Culion: From a Forgotten History to an Epic Drama Movie

It was until married couple Ms. Gilie Sing and sir Peter visited the island of Culion, Palawan and witness the rich history unfolding before their eyes that they decided the world needs to know their story through film. So, they felt they needed to produce a film about the forgotten history of the beautiful island of Culion, Palawan.

“When my husband went there (Culion) many years ago, matagal niya nang sinasabi sa akin, ‘bakit walang gumawa ng kwento, gumawa ng movie about Culion? Culion is so rich in history and ‘yung story niya talaga, ang dami-dami niya talagang kwento. Students should know about Culion kasi part of history. Did you know na may sariling government ang Culion? Did you know that Culion had its own currency? May sarili silang mundo because of the segregation. So in that context, we wanted to get the story out,” shares producer Ms. Gilie Sing on why they want to make a movie about Culion.

Watch our video coverage from the Culion grand event below:

And when writer Ricky Lee was asked how ‘Culion’ is still relevant today even if the film is set in the 1940s, he answered, “it will always be a relevant theme, ‘yung hope.”

Definitely one of the films every Filipino should watch out for in the coming Metro Manila Film Festival 2019.

The film stars Iza Calzado, Meryll Soriano and Jasmine Curtis-Smith with Joem Bascon, Mike Liwag and Suzette Ranillo. Written by Ricky Lee, produced by Mark Shandii Bacolod and directed by Alvin Yapan.

About Culion

This is as much the story of three women as it is the story of Culion.

In the 1940s, Anna, Doris, and Ditas are three patients afflicted with Hansen’s Disease (or widely known as leprosy) who live in Culion at a time when the disease is practically a life sentence. No cure has yet been found, and no one is allowed to leave.

You live and die there. It is why the place is called the “Island of No Return”.

Anna (Iza Calzado) never loses hope that soon a cure will be found, even when her baby is taken away from her. Doris (Jasmine Curtis-Smith) believes in the myth that a beautiful diwata will soon heal the place. Ditas (Meryll Soriano) keeps attempting to kill herself, helpless against the onslaught of memories from the outside world.

Together the three friends try to negotiate a life of stigma that seesaws between hope and despair, redefining their roles as women, mother, friend, and human being. In the end they prove that neither disease nor death can erase their humanity and their capacity to endure.

‘Culion’ opens in cinemas December 25, 2019 from iOptions Ventures and Team MSB. Rated PG by the MTRCB.

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