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Friday, July 26, 2024

Recognizing Filipinos who champion sustainable endeavors

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Conrad Manila recently recognized six outstanding Filipinos as ‘Champions of Sustainability’ for their commitment and meaningful contribution to driving the social, environmental, and commercial welfare of various communities. 

Conrad Manila Commercial Director Michael Albana (left) presents Certificate of Recognition to Champion of Sustainability

The hybrid recognition was held in celebration of the coming Mid-Autumn Festival, themed ‘Prosperity,’ as  homage to the awardees’ accomplishments in line with the hotel’s Travel With Purpose advocacy.  

Conrad Manila’s General Manager Linda Pecoraro, a woman leader with a passionate commitment to spotlight the Philippines on a global stage, shares: “As we will soon welcome the Mid-Autumn Festival celebration, we would like to give tribute to six Champions of Sustainability. They all represent prosperity- through inspiring others and  contributing to various sustainable endeavors throughout the country.”

Conrad Manila General Manager Linda Pecoraro (left) presents Certificate of Appreciation to Department of Tourism Regional Director Sharlene Zabala-Batin, representing DOT Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco

“They have shown how we can all be purposive now and in the future. We celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival or Lunar  Reunion through Filipino elements and Chinese traditions,” Pecoraro adds.

The program cited the following Champions of Sustainability with these individual tributes:  

Lucy Torres-Gomez 

Mayor Lucy Torres-Gomez

She is the newly elected mayor of the City of Ormoc, Leyte, after serving as Congresswoman of Leyte Province for over a decade. Among her significant accomplishments as the chairperson of the House committee on tourism include filing House Bill No. 7229 seeking to integrate and establish pertinent policies and regulations to ensure sustainability in the tourism industry. 

Torres-Gomez spearheaded the protection and restoration of the Banaue Rice Terraces; 6200:  Mission Possible Project of Leyte IV, supporting relief efforts, boosting tourism, and adopting sustainability principles. Mayor Lucy is committed to pursuing her advocacies as a local executive in sustainable tourism, infrastructure development, and energizing communities to be self-sustainable through livelihood programs. 

Joanne Ramirez

Pecoraro presents Certificate of Recognition to Champion of Sustainability 2022 awardee Joanne Rae Ramirez, General Manager and Editor-in-Chief of People Asia magazine

She is an award-winning journalist and editor of People Asia Magazine, founder – People of the Year Awards, Men Who Matter Awards, Women of Style and Substance Awards – which continues to have an outstanding impact on industry leaders to steer sustainable economic growth in their respective fields. Having served at Malacañang as editor of the Presidential  Press Staff during the administration of former President Corazon Aquino, Ramirez was a respected professional and zealous advocate. Her body of work as editor, columnist and book author reflects a genuine passion for re-purposing, re-inventing, and re-aligning lives for the betterment of sustainable communities. 

Ramirez is a well-deserving Rotary Club of Manila tourism awardee as an industry leader with significant support and contributions to the development and promotion of sustainable tourism in the country.  

Ana Patricia Non

Ana Patricia Non

By now, ‘Patreng’ is a household name. A remarkable woman, Patreng is an entrepreneur whose operations were also challenged by the recent pandemic. She is the Founder of the  Community Pantry; and a U.S. Ambassador’s Woman of Courage Awardee. The ‘Maginhawa  Community Pantry’ initiative sparked a nationwide movement among Filipinos in 2021 to help one another amid hardships and quarantine restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. From a bamboo cart along Maginhawa Street, she has inspired many Filipinos to open community pantries and share everything sustainable that can help the underprivileged. 

Ann Dumaliang 

Conrad Manila Director of Operations Yoges Veerasamy (left) presents Certificate of Recognition to Champion of Sustainability 2022 Awardee Ann Dumaliang, Managing Trustee – Masungi Georeserve

Dumaliang is the Managing Trustee of the Masungi Georeserve; a conservationist and geo-tourism advocate working in the mountains of the Philippines. Masungi Georeserve Foundation focuses on using geo-tourism and the geo-park model as a bottoms-up guide to conservation,  development, and aiding rural growth. Masungi, a 450-hectare land, was damaged and depleted because of quarrying and deforestation, Ann and sister Billie fought it out by protecting the land against illegal quarries and loggers. Today, Masungi has transformed into a model for privately driven conservation, sustainable reforestation, and geo-tourism; while educating the community and benefiting the local economy. 

The Masungi Georeserve Foundation focuses on using geo-tourism and the geo park model as a bottom-up approach to conservation, growth, and rural development. 

Iliac Diaz

Diaz is the Founder/Executive Director of Liter of Light Foundation, a non-governmental organization that advocates for sustainable energy while providing its own lighting solutions to communities to combat energy poverty. Liter of Light started in Tacloban after the super typhoon Yolanda, and expanded locally, and towards international recognition that sprouted lighting projects in multiple communities around the world. 

To date, Liter of Light has helped over  382,000 Filipinos and 690,000 people throughout the world to get out of energy poverty. Liter of Light shows that a new business model is possible, where ecology goes hand in hand with the economy. 

Leeroy New

Albana with visual artist Leeroy New

He is a multi-awarded sculptor, street artist, and practitioner of what is called “applied sculpture” for the environment. He challenges us to think about the waste produced from everyday materials by constructing elaborate sculptures out of discarded plastics. New’s large-scale works are made by cutting, twisting, and tying together found objects like water jugs,  film reels, tubes, and bottles into forms that evoke a sense of movement or migration. 

Reimagining a more positive and sustainable future for his community and the planet, New explores the culture, history, and mythology of his Philippines heritage to underscore the palpable impacts of the climate crisis. 


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