As the year 2009 draws to an end, we feel that we can look back on a very successful and eventful year for Philippine St. Francis of Assisi Deaf Center, Inc. and its members of the board would like to take this opportunity to thank you very much for your continuing support for the association and sincerely wish all members a happy and prosperous New Year 2010. I am delighted to share the excitement and pride each of the joys in being part of the mission.
During this year 2009 there have been new developments for the Association, including:
· The regular mass celebration for the Deaf is officiated by Fr. Sato OFM every 1st Sunday of the month at St. Joseph church, Quezon City. During the mass, Filipino Sign Language is said and without voice-spoken. Although some hearing people who attend will feel strange to hear and join the mass. Regardless of how it is done, that is usually the Deaf daily life.
· PSFADC Calbayog Community continues to help Deaf enrich spiritual aspect through inviting them join Sunday mass with the interpreter at Poor Clare Monastery in Calbayog City.
· In the beginning of the year, we accommodated the group from Sapporo Diocese of Japan who came for their exposure and guided them to the place of House of Joy, Tala Leprosarium, Poor families living at railroad side.
· PSFADC’s board meeting was held in Manila on January 24 & 25, 2009 for the finalization of the Usufructuary Rights documents and preparation for opening of Deaf High School class in Carayman, Calbayog City.
· As we continue our services for the Deaf, five Deaf assistant teachers and Fr. Sato, OFM could successfully handled teaching from Preparatory level, Elementary (1, 5 & 6) level & Secondary (1st & 3rd year) high school at Bicol. But as they live with other hearing companion, problem occurred by them as they complain to the Deaf attitude…. We decided to be excused from Daet mission by the middle of February 2009 due to some uncontrollable circumstances that cannot be avoided. Furthermore, we still supported the Deaf scholars until the school year 2008 – 2009.
· We extend also our support at Cagayan Valley to the three (3) Deaf elementary scholars who are studying at the private school of St. Luis University-Tuguegarao City. We could find time to visit them and so far they are so good at their attitude and little by little improving on their academic studies.
· To expand and gain more knowledge for the Deaf mission, we enriched in joining the International Conference on Aural Rehabilitation in Asia – Pacific (ICARAP). It was the first annual conference and workshop in the Philippines, which aims to upgrade the competence in assessing the needs of Deaf children along with the psycho-educational area and subsequently utilizing findings as diagnosis for individualized educational planning and implementation.
· The Bureau of Internal Revenue officers did an ocular visit and inspection on several documents in our principal office at La Verna Prayer House regarding the financial statements of this association and help us in the recommendation to give us an exemption of Tax every calendar year as one of the requirements from the government.
· Since our association is open to all Deaf, on the first week of March 2009 we welcomed Japanese Deaf – Mr. Toshihiro Kaji for a week stayed with our Deaf members in order to mingle with other Deaf and shared experiences.
· As part of the Catholic religious activities, Fr. Minseo Park – Korean Deaf priest visited and conducted retreat for the Deaf high school graduating held at Buda Davao (Mindanao) in which the climate is as same as Baguio City on March 9 to 11, 2009. The Deaf participants were happy and very attentive with the lectures and assisted by Angela Patagoc, our Deaf Head and Fr. Sato. In coordination with Fr. Park, we celebrated Eucharistic Mass to end the last day of the Deaf retreat.
· SAID (South-East Asia Institute for the Deaf) under Miriam College in Quezon City invited Fr. Sato, OFM to officiate the Baccalaureate Mass for the graduation of the Deaf high school last March 29, 2009. On the same day, he conducted confession for the Deaf at St. Joseph church. Confession and mass was also rendered to other Deaf group during Lenten Season.
· When summer time comes, we took the opportunities to gather all our members and successfully held our General Assembly in order to wrap-up the association events done and in the coming future activities and projects for us to grow, develop the group as well as to the individuals undertaking where Deaf mission is concern. We also focus discussed and decided in opening of Deaf high school in Carayman, Calbayog City, Western-Samar because of the highly recommended by the school President of Christ the King College. As of this time, we still process several documents and permits to operate such school.
· In enhancing more our intelligence particularly to our Deaf members’ English improvement as well as our Sign Language skills, we provided group study within the Deaf members. In connection with this, we prepared our Deaf members in the person of Angela Patagoc, Josephine dela Pena, Michael Dave Fabila, Kathereen Honrales and Eunice Rosquillo for their higher educational development. Since their English ability is not well enough, Angela, Michael and Josephine assessed themselves that they are not yet ready to take education unit and Kathereen as well accepted that she is not ready to college studies. Only Eunice could enrolle 1st 1st year college and took up Education course at Christ the King College – Calbayog but she couldn’t finish the 1st term of the school and quitted from the organization. Josephine dela Peña started her On the Job Training (OJT) as office secretary and treasurer under the supervision of Fr. Sato, OFM and Adelfa Tio – office accountant.
· Mario Cagomoc who is an ex-seminarian from Calbayog Samar, applied to our group and wished to serve for the Deaf in interpreting. As well as Sangmin Kim – Korean Deaf who is also an ex-seminarian came to join our group for his exposure with the Deaf in the Philippines for a year. At the same time, Sangmin joined the English class with Deaf members and Basic Filipino Sign Language (FSL), likewise to Mario to train the sign language interpreting.
· On May 2009, the standards Unit head of Department of Social Welfare and Development Office Region 8 Tacloban, conducted an ocular visit to PSFADC Calbayog. The purpose of which is to visit all NGO located in the area including our center and also to give additional technical assistance to our Social worker who is now presently working on the completion of the requirements for registration and licensing.
