shielarcastillo


Leave a comment

Got green books? Donate!

Almost twenty years ago, I bought part of my friend and Kumpare Jerry Gracio’s library. 175 books sold for a song to a friend who he thought would take care of the books and keep them forever. Jerry is now an award-winning writer/poet and currently Commissioner at the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino and I don’t have a single book from that collection anymore. I was proud of that collection and allowed everyone who wanted to borrow the books to get them, trusting they would be returned. None did.

Continue reading

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Van verses

red earth

On the six-hour van trip from Mondulkiri to Phnom Penh this morning, I got bored listening to music and decided to write down some thoughts that have been in my mind the past few days. What came out are four simple verses which I can’t really call poems, lest my real poet friends disown me, if they haven’t already. I have not been writing poetry for some time, and (spoiler alert: brandishing rare bragging right!) although I personally got praise for my poetry from Herminio S.Beltran, editor of Ani, Cultural Center of the Philippines Literary Anthology for some of my works published there ages ago, I let my literary sword rust for years. Everyone knows there’s no excuse for writing bad poetry, so I’m just ranting here.
Lastly, three things: first is that these are about and not about Cambodia. Cambodia is just a trigger because I’ve been here four weeks already and trying to soak in as much as I could, but as I started typing on my cellphone, I realized its about many places, Cambodia, Philippines, India, and other places I have read about or seen in pictures, generic places I have created in my mind; second, simple as these verses might seem, I invite you to go beyond the first level of interpretation, and if you find something, let me know; third, I encourage you to write your thoughts. It doesn’t matter if you don’t consider yourself a writer. It doesn’t have to be a poem or essay in their strict sense. If you feel passionately about something, just write about it i the language you are comfortable with, never mind grammar and rules, just write, and see where that journey takes you.

Continue reading


3 Comments

The 100 pieces challenge

18235823_10155336841035229_692475626_o

Its good to know that I don’ have to wear rags to be kinder to Mother Earth. In fact, I always get compliments for my clothes and people are surprised to find out that most of my clothes are bought from thrift shops like what I’m wearing in these photos. The lovely Marks and Spencer shoes I’m wearing with the blue jumpsuit are gifts from dear friend and fellow climate leader Dean Rebecca Barrios of NVC, Kalibo.

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.

Continue reading


1 Comment

Why I’m doing nothing for Mother Earth

do nothing

Found in google images, credit to whoever owns it. 

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?

Continue reading


1 Comment

Five things you have to remember when you invite me as a speaker

 

transformational

Instead of a tarpauline, student leaders of the Northwestern Visayan Colleges in Kalibo, Aklan prepared this creative and fun sign for my talk during the Eco-Leadership Conference held on August 5-6, 2016.

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.

Continue reading