Curing Culion, the Island of the Living Dead

Color My World

I’ve been going to Culion often lately. To inspect our Build site over in a remote barangay called De Carabao. Habitat Philippines is constructing 160 housing units there right now, plus 2 school buildings and a water system, dedicated to our indigent community of Tagbanuas who were badly hit by Typhoon Haiyan in November of 2013.

Culion has remained a mysterious island seldom visited by the outside world, as a result of its bad reputation as a former leper colony. During the early 1900s, Culion was known as the Island of the Living Dead, or the Island of No Return, in reference to its huge leper population – the largest in the world then. Thus Culion became the world’s foremost research center for Hansen’s Disease, aka the dreaded leprosy.

Culion, Island of the Living Dead (courtesy of

Its history dates back to 1902, when the American Forces occupying the Philippines decided to address…

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