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Public Affairs

'Katarata,' dokumentaryo ni Howie Severino, ngayong Sabado sa 'I-Witness'


“KATARATA”

Dokumentaryo ni Howie Severino
May 25, 2019

To the child Reinalyn Timbang Federes, everyone in her family looked exactly alike – blurry figures with fuzzy faces. And that’s how the rest of the family also saw each other.

The Timbang clan of Tarlac are a rare example of a common problem, cataracts.

Millions of Filipinos suffer from cataracts, a severe eye condition usually associated with the elderly.

The Timbangs are genetically susceptible to cataracts even as babies, so many of them have grown up nearly blind.

Due to this tragedy of fate, most of the family members never finished school, and they were bullied by classmates and teachers for being slow learners. They were seen as arrogant for not acknowledging the presence of others when they could not recognize even their siblings. They crossed the street at their peril.

In recent years, salvation has come for those like the Timbangs. A simple medical procedure can cure those with cataracts, and Tarlac has established a growing community eye program that has already reached thousands.

Those who undergo the surgery are able to see clearly almost immediately, including several members of the Timbang clan who now bike, aspire to be professionals and perform an array of tasks which used to be impossible. After her own operation, Reinalyn can now see the writing on a blackboard as she studies to be a nurse.

Howie Severino and his team spend time with several Timbangs to document the impact of the gift of sight, as well as accompany 11-year-old Charie for her own operation that will enable her to behold the beauty of the world and recognize her loved ones.

Filipino version:

Para kay Reinalyn Timbang Federes, magkakamukha ang lahat ng miyembro ng kaniyang pamilya– lahat sila mukhang anino lang. Aninag lang kasi ang nakikita ng karamihan sa kanilang angkan.

Namumukod tangi ang pamilya Timbang ng Tarlac dahil halos lahat sa kanila may katarata.

Milyun-milyong Pilipino ang nagkakaroon ng katarata, isang kondisyon na karaniwang nararansan ng mga may edad.

Karamihan sa angkan ng mga Timbang, ipinanganak na mahina ang mata kaya marami sa kanila ang lumaki nang halos bulag.

Dahil sa naging kapalaran ng pamilya, marami sa kanila ang hindi nakatapos ng pag-aaral.  Lumaki silang tinutukso ng kanilang mga kaklase at naturingang mabagal matuto dahil sa kanilang kondisyon.  Akala naman ng iba na suplado ang mga Timbang dahil hindi sila namamnsin, ngunit dahil lang ito sa simpleng dahilan na hindi sila makakita ng maayos.

Ngunit nagkaroon ng aninag ng pag-asa para sa mga Timbang. Isang simpleng operasyon ang magbibigay ng biyaya ng malinaw na mata.  Dahil sa isang proyekto ng lokal na pamahalaan, libo-libong mga Tarlakenyo kabilang ang mga Timbang ang ngayo’y nakakakita ng maayos.

Ngayon nagagawa na n ng pamilya Timbang ang ilang simpleng kasiyahan tulad ng pagbibisikleta o pagtawid ng kalsada nang hindi namemeligro.  Ang ilan naman sa naoperahan, nakapangibang bansa na.  Pagkatapos ng kaniyang operasyon, pinapangarap na ngayon ni Reinalyn na maging isang nurse.

Makikilala rin ni Howie Severino ang onse anyos na si Charie na sasailalim palang sa operasyon sa katarata.  Inaasahan ni Charie na pagkatapos nito, makikita na niya ang tingkad at ganda ng mundo.

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