04/30 – 05/01/2012
Last April 30, environmental champions and advocates from different sorts and calibers came and had a discussion for an initiative-driven aim to promote resiliency and sustainability especially in the local communities of Cebu.
The forum was held at Rajah Park Hotel and was filled with prominent people who have somehow championed different areas in the environment. One of my personal favorites was the Vice-Mayor of San Francisco, Camotes Ali Arquillano who was small but really terrible in a good way. He showed how one community, though small and not purely “industrialized” could prosper with just a little bit of political will and determination on the leader and the citizens. The San Francisco “purok” system, is what he called it, resembled the famous Bayanihan spirit where we Filipinos are famous for. Its also nice how simple things like picking up a trash and translating the MDG into our vernacular could help empower the citizenry. So hands down to the Arquillano leadership for not only making San Francisco Camotes a place to be but also inspiring others to do the same. You make every bit of Filipino in this archipelago proud. 😀
Another very interesting person is Hon. Rian tante of Brgy. Luz who was yound, vibrant and progressive. He was an example that not all politicians are alike. There are some, as we know it, get a hold of a political position and re-do whatever is left of the past administration but Mr. Rian Tante did otherwise. He even continued the legacy of Councilor Nida Cabrera which proved to be very successful in the near future. This project is what we now know of “Kuarta sa Basura”. Brgy. Luz has always been named as one of the dirtiest and most crowded barangay but time and time again, we have been proven wrong. With the simple change of outlook towards trash, the people of Brgy. Luz have elevated their economic and social conditions. With so little space, we could still do so much like what they did with ther potted vermi culture in their respective households. This project has not only empowered them but has also given them another source of livelihood which they can readily depend on should hard times come at bay.
Another favorite of mine is former Cebu City councilor Nestor Archival’s discussion. It was lively, fun, and very educational. I was really inspired by his Eco-house especially when I had raw intentions of becoming an architect way back. It was like a Green Dream for me. His house was functional, sustainable and economically productive. And I’m building one someday for sure! HAHAHA!!
What was unique with the whole event was that it also looked at things from different point of views. One of these POV’s was of the legal side which was of course championed by our very own Atty. Gloria Ramos who was not only vibrant and enthusiastic but also proved to be very couragous for having to face such dangers in protecting not only the people she holds dear but the whole Kinaiyahan.
Events like this are rare and really hard to miss. I hope some time soon there would be more gatherings of environmental advocates and champions who aspire for a greener and healthy future with other stakeholders of the society. We need this not because its what’s IN but its important and should have been mandatory after all its not like we’re only doing this our own sake but for the good of all.
I’m humbled and very grateful to have shared this experience with them and it has given me a new light to the things that I have considered insignificant before. Its important also that what we have learned here would not only be kept in memory but should be shared so that those who do not know will know and be inspired to do so much more. After all, we are all in this together. We may not know it yet but I hope that we realize this soon enough.
To end, I quote a very inspiring phrase Mr. Archival said:
We protect only what we love, We love only what we understand and We understand only what we know.