February 2000--Hearts were filled with anticipation at the Manila harbour as people were waiting for the arrival of the Greenpeace flagship. It was going to be her first visit in the country and we knew she was going to stand for hope and change for those who relentlessly struggle for the environment.

In the Philippines, it was the plague of toxic wastes which called our supporters to action. Greenpeace exposed the dangerous waste management practices in Payatas and the hazardous wastes abandoned by the US in their former military bases. The Rainbow Warrior arrived in Manila to highlight our message that a toxic free future is possible.

Suddenly, she emerges from the horizon. Drums started beating, echoing her call to the 7,107 islands in the Philippines to stand up for action. As she sailed closer to the bay, the Rainbow Warrior was greeted by traditional Atiatihan dancers watched by people who went to Manila Bay to show solidarity for the campaigns she was fighting for.

It was a beautiful sight. Indeed, it was the beginning of Greenpeace environmental activism not just in the Philippines but in Southeast Asia. It was the year 2000 when she first came in and people from the all over the country finally became warriors of the rainbow.

“There will come a time when the Earth grows sick and when it does a tribe will gather from all the cultures of the world who believe in deeds and not words. They will work to heal it… they will be known as “Warriors of the Rainbow.”

The spirit of Greenpeace.