CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Allain Mercado turned-off the lights in his posh home in Greenfields Subdivision here on Sunday, a habit that he has done so for the past three years, in celebration of Earth Hour.

“I was actually doing this for sometime now and with my busy schedule at work, I take this as my simple contribution to nature. Earth Hour is something I take seriously,” Mercado said.

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Earth Hour is a global event organized by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature, also known as World Wildlife Fund) and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change.

In Pampanga, the event was greeted by a throng of participating businesses and homes who turned-off their lights from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. last Saturday.

Businesses along Jose Abad Santos Avenue (Jasa) were noticeably dimmed as their big posters and light boards were turned of in observance of the event.

Big fastfood establishments like McDonalds and Jollibee also joined the celebration when they turned-off their light boards. Street lighting along JASA were also turned-off along with lights of car dealership offices under the Laus Group of Companies.

In nearby SM Pampanga, the event was greeted with the turning-off of the lights of the main façade of the giant mall. A program was also held in front of the mall were dancers presented environmental themes and dances for spectators.

Public Relations Officer Venus Manalang said the aim of the program concentrates on the objective of promoting awareness on the threats against the environment of negligent use of energy.

Meanwhile, the usually vibrant Sto. Rosario St. in Angeles City was noticeably busy as schools and institutions in the area joined in the celebration by turning-off their fence and façade lights.

Lights of major buildings and government offices in Guagua, Mabalacat and Floridablanca also turned-off their lights in observance of the Earth Hour.

In general, the Philippines was able to save 611 megawatts per hour of electricity during the time period, and is said to be equivalent to shutting down a dozen coal-fired power plants for an hour.