First global Filipino NGO creates #lightitforward giant tableaux at Luneta Park to pay tribute to frontliners

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

As the nation celebrates Bonifacio Day last November 30, 2020, a Philippine flag of epic proportions will emerge from the darkness to light up the historic grounds of Luneta Park. The unveiling of the giant image is expected to send a message of hope and solidarity to a world still reeling from the Covid pandemic. 

Liter of Light Founder and Executive Director Illac Diaz with Dingdong Dantes who also promoted and helped with the campaign

The flag’s outlines will be defined by over 3,000 sustainable lamps individually assembled by volunteers from all over the country who have united for the project. 

“This is our tribute to heroism on a global scale, a tribute to all the Filipino frontliners worldwide who have fought to contain the pandemic. It is a profound expression of solidarity with those who have risked life and limb to be in the frontlines of the fight,” said Illac Diaz, Founder of Liter of Light and organizer of the event.

In the course of a few weeks leading up to Christmas, the thousands of individual lights making up the image will be rearranged to form equally stunning images of symbolic significance in the global fight. The Philippine flag is expected to be only the first in a series of glowing tableaux as other groups of volunteers such as doctors have come forward to express their willingness to create their own tableaux using the individually-assembled renewable lights. 

After the Luneta event, the lights will be distributed to off-grid communities ravaged by typhoons Rolly and Ulysses with the help of partner airline, Air Asia Philippines.

“In the darkness of Covid, stars of hope, exemplified by Filipino frontliners globally,  have emerged.  Where there is light, there is always hope,” Diaz said.

Liter of Light is a global, grassroots movement committed to providing affordable, sustainable solar light to people with limited or no access to electricity.

It is a registered charitable organization committed to telling the story of more than one billion people around the world who suffer from the debilitating effects of energy poverty.  Towards its objective of providing sustainable light to off-grid communities globally, the organization also develops educational programs to promote engagement and participation in the communities where it operates.

Through a network of partnerships around the world, Liter of Light volunteers teach marginalized communities how to assemble and use recycled plastic bottles from locally sourced materials to illuminate their homes, businesses, and streets. Since its inception, Liter of Light has helped more than 1.5 million individuals in 32 countries worldwide.

Liter of Light has also catalysed the growth of micro-enterprises in the countries where it operates. Over 320 women's cooperatives now assemble and rent out lights in the Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Colombia. 

Using locally-sourced materials and transferring knowledge and technology, each of Liter of Light’s hand-built solar lamps reduces carbon emissions by 1000kg. Liter of Light's open source technology has been recognized by the UN and has been adopted for use in UNHCR camps. It is the proud recipient of the 2016 St. Andrews Prize for the Environment, the 2015 Zayed Future Energy Prize, and a winner of the 2014-2015 World Habitat Award. In the UAE, Illac has received the Zayed Future Energy Prize in 2015 and facilitated a world record ‘The Largest Environmental Sustainability Lesson’ with the support of the ZFEP. 

In October 2021, Founder and Executive Director, Illac Diaz will become the first Filipino private sector representative to the Dubai Expo 2020 as part of its EXPOLIVE Impact Innovation Program.  Diaz is one of 120 changemakers selected from over 7,000 applications to showcase solutions with the theme "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future". 

“EXPOLIVE is a once-in-a- generation opportunity to share how the Filipino innovation and creativity have changed the world. Through Liter of Light, Filipino innovation is lighting up the darkest corners of not just the Philippines but the world ,” said Diaz.  

The Liter of Light display at Luneta Park will only be available until Saturday, December 5. 

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