Yes, I'm gay. I probably was since the day I was born. On my 21st birthday, I sort of had my debut. I came out to my parents. A little drama from mom, and some indifference from dad. An above-average coming out. Almost perfect.

Nine years later, two weeks before my 30th birthday, I found out... I'M HIV POSITIVE.

And so my story begins... I'm BACK IN THE CLOSET.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

HIV on TV

On December 1st 2008, World AIDS Day was celebrated. It’s a bit sad that just one day is dedicated to HIV and AIDS, but still it’s better than nothing. Contrast that day to the whole month of December which is something like Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. But hey, who am I to compare?

Nonetheless, I’ve noticed that HIV and AIDS has been the subject of choice for some forms of media, especially television.

On December 1st itself, ABS-CBN came up with a short public service message by their health-oriented show Salamat Dok. Later on QTV, Moms did a show on the basics of HIV and AIDS. A segment on ABS-CBN’s new program TV Patrol World also touched on the status of HIV and AIDS in the country. And later the next evening, or early the following morning to be exact, GMA’s documentary program Reporter’s Notebook had it as one of its two topics for the day. But please let’s not go back to that. I’ve ranted about it enough.

The next weekend on GMA’s magazine show Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho, one of her segments was still about HIV and AIDS. I didn’t catch the first part of the segment, but managed to watch how photographer Niccolo Cosme did his part for HIV and AIDS awareness by unveiling a photo exhibit entitled Headshot Clinic Aware. It was a set of face shots of people from different walks of life – director Manny Castaneda, host Sam Oh, actress Katrina Halili, model Brent Javier, and designer Rajo Laurel, just some of the more familiar faces – devoid of bright colors, other than a red mark across some part of them, all aiming to artistically make people aware of HIV and AIDS. Learn more about the Headshot Clinic on its website and see the photos on their database.


You’d think this would be some small attempt to ride on the occurrence of World AIDS Day, but what surprised me was when one of the photo subjects actually came out. Writer Wanggo Gallaga admitted he was HIV positive. Wanggo is the youngest son of Director Peque Gallaga, and says he aimed to fight the stigma by putting a face – his own – on HIV and AIDS. It was such a noble cause, and hopefully his huge step is a huge leap forward for those living with HIV. A newspaper feature, done by Wanggo himself for the Inquirer tells us more about it.

The following days saw more features on Wanggo’s disclosure on ABS-CBN’s evening news program TV Patrol World and showbiz-oriented show The Buzz among others, his father even speaking up on his son’s condition. I wasn’t able to watch these other features, sadly.

Last Monday, I was quietly dishing up dinner at the dining table when something caught my ears, and made me run towards the television. ABS-CBN was premiering a new Filipino-dubbed Japanese drama entitled Precious Time. It was about a young woman’s plight with HIV, the trailer showing one scene where she shouts “HIV-positive ako! (I’m HIV-positive!)”, flowing into another where she says “Mamamatay na ako! (I’m dying!)” I was initially worried that it’d be a typical boohoo-pity-me story of HIV, but realized, Hey, it’s a fictional drama. What should I expect?


I wasn’t planning to, but I found myself still awake for the first episode of Precious Time. It didn’t quite get to the part of her discovering she was HIV positive, but I wasn’t disappointed. I wasn’t able to watch the following day of it since it starts way, way past my bedtime of 10:00 pm. Regardless, I think it’d be such a huge eye-opener for the Filipino masses to hear HIV, HIV and HIV nightly for the next couple of months. Hopefully it will leave them craving for more – information, that is.

The media will always be a powerful tool. And as in any campaign for awareness, I’m hoping it can really drive a hard point: That HIV is here and must be faced.

14 comments:

Julius said...

galing ni wanggo! WAGI!!!

BLACKPOOL said...

for whatever it is im proud of wanggo. being a fellow ilonggo i remember once in my life i carried the baby named wanggo.....

to BITCH yup yup the media can work wonders either to build or destroy. help me build then....

maypagasa said...

You know I saw this one too earlier while I was having dinner and our maid was watching Deal or No Deal. The first thing that came in mind was "Oh god, another story overly dramatizing HIV as a fatal disease. Great." Then earlier this evening I heard from a friend that Wango's dad told the press that his son got HIV from girl. I thought it was hilarious.

PinoyPoz said...

hehehe @ maypagasa... i'm not in any position to say who or where he got it... it's between him and the heavens na siguro :-) it doesn't really matter anyways... okray mo sya ha! hehehe.

maypagasa said...

No naman. I mean it's like what my friends said what happened with Andrew Cunanan when the reporters asked his dad to comment on his "Gay serial killer" son. He immediately responded, "my son is not gay!". I don't know if that's true though or my friend was kidding. He does that a lot about the most oddest of things.

maypagasa said...

The sad thing about that series, though, with Takeshi Kaneshiro is that it's an old movie and most people here might be led to believe that HIV is still a fatal disease. You know Filipinos, they believe anything they see on TV.

PinoyPoz said...

Yep, I agree. Filipinos can be sooo gullible to what comes out on TV.

The dubbing might also be a problem... when she says "walang gamot", referring to HIV, we don't know if she really means that there's no "cure" or there's no "medicine" for HIV. We don't know if the medical basis is updated.

Kiks said...

it is good that someone came up with an HIV-themed TV series.

this made me happy.

kahit di na ako mag-out. kahit di na tayo mag-out.

armedlittleboy said...

crush ko si takeshi noon pa

hihihi

wala lang

lolz

E said...

"may hiv ako...mamatay nako" -BWAHAHAHAHHA!! OMFG!! We joke about this BITCH!

We can't talk behind WANGGOs back folks...why? soon you will find out (chismis) hehehehe

As for ignoramous folks out there-HIV IS NO LONGER A DEATH SENTENCE.

Anonymous said...

hi.gud day...
i watched vicky morales show last sunday evening, i was shocked andami n plang carrier ng hiv s pilipinas.ay ang may pinakamalaking porsyento n meron nito ay member ng third sex...and am one of them...
what i did hinanap ko kanina ang manila hygiene clinic nsa tapat ng san lazaro hospital.nag pa hiv test ako...
after evaluation ni reqiure ako na mag pa rapid test...
yes its positive hiv 1.ang finding

PinoyPoz said...

@Anonymous: I'm sure they're still going to do a confirmatory test on your blood sample. Relax ka muna, and just be prepared for anything. Pray even.

roy tungol said...

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roy tungol said...

HELLO EVRY1