Anti-AIDS council holds Candlelight Memorial PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 28 May 2011 16:02

Anti-HIV –AIDS advocates marched the streets late yesterday afternoon in observance of International Candlelight Memorial, an event that was intended to honor the memories of those who lost their lives to AIDS as well as to strengthen public awareness on the prevention and control of the disease.

Organized by the Zamboanga City Multi-sectoral AIDS Council (ZCMSAC), the activity was also in line with the observance of May as AIDS awareness month in Zamboanga City. The ZCMSAC, headed by Mayor Celso Lobregat with City Health Officer Rodelin Agbulos as executive officer, was created by virtue of Ordinance 234.

The candle parade from Guardia Nacional Street (fronting the Bureau of Fire Protection) to Plaza Pilar, kicked off the observance themed “Touching Lives”. The program at the Plaza Pilar was highlighted by the ceremonial lighting of the candle that was preceded by an ecumenical prayer led by Zamboanga Archbishop Romulo Valles and Re. Carlo Benitez.

City caretaker and administrator Antonio Orendain Jr., representing Mayor Celso Lobregat, thanked the participants and other stakeholders for their support to the anti-HIV-AIDS campaign as he called for a sustained drive to prevent and control the spread of the dreaded disease.

Dr. Agbulos gave the welcome remarks while Dr. Mila Fernandez delivered the closing remarks.
As a finale to the program, the anti-HIV-AIDS advocates paraded to Paseo del Mar for the release of the balloons and lanterns.

The activity was simultaneous with other parts of the country and the world and was intended to  “honor the lives lost to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) caused by the so called Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and to instill awareness and social network to combat the said disease”.

The international candle light memorial started in 1983 when a “mysterious disease” swept the gay community in San Francisco, USA. Later, the disease was known as HIV-AIDS. — City Hall PIO