I have always been interested in Sign Language, especially since I am hard of hearing. At first I thought I’d learn American Sign Language (ASL); because if you look around, all the books you’ll find are on ASL. So, I thought that’s what the Deaf here in the Philippines also use.
I was wrong.
Last year, December 2011, I passed by a registration booth at the Ayala ActiveZone that offered FREE Filipino Sign Language (FSL) classes. I asked the person-in-charge if they taught ASL. He told me to write down my questions; he was Deaf. Turns out the Gualandi Volunteer Service Programme (GSVP) only taught FSL, but I signed up anyway.
The first session started around the last week of January 2012, and took 8-9 Saturday sessions. The teacher is Deaf, but a Hearing volunteer (and Program Director) facilitated and interpreted.
Learning FSL is going frustrating at first, especially when you only know a few words (or signs) to start with. It will to be diffult to express your thoughts, or to say what you really want to say. I want you to remember that frustration when the Deaf enter the world of the Hearing. Can you feel what they go through everyday?
But as you go along, you’ll realize that FSL is fun, and that the Deaf are amazing people to be with! They’re very expressive (just look at their faces when they’re signing!), and generally happy.
Here I am with fellow FSL classmates who finished Basic FSL last March 2012! We’re looking forward to Level 2!
So, if you’re interested in learning FSL, the Gualandi Volunteer Service Programme Inc. (GVSP) is holding another FREE Basic Filipino Sign Language (FSL) class. This is in cooperation with the Cebu Association of the Deaf (CAD), and the Gualandi Mission for the Deaf.
Fr. Joseph Gualandi Social Center
5 Emerald St., Saint Michael’s Village
Banilad, Cebu City, Philippines
Mon-Fri classes: May 3 – Jun 3, 2012
Sat classes: starts May 5, 2012
Sun classes: starts May 6, 2012
2:00PM – 4:00PM
1pc 2×2 ID picture
Photocopy of 2 valid IDs
FOR INQUIRIES AND RESERVATIONS:
Contact: Program Office
Telefax: (032) 416-7381
Mobile: (Sun) 0932 202-7333
Learn FSL, and Make a DEAFFERENCE!