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Deaf Pinoy Cyberbullied Because of His Faulty Written English

Last week, after school, Mininio Buhat - a 24 year old Pinoy from Manila - posted this status update on his Facebook Timeline as his simple way of sharing his realizations about life with friends.


Mininio was born profoundly deaf and is obviously still in the process of mastering the basics of written English. Unfortunately, some Facebook users - who should have known better - took a screengrab of his innocent post, pounced on his mistakes, and humiliated him on the social networking site. One of them said, "Sakit sa ulo basahin. Bigti na!" while the other added, "Ito ang tunay na nakakanosebleed..."

The screen capture quickly spread and became viral not just on Facebook but also on Twitter with many other users making fun of Mininio and belittling his person -- until it reached Mike Sandejas, a concerned citizen and film director who exposed his fellow Filipino's condition and explained why the man appears to struggle in writing his thoughts in English;

OF GREAT CONCERN! PLEASE READ THIS CAPTION FIRST!

I saw this posted on facebook. I saw a pattern in the misuse of English that I have seen before in my dealings with Deaf people and I immediately looked up Minino Buhat.

Yes, the person who wrote it is Deaf and according to Facebook is a student of College of St Benilde which has a School for Deaf. This is where I found my actors for Dinig Sana Kita If you look at the right side of the picture you will see how people have made fun of the English this Person with Disability has used.

Deaf people rarely have a mastery of English Grammar because they only understand English as used in sign language which is shorthand in nature. The writing ability sometimes is still being developed while in college.

I am outraged by how people are so quick to judge others by their use of English.
This is why I made the film Dinig Sana Kita. To open the eyes of hearing people to the world of the Deaf so that they will not be insulted like this.

SHAME ON ALL OF YOU WHO POSTED THIS IN JEST! Just the same no one should judge people by their inability to use English, whether Deaf or non-Deaf.

As of August 5, 2014, 6:15 PM, Mike's Facebook post has gotten 9,482 likes, 3,643 shares, and 230 comments. Saul Zumel were one of those who left a comment; Quoting him in verbatim, "i'm deaf.. i would like to tell you guys to understand deaf community.. we, deaf people, have a serious problem with written communication.. this is true story, several times, hearing people asked 'why do deaf people have a bad english & wrong grammar?' i suprised we feel bad for those who don't understand deaf culture.. whether right or wrong for our english but we never stop learning how to structure in english.. to be honest with you guys, we, deaf people, are NOT the one.. some other deaf people do, some hard of hearing people do, some hearing people do and some company do.. NO ONE IS PERFECT. #respectfordeafpeople"

Faye Ferido also shared, "[...] I am proud to say that I am Deaf. Hmm, some hearing people don't understand why deaf have hard time to learn English grammar or have perfect English grammar. Maybe because they are not in our shoes? Maybe they don't know much about us and how we live. What's the issue on having a good English grammar? Some deaf don't have perfect grammar and same w/ hearing people, right? Deaf are not expected to have a perfect grammar because of hearing disability. But hearing people, since they have no disability, are expected or at least could have the ability to have perfect English grammar - too sad, this might be a heavy expectation to deal with! I don't think any person (deaf or hearing) who speaks good english or has good or perfect english grammar should boast about it. Deaf and hearing have different worlds and different gifts or abilities - yet we were made by the same Creator. This is what we should realize and be thankful for. Anyway, Thank you, Director Mike for defending Deaf people and Deaf community."

I feel bad for people whose only pride and joy in life is that they have great command of the English language -- so much so that they make it a point to really laugh and raise their eyebrows at every grammatical error (no matter how small) that they encounter.

Some of the most wonderful things that I learned about life were taught to me by people who couldn't even express themselves well in English -- like my Lola Sinang. God bless her soul.

I think that if we develop a desire to truly understand one another - beyond the rules of English grammar and rhetoric - instead of using our energies and thoughts to always look for and point out faults in our fellow men, our country and the world as a whole will be a better place.

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