Meet the Earth Hour ambassadors

MANILA, Philippines - Earth Hour 2013 is set to take place on March 23 at 8:30 pm. Leading the Philippine pack of participants are Earth Hour ambassadors Marc Nelson, Rovilson Fernandez, and Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski.

They join the ranks of other celebrity Earth Hour ambassadors such as Jessica Alba, “Asia’s Next Top Model” host Nadya Hutagalung, and Indonesian actress Pevita Pearce.

Actress, equestrienne, and celebrity mom Mikee is the latest Earth Hour Philippines ambassador to be appointed.

She joins her fellow ambassadors and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines in gunning for a 5th consecutive win of the title “Earth Hour Hero Country.”

Since 2009, the Philippines has topped town and city participation and earned a reputation for staunchly supporting the global movement. Last year, a record-breaking 1,671 towns, cities, and municipalities joined the 60-minute switch-off.

Going beyond the hour

According to WWF and the Earth Hour ambassadors, Earth Hour is more than just 60 minutes without light or electricity.

Their “I Will If You Will” (IWIYW) campaign dares global citizens to take up simple daily challenges that can help the environment.

For instance, Mikee has pledged to contribute 500 seedlings to WWF-Philippines’s agro-forestry program in the Abuan Watershed of Isabela if 500 people pledge to quit smoking for just 5 days.

Watch Mikee’s IWIYW dare here:

Rovilson has pledged to conduct a free Cross-Fit class if 1,000 people pledge to use reusable bags instead of plastics.

Watch Rovilson share his challenge here:

Meanwhile, Marc says he will kite-board from Boracay to Panay while wearing a “Panda” hat if 1,000 people commit to use reusable water tumblers instead of disposable plastic bottles.

Watch Marc share his challenge here:

According to Earth Hour CEO and co-founder Andy Ridley, the growing number of Earth Hour ambassadors and participating countries in Asia indicates the strengthening of the continent’s global influence.

“Historically, international media has not fully acknowledged the power and influence of figures coming from Asia. This is fast changing.

"The fact that voices from celebrities across the region are so strong shows the power of their influence. After all, they represent more than 4 billion people – over half the world's population,” he says.

Earth Hour ambassador Nadya Hutagalung, who was also in the Philippines recently, agrees.

“The issues facing our planet are as relevant to Asia as they are to the rest of the world. As our economies grow and Asia becomes the predominant economic force across the planet, we have to pause and think about what legacy we want to leave not only in Asia, but for the whole planet.”

In the Philippines, supporters of Earth Hour continue to grow in number. This year, aside from cities and towns across the country, companies like Philips, Subaru (Motor Image Pilipinas, Inc.), ArthaLand, Prime Properties Investment Group, Smart Communications, LBC Foundation, Primer Group of Companies, Big Chill, and Starbucks are supporting the movement.

An added twist to this year’s Earth Hour Philippines is the absence of a main event venue. Earth Hour Philippines organizers encourage families, companies, establishments, towns, cities, and individuals to hold their own Earth Hour events.

How are YOU taking part in Earth Hour? Share your plans and ideas with us by posting your comments below. - Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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