14 February 2009


Yes, February is Leprosy Awareness Month in the Philippines.
A search on Google though would reveal that the Department of Health or its regional offices--except the one in Davao City--seem to have not made any effort to inform the public about it. (All the Department of Health has is an old article on its website that tells some facts about leprosy. This old article can be seen here.)

My classmates and I decided to feature leprosy in a
short video documentary for our Microbiology and Parasitology (Biological Science 3) class. The video documentary is a major course requirement, whose original deadline was second week of March.

However, our professor--in anticipation of the "upheavals" in connection with the
impending change of management in the University of Iloilo--gave us a new, much earlier deadline (12 February 2009), which fell on the same week of our midterm exams.

It drove us students nuts

The change in deadline
prevented us from bringing the original concept into reality. It already had a title--A Date With The Outcasts--where my groupmates and I would supposedly celebrate Valentine's Day as well as my 31st birthday with the leprosy patients of Western Visayas Sanitarium/Leprosarium in the town of Santa Barbara, Iloilo.

It would have been a selfless, less-than-usual celebration of Valentine's Day for all of us in the group because--instead of spending the day with our girlfriends, or boyfriends, or loved ones--we would have spent it with leprosy patients, many of whom are ostracized and neglected by their own families and relatives.

We had to think of something else. (My deepest apologies to Dr Annabelle P De Guzman, chief of Western Visayas Sanitarium/Leprosarium, who believed in our original concept and approved our project proposal.)

Below is our finished product, a 12-minute video documentary that attempts to address the common misconceptions especially among
Filipinos about leprosy. It also shows the inspiring, successful recovery of leprosy patients--proving time and again that the disease is very much curable and that patients still have a chance to live a healthy, normal life.

The script was written for only three to four hours, while the entire video was edited for only two days. With such haste, we admittedly have overlooked some flaws (which you'll notice if you look and listen carefully). Despite this, the video documentary received a 98% rating. (Many thanks to Prof Rhoda Mae P Cerbo.)

Special thanks goes to Dr Alfredo G Salcedo Jr of
Guimaras Provincial Hospital, for sharing his time and expertise as this documentary project's resource person on leprosy.

So, ladies and gentlemen, here's our 2009 Leprosy Awareness Month feature presentation,



they keyword that appears should have been "
mycobacteria," not "myobacteria."

the voice-over should have said "and has often
been thought," not "and has often thought."

the year that appears in the subtitle should have been "1970," not "1978"--in accordance with what the subject actually said in the interview.


Sonia said...

I like your video,it's very informative. Lots of things you can pick up there...your resource person was very knowledgeable, and your script was tight.

I also agree with how you showed the leprosy patients, or rather, how people commonly perceive them. However, it's usually not that bad, once they've been treated. Actually, when you've been around the people in the leprosarium there, they aren't much different from regular people. Just darker, probably, but that's from the Dapsone.

Good job. And well worth the effort. will you be showing this in public? have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

kudos to u cj! it's a fulfillment for me to have inspired students like u to have produced this exemplary achievement.im very proud of u!just keep it up...coz anything's possible if u believe.


Anonymous said...

Wow, very informative. I too, unfortunately, had some misconceptions on leprosy. Thank you, you did a wonderful job.