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.


I was just telling them what they already know. They are Yolanda survivors. (Photo grabbed from Mission ASCEND facebook page)

One of the perks of my being a Climate Reality Leader is the opportunity to engage people from all walks of life, especially the youth who have a certain infectious energy around them that gets me so worked up. I was challenged by them to to share my pledge, my commitment for the environment. Here it is:

Mission ASCEND is aiming to gather a million pledges all over the world. Ambitious, you think? But that is actually the point. The youth has ambitions older people like us could only wish for. Their boldness and courage to do what is right, at the scale we are too frightened to take, is inspiring to say the least.

Long after my presentation was over, I stayed to be wowed by the electric energy in the room, thinking about the ripples each single pledge has, to create a world these young people deserve.


How was the event? With fellow speaker Dr. Jay Jadloc. Chuck Baclagon of, coming fresh from the Climate Reality Training himself, also gave a talk on the use of social media for action. (Photo grabbed from Mission ASCEND facebook page).

If you want to know more about this initiative, visit the Mission ASCEND website here. They also have a facebook page where some of the video pledges are uploaded. I invite you to check them out and be inspired. You might even want to grab your smart phone and take a video of your own pledge, and by all means do so, don’t fight it. It will be good for the planet and future generations. And it will be good for you too, but how, you have to figure it out for yourself.

And if you want to know more about my initiative Disposable Bottle Busters, please visit our facebook page, click like and share it on your wall. Thanks and love!


The wonderful bunch at the Mission ASCEND Launch. By this time I was already at my guesting stint at the local Teleradyo Program ‘Oras Han Katawhan’. (Photo grabbed from Mission ASCEND facebook page).



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