Join an estimate of 2 billion citizens of this planet in the largest voluntary movement for mother earth this coming March 31, for Earth Hour 2012.

Philippines involvement in Earth Hour

Earth Hour begun as a single-city initiative in 2007; from 7:30 to 8:30pm on March 31 (2007), 2.2 million people switched off their lights to celebrate Earth Hour in Sydney, Australia. The power saved during the 60-minute switch-off was equivalent to removing 48,613 cars off Sydney roads for an hour.

Earth Hour became a global movement in 2008. The Philippines was the first Southeast Asian nation to pledge full support. Its flagship cities of Pasay, Manila, Parañaque and Makati observed a switch-off ceremony from 8:00 to 9:00pm on March 28, 2008, at the CCP grounds. Over 50 local towns and cities participated in the one-hour lights-out. Total power savings amounted to 80MWh was saved in Luzon alone — equivalent to shutting down a coal-fired power plant for one hour.

In 2009, the Philippines became the top Earth Hour country in terms of town and city participation, with 647 Philippine towns and cities joining in. Ten million Filipinos saved at least 611 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity in 2009 – equivalent to a temporary shutdown of a dozen coal-fired power plants.

In 2010, 1076 Philippine towns and cities participated — more than enough to retain the title.

A record-breaking 1661 Philippine cities and municipalities switched off their lights for Earth Hour in 2011 – making the country a three-time Earth Hour champion and an official Earth Hour ‘Hero Country’.

Since its inception, Earth Hour has grown to a 5251-city-strong global movement, reaching 1.8 billion people in 135 countries and territories across all seven continents. It is now the largest annually recurring environmental event on Earth.

Earth Hour 2012

Earth Hour 2012

Philippine Preparations Set, Switch-off Sites for Earth Hour Declared

WWF-Philippines-led switch-off ceremonies are slated for the cities of Makati, Cebu and Davao – though other cities and towns are expected to hold well-organized events to observe the switch-off.

Makati City’s Ayala Triangle Gardens shall be the central hub for Luzon. At 6:30PM on March 31, glow-in-the-dark dance troupe Bailes de Luces and the Caracol dancers shall form the vanguard of an Earth-themed parade which starts at the Makati fire station and ends at Ayala Tower One – where WWF-Philippines National Ambassador Rovilson Fernandez shall host a program with performances from El Gamma Penumbra, Brigada and other groups. No less than Earth Hour founder Andy Ridley shall lead the country’s main switch-off event, hosted by WWF with the help of Ayala Land and the Makati City Government.

Cebu City’s Plaza Independencia shall be the chief switch-off site for Visayas. A festive street parade led by local Sinulog Dancers shall start from Fuente Osmeña Circle from 5:30PM onwards. The Cebu switch-off further features a candle lighting ceremony capped off by the release of biodegradable sky lanterns. Cebu’s event is in cooperation with the Aboitiz Group and the Cebu City Government.

SM Davao shall be the main switch-off site for Mindanao. WWF-Philippines National Ambassador Marc Nelson shall host the switch-off, which features a Kadayawan-themed parade around SM City Davao starting at 6:00PM. Black-light and fire-dancers shall woo the crowd with specialized routines once the city plunges into darkness. The Davao event is in collaboration with SM Supermalls, the Green Alliance and the Davao City Government.

It is also said that Dabaweños should prepare for some exciting surprises at the SM City Davao switch-off.

All three Earth Hour switch-off sites in the Philippines will be live streamed to each other, leaving room for the cities to contest who’s going to have the most awesome switch-off program at hand. All events will then simultaneously anticipate the switch-off which is slated for 8:30 to 9:30PM that day.

Gregg Yan of WWF-Philippines wants to remind all Filipinos that the stats are virtually irrelevant and insignificant — what truly matters is the outcome of all of this. The hope that is given to humanity, the voluntary will to act and help save earth.

That’s why, Earth Hour 2012 drags along a call-to-action in the means of…

“I Will If You Will” pledges.

The concept of “I Will If You Will” centers on providing a social contract between two parties — connecting one person, business or organization to a ‘promise’ and their friends, family, customers or members to a ‘challenge’ — uniting them behind the common goal of creating a positive environmental outcome.

WWF-Philippines National Ambassador Marc Nelson has pledged to swim with sharks — in Panda custom — and plant trees underwater while munching on a carrot, if 5000 of his Twitter followers pledge to avoid plastic and reuse shopping bags.

The Pinoy Teens New Media on the other hand, pledges to write all year long about the environment (adding a special section for it), if at least 250 of our followers on Facebook or Twitter either a. like this post, b. share this post or c. post their own pledges on our Facebook fan page.

What are you waiting for? Don’t forget to participate in any of the three key switch-off sites in the Philippines – or if you are quite distant from any of them — take part in the Earth Hour event hosted in your city, town or municipality — if not, organize one yourself!

For more information visit the Earth Hour website, check out the Earth Hour youtube channel, like Earth Hour on Facebook or tweet to Earth Hour on Twitter.