Back during the American occupation of the 1900s, in an effort to manage health issues and as part of America's long-term intention of colonizing the archipelago, Culion was made into a leper colony. Those diagnosed with the worst case of leprosy were sent to this island in the Calamian group of islands in Palawan.
It's been a long time since then and now. With advances in science, leprosy, once one of the most feared diseases that's been around even since biblical times, is now curable and sufferers of the disease, once on the multi-drug treatment, are no longer communicable.
Culion as a town has managed to rise above and, in the early 2000s, has since been totally leprosy-free. The island is now slowly reintegrating back into Philippine society. Success stories like these are truly inspiring. One of Culion's residents hit the point home with this phrase, "We are no longer fighting to find a cure for leprosy. We are now fighting stigma." The strength and pride of Culion's people is admirable.
If you're planning to go to Palawan, Culion is worth the trip. Being a quaint little town with such rich history, Culion is made vibrant with its very welcoming residents so don't forget to talk to the locals! You'll be surprised at the interesting stories they have to share. We met a man there and he told us of the love story of his parents, of how they were both lepers, of how forbidden their love was and of how they fought to be together. It was an epic and movie-worthy story. And oh, you want an even happier ending? The man was born leprosy-free.
Below are some photos taken in Culion's cathedral.
The next set of images were taken inside the museum.
|Early medical instruments used in the leprosarium|
And to end this post, here's a friendly reminder for everyone brought to you by the Culion Sanitarium and General Hospital:
P.S. This is a super late post. The trip to Culion was taken back in July of this year. The author of this blog loves to share but is just really lazy.