· One of the new development, we expanded and opened Literacy class for the Deaf in Carayman, Calbayog under the supervision of our Vice President – Rizzielle Maghari who is a licensed teacher and we are also sending Angela Patagoc for a mission to handle and started the Literacy class for the Deaf in Sta. Teresita parish with the support of the Franciscan priest Fr. Florencio Mendones Jr. OFM – Sta. Teresita parish priest.
· On the other hand, the organization gives another chance to one of our secretary of the board – Maria Lovella A. Borja to support her continuing education and she also took a review class for licensure examination for teachers in Manila.
· It is our pleasure as a chosen institution to have one Deaf volunteer named– Marvin Prieto from honoured school for the Deaf – De La Salle, College of St. Benilde the opportunity offered his services to our Deaf staff and conducted staff development including leadership training and sign language communication skill. It was a successful workshop activity done within two months every Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
· Eventually, we welcomed Fr. Abe Keita, OFM – Japan Province Foreign Mission Secretary visited to PSFADC projects both in Manila and Calbayog. He could celebrate mass also in the main office and a few moments of sharing.
· On August 22, 2009 our Deaf children were invited by SOS Kinderdorf International, a non government organization located in Calbayog for a “CHILDREN’S CAUCUS”. It was a whole day celebration where series of activities were conducted to heighten children’s awareness about their rights. The Deaf children’s participation on the said event was appreciated by many hearing facilitators because on their own simple way, they were able to express themselves during series of sessions. The social worker and 2 Deaf adults assisted them in interpreting.
· For the first time, Fr. Sato reached at Vietnam and Cambodia on late part of August 2009 and met Fr. Minseo Park who comes from Korea in order to extend their services for our Deaf brothers and sisters. They have a good time together with plenty of Deaf people in that place. At the same time in the Philippines, office staffs attended half day Linguist Forum in celebration of the month of language at University of the Philippines entitled; TINIG NG SENYAS: pagbubuklod tungo sa pagpapanday ng isang makabuluhang pambansang patakaran sa senyas. In this event, it was strongly recommended to the government agencies to implement as to what stated in the Magna Carta of Person with Disability (PWD’s). It is important for us on how schools will be able to use FSL in our class.
· The fruit of our efforts come when the official blessing was successfully done in PSFADC Carayman building which was officiated by bishop of Calbayog, Rev. Bp. Fr. Isabelo Abarquez, D.D. on September 12, 2009. Before the proper blessing, he had an intimate sharing and talking with Fr. Sato regarding problems in the past. During the blessing, bishop Abarquez showed a good understanding about the Deaf and was also amazed with Deaf capabilities during our short presentation. Our distinguished guests, the landowner in the presence of Ms. Anita Lazo, Dra. Fulgencio, and Mr. Mavillo Miel and Mrs. Dolores Varona Miel whose mother is Ms. Purita passed away. As they witnessed the important event, Ms. Lazo also shared her inspirational talk. She expressed that she felt honoured and blessed to help deaf people and in addition, she thanked people behind the success of PSFADC mission. The representative of St. Anthony custody of OFM in the Philippines (Custos Fr. Arturo Daquilanea, OFM) in the presence of Fr. Alberto Sekito, OFM gave us his message to our mission. To entertain the visitors, Deaf children shown their talents in dancing and other entertainment. Korean and Japanese friends in Calbayog City were also present during the blessing.
o After the event, 1st SDLC board members meeting was held on the same day and discussed about establishing preparatory and elementary Deaf class that could be accepted. It was suddenly proposed change of plan to prefer open elementary class for the Deaf instead to discuss about establishing Deaf high school class in Carayman. However, to establish Elementary school was our initial plan, when we were not suggested to establish Deaf high school by CKC. Anyway, since the presenter of the agenda did not prepare well, we will continue to discuss about this issue.
o The PSFADC board meeting also was followed and discussed members’ problem.
· Each individual take self-release as a human in good spirit and need to look back the imperfect life that we have at the times of our weaknesses. In this way, the staff as well as the minister enable us the consideration to gather and convene us for a retreat on October 9-21, 2009 at the Easter Village-Kidapawan City. We did grateful moments with Fr. Sukke, a diocesan Japanese priest who gave us the accommodation. After those retreat, we continually advocate our missions to General Santos City on October 17 -18, 2009 and gave orientation seminar on basic sign language with five (5) hearing participants, three (3) participants also for lesson 5 – level 1 and one participant for interpreting level. On the second day, our two Deaf staff rendered seminar entitled “Sexual Awareness” for over thirty Deaf participants held at Notre Damme University. Confession and Eucharist done after the successful seminar.
· International Deaf Day comes! We all participated the event facilitated by the Philippine Federation of the Deaf and celebrated the Eucharistic Mass by Fr. Hozo Sato, OFM on October 25, 2009 for all the Deaf. The theme of the day was talked about the “Human rights!” This event was a successful with the coordination and supports from Japanese Federation of the Deaf.
· During the Deaf Awareness Week celebration in Calbayog City on November 9-13, 2009, Miss Ana Joy, our social worker, closely coordinates to schools for the Deaf in order to help facilitate some activities. Our deaf scholars actively participated all activities as well as their parents during the symposium.
· Recently, this November 16, 2009, Deaf festivals at DLS-CSB come in coordination with the celebration of universal Deaf awareness day. Fr. Sato led the ceremony by opening in Eucharistic Mass celebration for the Deaf with a theme “The Best of 15 Years”.
· Fr. Sato will leave for Japan on November 20, 2009 and will be back to Philippines on January 2010.