Scarred but not scared
The Hope for Lupus Foundation held a photographic exhibition.“Scarred but not Scared” featuring the photographs of multi-awarded photographers Jose Antonio T. Aliling, Bien S. Bautista, Josefino Mario De Guzman,and Maria Victoria Manotok Arroyo. The exhibit hoped to bring closer to ordinary Filipinos the faces of those who triumphed in their fight to overcome the autoimmune disease called Lupus. The exhibit also served as a tribute to all friends, relatives, and patients that had fought bravely and has since passed on.
The Founder of the Hope for Lupus Foundation, Department of Justice Undersecretary, and former DIWA Party-list Representative, Emmeline Aglipay-Villar expressed high hopes that with continuous education and awareness on lupus, the foundation could create interventions in whatever form it may be. The undersecretary believes that initiatives like the exhibit could bring out a strong voice that supports the advocacy, and eventually, a society that rallies towards a world without lupus—a vision that the foundation carries.
Lupus, a systematic disease that affects multiple parts of the body, leads to scarring, destruction, joint pains, and deterioration of vital functions, among other known symptoms. If you have the disease, your immune system attacks its own tissues and organs, damaging various body systems like joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs.
Aglipay-Villar was diagnosed with Lupus in 2007. It took several months and numerous tests before Aglipay-Villar confirmed that she was suffering from lupus.
“For those who seek to understand better, may this be the start of your journey for more enlightenment. And for those who carry the same cross, we hope for this to serve as a beacon of hope that amidst all the uncertainty and pain, there is always a smile that shines from within.” Said Aglipay-Villar.
Hope for Lupus aims to promote the early detection and proper treatment of lupus by increasing awareness about this mysterious condition.
“I think through this exhibit, people will get to understand Lupus more because the photos are very relatable. They will see the scars, they will see the vulnerable side of every (Lupus) warrior,” she explained.
Apart from the exhibit, she wrote two books, Living Better With Lupusand Lupus Kayang-Kaya Ko ’To, a comprehensive guide for patients and their families.
Scarred but not Scared was at Greenbelt 5, at the second-floor exhibit hall from Oct. 13 to 20 and will tour various venues across the archipelago.
The celebrities who support the cause are doing all they can, yet Aglipay-Villar knows that increasing Lupus awareness needs all the help it can get.
She is the wife of Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar.