‘Festival of Hope’

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    DEAF students aim to bring aspiration amid trying times through the first-ever online edition of the annual 26th Deaf Festival.

    The festival, themed “Festival of Hope: Moving from a Spirit of Hopelessness to a Spirit of Hope,” aims to plant a seed of hope to all those who were greatly affected by circumstances brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, said Ma. Fe Andrea Faustino, coordinator for Leadership and Involvement Program of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies (SDEAS) Center for Deaf Esteem and Formation.

    The festival includes a two-part seminar that allows the hearing, the deaf and hard of hearing participants to understand and learn more about each other’s lifestyle. Webinars that guide the deaf on how they can work with interpreters and how they can adapt and be productive during the pandemic are conducted.

    It provides an opportunity for the hearing participants to learn the basics of Filipino Sign Language (FSL) as well as make a new friend with the “Meet and Interact with the Deaf” special online program.

    There are a series of activities including Zoom games and poster making contests, too.

    An online bazaar, currently on the festival’s official Facebook page, promotes the small businesses of the deaf, from savory side dishes and sumptuous desserts and pastries to health and beauty essentials.

    Deaf students, FSL learners and educators shared a song of hope through the “Sing it with Signs!” event available through this link:

    https://youtube.com/channel/UCpVxa0cx7dGV0mC44w1Yk7w.

    The festival’s cultural show, on the other hand, will showcase the artistic talents of the deaf students through a collection of interpreted songs, dance numbers, poetry and short stories – all to raise funds to support their online learning.

    Interested ones may attend the online cultural show on Saturday, November 28 from 2 to 3 p.m., which will be held on a private Facebook group. Tickets are at P80 for students and P100 for adults. Register through this link: https://forms.gle/VpABBm7gZKMhYbYPA.