Metro Manila Chapter of Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI) organized basic Filipino Sign Language (FSL) classes in light of the House of Representatives and the Senate approving the Filipino Sign Language Act. House Bill 7503 declares FSL as the national sign language of the Filipino deaf, and the official sign language of the Philippine government in transactions with the deaf. The bill also mandates the use of FSL in schools, broadcast media, workplaces, court proceedings and state health facilities involving the deaf.

HAPI launched Learn FSL: Basic Filipino Sign Language Class on July 28th of 2018. The basic class spans two consecutive days, usually on a Saturday and a Sunday, of learning deaf awareness, culture and history in addition to the comprehensive list of lessons: visual gestural communication; alphabet sign; names; social routines; gender; feelings; numbers; time; calendar; money; relations; civil status; kinship; common places; food and drinks; colors; pronouns; verbs; and adjectives among other topics that are useful to daily situations.

Instructing the class is Disney Aguila, President of Pinoy Deaf Rainbow and an expert on Applied Deaf Studies. HAPI Metro Manila members have started talks with Aguila on a collaborative project since they met at the #LoveIsEveryColour LGBTQ+ talk hosted by the British Embassy in June 2018.

Interpreting her instruction is Jay Maisel Lardizabal, a freelance TV interpreter from the Philippine National Association of Sign Language Interpreter, Inc. Together, Lardizabal and Aguila work to help reach the HAPI goal of bridging the main and deaf societies through education and creating social awareness.

Learn FSL: Basic Filipino Sign Language Class continued on September 8th with an improved set of lessons and a new group of learners. Meeting Plate in Pasay City is the official venue of the FSL classes.

True to its mission of developing advocacies that help the common Filipino, HAPI shall continue to open certain service projects to the public for greater promotion of the secular Humanist philosophy. Part of the proceeds of every FSL class shall fund upcoming HAPI projects and programs in Metro Manila and other assignments.

McJarwin Cayacap

Writer
Photographer
Graphic Designer
Metro Manila member

Currently in between careers, he busies himself with anything that works for the good of humanity. Other than being a Humanist, he is a realist, an art aficionado, a frugal foodie and a weary wanderer. He looks forward to working in the central government.