So, I started working at ABS-CBN Foundation, under their project The Green Initiative. I keep talking about the new job I have that pays my bills and it’s about time that I can talk about it, I guess. So, yeah, I’m with The Green Initiative, which is part of the non-profit and philanthropic arm of the ABS-CBN network. I’m working on eco-tourism, sustainable development, and community building and while it only really pays enough to pay the bills, it really is very fulfilling for me and I get to travel.
I am handling the website and social media network of The Green Initiative and we are currently working on our website. I already activated the Instagram and the Twitter account and trying to keep it moving, hoping to get more followers, but until we have our website up, it’s going to be a slow process, for sure.
I’m still learning the ropes and I’ve handled social media before and I can write, it’s my profession for goodness sake! But I’ve never had to be in-charge before. I’m just glad I don’t have a team just yet; I’m doing everything on my own, and that’s okay because I’m learning the ropes.
But to be able to talk and write and process the things that happen in our social media networks, I have to go to our sites. That’s what my boss, Gina Lopez insisted, so I went to Palawan for a few days to check out our active sites in Palawan.
I got to meet the communities that The Green Initiative have been helping and supporting. We visited over eight active sites and communities. It’s quite amazing. We checked out a community’s boat that brings tourists out into the open sea and we got to see dolphins as part of their dolphin watching tourist activity. The project brings money for the community, it provides jobs, and gives incentives for the community to protect the dolphins and keep the bay of Puerto Princesa clean so that the dolphins will keep coming back.
We went up to Ugong Rock where you can go caving and spelunking and see stalactites and stalagmite rock formations formed over three hundred years. At the top of Ugong Rock, you get a view of the surrounding landscape and realise how green Palawan is and it makes you want to keep it that way. Then you zipline down; it’s three hundred and fifty meters and there are two choices — seated or superman style. It only takes twenty-one seconds to reach the bottom. It’s fast, fun, and a moment of pure exhilaration. Not a bad way to get down after climbing a really tall rock.
The community in the area has benefited from the materials and the tourism that has come in through the help of the foundation and The Green Initiative. So, it’s great for me to be a part of a company that actually truly helps people. It’s something that fills my heart. It’s a whole lot different from writing about fashion and products. This is writing from the heart that really and truly change the lives of people for the better. I’m very, very proud to be a part of this team.
We also went to Barangay San Carlos where we had lunch on a floating restaurant as we took a relaxing drift down the river with healthy mangroves at opposite ends of the embankment. It was lovely. We saw birds and monkeys, and again, it provides jobs for the community of Barangay San Carlos and encourages them to protect the mangrove and keep it alive and healthy.
So many things we did on the trip and I feel bad because I never got to jump into the water. I saw the sea and I just love the beach, and there was so much sun (it has been raining non-stop in Manila for the past few months) and now, it’s just lovely to have been in that environment. But I didn’t get to jump into the water. There was no time. **sigh**
It was just work, work, work. Visit the site, do more stuff, and prepare for our next visit to ensure that there is progress.
Next week, I’ll be going to a different part of the country to check on our sites there. So the work is going to be heavy, but enjoyable, for sure. And more importantly, it’s going to be meaningful. And being surrounded by nature constantly does something to my poetry. It changes my inner soul and so I start writing things with a different voice. A slight change in tone. Maybe for the hopeful? I don’t know. But I’m excited to see what will happen.
All I know is that I got to see dolphins. I got to see a lot of dolphins and while we weren’t allowed to swim with them, just seeing them was such an amazing rush. What a feeling! They are such wonderful, beautiful animals.
And they are there because the water has been kept clean and pollution-free by the local government with the help of the communities around and as projects like ours help encourage the people to take care of their natural resources and beauty, it keeps Palawan gorgeous, keeps the rich bio-diversity healthy, and promotes tourism to bring money to help them support themselves. It’s a wonderful cycle that tries to develop a sustainable infrastructure that benefits everyone — including the environment and the animals that live there.
This is really something I want to do. I’m so happy to be doing this. I really need something like this in my life, right now.