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SM Supermalls, Calamba City join global “Earth Hour” observance

CALAMBA CITY, Laguna, March 30 — Calamba City joined the SM City Calamba and 48 other Supermalls across the nation and 6 malls in China for the simultaneous switching-off of lights for the annual and global “Earth Hour” from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday at the mall’s frontage event center in this city’s Crossing convergence zone.

By 8:29 p.m. the SM Mall Manager Maria Odessa Galicia, assistant manager Nico Alvarez and Calamba City officials led the countdown for the lights-out event as they pulled down the ceremonial plunger on stage to signal the hour-long power shutdown.

From the outdoors, the crowd witnessed the SM mall was plunged to darkness as lights were switched off on the mall signage, façade, pylon tower, drop down tarpaulins, landscaping, skybridge areas and nearby electronic billboards.

Karen Christine H. Tiqui, SM City Calamba public relations officer said the mall minimized the indoor lights by 50% in the mall hallway, lobby and perimeter for customers and shoppers who had to wrap up their shopping experience to witness the “Earth Hour”.

Fire dancers highlighted the lights out event with their spectacular “fire power” performance as they dazzled the crowd with their acrobatics and terpsichorean skills for the hour-long power shutdown.

City and SM Calamba officials then led various stakeholders in the ceremonial signing for the “Earth Hour-Use Your Power, Be a Superhero” commitment campaign board during the event.

In the kick-off program for the lights out event, SM Mall Manager Maria Odessa Galicia welcomed city government officials, customers, shoppers, clients and the public to the global event which calls for all earth inhabitants to take action against global warming.

Galicia said the SM Supermalls yearly activity reinforced and sustained the global campaign which the first ever World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for Nature Superhero Ambassador and the “Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie star Andrew Garfield with co-stars Emma Stone and Jamie Foxx also highlighted this year's global Earth Hour lights-out event in Singapore’s Marina Bay Skyline.

This year’s theme “Use Your Power” enjoins all earth’s stakeholders to advocate environmental awareness even beyond the symbolic 60 minutes to help save the planet from global warming.

Calamba City Vice-Mayor Roseller H. Rizal, in a message read for him by his daughter Jane Rizal who is the city council youth sector and student organizations’ coordinator thanked the SM management for steering the Earth Hour 2014 event in the city.

Vice-Mayor Rizal said “this is indeed a very simple act, nevertheless a very significant one for an hour’s light outs to be able to make a big difference and a significant step for the environment.”

The city vice-mayor said the city government joins the yearly event “following the Earth Hour initiative not only as an energy reduction or carbon reduction exercise, but a symbolic action to encourage individuals, businesses and governments around the world to take accountability for ecological footprint.”

Rizal also remarked that “the gathering here tonight does not intend to boast we have lessened Green House effect, but we are making a statement that we are Pro-Earth.”

As an elective official of this industrialized city, Rizal said Calamba City through the leadership of Mayor Justin Marc SB. Chipeco is committed to take part in solving climate change.

“In all these, you are the key players to save Mother Earth,” Rizal declared as he encouraged the city residents and the public to sustain active involvement in the Earth Hour initiative to symbolize initial steps towards sustainable environment.

He quoted Earth Hour organizers significant activities to engage in dialogue and resource exchange that provides real solution of environmental challenges.

He also assured that the city government is exerting great efforts to maintain a balanced development and carefully implementing environmental protection and climate change adaptation programs.

City Councilor Maria Virginia “Gigi” Alcasid who chairs the committee on good governance, public ethics and accountability rallied the crowd here and the public to do their share in sacrificing one hour of switching off non-essential lights in a gesture of contributing to a better place to live in this planet.

“An hour’s absence of light is nevertheless a sacrifice as we unite our people, our country to protect the planet,” Councilor Alcasid declared.(PNA)

CTB/SEP/PJN

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