Peque Gallaga on being a father to HIV-positive son

Posted at 12/18/08 6:40 PM

Multi-awarded filmmaker Peque Gallaga said that his youngest son Wanggo Gallaga asked his permission first before going public and revealing that he is HIV-positive.

"Nagpaalam siya at sa lahat ng mga kapatid niya," the director said.

Gallaga said that he and his family told Wanggo to do the things he wanted to do, including an appearance on a television show.

As a father, Gallaga expressed his sentiments on the negative insights of other people when talking about HIV.

"You know it's  terrible, I mean everybody thinks na HIV is sa mga sexworkers lang. Eh ang dami-dami ngayon, sa advertising, sa showbiz. There's a lot of ignorance and a lot of miseducation," Gallage said.

He added, "There's a stupid thing that akala ng mga tao because you are gay and if you get HIV na it's a punishment from God. Eh pwede ba &$@#^$&*^," he exclaimed.

He said he only rebuked his son for not practising safe sex, but passed no judgment.

"I was devastated by... mahal, expensive (ng gamot) pero walang judgement, buong family wala." 

Gallaga said that Wanggo, 29, is old enough to do what he wants to do.

He said that as a father he is close to his youngest and is always there to support him.

"Ang pamilya namin very brutal so yung mga jokes grabe. Yung kapatid niya umiyak siya ng narinig niya 'Wanggo ngayon na ganyan ang kondisyon mo, hindi na ako maka-joke na bakla ka, ang joke ko na lang ay mamatay ka. So all the jokes are about death,' Gallaga shared.

Gallaga also clarified that his son was diagnosed to have HIV but not of AIDS.

"He... doesn't have AIDS, hindi napunta sa AIDS. So may mga cocktails ng medicine that they give and he will have a very long life for that. Pero kung ilang taong whatever I don't know. I don't think death is the worst thing in the world. I think the worst thing is hindi mo ginagamit ang galing mo," Gallaga ended.

Gallaga is the director behind the hit film "Oro, Plata, Mata". He also directed the movies "Scorpio Nights," "Unfaithful Wife," "Shake, Rattle and Roll (some episodes), "Baby Love" and "Magic Temple."

Gallaga is now based in Bacolod. He took a short break in Manila for the promotion of his first animated film "Dayo."

In "Dayo," Gallaga voiced the character of Lolo Nano," the resident sage of Elementalia.

Dayo is the story of 11-year-old Bubuy who is out to save his abducted grandparents in the land of “Elementalia,” a magical and mystical world where many of the Philippines’ mythical creatures and enchanted elements live.