Earth hour is a yearly event organized by the World Wildlife Fund an environmental nonprofit group. It was created in Sidney, Australia and participated by millions of people to signify that each of us, working hand in hand, can make a good impact on climate change – no matter where we live or who we are.
What is climate change?
Climate change is a long term change in patterns of humidity, precipitation, temperature, wind, seasons and sea levels. While these things fluctuate on a natural cycle, statistics point out that there are more major and thorough changes taking place than have in previous geologic history. Specific climate patterns are critical to all environments. A change in patterns of rainfall will result in alterations in the blooming of flowering crops and plants that human beings including animals depend on. Warmer temperatures can cause die offs of plants which provide habitat for animal species. The climate is dangerous to the health of our planet. As we can see today, disasters everywhere have started.
The main purpose for Earth Hour is to improve community consciousness of the need for important energy-use reduction and the need to take action on climate change by engaging as many businesses, communities and individuals around Planet Earth as possible to turn the lights off for an hour.
This simple act will not only increase awareness of the impacts of climate change on our world, but also motivate individuals to take practical action to reduce their own carbon marks.
Being able to be part of something public, even if it is as simple as turning off the lights, gives us a chance to say, we are a part of this too.
So, today at 8:30 in the evening, my lights will be off for an hour. Will yours too?
September 26, 2009, storm Ondoy strikes Philippine. Rain keeps on falling for almost 2 days that causes flood in Manila and the nearby towns. 53 dead are reported as of today and 24 missing persons.
Most people were trapped at the roof of their houses because the flood flows on the second floor of most houses particularly in Marikina City. Some who tried to escape swept away by the flood. Some stayed for 12-15 hours at their roof. Most of them were cold and hungry. Rescuers weren’t able to rescue them earlier due to the current flow of the water.
Many people have been devastated, with houses destroyed, vans and cars overturned and streets left awash with debris and mud. The buildings were smashed against the pillars of a bridge, and it was unclear whether the people were rescued.
Today, still there are many residents remained on rooftops as rescuers waded in muddy floodwaters. The water is muddy and thick that the rescuers had to push their rubber boats in neck-deep flood waters. The water is taking a long time to go down.
Most roads in Metro Manila are still impassable because of the flood and mud. Classes for tomorrow are suspended until Tuesday. Most establishments were closed. The authorities declared
42 years ago (since 1967)… the same tragedy happened but this one is worst than before. This unexpected floodwater quickly overflows the most part of Marikina, Quezon City, Rizal, etc. that gave a hard time for the rescuers to rescue the victims. Most victims turn to media for quick help. Hundreds of texts, emails, phone calls were receive by media. It’s a good thing that mobile phones were born.
People who were fortunate enough to be in safer areas sent a inundation of reports and texts to media networks and disaster agencies of stranded people requiring abrupt rescue operations. People offered food to each other, sharing whatever little they had. People living in higher areas opened their doors to flooded neighbors, giving up their space and privacy in the meantime in the middle of a disaster. Some offered their roofs as temporary shelter as flood swallowed up entire houses.
In some part of the Philippines that are not affected (like my hometown), all we can offer is a prayer for them. But aside from prayers… we can also share some used clothes, blankets and foods.
Worried about the environment? Here are what one person can do:
- Save papers for recycling. One ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees.
- Plant trees, shrubbery, and flowers. They prevent soil erosion, provide cooling in summer, windbreakers and beautify the land.
- Use litter bags. If you don’t have one in you car, save the next strong plastic bag you get when you purchase something from a store.
- Donate magazines and paperbacks to hospitals and nursing homes.
- Build birdhouses and bat houses. Birds and bats will gladly dine on the insects in your garden.
- Use a kitchen towel to dry your hands instead of always reaching for a paper towel.
- Say “No bag, thanks” when you buy only one item at the store.
- Line dresser drawers with newspapers.
- When you see bugs in your plants, pick them off by hand instead of reaching for a chemical insecticide. If there are too many, try filling a squirt bottle with soapy water and spraying them.
10. Put houseplants in every room. They freshen the air and raise the level of humidity.
11. Instead of a room deodorant spray, try this. Boil a teaspoon of whole cloves and a stick of cinnamon in a print of water for 10 minutes.
