A different carnival went on last weekend to help the hearing-impaired community get access to Video Relay Service technology which can give them ‘an equal opportunity to connect’ with those who can hear.
Rock and roll, speeding skateboards, and cosplay took center stage last Saturday, May 12 at the Amoranto Stadium in Quezon City as enthusiasts flocked to the arena for the first ever Visual Music Carnival (VMC) by the Telecommunications Service Network for the Deaf (TSND).
The festivities kicked off at noon with a battle of the bands competition that lasted until early evening. This competition saw amateur bands try to best each other with their chosen covers of their favorite J-Rock (Japanese rock) songs. Of the dozens of participants, the band Trans am-zero eventually came up victorious.
Going hand in hand with the J-Rock battle of the bands is the always interesting cosplay competition where enthusiasts strutted onstage clad in their favorite game, anime, or movie character costumes. Cosplayer Christian Umali went home the winner with his elaborate War Machine get-up.
A skating competition participated in by several skaters was also held at the mini-skate park set up at one end of the stadium.
There were also carnival rides earlier in the day for the enjoyment of the attendees. Shirts, phone pouches, and trinkets were also available for sale at the venue courtesy of participating independent shirt makers and merchandisers.
The event was capped off by a volley of performances courtesy of some of the best bands in the country today. With NU107 alumnus Dylan Vizcarra directing traffic in between performances, the last part of the show was nothing short of exciting.
Acts such as Radioactive Sago Project, Valley of Chrome, The Chongkeys, Mr. Bones and the Boneyard Circus, Wilabaliw, and Saydie wowed the crowd. Each of the bands that performed that night brought something different to the action-hungry crowd, but all were one in spreading the advocacy being propagated that night.
Help for the hearing-impaired
The Visual Music Carnival is a project spearheaded by George Taylor, chairman of the TSND, with the help of his sister, Saydie frontwoman Kathy Taylor, to spread awareness among the youth about the needs of the country's hearing-impaired community.
The event also aimed to raise funds for an upcoming project of the TSND that will bring to some key areas of the country Video Relay Service technology.
This technology, according to the TSND, allows "our deaf brothers the power to conveniently converse and get real-time response from their peers" and thus, "an equal opportunity to connect with the hearing".
The VRS will initially be introduced to five locations where the population of deaf students and residents are the highest. These five locations are Lagro High School, Quezon City Hall PWD Division, DFA Office PWA Division, Pasay School for the Deaf (PSD), and Quirino High School.
At the time of this posting, there is a pending bill in the House of Representatives concerning VRS technology. House Bill No. 5670 seeks to "require the government to give their full support by having additional legal subcharges on all telecommunications and telephone subscriber's bills. This will serve as a source to financially support the further development and implementation of the VRS systems, just as a host of other international governments did."
The TSND plans to come up with more installments of the VMC at three- to six-month intervals to further fund their VRS projects. –KG, GMA News