When Sec. Lucille Sering of the Climate Change Commission (CCC) asked me to be an ambassador for the Greeneration campaign, I didn’t think twice about it. My affiliation with the CCC began in 2010, as a youth delegate in the Philippine delegation to the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun. That experience opened my eyes and heart (#choz) to how global issues in global warming are. It also inspired me and my better half (sans romance) Kester to write the workbook An Introduction to Climate Change for Filipinos. Now, I work part-time in the CCC as the Project Assistant of the Ecotown Development Framework in San Vicente, Palawan.
My job as an ambassador was to speak in the Greeneration Summit-Visayas in Cebu.
To make the Greeneration “ambassadorship” even sweeter, my co-ambassadors were two of my favorite people in the world, Pie and Bianca.
I decided to make this event the ~debut of my new presentation too. (DEBUT???) I’m back to using Keynote!
From “Rock the Boat,” the new title is “Marine Conversations.” Inspired by Pie, who would always introduce me accidentally as a “marine conversationist” instead of “marine conservationist.” It had a nice ring to it — my work deals with A LOT of marine conversations with the youth, government leaders, and communities.
I was pretty nervous before I stepped on stage during the late afternoon. No matter how many times I’ve given a talk, I still get butterflies (sometimes vultures) in my stomach and throat. The crowd had 900 restless students who had already listened to, like, 6 talks before ours.
I talked about climate change-related initiatives I did back in college and now with Save Philippine Seas (We’re on Tumblr! Are you following us already?).
After my talk was Bianca’s “10 eco-friendly things I try to do (and you can, too!).” If you follow Bianca on Twitter, you’ll see how nervous she was to speak about the environment, because all the talks she’d done before were on youth empowerment, social media, and education. But oh em, she was such a pro! (NOT BIASED.) For someone who did it for the first time, B was more engaging than a lot of experienced speakers I’ve heard. Her talk was so relevant and inspiring. After all, the hardest part about pursuing a climate for change is breaking old habits, and B gave concrete, actionable points for the youth to lead their own greenerations.
Pie, mayor of San Vicente, ended the Summit with a bang. San Vic is a young town that is so abundant with natural resources, both on land and in the water. But like most places in the Philippines, they struggle to protect the environment and develop economically. Pie discussed environmental initiatives they’re doing, with emphasis on the Ecotown Framework, along with the challenges that come with it. At the end of Pie’s talk, she held a pop quiz to test if the students were really listening and gave a 3-day/2-night trip to San Vicente to the winner. NAKAKALOKA.
The open forum that followed with all three of us was HILARIOUS, okay. The audience asked for a “sampol” so Bianca, Pie, and I ended up singing! Pie sang a few lines from her trademark campaign song, “Bakit Pa?” by Jessa Zaragosa. WAHAHAHAHAH.
The highlight was running into one of my former students in the restroom (OF ALL PLACES!). She was my student back in the 1st Bantayan Arts Festival, where my friend Rizzy and I taught environmental education through musical theatre. Now she’s in college and attending the Greeneration Summit. In addition to feeling old (COLLEGE NA STUDYANTE KO NOON!!!!), I was also happy that maybe the seed we planted back in 2010 bloomed into an eco-warrior-in-the-making :)
Here are the three ambassadors on stage with Sec. Sering, now called “Charlie” to the “three angels” :)))))
Thank you, Cebu! Your enthusiasm was infectious!
The next summits are going to be in Cagayan de Oro and Baguio later this year. Looking forward to it!