An advocacy I never loved at first
It has been almost twelve years that I am into environment advocacy work. To be in this endeavor isn’t after all my first love. I never had a “green thumb”. It has been always said that environment activists have that ardent love for nature. But I am an exception for this.
I seldom admire the chirping of the birds, the rustling of the leaves, the swaying of the verdant green grasses in the meadows. Not until I challenged myself to take part in environment activism.
My membership to an environment advocacy formation is propelled by the need to have a speaker on various environmental issues that hound Panay Island in the Philippines. Back in my college days, I joined in various extemporaneous speaking competitions and luck was always on my side. My exposure to these activities somehow developed my ability and confidence to speak before the public (but of course, much has still to be improved on me). I volunteered to be a part of the environment group because I just want to speak. For me, it was an opportunity that I must grab that time.
I indulge myself in studying environmental issues like mining, garbage disposal, construction and operation of coal-fired power plants, and global warming. I also learned the basics of ecology, ecosystem, environment, and nature.
Alas, my heart was struck by the realization that I am not just a plain speaker. I am not a mechanical being that will just simply speak at an opportune time that I have to speak. My appreciation for nature and the environment developed. And I spoke from the heart.
The issue of mining was my first encounter as an activist. Every word I uttered in our campaign is expressed with a great concern for the future of my country. Imagine a barren land whose mineral wealth have all been extracted by big profiteering mining companies who do not care for the future of the community! What wealth and abundant resources will my country have in the years to come if all of these were already sold to big private businesses? I do not yearn to see my homeland wallowing in poverty, exploited by greed of the few. Moreso, I do not want to witness the gasping of the breath of every creature where trees are nowhere to be found just to give way for open-pit mining operation.
That was the beginning of my journey as environment activist. I am among the many environment activists around the world and my advocacy may only be a replica of the countless efforts that have already been done. But for me to fall in love with environmental activism is a stand out achievement in my life…a realization that no one can replicate. #