Just when the lights are off, we shone the brightest.
Last March 28, 2009 at 8:30 PM up until 9:30 PM, it was lights off in 647 cities and municipalities in the Philippines. No, it was not because of a power shortage, it was for a nobler reason- the Earth Hour. The Philippines ranked # 1 amongst all the countries that participated on this global event. The #2 spot was occupied by Greece with 484 cities participating. The official ranking was released by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) office.
647 cities and municipalities estimated to have over 15 million participants from the country is a giant leap from the estimated 1 million participants from last year’s earth hour. This is clearly a sign of the country’s growing awareness with the environmental problems that we are facing.
Earth Hour is a brainchild of the World Wildlife Fund and the Sidney Morning Herald. The event started last 2007 when 2.2 million Sidney residents participated by turning their lights off including non-essential appliances for an hour. Since then Earth Hour is celebrated annually every last Saturday of March all over the world. The Earth Hour 2009 was participated by 88 countries and more than 4000 cities. A small country consisted of a group of islands in the Pacific led the way this year.
Is it something to be proud of? Of course it is! We maybe a nation of diverse dialects and different cultures but Filipinos knows how to unite when unity matters most. We are a nation of proud workers who took pride in the work we do no matter how menial it is and not a nation of servants who deserve nothing but scraps (as a racist Hong-Kong columnist claims). We are a nation who respect religious freedom and not prosecute those who differ from our belief. We are a nation of humble people who are slowly rediscovering our sense of patriotism again. Deep within this dormant flame lies an ember that still burns of Bayanihan. Let the Unity shown by this Malayan race during the Earth Hour 2009 stand as a testament to that.