The dream of every Filipino sign language interpreter to be unified as one institution and be recognized all over the world has been achieved when the Philippine National Association of Sign Language Interpreters (PNASLI) was founded and established on May 21, 2011. This great endeavor is a collaborative effort among all Filipino sign language interpreters in the country spearheaded by MR. ALFREDO D. CELADA JR., CEO of the Philippine Association of Interpreters For Deaf Empowerment (PAIDE). Mr. Celada together with May Andrada, Michael Potian, Natividad Natividad, Remberto Esposa, Jr. and Rossana Villanueva initiated the process of establishing PNASLI by calling for assemblies, convention meetings and the election of officers/board members which made Mr. Celada the first PNASLI President. The other members of the board are: May Andrada, Febe Sevilla, Marie Therese Bustos, Joy Cristal, Ma. Veronica Perez, Natividad Natividad, Remberto Esposa, Jr., Julius Andrada, Rey Alfred Lee, Leonides Sulse, Arturo Abrera, Jr. (Baguio City), Annabelle Catimbang (Camarines Sur), John Paul Maunes and Fr. Peter Miles Sollestas, PMS (Cebu)and Rossana Villanueva (Zamboanga City).
PNASLI is a unifying national association of sign language interpreters and deaf relay interpreters with members from all over the Philippines aiming towards the professionalization of sign language interpreting in the country and ensuring that there is full access to the Deaf throughout the country through quality interpreting with its vision-mission of upholding the highest standards of sign language interpreting profession in the Philippines for the best interest of sign language interpreters and the Deaf in need of access to information and services.
As a unifying body, interpreters are put on the highest standards, thus observing the PNASLI COE: PROFESSIONALISM, NON-DISCRIMINATION, ACCURACY, SINCERITY, LOYALTY, IMPARTIALITY, CONFIDENTIALITY, ORDER, DISCRETION, EDUCATION (Continuing Education).
May 19, 2012, on its second year, PNASLI held another general assembly meeting and election of officers with the theme "LEVEL UP! TAKING PROFESSIONALIZATION OF SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS IN THE PHILIPPINES TO THE NEXT LEVEL". It was attended by sign language interpreters, deaf/hearing members and representatives. A new set of officers was elected, with Mr. Celada still elected as PNASLI President on his 2nd term. The new set of officers are the following: Marie Therese Bustos, Natividad Natividad, John Xander Baliza, Jun Jun Sevilla, Liza Presnillo, Reiner Blas, Yvette Bernardo, Rey Alfred Lee (Hearing & Deaf Board Members) Raphael Domingo, Mackie Calbay, Myra Medrana, (Deaf Advisory Council Members), Rossana Villanueva, Jennel Cheng, Emner Palma, Demelyn Chato, and Hilton John Edrial (Cluster Coordinators).
As what Mr. Celada says, "One must have a keen interest to learn sign language, having in mind the goal to serve the deaf with much patience, dedication, commitment and open mindedness".
But, we dont stop here. The journey of living this advocacy continues. With dedication, commitment and great value for service one will continue to flourish. Together, as an association, with a common vision-mission, with sign language interpreting being a profession, all Filipino sign language interpreters will always have a great place in this country and the world. We can do great things. In our hands, lies the power to share.