12. Take an inventory of electrical gadgets in your home. Do you really need an electric pencil sharpener?
13. Leave the car in the garage for short trips and take a walk instead. You’ll get the benefits of fresh air, sunshine, and exercise.
14. For the times when you do take the car, try to plan several errands to accomplish in one trip. Buy groceries, take books back to the library, stop at the cleaners, etc.
15. Use 4-55 air conditioning in your car.
16. Pass up colored tissue and paper towels. Even though the paper is biodegradable, the dyes are pollutants.
17. Plant sweet basil near front and back doors to discourage flies. And in the garden, plant sage, marigolds, and mint to make insects feel unwelcome.
18. Take outgrown clothing to thrift shops, church collection boxes, etc.
19. Reuse plastic tubs, they make great bathtub toys for kids, spill proof carriers for lunch boxes, and if they have see through tops, good containers for buttons, nails, screws, and rubber bands.
20. Compact your garbage. Flatten cans and boxes. Put smaller ones inside larger ones.
21. Pick up litter – not just your own – whenever you find it. Do your part to keep the world beautiful.
22. Take five-minute showers.
23. Buy eggs and milk in cardboard containers as a substitute of plastic.
24. Whenever possible, use cold water for washing hands. It’s a wonderful world. Let’s preserve it for ourselves and our posterity.
December 9, we went to Tacloban through an invitation of a District Engineer for the concert at DPWH. DPWH Calbayog was set to have a presentation on that day. But because they don’t have anything to present, the DE asked the group to represent in behalf of them. Without any hesitation, we got there and did a concert. At the same time, we had our promotion for our album.
December 15, we went to Catbalogan to join the Glee Club of St. Mary’s College for their Concert for a cause. We were so proud then that school heads gave their trust to us to join their concert. We did enjoy that night even we were so tired and have to go back home after the show because we were scheduled to sing at the church for the Misa de Gallo.
Back to Calbayog, December 18… the Calbayog Arts and Culture Office invited us to do a concert. It’s a tradition of Calbayognon especially the CACO that during December there is a nightly presentation and contests. Dances, Song, the PANARIT (the traditional way of caroling), the loudest fire cracker using bamboo (which we called LANTAKA) that looks like a Cañon. These are some highlights of christmas celebration in calbayog.
September, the Kita Choir trainor decided that the group must have a Christmas album. Mid-October, a meeting has been called. Planning of recording and other related matters about the Album. November, recording begun and approached some businessmen to be a sponsor of the said album.
Posters, streamers, and CD’s are all prepared. Then came the album launching. December 5, 7pm at La Milagrosa Academy Auditorium… everything is prepared as well as the performers (the Kita Choir). At first we thought it will not be successful. Eventually, everything went good and the audience had fun.
All songs are composed in Waray-waray language and most of them are composed by our very own Choir Master Mr. Bong Obong (a cousin of Nonoy Zuñiga). Another composer is Naty Mancol, local artist and Mawe Doroja one of the Kita Choir member and Boy Nicolasora and Ronnie Obong also contributed their original compositions. We had guests performers like FranJohn and Fr. Roland Cajegas.
The extn_OFW48erz headed by Cassidey (the moderator) initiated it with the help of sponsors and the volunteers. Sis Mia (came home from Sweden) was there too, to personally assist sis Cass’s mom and sister for the food preparation for the children. Schools supplies are the donation of the group for the association specially for the children. Some of 48erz was there too to assist, like sis Tere, sis Simang, Sis Olive (a.ka. MarkAnthony), sis Weng (niece of sis Mia), Red and sis Maffi. Sis Sean wasn’t able to attend for she is taking care of her baby but sis Sean was the one who contacted the Association for the schedule of the outreach program of the group.
The children had so much fun and enjoyed with the clowns around showing tricks and giving games and prices. The children showed their talents like singing and dancing. One of them gave a touchy poem and a prayer.
As one of the 48erz, i had a wonderful time with them. Time was not enough for us to stay long with them because they have classes. But the feeling of being involved in an activity like this cannot be bought by anybody. Charity work is always my main dish. As long as i am able, when it comes to charity work…. i’m always on the go.
May i take this opportunity to THANK the 48erz specially to sis Cass, Sis Mia, the SPONSORS… for making the Charity Outreach Program successful. And to the volunteers…. hats off to you guys!
See you on the next Charity work!!!