MANILA, Philippines - If it’s for a good cause, Jake Cuenca can be relied on.
So when “HIV (Si Heidi, si Ivy at si V…),” an advocacy film, was offered to him, he couldn’t turn it down.
“Maganda po kasi ang intensyon ng pelikula, to inform,” exclaimed Cuenca at the San Lazaro Hospital Amphitheater in Sta. Cruz, Manila after the preview of the teaser of the movie on Tuesday.
The film is another campaign material of the Department of Health (DOH) to disseminate information on the prevention of Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
It is also the first time Cuenca is appearing in an independent film.
“Kaya isiningit ko po talaga sa hectic schedule ko dahil naniniwala ako na malaki ang partisipasyon naming mga artista sa pagpapalaganap ng tamang impormasyon tungkol sa HIV at AIDS,” said the actor.
There were other indie film offers to him in the past, but this one attracted him so much.
“Kahit hindi po ako masyadong makapagpahinga dahil sa dami ng trabaho, wala akong pakialam, kung maganda ang purpose ng pelikula namin. This is a revelation,” he said.
Cuenca plays Gil Bustamante, a documentary filmmaker who tackles HIV and AIDS patients. It is based on the story and screenplay by Wango Gallaga, son of film director Peque Gallaga and a self-confessed HIV positive.
According to Dr. Enrique Tayag, DOH chief epidemiologist, cases of HIV and AIDS in the Philippines are continuously rising, thus, educating the public is very crucial.
“As of the moment, there are already 5, 625 cases of AIDS in the country,” revealed Tayag. “You might be next.”
Tayag emphasized that the department didn’t have a hand in choosing the stars to play roles in the movie.
“But we saw to it that the pieces of information in the script about HIV/AIDS are accurate,” Tayag quickly added.
“We believe that popular entertainment like the movies effectively drive the points of government programs to the public,” he underscored.
“HIV (Si Heidi, si Ivy at si V…)” will hit the local movie screens on the first day of December coinciding with the celebration of World AIDS Day.