Monday, April 20, 2009

Philippines: A lonely and scorching journey for the environment

John Gilbuena, Save Earth Save Lives International Crusade eco-volunteer, on reaching the Batangas port from San Pedro, Laguna, for his 3-day scorching bike trip to Boracay, a popular beach resort at the northwestern tip of the island of Panay, some 193-miles southeast of Manila. (Photo by Rene Quinquito)

BATANGAS, Philippines - Long-time freelance journalist, John Gilbuena, took the lonely and grueling 180-mile journey from his hometown of San Pedro, in the province Laguna, to Boracay, a popular world-class beach destination near the north-western tip of the island of Panay, some 193-miles southeast of Manila.

Mr. Gilbuena, only with his backpack and mountain bike as companions, blazed under the scorching summer heat to dare his endurance and risk the hazardous exposure to the sun’s damaging ultra-violet rays in order to promote the Save Earth Save Lives International Crusade for the protection and conservation of the world’s remaining natural ecosystems.

The crusade, by the Life International Federation for the Ecology, through the Agro-Ecology Council of the Philippines, originated April 13 from a small and sleepy village of Barangay San Jose, which is located within the municipality of Bulakan, some 40-kilometers northwest of Manila.

This internet based eco-campaign that started only late last year, boasts of a 3,000-strong participation from countries within the Asia-Pacific region that includes the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hongkong, Japan, UAE, Canada and the United States of America.

One of the projects launched by this online-volunteer group, in cooperation with national government agencies, was an awareness drive via a “signature campaign for the ecology” targeting the youth sector from Philippine schools, colleges, and universities this coming class year.

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