Monday, March 30, 2009

wow...Philippines actually topped Earth Hour 2009?

I haven't been watching TV lately and only reads some tasteless tabloids in the morning so I didn't knew this soon enough to blog it here. This is an article from

Philippines tops Earth Hour 2009
By Erika Tapalla

MANILA, Philippines--For 60 minutes Saturday night (March 28) , a recorded all-time high of 650 cities switched off its lights for Earth Hour, placing the Philippines as the top participant in the event, an official of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said.

"More than 15 million Filipinos in 650 major towns and cities from distant islands participated,” according to WWF communications officer Gregg Yan told

Yan said the Philippines also placed first in town and city participation out of the 88 countries among 25 different time zones.

"Ang mga Pilipino talaga di mag papatalo [Filipinos are really very competitive]," Yan joked, "We honestly did not think we'd place first. Natalo pa natin ang [We even defeated] Australia."

Australia is among the proprietor of Earth Hour, launched on March 31, 2007.

This year, Australia placed third with a total of 309 towns and cities.

Greece placed second with 484 participating towns and cities.

It is the second time the country has participated in the Earth Hour event and Yan attributed the success of this year to social networking.

"Last year when we did Earth Hour during your video interview, we were still preparing. We only had two weeks to prepare whereas this year we had three months to prepare. We relied heavily on social networking--for us it was all about spreading the idea via text messages, blog posts, Flickr, Twitter, Multiply, Facebook, Friendster and sending announcements in e-groups. Of course the power of spoken word too and it kind of spread like wildfire," Yan said.

According to initial reports, Yan said that the Philippines alone saved 611 Megawatt-hours, "which is equivalent to shutting down a dozen coal-fired power plants for 60 minutes; and those reports don't include other islands in the Visayas."

Electric grid figures report that 386 Megawatt-hours were saved in Luzon, 150 Megawatt-hours in Mindanao and 75 Megawatt-hours in Visayas.

"Earth Hour really wasn't a hard idea to sell because you don't have to shell out money for it, we got the word across and people participated in this global call to unite, call on world leaders for action right now," Yan said.

Yan said that WWF hopes that the country’s participation in Earth Hour last week would not end.

"Earth Hour did not end last Saturday night at 9:30 pm. What we hope to have done for the Philippines together with our partners Department of Energy (DoE), Green Army Network and Switch Movement, we hope to have ushered in a new dawn for the Philippines which people realize that being eco-conscious is not only tantamount to securing our resources but it is also tantamount to saving a lot of money," Yan added.

Yan also cited that the Philippines' participation shows the peoples’ unity for the world to take action in Copenhagen.

"This is a vote made by the Philippines for the earth because we showed our unity for the world to take action in Copenhagen in 2009 where they will draft a post-Kyoto policy where they will set new targets for developed and developing nations to reduce carbon emission," said Yan.

Earth Hour will continue to be an annual event held every last Saturday of March.

"Earth Hour will continue until we secure decisions that need to be secured -- decisions by world leaders at Copenhagen that progressive attitudes must be taken to ensure that least carbon impact and least environmental impact will be acted on. If you think about it, this problem is bigger than the war on politics because this is an all-encompassing threat," Yan said.

Yan said the goal for global WWF was to secure one billion people in over 1,000 cities.

"As of right now, we secured 3,943, which is nearly four times more than what we envisioned globally," he said.

Go Team Philippines! As if we're always in the race...

-- yeoj araullo --

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