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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Stand up for Climate Change: Run against the Elements

Last Monday October 26, I received an email from a certain Ally Lim who introduced herself as the Project Head of Run against the Elements. As I have read her email message, she is requesting bloggers to help promote a video through simultaneous online release.

This video was created as a project to stand up for climate change. Apparently, another email was included which came Illac Diaz. In case, you don't know him. He is a former local actor who now named as a Young Global Leader of 2008, by calling the world’s attention to Filipino vision sparked by brilliance and marked by compassion.

With this, I support their vision and I hope I can help in my own little way. Below is the video and the email messages.

Dear Blogger,

Ateneo’s Collegiate Society of Advertising (COSA) will be having its first-ever Fun Run on January 24, 2010 (Sunday) at the Ateneo campus grounds called, “RUN AGAINST THE ELEMENTS: Ateneo COSA Fun Run 2010″ with our slogan: Stand Up to Climate Change. We have partnered with social entrepreneur, Illac Diaz, who started “Design Against the Elements.” This is an international design competition that responds to the call for social and climate adaptation by building sustainable homes. This was launched to international architects last June 16, 2009 at the Institute of International Education (IIE) at the United Nations Plaza in New York with the support of the IIE, the Philippine Consulate, Gov. Lray Villafuerte, Gawad Kalinga, United Architects of the Philippines and My Shelter Foundation.

We are going beyond the spirit of volunteerism. By choosing Design Against the Elements as the cause for our fun run, we will also be promoting its anthem, “Stand Up”, a collaboration of 50 of the Philippines’ finest artists like Kjwan, Cookie Chua, Karl Roy, Jett Pangan, Noel Cabangon, Barbie Almalbis, Migs Escueta, etc. We are asking for your help in the simultaneous online release of the video we (Ateneo COSA) are creating for the song. This unreleased single will be launched online via a video which will be sent to you on TUESDAY for posting on your blogs. TUESDAY (OCT 27) is the targeted date, so if you would like to help us promote this global campaign and fun run event, please do post this video on your blogs. Below is a forwarded message from Illac Diaz if you would like to know more details about the campaign.

We hope you help us in promoting ACTION against and not just mere AWARENESS regarding climate change. Climate change is here and now—we want to be able to properly handle another calamity like Ondoy next time. Don’t we?

We look forward to hearing from you.

Ally Lim
Project Head

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Illac Diaz
Date: Sun, Oct 25, 2009 at 2:13 AM
Subject: Philippine Bloggers Appeal Letter (Tuesday Video Launch)

Dear Blogger

These last month has been an incredible trial for the Philippines and its people. As the floodwater begins to receed, a new challenge will need to be met, which is rebuilding many areas that have been affected by the storm. This crisis may have an opportunity by allowing us to work with you and help you rebuild better. Specially since, the incident is not a singular occurence, but is going to be a pattern of challenges for the coming decades due to the changes in climate and a longer view must be implimanted.

We would like to ask you to help us with a mega-band campaign song to raise awareness on the need to move awareness to climate adaptability in the Philippines over mere carbon reduction as the country is not a significant emitter, but one of the world’s communities most vulnerable; and least able to adapt.
We have united almost 50 of the top icons of music to sing the campaign song to arouse attention not only of the Philippines, but a global audience that we must move to greater awareness and policies for raising awareness to climate adaptability in the Philippines over mere carbon reduction as the country is not a significant emitter, but that we are also one of the world’s communities most vulnerable; and least able to adapt.

Like the Blog Action Day we shall be releasing a video simultaneously over the web that we are editing now. Here is a rough sample×22rFtBg

We ask you if you could help us with the simultaneous release.


The projected impact of climate change in Philippines is extreme typhoons (top four in the world according to the Global Climate Index). This is due mainly to the high vulnerability of rural areas and very little capacity for adaptation (poverty and lack of awareness of the rising dangers) of the people at risk. These upcoming humanitarian disasters, and climate refugee mass migration, and will lead to a high state of conflict and insecurity for the poor below the poverty line.

This project, Design Against the Elements will focus on the climate displaced communities in Metro Manila, Philippines. Combined with research recently completed by the Manila Observatory on the future challenges of climate in the Naga region ( which is a sample of similar challenges in other areas of the Philippines), it contribute to design and build a redesigned low income community which will be the new blueprint of how people in the vulnerable coastal areas can successfully cope with impacts of climate variability. The knowledge generated from this study will facilitate the development of policies that address these humanitarian challenges.

The main objective of this competition is to contribute to rural adaptability to climate change impacts, in the form of architectural resiliency to strong typhoon winds and heavy rains. Capacity building in the present social networks such as community, non-government, and government organizations involved with these areas will allow a shift into post disaster mitigation to preparing ahead of the storm. The main hypothesis of this project is having a safer structures “ahead of time” will lead to less injury, number of climate refugees, and loss of life and property.
The main partner and benificiary will be Gawad Kalinga who will recieve the winning designs of which the winner of the competition will have 100 houses built with the new design.

This competition will begin in November 2009. We are setting the land and the global partners.

The competition brief ( which is how the architects design the village based on the key points of climate change challenges, data on the site and province, ect) is still being done by the United Architects of the Philippines.Last 2008, it was for building safer schools for shelter (

It will be from the top marketing using the United Architects of the Philippines writing to all architect associations in the world linked to them BUT the exciting one is the grassroots marketing of the global Gawad Kalinga members asking architects they can reach (inspire) to be involved. We expect 4000 entries.

The song is composed by Joey Ayala and Boogie Romero and is about to be finished by 50 of the top Filipino bands and personalities who are now finishing the “Stand Up” theme song for the campaign.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Illac Angelo Diaz
Executive Director
Global Designer Village Challenge

With this, I hope there will be more related projects in the future, and that bloggers like me will support them too.

Related posts:
President Arroyo approved Climate Change Act of 2009
Vote Efren Peñaflorida Jr for the 1st Filipino CNN Hero

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