Ang Kalusunan: Defending our land defenders

By Aimee Oliveros


I have always enjoyed watching documentaries, I remember the first ones I probably watched were Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 and Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. From films about World War II to cult followings, to veganism, animal welfare, and environmental films, to biopics, LGBTQ and human rights, culture, food, and just about anything else, watching has always been a way for me to learn about the world, a way to balance and see things at different perspectives. It’s entertaining and thought-provoking, it’s heartbreaking yet still hopeful, and it’s clear but also ambiguous.

Looking back at the countless films that I have watched, I always resonated with stories about struggle and oppression, mainly because I have experienced my fair share of struggles, of being discriminated based on race, age, sexuality, and gender. Watching my same story being told by another is just freeing and creates this level of connection and the feeling that I am not alone. Aside from stories about struggles, I also connect with stories about resilience and hope. It inspires me to use the space and platform that I have to also speak for others, and actively take part in making a change and difference. 

The month of March celebrates stories of the struggles and resilience of women and transgenders through different observances, March 8 is International Women’s Day, and March 31 is International Transgender Day of Visibility. This month was also a critical moment to highlight important social issues that challenge equity and justice, not just across genders, but also the intersection with environmental and political issues. It was only fitting to end the month honoring our land defenders, indigenous communities, and environmental advocates in the preservation of our natural home, through a community screening of one of the most inspiring documentary films that I have seen, “Delikado” by director Karl Malakunas. Special thanks to Climate Reality Leader Rommel Miles Corro for his efforts to bring this film to the administrators, faculty members, and students of St. Alphonsus Liguori Integrated School in Cavite.

Delikado is a film that follows the incredible story of ex-Mayor Nieves Rosento, Atty. Bobby Chan, and the para-enforcers of the Palawan NGO Network Inc. in El Nido, Palawan, as they fight to protect their home and natural resources. 

Delikado is a film that highlights one of the many battles we face in a world full of injustice, inequality, and fear. It offers an incredible story of strength and resilience and the power of humanity and solidarity.

Delikado challenges how we can, as a community, defend our defenders, and start being defenders ourselves. 

My love for documentary films will always be there—a good one opens the mind and trigger emotions, but a great one, such as Delikado, challenges our thinking and inspires us to action. 

The Do’s and Dont’s 

As we recognize the important work of land defenders and environmental advocates as highlighted in the film Delikado, here are a few ways how we can support them:

  1. Self-education is the first and most vital step to support and amplify the voices of our land defenders and environmental advocates. Through awareness, we learn about the experiences of those on the ground, dig deeper into their struggles, and hopefully create a pathway of support and action.
  2. We need to create opportunities to bring visibility to the issues on the preservation of land and natural resources, as well as the challenges our land defenders are facing. By bringing them to light, we can start meaningful conversations to ignite action.
  3. The Philippines is one of the most dangerous countries for environmental advocates and land defenders so every action towards protecting their rights and their networks is important. 


To know more about the Delikado film and how you can support it, please visit

The Climate Reality Project Philippines is actively promoting the community screening of the film Delikado, particularly to schools across the Philippines, if you are interested then please contact us by emailing



The Highs and Lows 

This month, we continued with our regional hang-out with Climate Reality Leaders from National Capital Regions. Rey Sario is active in climate education, particularly on ecological conversion and preservation, while Theo Viray is currently working as a substitute teacher in Los Baños and actively driving school-based environmental-related initiatives (curriculum and instruction). Both are inspiring their communities, and creating particularly for their students, to apply their learning into climate actions.

We asked our Climate Reality Leaders what they consider as top climate issues within their localities and there’s consistency on pollution, waste management, and rapid urbanization leading to biodiversity loss and flooding, but it was also common that a lot of the local government units in Metro Manila do not have the necessary awareness and campaigns about climate and environmental conservation. It’s interesting to see how the next hang-out sessions would bring about more connections and collaborations.

Watch this space and connect with us! 

We would love to hear from you! Do you have any climate questions but are too afraid to ask, or maybe a comment on our monthly column, just email at   



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.


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.