Last October 9, 2015, I was invited to speak at the Manila Summit of Conscience for the Climate held in the Senate of the Philippines organized by the Office of Sen. Loren Legarda, the Climate Change Commission, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the French Embassy in the Philippines. The following is my speech:
I come from a small island in the middle of the Philippines where the world’s densest flourishes, the majestic Mt. Guiting-guiting dwells and one of the country’s cleanest rivers flows, Cantingas River – where you can swim with the fish and drink the water where you swam. As we continue to protect our watersheds from mining, Cantingas River becomes the 100% main source of our electricity for 70,000 islanders through a mini-hydro power system. I come from that island where our indigenous peoples called Mangyan Tagabukid continue to live sustainably in harmony of nature.
I was formed in a university where Veritas, truth, must always be promoted at all times. In today’s context, to recognize the Truth that in unity, faith, hope and love, we are called to be stewards – to bring back the real meaning of Economy, which is not about law of supply and demand, profits, investments and gains. Our mission: accept that economy comes from OIKOS- household, nature where we come from; and NOMOS, management, stewardship.
In our own little ways, we can do the 8-Rs, reduce, reuse, recycle, repair refuse, rethink, rainforest, and reconnect to where we come from. I come from a global movement called The Climate Reality Project founded by Nobel Laureate and former US Vice President Al Gore spreading the truth of climate crisis and its actual solutions BUT above all I belong to this community gathered in this very hall – consciences united, ever ready to live and act in harmony with nature becoming real Eco-nomists, stewards, Khalifas, and reconnect to Oikos, in accord with the Dhamma doing the Eightfold Path. We come from Nature, we are Nature. To end, join me in reciting the last stanza of the famous poem All things bright and beautiful – he gave eyes to see them and lips that we might tell, how great is God almighty who made all things well. And if our leaders fail to act: Al Gore would always say: POLITICAL WILL IS A RENEWABLE RESOURCE.
(Photos by Jan Michael Rase, Pia Ranada and Roslyn Arayata).