MANILA, Philippines — When the clock struck 8 p.m. Saturday, Metro Manila’s skyline slowly drifted into an evening gloom as it joined the world in staging “Earth Hour,” a global movement to beef up awareness of climate change.
Sirens blared while lampposts flickered out along the bayside stretch of Roxas Boulevard and the Edsa highway, highlighting the silhouettes of skyscrapers that lined the main thoroughfares.
Over at a commercial strip on the grounds of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, where the environmental group World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-Philippines held the countdown to “Earth Hour,” observers feasted their eyes on the dark Manila night sky or the glaring lights offered by the distant Manila South Harbor.
The Department of Energy-led Philippine Task Force on Climate Change and other environmental organizations joined the WWF-Philippines in kicking off the event, marked by the shutting off of the glowing CCP fountains.
Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes, Pasay Mayor Wenceslao Trinidad, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, and Parañaque Mayor Florencio Bernabe Jr. were also on hand to kick off the event.
“We are here fighting for a noble cause and we can only make it happen if we will work together,” Reyes addressed a crowd that gathered in front of the CCP grounds.
Several rides over at the nearby amusement park temporarily stopped in deference to the global movement, which was first launched in Australia last March 2007.
Sydney managed to move 2.2 million people and 2,100 business establishments, including the iconic Harbor Bridge and Opera House, to shut off all lights for a full hour.
In some restaurants along Roxas Boulevard, casual dinners and coffee sessions became a candle-light affair while strolling couples took advantage of the “lights out” for cuddling.
Several hotels and fast-food chains switched off their signages to mark their participation.
While other households failed to join the global act, a few faithfully switched off their lights as they went about their usual chores.
Adeline, a Makati resident, turned off the lights at exactly 8 p.m. even if her neighbors failed to do so.
“I was waiting for the church bell to peal, but there was none. But I still turned off the lights,” she said.
“Climate change is still a high-faluting concept to Filipino homes, so this movement is to bring the issue to the ordinary people and make them aware that it is not a science fiction anymore,” Yeb Saño, WWF Climate and Energy Programme Head, told the Inquirer in an interview.
Over 1,000 streetlights in the Central Business District and in streets nearby the Makati City Hall were switched off as part of the city government’s contribution to the Earth Hour.
Lampposts along Ayala Avenue, Makati Avenue, and Paseo de Roxas were turned off while nearby establishments like Tower 1, Makati Stock Exchange and Ayala 6750 reduced their lighting by 75 percent.
|More at: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/metro/view/20080329-127201/Metro-Manila-turns-off-lights-for-Earth-Hour
Starbucks joins Earth Hour 2008
Shopping malls, the Manila City Hall, several streets and government buildings of the financial hub of Makati City also observed the Earth Hour, while the Roxas Boulevard along the Manila Bay also turned off lights for one hour.
Even Google supported the event. I was most surprised to see their homepage resemble the customized search engine – Blackle.