After a back-to-back win for the Philippines, we now have a new Miss Earth 2016! And it is Miss Ecuador Katherine Espin. But, of course, dear readers we all know our favorite part of these beauty pageants. And that is the Q&A round. Let’s see how the candidates fared answering the final question and showing their love for Mother Earth.
There was a time when I was a kid watching Sineskwela (Filipino Science children TV show) and Agatom talked about the depleting ozone layer. That it had a “hole” that was becoming bigger unless we’d do something about it. We learned that we need to recycle because our dumpsites were getting out of hand. We memorized the 4Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Return) and we knew how to make our own little composts. There was a time when I actually believed that Captain Planet could save the environment. I’m not talking about his super powers but through the easy-to-do eco-friendly tips at the end of each episode. Go Planeteers! Then there was Al Gore who showed us The Inconvenient Truth. The ice cap was melting and polar bears were drowning. After that, everything’s a blur. And everyone began to forget.
We are the generation that’s most exposed to environment issues and we are (or should be) the most informed thanks to the wealth of material available to read and digest. But though we have all the information, somehow it’s not translating to action. I’m trying hard not to generalize but we are overcome by the culture of consumption and commercialism. Social media has paralyzed most of us to become mere spectators watching (and feeling) Mother Earth’s slow painful death.
Let’s try not to be spectators and do our part, however little it may be, as a millennial. Here’s my short list of how millennials in their own little ways help the environment.
Erasto Films‘ Lakbay2Love is a romantic, coming-of-age, environmental advocacy film by director-producer Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil (Boses) starring actors and real-life bikers Dennis Trillo, Solenn Heusaff (two of my fitspirations!) and Kit Thompson.
Dennis Trillo, reliable as ever, fits the bill as forest ranger and biker Jay-R. He bikes during his free time based on his social media (I promise I’m not a stalker!) and it shows. He seems to have done all the biking stunts on his own, even climbing up to a high mountain peak. It was a beautiful visual, and it felt like I was transported to the mountains, but I was holding onto my seat for dear life.
Solenn Heussaff plays half-Filipino half-French photo journalist (or was she a videographer? Not really sure) Lianne. Reeling from her boyfriend Macky, played by Kit Thompson, recently leaving her, Lianne accepts an environment-focused project at Jay-R’s request. She, along with her work companion and friend Monday, played by Patricia Ismael, embarks on this project and immerses herself in the world of biking. There’s a funny bit where Lianne says that growing up as a half-French people asked her weird questions including “what does voulez-vous coucher avec moi really mean?” LOL! IMO, this is Solenn’s best acting piece so far.
The film features actual biking events and the people involved in these kinds of projects. We get to visit a vintage bike shop, witness a bike race, and see padyakeros on and off the tracks. We even get to travel to different bike trails in and around the metro. The Benguet trail looks so gorgeous and beautifully captured on film. Aside from the beauty, we also briefly see the ugly side of things, poignantly depicted by the felled logs caused by illegal logging. Having seen that Lianne realizes that all of her problems seemed so petty. It also made me realize that the environment is still not a primary concern in our country, and that needs to change. To those running for office this coming elections, please focus on these issues. Include the environment in your platform and you have secured my vote.
We can’t just stop at watching this beautiful environmental film. “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you have to keep moving.” That also applies to our fight for the environment. Let’s start supporting more environmental advocacy projects. Let’s pick up a bike and ride around the metro to decrease pollution. Let’s spread the message of this film and make this a personal journey for all of us—a journey to love for Mother Nature. 🙂
If you’re looking for a light feel-good movie that packs a message, I recommend watching Lakbay2Love. Support Philippine indie films. Watch the trailer below:
When the world is crumbling around you, love may just find you a new trail.
Starring: Solenn Heussaff, Dennis Trillo, Kit Thompson
Directed by: Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil
Screenplay by: Layeta Bucoy & Elle Marfil
Produced by: Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil
Have you watched Lakbay2Love? What did you think of the film? Are you into biking? Do you suddenly want to buy a bike, learn it, and ride all around the country? Sound off in the comments below.
The Miss Earth 2015 pageant recently concluded in Vienna, Austria. Angelia Ong from The Philippines won the tilt, making her the second consecutive Filipina to win the crown. A proud moment for the Philippines! However, we’re dedicating a special post to everyone’s favorite pageant portion: the Miss Earth 2015 Q&A. Let’s see how the candidates fared:
Wala ka bang napapansin sa iyong mga kapaligiran? (Asin — “Kapaligiran”)
I learned this song when I was in first grade. I think I was six years old. This song wasn’t just a song. It was a symbol of hope for a child like me that regularly passed by the Pasig River. Smelling its foul odor. Seeing floating garbage with the water lilies on its dark brown surface. A child that heard stories from his grandmother of how clear the water was. How they’d drink the water. How they used to catch fish. I get both sad and envious thinking about it now. I was a child that was taught to memorize and practice the 4Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Return, which I forgot after I graduated. A child that was hoping that through this song everything will change for the better. But it didn’t.
Fast forward to 2015 and here we are. I’m now 25 years old and I’m reading an article that the biggest reclamation project in Cordova, an island municipality in the province of Cebu, is now approved.
I get that developed countries like Hong Kong, China and Japan have reclaimed lands as well, and locally, the land where the likes of SM Mall of Asia and Solaire were built has been a key to a lot of successful investment opportunities. However, I’m just wondering: When are we going to stop?
The Philippines is an archipelago, a group of islands. Converting a yamang tubig to a yamang lupa (no matter how useless this body of water is) is like playing God. Okay, for the non-religious: It’s altering nature’s balance. Somehow, somewhere, someday, it will have an effect on us. We may not know it now, we may not feel it now, but our sons and daughters of the next generations will.
Sustainability is the key for us to survive. It is not about which country has the highest GDP or currency rate. It is not about who has the most number of H&M stores or eat-all-you can restaurants. Nobody cares how many malls a country has. It is not about who can afford to go to a luxurious island for a “yaya meal” (yes, I’m talking about that island resort *evil stare*). In the long run, it is about how we maintained our natural resources for this generation and the generations to come.
I read an old article this morning that some people are still swimming in Manila Bay despite government warnings. Are these people really at fault or are they, in a distorted kind of way, a symbol of hope? The natural thing to do when people see water is to drink and bathe in it. We can call them stupid or reckless for swimming in polluted waters but they do remind us that Manila Bay and other dead bodies of water and land are still alive. There is still hope for restoration. If Singapore and Korea have successfully done it, why can’t we? To this day, in spite of the growing number of natural disasters, the government still has no efforts in place to protect the environment.
We just need to do it now. Not tomorrow and not next year but now.
When will we start caring? Is all the money in the world worth it? When will stop destroying and start creating?
When will we stop?