2009 WORLD AIDS DAY CELEBRATION IN OLONGAPO
Thousands of Olongapenos joined the successful commemoration of the World AIDS Day Celebration on December 1, 2009 held at the Rizal Triangle Multi-Purpose Center.
Red shirts and red ribbons were worn in the celebration, also known as the symbol of the fight against the disease that is AIDS or Acquired Immuno-deficiency Syndrome brought about by Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV).
The highlight of the event was the ‘candle lighting ceremony’ led by Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. This was when the mayor lit up the big ceremonial candle, where the flame from that candle was to used to light up the second candle and so on, until every single candle were all lit up. This symbolizes Olongapo’s being one with the world in remembrance of the people who died because of the disease.
Pastors Albert Anciano and Francis Mercado of the Olongapo City Christian Ministers Association (OCCMA) and Buklod ng Kababaihan President Alma Bulawan were there to give their messages to the people.
The event was spearheaded by Olongapo City AIDS Council (OCAC) through City Health Officer and OCAC Chairman Dr. Arnildo Tamayo and the United Nations Population Fund through UNFPA city coordinator Dr. Angel Umali.
According to a study conducted by the United Nations AIDS (UNAIDS) Report, over 33 Million people worldwide are victims of HIV/AIDS, 90% of those are from developing countries.
The study also showed that 15 million women and 2 million children are infected with HIV, while every year, 2 million people die because of the disease.