CULION, Palawan–“May sarili kaming mundo. Masaya! Parang hindi s’ya normal sa isang leper colony na inisip ng iba na tapunan lang s’ya. May sarili kaming buhay dito. Mas advance pa nga ang technology namin kaysa sa labas,” declared Elee Mar Bulotano, tour guide and resident of Culion island.
“Every weekend may sayawan, may sabong. Kung pagkatao lang naman, wala kaming iisipin na ‘ay mga leproso lang kami!’ Walang gan’on!” said Elee as he shared with Ripples Daily stories of the lives of people in Culion, particularly after the island had been declared free from Hansen’s Disease or leprosy in 2006 by the World Health Organization.
Culion is a third class municipality in the province of Palawan. It used to be a leprosarium, starting in 1906, under the American colonial regime, until the American Commonwealth of the Philippines Era.
On May 6, 2006, as part of the main activities of the Culion centennial celebration, the Culion Museum and Archives was launched and became one of the highlights of the centennial event.
The exhibition presented 100 years of Culion; featuring important aspects of history and various chapters, particularly a) segregation and isolation, b) the resulting community life, c) care of children, d) as well as its achievements and contributions in national and international leprosy research and treatment.
iOptions Ventures Corp and Team MSB brought a group of media practitioners from Manila to experience island living in this eco-historical destination on June 6. This was, partly, to promote the film “Culion,” which will begin filming on the island on July 15.
Among the writers/bloggers are Marinel Cruz, Rhea Manila Santos, Ivan Halili, Albert Bryan, John Michael Bueno, Stanley Briz and Yam Mercado, as well as this writer. Also present were iOption production team members Qhris Lang and Aunard Rabe.
To lead the cast of “Culion” the movie are Iza Calzado and Meryll Soriano. With the script by award-winning writer Ricky Lee, the project will be directed by Alvin Yapan and produced by Shandii Bacolod.
Watch the full video and see more of the beauty of Culion (Daisy Liezel Cuison)