15 Passionate Filipinos Whose Advocacies Will Inspire You

4-6. Issa Barte, Maita Jalandoni, Clara Pettersen (Fund The Forest)

fund the forest advocacy

(@issabarte.art, @maitahrt, @clarapettersen, @fundtheforestph)

What is your advocacy and its significance? Fund the Forest is a response to a duty I feel we all have to our home and to the future of each and every life that has ever touched our world. By restoring the ancestral lands of the Yangil Tribe, we are able to battle the climate crisis, provide sustainable livelihoods for the tribe, as well as create a new oasis for wildlife to thrive once again.

How would you encourage others to do their own part? We’ve called it extraordinary for anyone to care about something other than themselves. We need to change this narrative— we need to make it the norm. And we need to change now! Now is the time to be brave enough to start.

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3. Malou Perez (Pawssion Project) 

pawssion project advocacy

(@malouperezzz @pawssionproject)

What is your advocacy and its significance? I’ve always felt that how we treat our animals is indicative of how evolved we are as human beings. Pawssion Project is a humble non-profit organization that I started in October of 2018 with the goal of helping and rescuing stray and impounded dogs. From initially just wanting to give a second chance in life to the 50 impounded dogs scheduled to be killed by gunshot, to a nonprofit organization that has changed my whole life.

I have always been a dog lover and being able to put up a dog shelter has always been on my bucketlist. As I was privileged to have been given the chance to finally have one, I discovered how bad the reality of strays is here in our country. Hundreds of reports on animal cruelty, irresponsible pet ownership, hit and run cases, abandonment and many more on a daily basis. Having to realize though that we actually have the power to change and transform lives, both of humans and animals is what makes this advocacy very important to me. Pawssion Project isn’t just all about animals, it also aims to keep the hope and faith in humanity alive. 

How would you encourage others to do their own part?  While we complain about the current system, thousands of lives are lost if we do not, even in our own little ways to our part in this advocacy. Like we always say, Rescue. Adopt. Foster. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. There’s always something we can all do. We cannot do it alone. We all have to work together, and that includes the government doing their part as well.

Being able to receive that love and gratitude from the rescued dogs is something so priceless, meaningful and life-changing and I want everyone else to experience that too.

2. AA Yaptinchay (Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines)

marine wildlife advocacy

(Twitter/IG: aayaptinchay FB: Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines, Save Sharks Network Philippines, Wedgefish Watch PH)

What is your advocacy and its significance? Conserving marine biodiversity in the Philippines. Not all would know this but the Philippines is unique by being the center of marine biodiversity in the world – we have the greatest number of marine critters anywhere on this planet. This biodiversity translates into tangible and intangible things we need to survive, like seafood, coastal protection, white sand beaches (!), waves to surf on, and the air that we breathe (more than 50% of the oxygen on the planet is produced by plankton). Our life depends on the sea. It is not only important to me, but to you and everyone else as well.

How would you encourage others to do their own part? My organization Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines and collaborating with other organizations (NGOs, academe, government) provides me the platform to share information and discuss the best ways to conserve the marine environment in the country. You can never do it alone. I also utilize social media, particularly Facebook to provide online public information about the state of Philippine marine biodiversity. Offline, I like giving talks on marine wildlife from schools to fishing communities.  Finally, I want every Filipino to be proud of our Philippine seas are special, so I encourage everyone to learn more about it.

1. Victor Baguilat Jr. (Kandama Collective) 


(@kandamacollective, @victorrific_life)

What is your advocacy and its significance? My advocacy is to facilitate the empowerment of indigenous women by expanding the market for their handwoven fabrics. It is important to me because it was my thesis back in College. I am currently helping Ifugao women because I have Ifugao heritage.

How would you encourage others to do their own part? Purchase handwoven fabrics and artisanal products. Follow us on Instagram and let your loved ones know about us.

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Share your own passions and advocacies with us in the comments! 

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