Tuesday, February 21, 2012

MISSION ILOILO: Climate Change Stirs Iloilo

Climate Change Stirs Iloilo

Reports by: Jim Sharman, Au Hugo and Sam Prudente
The Tornado that was Shiela Castillo-Tiangco’s visit to Iloilo has come and gone but not without stirring things up both for the Iloilo Mission Node and hopefully for the students, faculty members, government officials, community leaders and concerned citizens from Iloilo and neighboring provinces (including Guimaras Island) who attended the presentations. Sheila was unstoppable and amazing, continuously reworking her presentation and bringing a real quality of commitment and passion to all her presentations.

Even with months of preparation, time seemed to accelerate as the event neared. Last minute glitches, like a wrong booking for Shiela's flight, only served to strengthen our resolve. Individuals were tested. The Iloilo Mission node was tested. And maybe, even Sheila was tested, given that we scheduled her for nine presentations over a four-day period! We knew that The Climate Reality Project was meant to be a learning opportunity for participants, but we had not realized what a learning opportunity it would become for the node! This was one of my own key insights from the event—that the second “I” in MISSION, is a powerfull and indispensable aspect of becoming an imaginal. Taking initiative together forces us to undergo the lemniscate process both individually and as a group. In the end, we moved, and Divine Providence moved too! But first to the report of the event.

A day before the launch, the small circle of carriers had the chance to sit together and be quiet. It was an important re-visiting of and reflection on intentions and sources of imaginality. This gave a renewed sense of purpose and strength and really helped gell the group in preparation for the long days ahead.

We had three venues on the first day—University of the Philippines in the Visayas (Iloilo City Campus); John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University; West Visayas College of Science and Technology. We were able to reach over 950 people through the efforts of these three institutions. Media covered the event at UP and Sheila had a phone-patched interview with a local station.

Day two also consisted of three venues: Iloilo Doctor’s College; PHINMA-University of Iloilo; and PHINMA-University of Iloilo College of Law, which hosted 100 businessmen and law students sponsored by JCI Regatta Iloilo. Through these venues and venue partners, we reached approximately 1,300 people.

On the third day, we sent Sheila to Guimaras island where she gave her presentation to a small group of residents and civil servants of Nueva Valencia at the John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University’s Villa Igang Training facility. Later, back in Iloilo, Shiela spoke to 400 students of Saint Paul University of Iloilo.

Finally, on the fourth day, the DENR in cooperation of the Central Philippine University gathered almost 1,600 participants from all walks of life: elementary, high school and college students of CPU as well as other schools like the Western Institute of Technology, the Oton National High School, San Jose College; DENR and Local government officials from various LGUs; businessmen and civic society representatives. The day was capped off with a live interview on the Cable TV show Ecoforum, but not before the hardworking Iloilo Node members, together with Sheila, had enjoyed a good traditional hilot massage!

All in all, we were able to reach over 4000 people who attended the various presentations to learn about MISSION and about the reality of global warming and the need to act now! Sheila has been invited to return by several groups and dates have already been set.

There were at least six Mission Iloilo node members at every venue. And one member who attended every single presentation and was the computer operator! Each presentation began with a prayer. Different Iloilo node members introduced MISSION and Sheila at each event. At the end of each presentation we played an audio slideshow about MISSION that we made for the event and we distributed feedback forms, which also gave participants an opportunity to tell us about initiatives they were involved in, their areas of interest and their contact information. We now have thousands of forms and the opportunity to capture the interest and energy generated by the four-day whirlwind event. We also distributed leaflets that described MISSION and the Climate Reality Project. We set up a table for initiative display including: solar lantern, mission possible book, BD Veggies, and sponsors initiatives. We were also able to get some sponsorships to cover expenses and in exchange we played short videos that showcased the CSR advocacies of our sponsors. Finally, we had a t-shirt printed with MISSION logo that MISSION members were proud to wear at all the events.

At least 20 Iloilo Mission node members were present in one or more of the events. Others were instrumental in the planning and preparation. Nick was able to join us at the St.Paul's venue. Pictures can be viewed here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2491253513501.130516.1017639547&type=3#!/media/set/?set=a.2491253513501.130516.1017639547&type=3

In viewing the Initiative as a learning opportunity and in appreciating what we had been been gifted with—what we were able to be a part of—some questions arose for us that included: how can we share and organize the responsibilities so that more nodal members would have the possibility to participate and contribute? How can we create clearer lines of communication? And how can we sustain our weekly nodal meetings as places of re-sourcing when in the midst of event preparation?

Our gratitude to Sheila for eveything! We also thank the Baguio and Dumaguete nodes for sharing their experiences and allowing us to learn from their successes! We also thank the Davao node for their support, the Cebu node (hi Tressa) for pictures, Jagat for the poster layout! And to all our co-sponsors!

This report is a compilation of reports by Au Hugo and Sam Prudente.

I am honored to have been a part of the experience!

Jim Sharman

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