All posts filed under: Blog

1 month in: Studying in the UK

There’s a reason I haven’t posted in a while. It’s been a month and a few days since I moved to the United Kingdom to pursue my postgraduate studies. It’s been one of my dreams to get a masters degree in the United Kingdom and my journey began last year when I decided to apply for a Chevening scholarship. I got in, with 26 other Filipinos, in the hopes of learning more and applying it when I get back home. In applying for the Chevening scholarship, you have to put 3 choices of courses and universities you want to attend in the UK. Mine were the University of Glasgow, University of Sussex, and the University of East Anglia. I got into all three, but eventually chose UEA. I am now in Norwich studying Media and International Development at the University of East Anglia. I first became involved in climate justice in 2009. I was in college then, a member of Dakila, and we began a campaign with Oxfam in time for COP19 in Copenhagen. Everyone was …

Why we must look up at the stars

We were always told of our importance in the spaces we occupy. Our parents reassured us of this. Our teachers reminded us everyday. But what they forget to tell us is how truly insignificant we all are in the grand scheme of things. We always look down, look around, but fail to look up. So humans have a sense of entitlement, a sense that somehow the world owes them something merely for existing. And maybe that’s the problem. Maybe instead of just telling us how important we are, we should also be taught of how insignificant we are. Maybe, just maybe, if we learned to look at the stars and understand how small we are in the cosmos, how the universe will continue to exist without us, maybe we can all forget our egos and learn to be kinder to one another. Maybe then we will realize that power and money mean nothing. Maybe we can start to think of each other as equals and stop the wars where we fight to prove ourselves greater. …

Vote for someone with the right values

Many people ask me why I would choose someone with values over someone with competency. Don’t get me wrong, if there was someone who had both, of course I’d choose him/her. But between a person who has values more than competency and a person who’s very competent but had very little or no values, I’d choose the first anytime. Why? Let me quote Albus Dumbledore (because I’m a Potterhead and when I read the books, this phrase really stuck with me), “It is our choices, Harry, that show us what we truly really are, far more than our abilities.” When we choose a leader we should always remember that far more than building the economy of a nation, this leader is building a community, and to some extent, building humanity. One can have all the competencies in the world but when one is not equipped with the right values, our very core as humans will be crumble. It continues to baffle me how people could so easily exchange respect and dignity for riches. What’s more, …

Why I Will not Vote for Duterte

Ok, no, I can’t take this anymore. If you need to kill to feel safe, that’s not a healthy society. If you need a dictator to tell you what to do to make this country better, that’s not a healthy society. You want Duterte as a president because you want that one person who you think can discipline this whole nation into fear and submission? You want one person to have all that power instead of everyone of us doing our job to create a better nation? Don’t you think that’s lazy? Why put this job in one man’s hand when it should be all of us building this nation? There’s no real peace and no real security when we are only governed by fear. Don’t even get me started with Duterte’s machismo. It’s no longer funny. It is disconcerting. How far would you go to defend and protect your candidate, even if he does wrong? And really, why would I trust someone who claims he can solve crimes in 6 months? What kind of …

Human Rights at FIFDH 2016

I was in Geneva, Switzerland to attend the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights. I was invited to speak last March 5 at the debate after the screening of This Changes Everything by Avi Lewis. It was interesting, having been the only woman and from a developing country in the panel. I was with Martin Benson, climate scientist, former member of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and who is now a director of Institute for Environment Sciences of the University of Geneva. I was also with Remy Prud’homme, a professor emeritus at the University of Paris. Prof. Remy was a climate skeptic and I found his logic, well, illogical. With all due respect. So here I talked for the first time in front of a French audience about climate justice. I became emotional when Prof. Remy said that statistics say that lives in developing countries have improved over the years, which is why climate change isn’t true. So I told him, teary eyed, not to reduce our pain and suffering to …

I’ll be at FIFDH in Geneva

Reason why I am once again going to winter. I’ll be at the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland and will be talking about climate change and human rights after the screening of Avi Lewis’ This Changes Everything. I’ll be alongside a human rights expert, a scientist formerly from IPCC, and a professor emeritus from University of France. I’m definitely not at par with their work experience and extensive knowledge on climate change, but I’ll bring with me stories of our country and stories of everyone I’ve met dealing with climate change impacts. Nanay Teresita, Nanay Valentina, Nanay Vicky, Tatay Lando — I hope to share your stories to other people.

Featured in Greenpeace Magazin

I am currently featured in the latest Greenpeace Magazin issue in Germany! Everything is in German but it features my work on human rights and climate. This was shot at The Louvre one day after the Paris climate agreement was signed. Photo by Jo Mangrean. Visit the Greenpeace Magazin website: www.greenpeace-magazin.de