The country’s top bands and artists join Greenpeace campaign for renewable energy targets

Feature story - November 12, 2010
The country’s well-known artists and talented bands have joined a Greenpeace campaign to demand renewable energy targets from the government, as a long term solution to helping mitigate the global climate change crisis.

Despite their diverse genres, the bands and artists, including activist artist Dong Abay, NU 107’s best new artist for 2010 Tanya Markova, emerging ska band Coffee Break Island and country’s premiere reggae band Reggae Mistress, have found common ground in the Greenpeace Advocacy.  This week, they gathered at Tower of Doom recording studios in Quezon City to tape a music video of popular songwriter and artist Noel Cabangon’s composition “Umuulan sa Tag-araw, Umaaraw sa Tag-ulan.” The song, a call to action, is about the harsh effects of climate change.

In the almost 12-hour recording, artists, Franco and Parokya ni Edgar’s bassist – Buhawi Meneses, Sidhi, Cosmic Love, All About Patricia, Count Kutu and the Balmers, and The Late Isabel also joined and jammed to help spread awareness about climate change.

As part of the project, the bands are leading a public petition to call on President Noynoy Aquino to commit to 50% Renewable Energy by 2020.

More bands are expected to join in on November 27 during a Greenpeace-organized concert at the Cultural Center of the Philippines grounds in Pasay City.  The concert will highlight the call to President Aquino as well as Greenpeace’s “Energy [R]evolution” solution to helping stop climate change.  It is also a part of BGY10 (Barangay Greenpeace 10), a two-day celebration of Greenpeace Southeast Asia’s 10th year of working in the region.

The highlight is the arrival of the Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior—perhaps the most famous environmental campaigning ship—at Manila Bay. The concert and BGY 10 is free of charge and open to the public. For registration and more details, interested participants can log on to

Greenpeace has been making positive change happen in Southeast Asia for ten years now. The group is known for its ability to influence governments through creative and peaceful means to sound the alarm and call for action. In the Philippines, one of their key works is spurring the enactment of the Renewable Energy (RE) Law in 2008. But with business and energy sectors and even the country’s leaders pushing for new coal plants and use of nuclear power, the aspiration for more massive RE uptake in the country is under threat.

“Music is a persuasive tool. It carries a message. As artists, we are catalysts of change and we can help educate people and encourage them to address the problem. We hope the government will listen to the song, be moved and to do something about it,” said Noel Cabangon.

Ska band Sidhi believes that through music and participation in this endeavor, they are able to consciously and proactively take part for their future and of the coming generations. “It takes one small step or push to create an impact,” they said.

The clock is ticking and the world needs a revolution. “If the Philippines, one of the countries most vulnerable and least prepared to deal with climate change, is first to make a solid commitment, this sends out a very strong, urgent message to world leaders that they should be getting their acts together quickly.  President Aquino should be the man to send such a message,” said Amalie Obusan, Climate and Energy Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

Help Greenpeace challenge President Aquino to make good his proclamation that the Philippines will be the renewable energy (RE) champion in Southeast Asia.

Poet, musical performer and a strong environmental advocate Dong Abay said, “I support Greenpeace because my favorite color for the planet is green and my favorite feeling for the planet is peace.”

We can all be part of the solution. “We should help one another, it should start at home, it should start with you,” said Reggae Mistress.