I. Norte observes Earth Hour at Paoay Church

Joining the worldwide effort in environment awareness, Ilocos Norte observed the Earth Hour with one-hour lights off from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.at the UNESCO World Heritage site in the centuries-old Paoay Church, Paoay, Ilocos Norte last Saturday, March 28, 2015.

Paoay Church is famous for its distinct baroque architecture highlighted by the huge buttresses. It has survived many destructive earthquakes and war fury.

Hence, holding the Earth Hour event at the Church symbolized the province’s resiliency on countering environment problem such as climate change.

Organized by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, the Earth Hour bash featured a candlelit show that drew hundreds of locals and tourists with its series of music and stage performances including a shadow play conveying its message of protecting the environment.

The church heritage area was decorated with windmills replica and bonsai plants, signifying Ilocos Norte’s effort in promoting renewable energy and sustainable environment.

The province is known as the capital of renewable energy in Southeast Asia and an emerging hub for bonsai production, following the establishment of the Bonsai School at Mariano Marcos State University in Batac City last year.

Performances continued after turning the lights off from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 pm. Households, business establishments and institutions throughout the province also participated in the campaign.

Organized by World Wide Fund for Nature, the event encourages individuals, communities and business establishments to switch off non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol for their commitment to protect the planet and promote sustainability.

Now on its ninth year, the annual global campaign started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia with a simple lights-off event and has since engaged more than two million individuals and over 7,000 cities and towns worldwide.

Gov. Imee Marcos said that the activity serves as a reminder of the importance of constantly engaging into efforts in promoting a cleaner, healthier and greener environment for the present and future generations.

Furthermore, Gov. Marcos said that PGIN continued its efforts in building a resilient and sustainable environment in the province by instigating effective measures for disaster risk reduction and management, supporting renewable energy and promoting sustainable environment-friendly practices.

In her State of the Province Address last year, Gov. Marcos announced the creation of the Provincial Resiliency Council which aims to intensify efforts on disaster preparedness involving all public and private sectors in Ilocos Norte.

With this year’s Earth Hour message, “Use your power to change climate change,” Gov. Marcos expressed confidence that the collective efforts of the millions of participants globally including Ilocanos, will inspire the rest of the world to continue acting on climate change and other related issues for the sake of the present and future generations. (Jennifer T. Pambid, PGIN-CMO)