Pagbantog Kagay-an – with Outrage Magazine as a media partner, and the Northern Mindanao Advocates (NORMA) – has launched “Hulagway: Buntogon Ta Ang HIV!”, a photo campaign that looks at providing face to the fight against the spread of HIV in the Philippines, as well as highlight the continuing discrimination and difficulties faced by people living with HIV (PLHIV).
The photo campaign was conceptualized supposedly “to break through inhibitions of the mind” by exposing not only people living with HIV (PLHIV) but also involving people who believe in the fight against HIV, including professionals, artists and pageant people and celebrities.
“Hulagway” therefore becomes not only a local word for face, imagery or scenery. With the campaign, “it is now also one of the landmark sub-projects of Pagbantog Kagay-an’s recent advocacy, Pagbantog-HIV,” said Steven Quilacio, Hulagway campaign co-chairperson. With “Buntugon Ta Ang HIV!”, developed is “Pagbantog Kagay-an’s hopeful battlecry against the rising number of HIV infection in the country.”
According to Michael David C. Tan, editor of Outrage Magazine, the only LGBT publication in the Philippines, which also has HIV-related efforts, everything should be done “to put the spotlight on the fight against HIV because this issue is not only a concern of a specific group of people. Instead, this is everyone’s issue. No one is NOT affected by HIV, even if you may think you’re immune from it. And so we need to work together not only to cut the infection rates, but also to make sure that PLHIV are treated with respect, and that they get all the support they need.”
Quilacio added: “This campaign not only brings awareness on the rise of HIV in the country, but in our particular city too. And so it furthers the crusade against HIV, and strengthens awareness. With this, Pagbantog Kagay-an takes its cue in the global fight for HIV through an artistic approach. This way, we help through the use of arts. The campaign (exemplifies) standing up for a friend, a family, or a loved one who may have succumbed to HIV and AIDS.”
“Hulagway: Buntogon Ta Ang HIV!” is also supported by Project Oxygen, an HIV support group that promotes yoga as an art of living and healthy lifestyle contra HIV. Two teams came together as one, thereby forming Pagbantog-HIV, a movement that not only aims to promote awareness of HIV to men and women of all ages, but also aims to affect the discussions of the still taboo HIV issue that has long been shrugged off or snobbed by the locals of Mindanao.
Photography was done by Glenn Palacio, Ed Abella and Jessie Villegas. Maquillage was in the care of Dandy Roa. Meanwhile, conceptualization was by Arlyn May Bongay, and conceptual styling by Quilacio.
Photos included in “Hulagway: Buntogon Ta Ang HIV!” will be circulated via Outrage Magazine on May 18, in time for the observance of the 2014 International AIDS Candlelight Memorial.