March 30, 2011 by theairprince
Last March 26, 2011 (Saturday) is the celebration of Earth Hour 2011. Kung may oras sa labada, landian, himala, DOTA, at relo, mayroon din para sa ating planetang Earth (sorry sa mga alien, you’re excluded, joke). This is my first time to attend the event and I was so excited (and I just can’t hide it) and had high hopes na kasingtaas ng Mt. Everest. Ang Earth Hour ay kampanya para sa climate change sa pamamagitan ng pagpatay ng mga ilaw at mga appliances sa loob ng isang oras. Ginaganap ito tuwing huling Sabado ng Marso sa oras na 8:30 PM hanggang 9:30 PM, lokal na oras. Di ko alam kung pati mga magnanakaw, snatcher, at mga akyat-bahay gang ay nakikilahok rin sa nasabing selebrasyon.
I had to rush to meet Lady Jaja and Via at SM Mall of Asia for Earth Hour. Mukhang di ako aabot sa turning-off-the-light ceremony nun. I only got couple of minutes and I was still at EDSA. Bago pa man ako makarating ng MOA ay kitang-kita ko yung ilang mga establishments, buildings, at kahit mga sari-sari stores nagpapatay na ng ilaw (o sadyang pundido na yung lightbulbs dahil di pa napapalitan). To my disappointment, kahit nasa EDSA extension na ako, mukhang nagsimula na ang Earth Hour dahil di ko na maanigan ang sikat na MOA Globe from a distance. Kahit ang SMDC construction sites wala ng ilaw. In short, di ako nakaabot😦.
Madilim sa paligid ng MOA pag dating ko dun. Parang hindi nagbayad ng electric bills ang SM kaya naputulan ng kuryente. Sa kabilang dako malapit sa globo ay nandun ang Earth Hour celebration. Akala mo may prayer vigil o may kulto😀. I texted Jaja to fetch me at South Wing. Pagsundo sa akin ay kaagad kaming pumunta dun. Kinukwento rin nila ang pagkadismaya nila sa Earth Hour. They were somehow right as we arrived there.
Andaming nagkalat na empty Coke Zero cans sa kung saan-saan. And people don’t even care about it. Earth Hour pero nagkakalat? How disappointing. I had to stop to take pictures for evidence. Pero syempre first time ko, ayoko masira ng tuluyan ang mood ko kaya tumuloy pa rin kami. While we were going through the main venue, I saw a lot of people from every sectors of the society: media, sponsors, students, policemen, government officials, advocates, ordinary people, and even usiseros😀. Para naman daw maramdaman ko ang spirit ng Earth Hour bukod sa malanghap ang samu’t saring amoy ng pawis at nasusunog na kandila, hinikayat kami ni Jaja na lumapit sa stage at makiisa sa mga tao.
Tahimik at puno ng mga nakasinding kandila ang paligid. Syempre kasama na mga tao dun, ano ba. The solemn atmosphere was provided by Cynthia Alexander’s performance (kilala siya sa kanyang ethnic Pinoy music). Suddenly, I noticed that Jaja’s candle wasn’t lit. She explained that there’s a finding that lighting a candle emits Carbon monoxide, a very toxic gas. Imagine kung daan-daang kandila ang nakasindi, gaano karami ang CO2 emission. What’s the use of energy saving campaign for climate change if we are to burn candles that can harm Mother Earth? It may be an exaggeration but a small number is still a number that can still have an impact. Can we devise an alternative way to promote Earth Hour? I recalled that I read it before I went there. Plus, yung mga cups that suppose to hold the melted wax tend to burn because of the flame. So it doubles the CO2 emission. All throughout the ceremony she was very firm. At di pa nakuntento sila: they managed to improvise a banner that bears “NO to CO2 candles/CFC styrofoam emission” by writing it on paper. I was convinced that I borrowed Jaja’s unlit candle, raised it, and waived it proudly amongst the lit and burning candle. Sabihing epal kami pero we have the reason to do so. Kumpara mo naman kami sa iba na nandoon ng hindi naman talaga alam ang rason kung bakit nadun sila. What surprised me even more is when I saw empty Coke Zero cans on our feet. Talk about Earth Hour nga naman.
Based on the Jaja and Via’s previous Earth Hour experiences, this year is kinda bland. I applaud Cynthia Alexander for her unique performance and advocacy (since I’m a fan of World/ethnic music) but judging from the crowd’s reaction, parang hindi pumatok (at least there was one point na naging alive yung crowd dahil sa upbeat performance niya, kulang na lang mag-Igorot dance kami on the spot). The highlights were when a cute Boy Scout almost forgot his lines (we even motivated him to recall his speech by shouting ‘You can do it!’) and the relighting of the place particularly The Globe (parang nasa Times Square kami for New Year’s Countdown). And there goes Luke Mejares for the closing act. Medyo hindi maganda yung timing kasi nag-uwian yung tao. Though I find his performance very cool since he sang some well-known songs but according to his own style.
Hindi ko naman dinodowngrade ang Earth Hour. I’m not one of those who ridicule this movement. It may not do everything but it can impart something on us. It’s better to do than nothing. All I’m just saying is that it needs refinement. Make people not only be aware but also to clearly understand. Earth Hour is not just an event. It is an advocacy; a movement. I was so sad to see some of people went there just for experience, so they can just upload photos on Facebook, or worse, para maging ‘usi’ lang. And again, those littered empty Coke Zero cans and cups used to hold melted candle wax on streets… Earth Hour’s purpose is somehow misleading to some people. Porke’t magpatay na ng ilaw ay pwede magkalat?😦 Regarding the burning of candles, maybe it is good to find an alternative way. Candles made in beeswax or soy can do the trick. At siguro magandang gamitin yung mga glow-in-the-dark sticks or flashlights powered with environment-friendly batteries. Yung glow sticks pwede mong gamitin pang tugs-tugs-tugs😀. Nakatulong ka na, may souvenir ka pa🙂. At safe pa! Naaalala ko kasi may natuluan sa ulo ng natunaw na wax habang iwinawagayway sa ere ang mga kandila.
I hope Earth Hour inspires us to save energy and also Mother Earth. Dapat hindi lang sa isang oras tayo nag-oobserba ng energy saving. We shall do it always… I wanna be with you, and make believe with you, and live in harmony harmony, oh love! PAK😀
Hot Like Mexico, rejoice!
The Air Prince