A few years ago, he had no clue how human activities were causing climate change. Today, he is spreading awareness about it with his amazing talent.
Jiereycho Basillio, a Grade 12 student from Kaunlaran High School, Division of Navotas City, narrated the events that led to his greater appreciation of nature during the 4th National Climate Change Conference (NCCC) back in November 19.
His journey to a new passion
He recalled responding to the invitation to perform for the Climate Action Advocacy Show. “When we discovered that we would be part of this great project, we were happy and especially nervous. After all, my group and I have very little knowledge of this issue.”
Jiereycho said he’s grateful that the workshops taught the concept of climate change without using complicated jargons. They demonstrated how numerous human activities negatively impact the environment. The more Jiereycho learned about climate change, the more concerned he got.
“Although we were studying climate change in school, it never really bothered me. But since I’ve been involved in this activity, my perspective changed. I was frightened when I learned about the possible catastrophes that are brought by climate change: floods, tsunamis, and typhoons,” he said.
Hydrometeorological hazards like floods, tsunamis, and typhoons are not formed by climate change. However, climate change increases the vulnerability of human capacity to adapt to the increase in quantity and strength of these hazards.
He goes on to share what everyone could do for the environment. Even with the restrictions under quarantine, people could segregate their waste, recycle their waste, and plant some greenery.
Assigned to Director Karl Alexis Jingco, the team presented one of the acts entitled “Dear Philippines.” It was a performance that highlighted the importance of climate education in the Philippines. Each member of the team showed their talent and acting skills. Even with a comedic tone, they reached the audience’s heart with their call for action.
“We just wanted people to understand why we must start doing something for the sake of our environment and what might happen if we didn’t,” Jerieycho said.
Cry for mother nature
“Masaya ka ba sa iyong nakikita sa ating bansa?”
That is the opening line of the song “Kalikasan,” which is featured in the play and was a result of the team’s collaboration He performed this song as a final part of his speech.
The imagery becomes clearer as the song progresses, emphasizing how humans changed things for the worse: Trees are being cut to industrialize more areas. Land, air, and water are being polluted. Global warming is amplifying the strength of climate disasters. The rain, once the bringer of life, is now causing the deaths of many.
Reaching the chorus, we then hear the most important takeaway from all of this which is to treasure nature. It is something that you will never see on other planets. That is why the song said, “Yan lang ang ating natitirang kayamanan.”
Ending with a sweet and hopeful note
In the question and answer portion, the speakers were asked, “What kind of world do you envision 10 years from now?”
Seeing both the quality and quantity of climate education continuously improve, Jerieycho responded with optimism: “I imagine myself walking the streets while breathing the fresh air. Not a single trash could be seen. The community is out, cleaning together. Children are playing under the shades of trees. The waters are clean and safe to bathe in. It would be a beautiful, happy place.”
He went on to explain in an interview that this future could be achieved if everyone, not just the officials, collaborate as one team — team humanity — and use all of the tools and resources for the sake of Mother Nature.
At last, we would witness the same beauty as our ancestors did in simpler times.
This article was written and prepared by Divine Grlcz C. Dugan (Student-Journalist) and Jonell John Espalto (School Paper Adviser) from, Sinalhan Integrated High School, Division of Santa Rosa, who are graduates of DepEd-DRRMS and AYEJ.org’s Green Beat Initiative: An Online Environmental Journalism Training.