Earth Hour Philippines QC Circle ImageLet’s take the Healthy and Natural Way to save the Earth and Zumba the night away. Bring out your neon exercise clothes, because from 8:30 to 9:30PM this Saturday night, the Quezon City Memorial Circle will be transformed into a giant, glow-in-the-dark Zumba® Fitness Party! The event promises to draw thousands of Earth-lovers and fitness fanatics. Organizers from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) are calling on participants to come in their glow-in-the-dark Earth Hour Shirts or their most eye-catching neon attire. The brighter, the better.

Earth Hour was first organized in 2007 and uses the simple action of switching off lights for 60 minutes to celebrate climate change solutions. Thousands of hubs across the globe are expected to join the switch-off from 8:30 to 9:30PM across various time zones.

Over the past eight years, the movement has grown from a symbolic switch off event to a fun, modern and open-sourced environmental campaign mobilising hundreds of millions of people in over 7000 cities and 162 countries. Earth Hour 2015 highlights concrete actions on renewable energy and energy-efficiency, plus climate-centric education, legislation and business practices. 

The Philippines has been one of the movement’s staunchest supporters and has been hailed as a ‘Hero Country’ for topping participation levels from 2009 to 2013.

Earth Hour’s main event for the Philippines shall be held on March 28, Saturday, at the Quezon City Memorial Circle. Activity and merchandise booths will open at 4:30PM.

Glow-in-the-dark face painting will be offered by Islands Souvenirs while healthy refreshments will be provided by Bayani Brew. Participants can learn about the Earth through an inflatable planetarium by Pivot Edutainment. Social media users can post and Tweet about their experiences onsite through free Wi-Fi from Smart Communications. Supporters can sport the cause by wearing merchandise from the WWF and Banana Peel booths or learn about the programmes of WWF by talking to WWF campaign officers.

A musical parade shall kick off festivities at 5PM. WWF-Philippines National Ambassadors Marc Nelson and Rovilson Fernandez plus WWF-Philippines Climate Solutions Steward and Earth Hour Philippines Ambassador Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski will host the program, which starts at 7:00PM. Performers shall include the Ryan Cayabyab Singers, the Performing Arts Students of Quezon City, Aqualed Light Drummers, plus the LPP Tron LED Dance Troupe.

An impressive list of allies has pledged to support this year’s efforts, led by public sector partners like the Office of the President, Senate of the Philippines, Local Government of Quezon City, Climate Change Commission, the Departments of Agrarian Reform, Agriculture, Budget and Management, Education, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources, Foreign Affairs, Science and Technology, Social Welfare and Development, Transportation and Communications, Trade and Industry, Public Works and Highways, Labor and Employment, Interior and Local Government, the League of Provinces, Municipalities and Cities, Commission on Higher Learning and Education, Laguna Lake Development Authority, Metro Manila Development Authority, plus the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Corporate champions are led by Philips, ArthaLand, Alveo Land, Banco De Oro, First Gen Corporation, Smart Communications, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola Philippines.  WWF is seeking further support.

Organizers made it clear however, that celebrating Earth Hour at home is in line with the spirit of the movement. “A quiet evening with your family, reflecting on the important roles we play in fighting climate change is a great way to celebrate the hour,” says Earth Hour Philippines National Director Atty. Gia Ibay.

Proceeds from Earth Hour Philippines shall go to WWF’s Gift of Light project, which funds the deployment of hundreds of portable solar lamps for off-grid communities in Beton, Northern Palawan. In 2014, Earth Hour catalyzed over 60 environmental outcomes, including a ban on plastics for the Galapagos Islands, planting 17 million trees in Kazakhstan and the deployment of fibreglass bancas to communities sundered by Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines.