By Aimee Oliveros
March 31, 2022
Stop and breathe, words that I often hear about but did not fully understand until that very moment. Looking out, the view was now entirely different from what I saw in the morning when the skies were clear, and the sun was shining sweetly. It made me realize how our world can change in a minute, in a week, or a year, and we should take opportunities to live our life with purpose and always with a grateful heart.
The rain passed after a few hours and everything seemed to be back in place, I can hear children playing outside and cars passing along. While everything seemed to return to normal, I remember the feeling that I was not the same person as the person I was before the rain—at that very moment I felt simply happy. Years later, I still enjoy my quiet moments in nature, I started practicing mindfulness to always feel my connection to our wonderful world. Happiness to me is all about connection—to ourselves, our community, and most profoundly to our natural world.
The Do’s and Dont’s
In March, we celebrate the International Day of Happiness—a day to recognize the fundamental goal of happiness in humanity. Happiness may have different definitions, meanings, and spectrums, and we all have our own paths to achieve it. Here are the answers of our Climate Reality Leaders to our question: “How do you find happiness in nature?”
The Highs and Lows
This month we continued with our Regional Hangout with Climate Reality Leaders in CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, and Bicol. Similar to our pilot session, this online session was organized per region to provide strategic pathways for initial communication, connection, and collaboration among Climate Reality Leaders within the same region or locality. CALABARZON is home to around 280 Climate Reality Leaders, MIMAROPA with 20, and Bicol with over 60 Climate Reality Leaders.
Each session is interesting and full of amazing stories about how they are paving a better reality for all. Aido Sepeda of Cavite is currently active in education and community organizing. Al Tesorero of Laguna is currently a social media climate justice intern. Eiren Gee Buenviaje of Laguna is currently using her voice to empower the youth to address climate issues in the environmental organizations that she is a part of. Geri De Los Santos of Laguna is currently doing research on climate-smart communities and personally avoiding single-use plastics. Maribeth Fruto of Sorsogon is active with community engagement for the environment. Nestor Baguinon of Laguna is currently writing a book to help Filipinos identify native from alien tree species. He is about to publish “Atlas of the Philippine Trees” and “Exotic Trees in the Philippines.” Mitzi Borromeo, meanwhile, is currently working on media content for kids to learn about the environment and arts.
During the pre-work activity, we asked our Climate Reality Leaders what they consider as top climate issues within their localities. For CALABARZON region, they identified biodiversity loss, deforestation, pollution, and waste management among the top climate issues. In the Bicol region, results showed that there were issues with ecological and environmental stability, as well as agricultural damages due to flooding and waste management. There is more to learn about climate issues in MIMAROPA and we look forward to connecting with our Climate Reality Leaders in the region. While issues may be different across the different regions, the fundamental issue they raised was the loss of interconnection between man and nature. It’s interesting to see how the next sessions would bring about more connections and collaborations. Watch this space and connect with us!
What’s in store for #LuzonLeaders?
Climate Reality Leaders in Metro Manila, join our upcoming online Regional Hangout on April 21!
We would love to hear from you! Do you have any climate questions but are too afraid to ask, or maybe just a comment in our monthly column, just email me at email@example.com.
Aimee is the Luzon Coordinator of The Climate Reality Project Philippines. She is a human resources professional with over 10 years of corporate work experience in different local and multinational industries. With her experience in organizational development, training and employee engagement, Aimee is deeply passionate about promoting learning and wellbeing. She is a Climate Reality Leader having joined the 2020 Global training which solidified her inner passion for community work and service. Being an advocate for the environment, she co-founded RE-Store MNL, a small shop promoting refill and reuse in Paranaque City. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences at the University of the Philippines Baguio.
ABOUT ANG KALUSUNAN
Ang Kalusunan or the “Northern Part” is a space that aims to amplify the climate stories and initiatives of the more than 1,200 Pinoy Climate Reality Leaders in Luzon.
It is one of the monthly columns launched by The Climate Reality Project Philippines to elevate the climate discourse and strengthen climate action across all regions in the Philippines.