Philippines: Earth Hour 2010

The Philippines joined the March 27 Earth Hour as 1076 cities and municipalities turned their lights off in a symbolic mass action for energy conservation, environmental protection, and against global warming. Filipinos post observations and comments online.

Organizers of Earth Hour in the Philippines dubs the campaign for the hour-long voluntary switch-off campaign as a resounding success.

“It is a wonderful example of public and private sector collaboration and a brilliant celebration of climate solutions.” Rough estimates peg that at the very least, over 15 million Filipinos in 1076 towns, cities and municipalities joined this year’s switch-off.

In 2009, the Philippines also ranked first among 88 nations in terms of local participation in Earth Hour. Over 10 million Filipinos in 647 cities and municipalities switched off their lights during Earth Hour, saving an estimated 611MWh of electricity – equivalent to a temporary shutdown of a dozen coal-fired power-plants.

The Mindanao Examiner covers the Earth Hour in the key cities of Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippines.

Members of the Boy Scout of the Philippines and the Kabataan Party List also joined the Earth Hour 2010 in Davao City. The party list group also took the occasion to air its grievances against President Gloria Arroyo’s policies on the environment and energy and other social issues.

In Kidapawan and Zamboanga and other key cities in Mindanao, lights were also turned off to conserve energy. People from all walks of life also joined Earth Hour 2010.

But many areas in the southern Filipino region were also in total darkness because of power outage due to the continued dry spell. In Zamboanga City, many villages were without lights and black out can be as long as three hours every night.

Because of power outages, the Earth Hour in Zamboanga City was minimized to 30 minutes only:

A lot of citizens were furious when they saw tarpaulins promoting the “earth hour”. We're not really against the idea, however, the entire city is already experiencing rotational brownouts which lasts for 2 hours (atleast) and this sums up to 6 or 8 hours of brownouts for a day. Isn't that already an effort of saving mother Earth from global warming? It's more than an hour, even!

In this context, a labor union alliance called on the Arroyo government to “present concrete actions and steps towards the resolution of the current power supply crisis rather than focusing on trivial, short-term, non-significant activities.”

“If the government cannot provide any viable solution, aside from enforcing rotating brownouts, to the country’s power supply deficiency during the election period and beyond, then all the efforts for Earth Hour 2010 will be put to waste,” said KMU chairperson Elmer Labog.

Neil Viajero reports on the Earth Hour protest action of an indigenous people's organization for the protection of the environment.

Together they encircled the candles which were arranged to form number 60 symbolizing 60 minutes of campaign against climate change. The group started the program with prayers for the environment especially the effect of Climate Change as they hold placards for their calls for the environment and the issues of Energy in the Philippines. They chanted “60 minutes for Nationalized Power Industry.

Pictures of the indigenous people's protest action can also be viewed on flicker.

A Kids Earth Hour story telling for children was organized in a mall in Taguig City, blogs Recycle Bin of a Middle Child:

The stories that were told to the kids had something to do with the importance of saving energy and keeping our environment clean and safe. There was also a film showing which depicted Earth-related issues. And then, other had a fun time climbing, jumping and running inside the playpen. This was really great, I suppose, because this had been a fun way to keep the children in touch with what’s happening around them, to be responsible, and a great way for them to enjoy darkness and participate in this wonderful event.

Mark Maranga blogs about the Earth Hour activity in a Cebu City mall where a popular band played songs

just before the celebration of the Earth Hour just to gather people in the place… There was a 60 second countdown and then the major lights were off, as well as the elevators and the escalators. Restaurants & shops inside the mall showed their share in saving planet earth.

Meanwhile, Entrepremom suggests activities that families and their children can do during the Earth Hour:

Stargazing – As as child, I knew that the stars shine brighter when the lights are off. Tatay taught me about Astronomy when I was just a kid. Now this is a good chance to teach our kids about constellations and bits and pieces about whats out there.

Catching fireflies – I wondered if I can still find fireflies here to show my little girl. This one was my favorite!
“Moon, follow me!” – I love it when the moon follows me wherever I go – even now

Patintero – I never got the chance to do this because my grandparents were so strict but my friends said that they enjoyed playing this game before.

Shadow play – This I love! Can you make a dog, a tiger, a dove, a bird and a snake with your shadow?

Story telling – Oh please spare your kids the horror stories! It would do them no good Tell better ones and let them use their imagination.

DinoLara's photos of Makati City from the top floor of a building during Earth Hour are posted on CNNiReport. dianesfootprint also posts a picture of the Makati/Taguig area in Metro Manila while below is a video of the Ayala Museum in Makati City during the Earth Hour:

Earth Hour started in Australia four years ago but has since become a global event participated by millions world-wide.


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