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When young people lead

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From Mission ASCEND facebook page.

When young people lead, even leaders need to follow. That is the power of youth.

I had the amazing opportunity to present the latest Climate Reality slideshow, fresh from the Manila Training, to student leaders of Tacloban, Ground Zero for Super Typhoon Yolanda, on Earth Hour Day, March 19. I was invited by Jude Acidre of Tingog Sinirangan to give the talk. My talk was to present the context for a youth-led action and the launching of Mission ASCEND, a gathering of young voices for the environment.

About a hundred student leaders were there, coming from more than a dozen high schools of Region VIII. It was a particularly daunting experience, knowing these young people were survivors of Haiyan themselves, and the last thing they might need is somebody like me telling them about the impacts of climate change. But thank God they were particularly patient with me, even when my computer stopped working for a while.

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700 reasons for #ClimateHope

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The Mentors of the The Climate Reality Leadership Corps 31st International Training, held on March 14-16, 2016 at Sofitel, Philippine Plaza.

(From The Climate Reality Project website:  Some people wait for the future. Leaders create it.

Ordinary people face challenges. Climate Reality Leaders embrace them. The Climate Reality Leadership Corps is a global network of activists committed to taking on the climate crisis and solving what is far and away the greatest challenge of our time.

The program takes great leaders and makes them exceptional, providing the training in climate science, communications, and organizing to tell the story of climate change and inspire communities everywhere to take action. The result is a dynamic group of world-changers shaping the conversation on climate in forums from family dinners to international summits and building a 21st-century movement for solutions.) 

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The transformative power of Waldorf Education

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The graduates, while Class 8 was singing the School Hymn.

(Being absent from the parents meeting for Toni’s graduation, I was volunteered to give the Parents’ Response. I said these words in the simple and intimate ceremony this morning with the lovely accompaniment of bamboo swaying and birds chirping in the background, and also with parents, teachers and students sniffing from crying because of the raw and heartfelt messages given by the graduates and teachers alike. Let me share it with you here.)

It would be hard to articulate here the experience of the parents of Mayba and Joy because nobody could really fully capture other people’s journey.  So while I will also share what little I know of their experience, I will focus more on what my family has been through and why we believe of the transformative power of Waldorf Education.

We have known about this school for some time, as some of its founders are dear friends even before we moved to Iloilo. But we became really aware of it when we needed it. Our son Toni, then turning 13, was advanced in his studies for two years due to acceleration in preschool because he was already a reader at age two. At 12, he was already showing signs of stress and school fatigue. He just finished third year in high school and would be entering the senior year. I was in a panic of thinking he would be in college at 14, knowing of the rat race in universities these days.

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Sharing my story at #CRinPH

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Thanks to my dear friend and fellow climate warrior Dean Rebecca Barrios for taking this photo.

(I had the chance to briefly share my story at The Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training in Manila this afternoon. This is how I intended to share it, but the actual was a bit different. It was an honor to be introduced by Climate Reality Board Member Don Henry who I had the privilege of meeting in the Asia Pacific Climate Reality Leadership Congress in Melbourne in 2011. Meeting Climate Reality founder and chairman Al Gore at the back stage was so surreal, but that’s another story.)

I’m a farmer’s daughter. My father took pains to send us to school and not spend a day of work in the farm. But as a child I loved climbing trees and taking showers in the rain and daydreaming. However, my father’s dream for me was to set me out to make something of myself. And despite some detours, I found myself teaching in college and taking up a masters course. I was actually on my way. But I was burned out.

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Weathering the Storm: September 29-October 1, 2011    Dumaguete Climate Change Presentation

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With NORSU President Henry Sojor and NORSU Board of Regents Member,  Arlene Grino.

(Note: In trying to reconstruct my Climate Presentations list, Arlene Grino of MISSION Dumaguete sent me her report of the Climate Change Presentation Series I did in Dumaguete City. This originally appeared in the MISSION website on October 6, 2011.)

Last Thursday, at exactly 6:36 AM, our dynamic speaker Shiela ‘GORE’ Castillo texted me that she was boarding her Cebu Pacific flight. She was finally enroute to Dumaguete after missing the previous flight having been stranded at Calapan Port due to typhoon Pedring. Having moved the schedules twice, I was happiest to see her emerge from the airport’s arrival area. Shiela had plenty of time to prepare and freshen up for the first engagement: Silliman University, 10 o’clock AM, Assembly Hall.

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