Yesterday, my friend and I went to the Pier 15 South Harbor in Manila to be part of the Greenpeace Esperanza Tour. It is part of the South East Asia Ocean Defender Tour where Greenpeace opens its doors to everyone interested in becoming an Ocean Defender.
Esperanza is one of the three ships the group has that have been traveling the world to spread awareness as well as promote advocacy on the protection of our marine resources — for our oceans to recover so there would still be, to put it simply, fish for the future generations.
The tour started with a video presentation of where Esperanza had been, as well as more tidbits about Greenpeace’s advocacy, followed by a short talk from Miss Beau of Greenpeace Philippines, who shared their recent “adventure” of having led a campaign against illegal dumping of solid wastes in Manila Bay just a few days back. I thought it was very brave for them to have used their bodies as shield (as what hardcore activists normally do), it is just unfortunate that they failed in their mission (to stop the illegal dumping as guns were allegedly pointed at them) but nevertheless, succeeded in making it on the news (and thereby making more people aware of what’s happening there). I love her talk about having met with the government, particularly in the person of Sec. Nereus Acosta, Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection, to talk about future programs to protect the oceans. I have always thought that Greenpeace Philippines hates the government and that, somehow, changed my perception. You see, I’ve always thought that it’s best to work hand-in-hand and not fight with each other (be it government or any sector, or even in our personal lives), when it comes to finding solutions to anything.
After the talk, we proceeded with the main tour where we were given access to some parts of the ship. We were introduced to Esperanza’s Third Officer, and to a lady crew who talked about some fancy buttons inside the control room — including the tiniest steering wheel ever (which was a funny part of the tour). There’s really not much to see on the ship, to be quite honest, but I felt that it would be helpful, just in case they would be opening their doors again to people, to have a gallery somewhere in the ship showing Esperanza in action — and all of Greenpeace’s accomplishments/milestones on board the said ship. It would help, especially for donors and for environmentalists, to be more connected to the advocacy knowing that they have been on board this ship which has been traveling all over the world, and has done this and that. I am sure that gallery will be a hit.
If you wanna be an Ocean Defender, please visit their website (http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/ph/ocean-defender-2013/).