Filed under: Greenpeace, Greenpeace Core Values, Life at work, Philippines | Tags: Activism, Cancer Warriors Foundation, Facebook, greenpeacebuzz, Step Juan, Tomas Leonor, volunteerism
To the dismay of my colleagues here in the Philippine office I am licensed to surf the web and even log on to this pesky website called Facebook –and come to think of it is indeed really interesting what you can find over there, as a few minutes ago I was able to come across Greenpeace International’s profile picture on their page and seeing it again (although technically I see it everyday as it is one of the first things that will always greet me as I enter the office) reminded me of the my first assignments when I started to become a part of Greenpeace, fulltime, not to mention one of the first people that I’ve been glad to call a comrade in the cause who is none other than —Tomas Leonor.
It was during a rainy after noon sometime in August 2005 when I first met Tomas, I remember having been assigned by the office to write an article for their project to paint a mural painted to commemorate the 20th anniversary of SV Rainbow Warrior’s bombing.
Tomas was a part of the University of the Philippines Artists’ Circle Fraternity a university-based fraternity, which carried out the task of creating a 7×9 feet three panel mural which will serve as a fitting tribute to the first Rainbow Warrior which was bombed back in 1985 for its role as a symbol of the growing consensus for a nuclear-free world at the time.
Over the years he has been one of the more active Greenpeace volunteers who’ve dedicated his time and talent for advancing our campaigns and to add color and life in our creative confrontations with the powers that seek to jeopardize the welfare of our planet.
His signature can easily be seen in the works that he has done over the years here at Greenpeace not only in the Philippines but in Southeast Asia who could forget the coal plant that we constructed outside the Asian Development Bank (ADB) headquarters in Manila; or the Whaleshark costumes that was used at a protest in the Department of Environment office in Manila; or the Genetically Modified Zombies that blockaded the Thai Government House; to the novel solar cooker that was deployed during a cookout that was done in at the site of a soon-to-be constructed coal plant in Iloilo to demonstrate the viability of renewable energy like solar energy; to the recent alien costumes that I was able to wear during the ADB’s Climate and Clean Energy Week among the many other things that he did for Greenpeace and its allies in the broader civil society movement.
None can question Tomas’ flare for outrageousness and his penchant for creatively getting our attention on important issues like climate change, genetic engineering, toxics pollution and the like.
Step Juan is a walking expedition done by Tomas. The idea is to walk from Pagudpod to Sorsogon without any means of vehicular assistance and to do this for several weeks, straight, stopping only for food and rest. The backbone and foundation for this idea is to raise funds for the cancer children under the Cancer Warriors Foundation.
It is with great joy that I speak for the rest of Greenpeace in our support for this venture, because we know that change (whether it b ecological, social or political) is only possible if there are people who are crazy (in a good way 😉 ) enough like Tomas who seeks to step up to the challenge of the time and have fun while working to make the world a better place for all of us.
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