It was lights off in the city of Cagayan de Oro as local officials and energy leaders encouraged Kagay-Anons to use their inner powers to help save the planet during the celebrations of Earth Hour 2014.
Earth Hour is an international organization spearheaded by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) that aims to raise awareness and encourage people to take action against climate change. It encourages households and businesses to switch off unnecessary lights for one hour every last Saturday of March. The Philippines has been an avid supporter of Earth Hour since 2009.
Kagay-Anons showed their support for the environment when Cagayan de Oro city Mayor Oscar S. Moreno led the ceremonial switch off at SM City CdO last March 29. Lights were switched off from 8:30 to 9:30 PM across the city. The Earth Hour 2014 celebrations were also supported by Cagayan Electric Power & Light Company, Inc. (CEPALCO) Senior Vice President Ralph Paguio; renewable energy expert from Italy, Gabriele Boccia; and Primavera Residences developer, ItalPinas Euroasian Design and Eco-Development Corp. (ITPI) CEO Arch. Romolo V. Nati.
Moreno noted that “saving the earth and preserving the environment is not just a one man’s job and not a simple thing to do. All of us can help, and I am sure we can in some measure.”
Paguio lauded some of the residences and commercial establishments in the city for their energy conservation efforts and called them “silent heroes.” According to him, there’s no need for the city to implement rotating brownouts despite the rest of Mindanao’s recent experience in power interruptions.
SM City CdO Mall Manager Clara Elizaga also urged the residents to be a superhero and use their power for the planet. About 48 branches of SM across the country also participated in Earth Hour, according to Elizaga.
“It’s very important to think about the environment not only for one hour but every single day,” shared Architect Nati, who lauded the city’s support for renewable energy. “When people ask me why I decided to develop green buildings in Cagayan de Oro, I tell them it is because CdO is one of the most progressive cities in the Philippines. You have a fantastic mayor and a company like CEPALCO that developed photovoltaic power plants more than ten years ago–which is really incredible, because at that time, people were not yet talking about solar power even in Europe,” he added.
Nati is the developer of Primavera Residences and an avid supporter of green architecture and sustainability. Primavera Residences is the first eco-friendly mixed-use property in Cagayan de Oro equipped with energy-saving and energy-producing features.
The Earth Hour 2014 celebrations at SM City CdO saw the many local talents that the city has to offer. Participants were treated to musical and cultural performances and fun activities including face painting. They were also encouraged to write their pledges to save the environment on an open billboard and draw a tree on a board to show their commitment to plant trees.