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Cool the Planet!

Island in the sun
Tuesday, October 31, 2006

When you're on a golden sea
You don't need no memory
Just a place to call your own
As we drift into the zone
On an island in the sun
We'll be playing and having fun
And it makes me feel so fine
I can't control my brain
- Island in the Sun, Weezer

Last October 22, I was fortunate to join Greenpeace in Apo Island, Dauin , Oriental Negros to launch Pilipinas, Go Renewable! The event was celebrated by the Apo Island community Greenpeace and Solar Generation by installing a solar photovoltaic system at the library of Apo Island Elementary School.

Our day started early at 6am. We were supposed to take test shots just to make sure the documentation of the event is perfect. But guess what... while I was climbing the roof, it started to drizzle! I then took a deep breath, looked at the sky to say thanks for the blessing and fervently hoped that by 9am the rain clouds will go away. It worked :-)

By 9am, the courtyard of the school was packed with students, teachers, parents, community members and the Greenpeace team. Dauin Mayor Rodrigo Alanano supported the need for renewable energy targets but said they will go beyond 10% by 2010 -- he committed to make Apo Island 100% renewable by the year 2010!

Solar Generation member William Sia of Pulupandan and Star Power celebrity Juddah Paolo assisted in the installation of the panels while Angel Aquino read a story to the students . Sushmita, a grade 6 student, turned on the system to signal the shift of the community to renewable energy .

Meeting a community, such as Apo Island, who is passionate about their environment, gives me hope for our nation. It showed me that by empowering the youth and the community, people find their voices and are more than willing to make a stand for their future.

Photos courtesy of Rap Rios for Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Danny Ocampo and Aris.

posted by dyabayns @ 3:36 PM,


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