'My name is Wanggo Gallaga, and I'm HIV-positive'


Posted at Jan 14 2009 04:57 PM | Updated as of Jan 15 2009 03:40 AM

Just last month, lifestyle writer Wanggo Gallaga, son of critically-acclaimed filmmaker Peque Gallaga, announced to the nation that he is HIV positive.

"I'm gay," says the younger Gallaga. He makes no attempt to soften his story. He believes he contracted the HIV virus during a time he was promiscuous and found his various sexual partners online. He laughs. "You want numbers?"

Gallaga talks about how the public knows so little about AIDS—about being safe, about the dangers, about the very real possibility of contracting it in the Philippines.

He blames no one for his condition.

"I took a gamble and I lost. I'm accountable."

Gallaga decided to tell his story to give the AIDS awareness cause more substance, and hopes that by coming out, less people wil contract the virus. He had consulted his family, all of whom supported the choice he made.

"My name is Wanggo Gallaga. I'm twenty-nine years old, I'm a writer, I'm HIV positive, and I'm telling my story so that others will be aware."

On Friday, January 16, Wanggo Gallaga will tell his story on ANC's Storyline Life, at 6 pm, along with escaped political prisoner Raymond Manalo and cancer survivor Eloisa Salisi. Replays on Friday, 11 pm, Sunday 3 pm, and Monday 3 am.

Manalo: They poured my urine on my nose

Raymond Manalo was abducted with his brother on November 2006. When he surfaced on June 2007, he told a stunning story of military torture, murder and rape.

The Supreme Court, in its decision to grant the brothers the writ of Amparo, said that it found Raymond Manalo's account "harrowing" as well as "clear and convincing."

The day Raymond Manalo escaped was the day he promised himself they would pay, all of them who raped Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan, those who whipped them with chains and barbed wire, who treated them as little less than pigs.

They can still kill him, he says. But even if they do it will be too late. He's told his story.

On Friday, January 16, Raymond Manalo will tell his story, and for the first time will allow the camera to show his face on national television. Watch him tell his story on ANC's Storyline at 6 pm, along with HIV-positive Wanggo Gallaga and cancer survivor Eloisa Salisi. Replays on Friday, 11 pm, Sunday 3 pm, and Monday at 3 am.