A friend of mine asked me to accompany him on his school's homecoming. Well, first things first, I didn't know that my friend knows sign language.
Ok, so a little history background first.
It was in 1907 when the Philippine School for the Deaf was established. Dr. David P. Barrow, then the director of education in the American established government in the Philippines invited Miss Delia Delight Rice of Columbus Ohio here in Manila. Now, Miss Rice was a teacher that teaches the deaf in the United State. So they started a school here in Ermita, Manila with only three pupils.
The present building of the Philippine School for the Deaf in Harrison Boulevard was donated by an anonymous American lady. In those time, it was known as the School for the Deaf and Blind (SDB) till by virtue of RA 3562 on June 1963 they were separated.
A friend told me that Philippine School for the Deaf is something like elementary, high school and vocational school rolled into one. Deaf people can enroll there like a public elementary school and a secondary school. Then after graduating, he/she can be trained in vocational schooling that he/she can use in the outside world. Students at PSD are also encouraged to interact with organizations such as the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, Girl Scouts of the Philippines. There are also have extra-curricular activities such as Art Club, Sign and Drama Club and sports. PSD also urged and prepared their students to handle their own student government organizations.
In the Philippines, the education for the deaf fills in two schools; the manualist and the oralist. The manualist school is a method in which sign language is use to teach the deaf. Now, oralist school is teaching the deaf using lip reading, speech, and mimicking the mouth shapes and breathing patterns of speech instead of sign language. The Philippine School for the Deaf is a manualist school.
Upon arrival, I saw the hidden talents of our deaf friends.
... and I thought this one is funny.
Anyway, it's the 37th anniversary of a group of interpreters for the deaf called the Philippine Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. It is a national organization established and found in 1977 in Manila for the purpose of providing translating and/or interpreting services for our Filipino Deaf. The mission of this group is to train people how to do sign language so it may help the deaf to communicate. There are those trained in education, and for medical. There are even those assigned in law and legal issues.