It was a gloomy afternoon last Thursday. My younger sisters Ingkay and Aying and my 13-year old cousin Arnold were excited. We were heading to the Vargas Museum at U.P Diliman to see the Greenpeace exhibit on climate change. It is a very rare occasion that I could be with them. I tried to spare some time from my work to bring them there.
Few days before, Aying asked me, "Ate ano ba yong Greenpeace?" I said, "It is an organization that aims to protect the environment." I was expecting follow up questions but I did not hear any. I did not make further explanations either. I just left it there.
Our way to U.P. was a hassle because of the traffic. Nevertheless, I saw the excitement on their faces. When we were in the Vargas Museum, we hurriedly went to the Greenpeace exhibit area. I suddenly felt their disappointment. No, it was not that the exhibit was lousy. Greenpeace documentaries of the effects of global warming to climate change were artistically and systematically presented there. I tried to explain some of the pictures to them but I hardly got their interest.
The exhibit coordinator led them to the art exhibit next door. I just followed. I let them enjoy the rest of the exhibit and the memorabilia of the late Manila Mayor Jorge Vargas.
That made me realized one thing. Environmental concerns should be introduced to the youngsters.
They should have interests on environmental issues at a young age.
Few weeks ago, I received an unexpected e-mail from a male colleague whom I met a decade ago. He is now actively supporting environmental issues. He asked for my help and suggestions because he and some other bicolanos are organizing environment supporters in Bicol. I tried to give some suggestions – through e-mails. Though, at the back of my mind, I was thinking. I am already supporting Greenpeace plus there are already lots of existing environment organizations. If we are going to organize another one, what would be its difference to another long existed, stable environment organizations? What will be our major concerns?
It is now clear. My younger sisters and cousin gave me the answer. It would be a great task to make the youth, at a young age, interested in environmental issues.
I brought my sisters and cousin to the place that interests them most – the Farmers Cubao food court. We feasted on some food while listening to the live band performer.
I enjoyed quality time with them.
The following day when I arrived from work, my cousin requested me to bring them at the Mall of Asia. I can hardly turn down a child’s request so I obliged. Anyway, they are going back to Bicol in the next few days.
Our walks on the roads of the Bay City permitted me to reach out to them - to know their dreams and desires.
For now, I am just enjoying these bonding moments. Sooner, I want to make them concerned on environmental issues.