UCA News


Philippines to turn lights off, pray to observe Earth Hour

This year's event to focus on the importance of biodiversity and nature

Joe Torres, Manila

Joe Torres, Manila

Updated: March 23, 2018 10:16 AM GMT
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Philippines to turn lights off, pray to observe Earth Hour

Windmills in the eastern part of the Philippine capital are defined by the rising sun. The 27 turbines in the province of Rizal, where wind speed is as high as 36 kilometers per hour, is the second wind farm in the northern part of the country. This year's observance of Earth Hour focuses on the proper use and care of nature. (Photo by Jimmy Domingo)

Share this article :
Catholic parishes around the Philippines are turning off lights and holding prayer sessions as part of the annual local observance of Earth Hour on March 24.

In Manila, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle called on Catholics to take the opportunity to pray and recite the rosary as "we allow Mother Earth to conserve energy and get some rest."

The prelate said that "part of our being good disciples of the Lord is the proper usage and care of Mother Nature."

In the central Philippine province of Negros Occidental, Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos called on Catholics to join the observance.

"When it comes to the care for our common home, Mother Earth, everybody has something to contribute," said the prelate.

Father Anton Pascual of the Catholic radio station Veritas 846 said that aside from joining activities, the public should also be made aware about the effects of climate change on biodiversity.

"Let us take this as an opportunity to promote the habit of conserving and utilizing our natural resources," said the priest.

The annual Earth Hour observance started in Australia with a symbolic switch-off event led by the World Wide Fund in 2007.

It has since become the world's largest grassroots movement for the environment that mobilizes hundreds of millions of people in over 7,000 cities and 172 countries.

Earth Hour teams around the world has been using the movement to raise support and funds for access to renewable energy and driving climate-friendly legislation and policy, among others.

The Philippines was the first country in Asia to join the movement in 2008.

Now, the Philippines has been heralded as the "Earth Hour Hero Country" for topping Earth Hour participation levels from 2009-2013, contributing over 1,600 of the world's 7,000 Earth Hour hubs.

This year, in addition to participating in the global switch-off, the global environmental group World Wide Fund for Nature is inviting people to connect2earth to share and talk about what nature means to them.

"Nature is in alarming decline. Halting its loss is urgent and crucial as much as tackling climate change," said Marco Lambertini, director general of the World Wide Fund for Nature in a statement.

He said that this year's observance aims "to shine a light on the importance of biodiversity and nature."

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
Support UCA News

William J. Grimm, MM


Union of Catholic Asian News

"As Pope Francis has said, we live not so much in an era of change as in a change of era. That is especially true in Asia and for the churches of Asia. UCA News is the dedicated, Asia-wide news and information service for the Church in Asia and we need your help to maintain the service."