Culion, written by Ricky Lee and directed by Alvin Yapan, makes it to the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2019.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority – Manila Broadcasting Company (MMDA-MBC) announced Wednesday afternoon the full list of films competing for the “Magic 8” of the biggest annual film festival in the country.

Culion, starring huge stars such as Iza Calzado; Meryll Soriano; Jasmine Curtis-Smith; and with special participation of John Lloyd Cruz, captures the town’s significance in the world medical history.

Direk Alvin Yapan, in an earlier interview with Palawan News, said that directing the movie was a big responsibility citing the importance of storytelling in establishing “our legacy as Filipino people”.

“If the aim is to be heard and to be seen, MMFF is the platform for it. People will really watch you,” Yapan said.

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Yapan is inviting everyone to support the film noting that Palawan is more than a tourist destination. It is rich in history that we all should be proud of.

“Iniimbitahan ko ang mga Palawenyo, ang bawat Pipilino, na manood ng pelikulang Culion dahil ang Palawan ay hindi lamang tungkol sa mga isla, sa dagat, sa mga kweba na puwedeng ipakita natin sa mga turista—may natatagong mayamang kasaysayan sa Culion na puwedeng ipagmalaki ng buong Palawan,” he said.

Set between 1940 and 1941, it revolves around three best friends—Anna (Iza Calzado), Ditas (Meryll Soriano) and Doris (Jasmine Curtis-Smith)—who are all afflicted with Hansen’s disease and how they ricochet between hope and despair, afflicted with Hansen’s disease and living like prisoners in the leper colony.

The movie aims to break the stigma, raise awareness, and showcase the beautiful story of the island.

The eight official entries for this year’s MMFF are: Culion; Sunod; Miracle in Cell #7; Mindanao; 3pol Trobol, Huli Ka Balbon; The Mall, The Merrier; Write About Love; and Mission Unstapabol: The Don Identity.


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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.