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article imageEarth Hour: The Philippines' Darkest Hour

By Leo Reyes     Mar 28, 2009 in Environment
The Philippines topped this year's participation in observing the Earth Hour which was participated by around 2,800 cities and municipalities around the world
The Philippines’ darkest hour happened last night when around 10 million Filipinos participated in this year’s light switch-off for the benefit of our mother earth.
The Philippines ranked number one in this year’s Earth’s Day lights switch off with 647 cities and municipalities participating, followed by Greece in second with 484 cities and municipalities.
This writer witnessed last night the entire neighborhood where he lives in switching off lights in their homes almost simultaneously at 8:30 p.m.
The light switch-off schedule coincided with his monthly neighborhood association meeting that regularly starts at 7:30 p.m. This writer is the Vice-Chairman of the association and was previously designated by the Chairman, Atty. Narciso Tadeo to present a program to the members that would regulate parking of cars along the street leading to the community church.
When it was this writer’s time to preside, the clock bell sounded, which signals the start of the switch-off. It was 8:30 p.m. Philippine time. The venue of last night’s meeting was the fancy house of Trell Magbanua, a former diplomat at the United Nations who came home from New Jersey, USA to visit her neighbors in the Philippines and to witness the Earth Hour power switch-off.
This writer was really amazed at how the neighborhood had prepared for the switch-off ceremony. When it was time for him to preside, Trell Magbanua, the host for this month’s regular meeting, brought in several candles to light up the meeting venue. This writer’s presentation went on for an hour under candle lights. When the meeting was over, the lights were switched on again and the fellowship followed. Incidentally, the meeting and the switch off event coincided with the birthday of the host.
The officers and members of the neighborhood association were happy to have contributed in a small way to the annual Earth Hour energy saving marathon which spans 83 countries and 24 time zones.
Philippine organizers for the annual Earth Day event were successful in waging an effective public awareness campaign that saw 10 million Filipinos participating this year from a mere one million last year.
CNN reports:
In Australia, floodlights of the Sydney Opera House were extinguished as the city's iconic harbor kicked off events for Earth Hour. The event's Web site reported that hundreds of people lined the harbor for a glimpse of the dimming skyline at 8:30 pm.
Sydney became the birthplace of the Earth Hour campaign in 2007 when 2.2 million turned off their lights, igniting a grass-roots movement that has become a global phenomenon
.
In other parts of the world, the CNN report added:
In China, illuminations at major buildings including the "Bird's Nest" Olympic Stadium and the Water Cube were extinguished as 20 cities joined in, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
Other landmarks around the world expected to join the World Wildlife Fund-sponsored event were the Egyptian pyramids, Vatican, Niagara Falls, the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, the Acropolis in Athens and the Las Vegas casino strip.
Earth Hour events got off to an unofficial start in the remote Chatham Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean where locals switched off their diesel generators, organizers said. Shortly afterward, 44 New Zealand cities and town joined in the event
More about Earth hour, Energy, Conservation, Green earth, Philippines
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