Illac Diaz's Advocacy

Illac Diaz doing his Presentation
Former Actor/Model and now turned Social Entrepreneur Illac Diaz presented his advocacy through the Understanding Choices Forum part1: "Living on the Edge" which was made up of representatives from the government, NGOs, Academe and student to talk about the reality that we are all facing and the effects of climate change and what we can do about it.

One thing that struck me where he mentions that "We Filipinos have gained a preference to storms as if it is the same thing and we don't really have to do anything about it.We allocate millions of so-called Calamity funds but can we act before the storm? Wouldn't that be more cheaper?”

The Understanding Choices Forum of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) was held last October 29, 2010 at the Eduardo Aboitiz Studies Center. Through the talks, I was able to learn a lot about the Philippines' role in climate change, that we are in the front lines and we need to adapt and find our own local-innovative measures since what applies in the 1st world countries may not apply to our situation.

Illac with RAFI's Evelyn Nacario-Castro
GREENING is not our Focus.

Most corporate social responsibility campaigns are focused on greening, he says, which should not be the case. We should focus on protecting ourselves and let the first world countries deal with greening, he advises. “We have to be solutions-oriented” as we are the frontline of the effects of climate change like harsh winds, and extreme droughts. Typhoon Frank and Typhoon Ketsena showed our need to build adaptive communities more than ever.

“The people who are not emitting or contributing most to climate change are affected more like Philippines. We are experiencing cumulative, irreversible and global effects of climate change. We want adaptation, resiliency, less rebuilding and less deaths.”


He presented then the things he was working on about the MyShelter Foundation which showed the 50th school built using old Spanish techniques that have been used to build centuries old cathedrals. Together with a group of Architects and Engineers, they designed schools that could withstand up to 300 KM/hr winds with only simple materials and tools to use (new science to old technology).

What’s interesting is that what they use as one of their building materials is the1.5L bottles. Why bottles? Well, it is obviously abundant; lasts of up to 700 years of natural decomposition. An interesting substitute for hollow blocks. Another option for their bottle-school designs are what they call "Earth Bags," or use the ever resilient Bamboo.

Alternative technology doesn’t have to mean it’s risky.” They  won four prestigious international design awards including AIM Youngest Honors and Prestige, Reader’s Digest Everyday Hero, MIT’s Humphrey Awardee.

It was really amazing and interesting to have heard Illac Diaz's Advocacy from himself as to reading it over the Internet or through reading materials. His passion for his craft and his drive to excellence and international standards has makes him very admirable and that he still continues to pursue and build disaster-resilient communities in an ever-changing climate of today.

“Climate Change is certain. Survivability is not.”
Illac Diaz's Advocacy Illac Diaz's Advocacy Reviewed by Vernon Joseph Go on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 Rating: 5

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