With all these old stiff looking people in their polo barongs, blazers and skirts (some of them deans, doctors and the university president), I enter the hall wearing a pink t-shirt, navy blue cropped shorts and my bad ass biker jacket.
I was invited to Central Luzon State University in Munoz, Nueva Ecija (like 3hrs and 30mins from Manila) for this launching of an EcoVillage in their area. I think it's the second here in the Philippines. My dad (surprisingly) was so kind to drive for me. I was actually one hour late because we got a bit loss when we took the "short cut."
That's me making the peace sign during a formal picture with other representatives from different universities from Region 1, 2, 3, 4 and NCR. (Please click to enlarge)
Anyway, on with the important details.
I was chosen by the Global Ecovillage Network for Oceana and Asia (GENOA) President, Ms. Penelope Velasco, to spearhead their project that involves the youth - what they call as Next Gen.
For More Info on GENOA: http://gen.ecovillage.org/
For More Info on NextGen: http://nextgen.ecovillage.org/
The Global Ecovillage Network is really big in Europe and Africa and now, they're trying to spread it in Asia, Australia and Pacific Islands. And they're bringing it here in the Philippines. More than the physical environmental changes they're advocating, it's actually the world view of the people they are trying to change.
Below are one of the first group of young people (in Europe) who advocated for a more sustainable eco-friendly village.
How did I get chosen? To make the long story short, let's just say that luck, charms, brain and heart were on my side at that time.
I followed her other three symposiums in Manila (in front of Church volunteers, in Tower 1 at Makati Ayala business district and now in front of the Academe) and I guess she was impressed with my ideas and commentaries about what she was proposing.
She was also able to talk to Fr. Ben Nebres (president of The Ateneo) and my Environmental Science professor, Mr. Peabody from Fordham University about her plans of having an EcoVillage inside our university.
After presiding over those old stiff looking people, she asked if she can have a brief moment with me:
Are you interested in traveling? Of course!
Will you be able to be committed in this org even for just a year? Yes.
And a lot more explaining and asking questions which I think I all answered "definitely, yes, of course and sure!"
The rest is history! I guess.
So this coming 2010, I'll be traveling back and forth to Nueva Ecija to watch the improvement of the EcoVillage there and will be visiting Asian countries (China, Bangladesh, Indonesia...) in order to observe, learn and exchange information with them. It'll definitely be a tiring year!:D
Sample EcoVillage/House below
ONE MAJOR PROBLEM:
I need youth volunteers, not more than 24 years old, who is interested in this advocacy. I know it's a bit too much but the rewards are very fulfilling because you will be in the front line of a major international thing and you might go with me to Thailand for an international convention with other NextGen volunteers around the world.
I need someone who is:
-dedicated and passionate at work
-willing to travel here and abroad
-willing to work with foreign students
-willing to try on a new lifestyle and culture
-wants to make a difference, environmentally
If you or your group is interested, even by the slightest chance, just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) so i can give you more info about it. You can even arrange a meeting and the Starbucks drink is on me!:D
Check out the site below, it's also cool.