Deaf people can do anything that hearing people can do… except hear.
LEGAZPI, ALBAY — 27-year-old Regine Margaret Salinas Pasano is showing the world how she is surpassing the challenges brought about by her deafness and speech impairment by discovering new strengths and finding a liberating confidence in the art of paper flower-making.
Her Life Story
Born premature at 6 months, Regine was welcomed by her family on June 26, 1989, in Legaspi City. At the time of birth, she had underdeveloped organs and was too tiny she can literally fit in a toddler’s shoebox. She was incubated for more than 12 weeks and was put on strong antibiotics in order to survive. While others lost their hope, her parents, with the steady support of her pediatrician and strong faith in God, believed that she will make it.
Miraculously, she did, except that she survived with a congenital hearing loss.
As a child, she was never difficult to raise and care for. Primarily, she grew up in the loving presence of her paternal aunts and grandparents and was provided all the love and attention she needed. From kindergarten to high school, she went to a regular school and received a general education instruction. Generally, she was an average student but she excelled in basic Mathematics. Admittedly though, her condition affected her learning abilities especially in subjects that required a certain level of language and communication skills.
Socially, she also did well in the beginning. Students, teachers, and guardians in her primary school would go the extra mile in showing their support by always engaging with her and being patient with her in their communication.
But while her family kept her sheltered and protected, there were times during Regine’s younger years that other kids in the village would get to her as they insult her, call her names and strike insensitive jokes – that if they only knew that the joke was on them, for the pretty little Regine can’t hear their mocks!
As she entered high school, a more sophisticated kind of intimidation continued. Regine, with her innocence and desire to gain friends, would give in to her classmates’ demands, like providing them cellphone load in exchange for friendship. Providentially, her family learned about the incidents and intervened to make it right for Regine. Over fear of bullying, Regine decided not to go to college.