Editorial: Shedding light-A A +A
Monday, January 28, 2013
THE Liwanag World Festival on Creativity and Sustainability opens today at the Philippine Women's College of Davao. What is it?
It's a gathering of the most unlikely concept, but with the way we are all reacting to a heavy downpour that used to be regarded as more of an inconvenience than a stimulant of fear, we can say it's about time.
With clear focus on sustainability, the festival seeks to inculcate this in all dimensions of life - ecological, economic, cultural, political, societal, human, and spiritual.
But then, that is the only way to fully imbibe sustainability. Sustainability cannot be taken on a piece-meal basis or only when it's convenient for what we are doing. The word has started to take on significance in the early 1990s when global warming and the thinning ozone layer was the environmental concern; when climate change was still a faraway threat and was only spooking the rabid environmentalists.
At that time, until now, majority of the people are selective in their attempts to live sustainable lives. They are fast in joining tree-planting and coastal clean-up activities but do not have second thoughts about distributing food packs in styrofoam containers with plastic utensils wrapped all together in dozens of plastic bags. They profess concern for the environment but are not above driving an SUV that occasionally spouts black smoke or let the family use more than one vehicle because it's more convenient that way. Some simply refuse to see the real damage caused by the industry they work in and would rather blame climate change for all the disasters, damages, and inconveniences we are all going through.
The festival is being held as a collective way of saying, real sustainability can be achieved. But only if people of like minds come together and profess to nurture sustainable communities without compromise.
"The philosophy and intention behind the Liwanag Festival is simple and straightforward. We externalize what we are inside. Inner weaknesses result in external depravity. Without a positive image of the future, a nation perishes. Nagging negative self-images of a country become self-fulfilling prophecies, dragging a nation into greater turmoil and degeneration," its concept reads.
Lofty, isn't it? But then, lofty successes can only emanate from lofty ideals. The "pwede na" will always end as "pwede an."
We've been doing "pwede na" for so long and now, we are all spooked as soon as raindrops start to fall. That way of life didn't work, did it?
"Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children." - A Native American proverb
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 29, 2013.