters who are deaf to understand the court proceedings and be informed about its latest developments. Also upon the initiative of Dela Salle – College of St. Benilde School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies and in coordination with the Philippine National Association of Sign Language Interpreters (PNASLI), they were able to put in skilled Filipino Sign Language interpreters to do the interpreting.

Here are some of the video coverage uploaded in YouTube:

Here is a video invitation signed by Dean Nicky Templo-Perez of DLS-CSB.

The Impeachment trial is also live streamed on the Internet via ANC Live.

Enjoy! 🙂

Interpreting for WFD President? Wow!

I attended the UN World Report on Disability Symposium hosted by the University of Sydney from December 2-8, 2011. Actually I wasn’t there to participate, but rather to interpret for the two very devoted and hardworking deaf ladies I ever knew, Maffy Gaya and Weng Rivera. They are the officials of Filipino Deaf Women’s Health and Crisis Center. We were all sponsored by Australian Aid (AusAid) including interpreting service fee courtesy of Ms. Badette Cariaga.

The two-day event would be very tiring for me as a lone interpreter so I was accompanied by the Dean Nicky Perez of DLS-College of St. Benilde School for Deaf Education and Applied Studies. Ms. Badette told us that somebody commented about why the dean of a college and a director of another college would accept a position of just an “interpreter”. But we just shrugged off the issue. For us, interpreting is an exciting yet rewarding work. Besides, we don’t want to pass an opportunity in going to Australia for free!

WFD President Colin Allen chats with FDWHCC's Maffy Gaya

Actually we were only tasked to interpret for Maffy and Weng. Newly elected World Federation of the Deaf President Colin Allen was invited to attend since it was held in his country. He also brought with him two interpreters from Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association (ASLIA). Nicky and I was referred to AusAid by ASLIA’s Philippine counterpart, the newly formed Philippine National Association of Sign Language Interpreters (PNASLI). But since the two of us are signing alternately, we were sort of like, also interpreting for Colin.

I'm in front of the stage together with ASLIA interpeter.

Dean Nicky (right) with Jasmine of ASLIA

At first, Dean Nicky and I were having butterflies in our stomachs because of two things; one was interpreting in front of an international symposium for the first time, and the other was interpreting for the President of the WFD! Pressures, pressures! What if our signs were not clear? What if we experience a sudden mental block? Interpreting for “The President” is a big challenge while at the same time a truly great honor for us.

After we were properly introduced (Maffy and Weng were already familiar with Colin since they already met in other international conferences), we started to work. Nicky opened the signing, then me. We followed on queue with ASLIA interpreters in switching places after every speaker and not every 20 minutes since each lecturer has a different length of time. Imagine looking at two distinct signs in front of them; Filipino Sign Language/American Sign Language and Australian Sign Language. Once in a while, Colin glanced at us smiling and nodding. We were both relieved. He was truly a remarkable and accommodating person. 🙂

Photo opportunity with WFD President Allen together with ASLIA interpreters
Photo opportunity with WFD President Allen together with ASLIA interpreters

Later, the organizers congratulated us for doing a swell yet tiring job of interpreting for the whole eight hours straight with only a few breaks. After that, we enjoyed the tour of the beautiful city of Sydney including a trip to Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera House. The city was truly amazing. And since we are already there, we were able to contact the Deaf Society of New South Wales and paid them a visit together with meeting with ASLIA officials.

Although the experience was awesome, I observed some interpreting issues that I raised with ASLIA Representative Sheena Walters. One of the issue was if the deaf person is not looking at the interpreter, would you continue signing or not? But I will reserve that story on my next blog, including the observations I raised.

Thank you very much to AusAid for the wonderful opportunity, WFD President Colin Allen for bearing with us, ASLIA for your generous support and of course the City of Sydney for the very exciting travel. 🙂

Discovering Deaf Worlds articles about the Philippines

I received this amazing article from an amazing person Ms. Naty Natividad of Philippine National Association of Sign Language Interpreters (PNASLI). It’s about  this amazing group of advocates who are fighting the good fight to educate Deaf people in the Philippines about their rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) which was posted online by Discovering Deaf Worlds (DDW). I know that they are truly amazing because I have worked with them many times before until now. Here is the link.

Here are other links which I discovered from DDW:

  1. DDW’s Page about the Philippines including list of schools where our school MCCID appears – They also had a collage of beautiful places they’ve been to in our country. – http://www.discoveringdeafworlds.org/programs/where-weve-been-philippines
  2. An Article about Philippine Association of the Deaf which appears in their Newsletter entitled “A Coffee Shop, A Legacy, A Future” – You can view the online issue here.  – http://issuu.com/discoveringdeafworlds/docs/ddwsept10
  3. List of Organizations in the Philippines including links – http://www.discoveringdeafworlds.org/programs/gda/internationalnetwork

Thank you very much DDW for visiting our country and sharing your blessings and advocacy with us! You are amazing! 🙂

Filipino Sign Language Interpreters’ Gathering

Interpreters hand behind Philippine sun flag with blue and red strips with PNASLI Name

Guys, may I invite you to the informal gathering of the newly established Philippine National Association of Sign Language Interpreters, for which I am one of its board members? Here are the details:

What: Sign Language Interpreters’ Gathering

When: Saturday, August 20 · 8:00am – 5:00pm

Where: SDA Theater, 5th Floor, School of Design and Arts Campus De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, 950 Pablo Ocampo St., Manila, Philippines

Agenda: PNASLI Update Report, Legal Interpreting lecture, Status of government recognition, Fellowship with other interpreters

THIS IS A FREE EVENT. JUST BRING YOUR OWN LUNCH OR SHARE FOOD WITH YOUR FRIENDS. PRE-REGISTER BY EMAILING YOUR NAME AND CONTACT INFORMATION TO philnasli@yahoo.com on or before August 15, 2011. (Invitation is open to all—Deaf/hearing, who would like to become a member of PNASLI. Online Netstreaming will be provided for participants outside Metro Manila.)

So if you are a Filipino sign language interpreter, which happens to be within Metro Manila area or within its nearby provinces and wants to hang around with us, please attend this gathering. See you there! 🙂