We arrived in Manila last Wednesday after three days peacefully protesting at Pagbilao coal-fired power plant where we were able to get our message across to government. Was happy to be home--10 days is the longest I've ever been on a ship. But what felt better was we went to Manila knowing that the work we had done in Pagbilao had borne good fruit. Congressman Tanada issued a statement calling for the stop to the proposed expansion of Pagbilao plant while Senator Pia Cayetano had filed, and Senator Miguel Zubiri will file, resolutions specifically calling for a phase out of coal use and a massive shift to renewable energy. So...it's the start of something beautiful :)
Work's not over yet for us tho' as there's a lot more to do. But until we arrived in Manila, i never thought i'd look at this city--my crowded, noisy, everything-seems-to-happen-in-fast-forward city--as restful. After our packed days campaigning in Pagbilao, Manila was restful with its cozy familiarity. It's the same feeling at today's open boat in Pier 13 where we're docked. There were hundreds of friendly faces, most of whom i'd met for the first time. Staff, crew and volunteers should've been tired (what with all the activities), but we only felt a reassuring kind of happiness.
If ships had feelings I'd like to think that the Rainbow Warrior is smiling tonight as she sleeps. Tired, maybe, but happy. The Rainbow Warrior leaves Manila in a few days, on to other parts of the Philippines, and then to other parts of the world, but still campaigning and calling out to governments to 'quit coal'. I'd like to imagine that when she's out at sea again in between campaigns she'll look back at these days docked peacefully in Manila, and smile.