Mga Kwento ng Klima: Acts of Filipino Resilience

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In conjunction with the Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week, the Oscar M. Lopez Center held the exclusive pre-screening of “Mga Kwento ng Klima” last November 22 at the Rockwell PowerPlant Cinema 7. “Mga Kwento ng Klima” chronicles the story of the changing climate in the context of the Filipino experience and how it has shaped the Filipino identity and culture.

The pre-screening was attended by representatives of the academe, government, media and non-government organizations, private sector, and the youth, such as ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, Climate Action for Sustainability Initiative, Climate Change Commission (CCC), Eco-Business, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), and Youth Strike for Climate, among others. CCC Secretary Emmanuel M. de Guzman gave the opening remarks.

Capturing the Narratives

While the science on climate change has grown tremendously in the last decade in the country, the story that has gripped the public has largely been one of disasters and disaster response. The OML Center embarked on the documentary project to break down information barriers by making climate change the ongoing story of Filipino resilience amidst ever increasing vulnerabilities. 

As part of the development of the documentary, the OML Center held several mini-workshops with multi-sectoral stakeholders on themes surrounding climate change, including culture, land use, water and seascape, policy and public service, economy, and risks to sectors and industries, among others. Some of the experts, practitioners and actors in the Philippine climate change discourse to speak at these mini-workshops include Catherine Almonte (PBSP – Water Alliance), Dr. Gerry Bagtasa (Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology, UP Diliman), Socrates Banzuela (Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka ng Pilipinas), Dr. Laura David (UP Marine Institute), Emmanuel P. Garcia, EnP (Department of Geography, UP Diliman), Candy Hidalgo (Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc.), Jerome Ilagan (Climate Change Commission), May Lim (Seaweed Industry Association of the Philippines), Arch. Arlene Lusterio (Technical Assistance Organization, Inc.), John Manalo (PAGASA), Fatima Marifosque (KALAHI-CIDSS, Department of Social Welfare and Development), Dr. Chito Medina (Philippine Network of Food Security Programmes), Dr. Joseph Palis (Department of Geography, UP Diliman), Anita Salayon (Development Bank of the Philippines), Lara Jean Salaysay (Department of Education), Roald Taperla (National Economic and Development Authority), Dr. Enrique Tayag (Department of Health), and Dr. Krista Yu (School of Economics, De La Salle University). 

The resulting 60-minute documentary, produced by the Center in partnership with ABS-CBN DocuCentral, takes much inspiration and direction from the stories, discussions and questions that emerged from the mini-workshops. While “Mga Kwento ng Klima” already looks into a number of important issues regarding Filipino climate vulnerability, it also highlights individuals and communities that have put solutions into practice and have acted to build their resilience to the risks that they face.

Narrative Changing

In their welcome and opening remarks at the pre-screening, OML Center Executive Director Dr. Rodel Lasco and Sec. de Guzman both called on members of the audience to join in acting for the climate. Sec. de Guzman underscored that climate action is a collective task that requires all efforts and resources.

Dr. Lasco and Sec. de Guzman were joined at the pre-screening by several other interviewees featured in the documentary including Rosalina G. de Guzman (PAGASA-DOST), Rafael and Maika Salamat of Bulacan, Joanna Sustento (Yolanda survivor and climate activist), and Dr. Lourdes V. Tibig (National Panel of Technical Experts, Climate Change Commission).

“Mga Kwento ng Klima” officially aired on ABS-CBN DocuCentral’s “Sunday’s Best” on November 24. It is already available for viewing online via iWant or the ABS-CBN News YouTube channel.

For more information on Philippine climate trends and impacts, visit the State of the Philippine Climate page, the Philippine Climate Change Assessment Report page, and the Philippine Climate Almanac page.