Sometimes even if we think that we are living simple lives, we have to really look into numbers to make sure we are not being deluded into idealistic thoughts of ourselves and how we live our lives. Before my family left Zarraga, Iloilo in June 2016, we have started organizing Free Markets through the Balagon Cultural Creatives. Knowing we were soon to move, we started looking into what we should give up, and what should come with us to Dumaguete. After several free markets, we finally had to actually pack for the move.
Today is my birthday and I’m doing nothing for Mother Earth. If you know me, I know you would wonder why. Why do nothing when I have dedicated my life to do what I could for her? Why do nothing when last year I had a successful a green gifts for Gaia birthday wherein I asked my friends to plant trees instead of buying me gifts? And in response, my friends gave all sorts of wonderful gifts for Mother Earth in celebration of my birthday. One friend updated me this afternoon about the Spanish Plum that she planted for me last year. She said it is now three feet tall. It will be taller than me next year. Sweet! I even had a mangrove planting celebration with Climate Reality colleagues last year. And now I’m doing nothing?
Here is the UNrider I give out to organizers when I get invited to present the Al Gore Climate Reality Presentation:
Divas and celebrities demand outrageous riders whenever they do shows or appearances. I am not a celebrity, and though I sometimes feel like a diva, I’m not the kind of person to act like one. However, the idea of a rider is especially appealing to me as a climate change communicator because I think it could help me communicate the cause better. As an environmental activist, I always try to raise the bar and be the whole package. As they say, the messenger is the message. From my clothes (definitely coming from ukay-ukay!) to my lifestyle, I try to be green. So many times I fail but I never fail to try again. So I have listed down my own rider that would align my environmental principles to how I want my hosts to receive me in the speaking events I’m invited to. Trust me, these will make the life of my host easier, and I will be happier getting closer to my whole green package goal.
I have not yet read Amanda Palmer’s book ‘The Art of Asking’, but it was what came to my mind after my phone call with The Climate Reality Project Philippines Branch Manager Rodne Galicha. It was the day before my birthday and I just came from a Climate Reality talk with some 40 Chemical Engineering students of the De La Salle University. Rodne and I were supposed to meet but since my schedule was tight, we decided to put off the meeting and call later instead. He greeted me a happy birthday and he said that he will ask somebody from Sibuyan Island to plant ten trees in my name.