Filed under: Greenpeace, Life at work, Philippines, Volunteers | Tags: 2010 Presidential Elections, Activists, Edsa, GEI, Green Electoral Initiative, greenpeacebuzz, Philippine Elections, Volunteers
EDSA, is the main circumferential road and highway of Metro Manila as it functions as an important commuting artery between the northern and southern parts of the metropolitan area. Moreover it is known for place in Philippine history as it served as a venue to some of the biggest political upheavals in recent times.
Yesterday, Greenpeace volunteers unfurled banners along the stretch of EDSA to challenge presidential candidates to take up environmental concerns in their campaign platforms, especially since these issues impact on basic needs: clean energy, clean water and safe food.
As with every Greenpeace activity we always find ourselves with stories and reflections whenever we’d do something and here is another one of those activities like that and here are some stories from the activists:
Although lacking in number, brand new volunteer, Anna, and I agreed to proceed with the unfurling of the banner at the Quezon Avenue footbridge. We were two women crazy enough do things despite the challenges of having to handle the banner, give out leaflets, talk to the pedestrians and take photos by ourselves. And we did it. In less than 20 minutes we ran out of leaflets. Anna is happy that she was able to help for the first time today and offered to continue to support our work as a volunteer. -Beau Baconguis
A touching moment happened today. As we unfurled the banner, a woman came up to us to say she supports what Greenpeace does. She then left and after a while returned and handed us a 50-peso bill saying it was the only way she knew she could help. We kindly declined her offer but asked instead that she helps spread the message of Clean Energy, Clean Water and Safe Food to her family and friends as a way of supporting this electoral initiative. Then she asked if she could buy us ‘pan de sal’ with the 50 pesos. Again, we insisted we were fine. She asked how else she can help. We talked about volunteering. We believe we just got ourselves a new volunteer and more. – Grace Duran-Cabus
The last time that I actually stood for a prolonged period of time in Edsa was during the Second People Power Revolt, where instead of going to the university I spent time there with my friends and comrades at the student movement, it was days of great enthusiasm for me as we really believed that we were capable of instituting change at the time, not to mention that it was also fun as I was able to ride my skateboard downhill from the San Juan-Ortigas flyover. Years later, nothing much politically has changed however as Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” and it is in that belief that this morning I stood there again with my fellow Greenpeacers to remind our fellow Filipinos that it is that time around again in history where we can make change our country for better or worse –as the power to choose our leaders again rests in our hands, and in light of the recent extreme weather events, rising pollution levels and the threat of genetic contamination in our food supply we as a people must bring the environment in the agenda of those who are now courting our votes. Perhaps this activity will serve as a nudge that would hasten history’s bend towards justice. – Chuck Baclagon
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