World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature Philippines, the local organizer of Earth Hour, is gunning for the country’s fifth straight win for the title Earth Hour Hero Country.
Earth Hour, which started in Sydney, Australia last 2007, aims to motivate people in reducing their energy consumption by switching off their lights for an hour. The Philippines joined this advocacy on March 28, 2008, at the CCP Open Grounds.
This year's nationwide "switch-off" is slated for March 23, at exactly 8:30 p.m. Many of the nation’s landmarks including Cebu and Davao are expected to participate in this event. Cities from Argentina to Zimbabwe are also expected to join in this worldwide call for action on climate change.
In a press conference held last February 27 in Makati City, WWF-Philippines Vice-chair and CEO Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan expressed his ambition for more Filipinos to join this stand against climate change.
“We’ve reached a point where the Philippines has not only come across as a leader in Earth Hour but a leader in many technologies and in many ways.
“When we are ahead, let’s stay ahead and when we make a difference let’s make that difference.”
“And we are allowed to make a difference but mainly because we are a democracy, like very few countries in Asia.
“Democracy is not merely freedom, it is participation and that’s the key behind Earth Hour.”
Earth Hour Philippines National director Atty. Gia Ibay also noted that they are now going to use the digital media to motivate Filipinos to participate in the event.
“[For] four straight years, we’ve actually been doing this and now we’re going digital. We are living in such a digital age that we want to capitalize [on] it.
“If Gangnam Style can galvanize other people, why not Earth Hour galvanize people in actually doing something for their planet.”
Atty. Ibay further explained the objectives of their "I Will If You Will" campaign: “We really want the people to not just think about what the challenge is in terms of the handle of ‘I Will If You Will’ but really dare yourself what can you do on a day to day basis?”
BEYOND 60+. Meanwhile, Filipina equestrienne and actress Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski joins Marc Nelson and Rovilson Fernandez as the newest ambassador of WWF-Philippines for Earth Hour.
In an interview, Mikee emphasized how a small contribution by every person can make a difference. She also challenged everyone to go beyond the 60-minute Earth Hour switch off by starting on their own environment-friendly activities.
“Every small contribution is a big deal not just when we add all up because when we put it all together, you know, it all adds up but for ourselves, I think [it’s] the fact that we try to challenge ourselves and no one’s telling us what to do and how we do it.
“It’s how we know ourselves... our strengths, our limitations, our weaknesses and what we think our effort is worth.
“I think it’s really important for us to be able to see how... first of all, how important it is for us to do our share.
“It’s not really that difficult and you can start with baby steps.”
For the most part, Mikee also looks at it as a personal challenge to incite people to do their own share in saving the planet.
“Well, I look at it in many different ways. One is that I will always be able to do my own share.
“I’m involved in a lot of advocacies, I would say, but what good is practicing all of that if we don’t have a world to practice it in.
“Another thing is, I always say this even with the other things that I’m in to: 'nobody said that it’s gonna be easy but it’s important.'”
“So, it’s a big deal for us to see and try what it is that we can do.
“[So] I think first of all, my responsibility is to see how I can practice it myself because I don’t practice what I can’t preach and number two, to be able to spread the word and to make everybody feel that we’re in this together.”
“Halata namang handang-handa tayo lalo na tayong mga Pilipino, lagi tayong naghahanap [kung] ano ba yung paraan na makakatulong tayo [at] ano ba and puwede kong gawin ngayon?’ at para sa akin, makikita sa ating mga Pilipino yung gusto nating nakikiisa tayo sa isa’t isa.