PASIG CITY, November 20, 2020 – In line with the 4th National Climate Change Conference (NCCC), DepEd’s Disaster Risk Reduction Management Services (DRRMS) presented a virtual live-streaming of the 2019 Climate Action Advocacy Show to over 46,000 viewers last November 20, 2020.
The Climate Action Advocacy Show was based on theater arts performance, ideation, and devising workshops facilitated by the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Sining Galing.
Citing the right of the youth to have a clean environment, DepEd-DRRMS Director Ronilda Co said the Department consistently promotes advocacies on climate change.
Livestreamed on the Department’s official Facebook page, the event kicked off with a recording of the 2019 live performance of learners at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in Pasay City, which was followed by a talkback with selected learners and their directors.
The three-act play revolved around the theme “A Future Threatened by Climate Change: Voices and Visions of the Youth,” which featured 72 learners from the division of Malabon City, Navotas City, and Pasig City.
‘Future Living Museum’
This first act, “Future Living Museum” directed by Joseph Keith Anicoche, is a story of hope, togetherness, and love for nature.
The story opened with the present generation seeing the future in the year 2034. The protagonists woke up in a dark room, a living museum with living monuments of various disastrous situations of natural and man-made atrocities.
With these sad discoveries and glimpses of the future, the youth made a vow to nature: to start changing the future now by proactively doing what they can.
“Future Living Museums” challenged and energized youth to act and change for a better future. Through their songs, they called on the national and local leaders even the citizens to heed their call for a clean environment, to foster a better relationship of man, plants and animals, and to value life as they repeatedly sang these lines: “Pag mabuti ang kalagayan ng kalikasan ng tao, mabuti ang kalagayan ng mundo.”
Meanwhile, the second act was a play within a play which made the comparison of life to the theater rehearsal, the world to the stage, and the cast to each person.
Directed by Abner Delina, Jr., “Climate Changers” is a satire that depicts a dysfunctional theatre company staging the fight for climate change led by superheroes Love, Justice, Responsibility, and Wisdom. These superheroes thought they were doing well as climate changers but man’s greed posed a challenge when businessmen enticed the people to patronize their ideas of comfortable living at the expense of destroying nature.
The play peaked when a girl portraying Mother Earth narrated her agony brought about by the unexpected changes of weather on her way to the play’s rehearsal. A realization dawned on the director after hearing the lamentations of the girl and told the whole cast to take each one’s role in the play seriously.
The whole cast sang and encouraged everybody to take responsibility in taking care of Mother Earth.
The third act, “Dear Philippines” directed by Karl Alexis C, Jingco, tells the story of a student who leaves her house as early as 4 AM just to arrive for her 8 AM class, and hops on one mode of transportation to another.
To make her long commute productive, she recalls past lessons from her graded recitation in science regarding climate change. As she reviews the topic, she sees situations and things that made her realize that it has been 30 years late for action but that we can still start to make actionable change.
“Noon, ang ulan ang nagsisilbing pandilig ng puno’t halaman. Ngayon, ang ulan ang sanhi ng paglubog ng sambayanan,” sang one of the characters in the play during an emotional rendition.
Talkback with reactors, learner-actors, and directors
“Love, justice, wisdom, and responsibility are the pillars of humanity, the powers we need to solve [the] climate change,” Ynarenza Pauline Bulatao, from Angeles City Science High School, said as a reaction during the forum’s talkback.
During the talkback, they gave their perspectives and commentaries about the plays and their views on climate change advocacy. They all agreed that the act to make this world a better place and the fight to end the worse effects of climate change is everybody’s responsibility.
According to Faith Emerald P. Alvaro, Grade 11 learner-performer from Malabon National High School: “Tayo ang may kailangan sa mundo at hindi ang mundo ang nangangailangan sa atin.”
Together with the play directors, the DepEd DRRMS is developing a Creative Sourcebook on Using Theater for Climate Education and Action to encourage schools to amplify the experiences and perspectives of learners on the climate crisis.
You may visit https://bit.ly/4thNCCC for the full details of other events as part of the 4th NCCC. (Read DepEd’s 4th National Climate Change Conference goes online)
This article was written and prepared by Neojames San Miguel (Student-Journalist) and Edwina Casaria (School Paper Adviser) from Parañaque National High School – Main, Division of Paranaque City who are graduates of DepEd-DRRMS and AYEJ’s Green Beat Initiative: An Online Environmental Journalism Training.