On the 7th of March, 2018, I attended and watched as the Philippine Institute for the Deaf (PID) launch their annual recital along with the teachers and students from Stepping Stone.
For this year’s play, PID chose to produce their own rendition of the classic Disney movie “Aladdin” at the RCBC Theater, Makati. This marvelous cast of indigent hearing impaired and special learners never ceases to amaze me. Their version of “Aladdin” is my favorite stage play rendition of the classic Disney movie as it exhibits the transformative power music can give these children given accessible resources to engaging and taking part in music.
The entire cast, in spite of their disabilities, were able to deliver simply splendid acting. Despite the fact that these children had varying levels of hearing loss, ranging from mild to profound, some actors spoke so eloquently and sang so well that if one watched the play not knowing they were hearing impaired, they would be able to enjoy the performances nonetheless.
Admittedly, a handful of them were in need of subtitles in order to be understood, but the fact that they had the courage to push through with all their hardships and perform in front of a full audience, sends a larger message to everyone.
Furthermore, most of the children danced to the right beat of the music as if they could actually hear it, something I could never fathom but would always commend.
This venture is not only rewarding to them in the visual aspect as well as the performance value, but also helps them develop their motor skills and gives them a push forward into gaining more confidence.
For me, this wasn’t just a recital or stage play. This was a celebration of victory over difficulty. A showcase of what the human spirit is truly capable of doing. Even if some actors had more experience or were better at singing or acting, that didn’t matter here. What mattered was that they were doing something magnificent together; They were all pulling each other ahead.
Hopefully, this project grows large enough to reach even wider audiences. I wish for this to be an opportunity for each and every one of us to see their potential, for them to discover the abilities that lie dormant, and essentially for more people with
disabilities to be inspired and realize how relevant they are to our society.
I hope for this to disprove misconceptions and show us a glimpse of what they are capable of, and how valuable they are for their future as well as ours.
I look forward to what the Philippine Institute for the Deaf has in store for the next big musical!