Feature: Embracing the Earth Hour spirit
Bacolod City (29 March) -- The lights are switched off and there was darkness, then, silence.
Stillness was felt amidst the darkness as the participants slowly and one after the other lit up their candles giving warm illumination to the otherwise well-lit and busy car park of SM City Bacolod.
There were goose bumps indeed as what Ms. Earth-Air Sandra Inez Seifert who traces roots in Negros Occidental, in a small chat described how she felt last year when she witnessed the Earth Hour 2009.
Representatives from schools, church, professional organizations, LGUs, electric cooperatives, non-government organizations, environmental groups, government agencies, foreigners and even children who most especially enjoyed the puppet show by the Solargen and Animo Puppet Group held on o their candles for 60 minutes as they listened to the pledge of support to help address climate change from their colleagues.
Started in 2007 at Sydney, Australia with 2.2 million homes and businesses participating, the Earth Hour celebration in 2009 was the biggest climate change initiative in terms of participation. In that same year, the Philippines ranked number one in terms of scale of public participation with 10 million participants.
Earth Hour 2010 organizers in the Philippines spearheaded by the Department of Energy are targeting 15 million participants to break the 2009 record and maintain its rank in the world.
Assistant Secretary Arthus Tenazas who was in Bacolod City said that the DOE is very happy with the outcome in terms of the number of participants who joined the celebration.
Seifert who hosted the Earth Hour 2010 celebration at SM Mall of Asia told PIA that people can be more creative in celebrating the earth hour like set up a candle light dinner at home.
"It doesn't necessarily have to be a public event, even if one is alone in her room, think of how considerate you are with nature, Seifert said adding that the Earth Hour celebration is an act of humanity giving back to the earth hoping that this continues not just during the Earth Hour but on a monthly basis or even perhaps everyday."
United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon said, "The message of Earth Hour is simple. Climate change is a concern for each of us. Solutions are within our grasp and are ready to be implemented by individuals, communities, businesses and governments around the globe."
This year, the Philippines outshine some 125 other countries and territories, over 4,000 cities, towns and municipalities in breaking the Earth Hour world record again in terms of participation for healthier planet. (PIA/EAD) [top]