Volunteer: Reflections

Time in the Philippines

Rong Sun At first, I preferred CEC as my work place just because I wanted to do something about the environment, which is close to my major. When I came back to China, I realized that all my most wonderful memories about my life in Philippines were somehow related to CEC: the amazing days in Rapu-Rapu island, the investigation in Digos City, the four days I lived in a Church, and so on. Read more

Climate change and social change: A CEC volunteer's testimony

After having studied and worked in the environmental and international development sector in Europe for several years, I had the opportunity to learn more about on-the-ground environmental problems in the Philippines. By volunteering for the Center for Environmental Concerns Philippines, I got a unique insight into the current climate change and climate change adaptation debate not just in the Philippines but also the whole Southeast Asian region. Since I am writing my dissertation on climate change adaptation in the Philippines, the CEC team has been very supportive and helped me a lot with my research while at the same time integrating this into the work I could do for CEC. Read more

Letter from a Canadian traveller: My trip to Rapu-Rapu

Émile Kinley-Gauthier A twelve-hour bus ride got us to the capital of Albay province, where we stayed with a woman who is very involved in progressive causes. Despite the fact that she is not very rich, she is one of the most smiling and laughing persons I ever met; she really seems to enjoy life, which just goes to show that money doesn't make happiness. I am always surprised when I travel, and meet people who have difficult lives and own almost nothing, but are happier than people who have never lacked for anything. Read more

Waking Up to Disaster

Anna Duquiatan Most Filipino stories we’ve grown up with tell of a pleasant life in the countryside. In these stories, nature provides farmhands with an abundance of food for their families: grains, crops, poultry and livestock. The setting is picturesque: the soft afternoon sun looks on while the breeze is blowing, rustling the leaves of the nearby acacia tree, creating a whistling sound, while children run on the fields, men tend the land, and the women wash clothes along the riverbanks. They paint rustic pictures of comfort and security, of plenty and of tranquility. Read more

The Continuing Struggle

Mina Sotto It is not surprising that other countries would be envious of our rich natural resources. What is surprising and is outrageous, however, is the fact that the people who are supposed to be protecting the poor from the harm that the others could to our country are the ones who hurt us, deprive us of our rights and threaten our very way of living. Read more

Knowing the Filipino story

This is even more difficult for the urban-poor, whose aim is plainly survival. The realities they face are daunting enough: willingly taking on dirty and dangerous jobs to earn a meager salary, forced to live in scanty shanties due to lack of affordable mass housing. When their families fall sick, medication and hospitalization costs can range from from hundreds to thousands of pesos. They face more long and short-term health risks due to the polluted environment. On almost every street in the urban areas, the familiar faces of poverty can be seen. Perhaps it is difficult to understand the situation when one has the luxury of remaining an observer. Read more

Help Fund Our Projects