“Mga Batang Poz,” a first-of-its-kind novel about four Filipino teenagers with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), will be made into a six-part digital series by Dreamscape Digital to be streamed soon on ABS-CBN’s streaming service iWant.
According to the novel’s Palanca-winning author Segundo Matias, Jr., the book aims to promote HIV awareness and to give hope to “poz,” a term that refers to a person who is HIV-positive.
“I learned about the data and that’s when I became serious about writing it. Personally, I felt like it was my responsibility to do this, because literature has a huge influence on readers. I needed to write this for the Filipino youth,” said Matias.
The Philippines has the fastest-growing HIV epidemic in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the Department of Health. Majority of these infections are also reported to be among young people aged 15 to 24, said the Philippine National AIDS Council last year.
“This book is not just about HIV awareness; it’s about hope. Even if you have HIV, you won’t die, you may continue to live and dream as long as you get tested and get proper treatment. Your only enemy is the stigma. The message of the novel is: life goes on,” added Matias.
The adaptation of the book into a series was made official by a contract signing held recently, attended by ABS-CBN COO of broadcast Cory Vidanes, Dreamscape head Deo Endrinal, iWant head Elaine Uy-Casipit, head of finance for broadcast and news and current affairs Cat Lopez, and Matias.
From creating memorable teleseryes on television, ABS-CBN’s production unit Dreamscape Entertainment has expanded its portfolio of original content to include digital films and series produced by Dreamscape Digital. Dreamscape Digital produced the movies “Glorious” and “The Gift,” which can be streamed for free on iWant.