Environment conservation is one of the hottest issues we find today. In fact, advertising and marketing companies have started to relate brands to the environment or join the bandwagon of going "green" to promote their brands and earn more profit. I have seen slogans saying "Green is in" and "Let's Save the Environment" almost everywhere. Even car manufacturers have started making "green vehicles" claiming their products emit less carbon dioxide and is made of environment friendly materials.
Going green is good. Last April 22, we celebrated Earth Day and a number of malls in Metro Manila asked Haribon Foundation to join them in their environment conservation awareness programs. There were clean ups, tree planting, story telling for kids, exhibits and even singing contests. People nowadays are more exposed to environment activities which I think will be beneficial for the next generations. One thing is lacking, though, Filipinos lack environment conservation champions.
While I was listening to a radio program last Earth Day, the DJs started a contest asking listeners to name famous people who are known to be environmentalists. Of course, a nice price will be awaiting the lucky contestant. Instantly, several listeners called and texted names like: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Al Gore, Oprah and several foreign celebrities. Only one contestant mentioned a Pinoy name, and he is Richard Gutierrez. Is he really and environment advocate? Don't we have Pinoy environmentalists? How about Chin Chin Guteirrez, Noel Cabangon and Joey Ayala? Are they really environment advocates or are they just joining the advocacy to increase their popularity? How about non-showbiz people? Politicians? Nahhh, too risky to trust them most especially now that elections are just around the corner.
Filipinos need an environment conservation champion to lead them. Last people to be known here were Celso Roque and Junie Kalaw. Do you know them? They were famous during the 80's and it has been 2 decades and nobody followed their footsteps. Hopefully somebody will step up and be a champion to the environment cause, not just as a spokesperson but a person who can start movements. Influence plays a major key and credibility will also be major factor. And a good leader must lead by example and must always be a good follower.