By: Perla Lena
A blog written by a Grade 11 student from Hercules, California, whose parents hail from Philippines, paved the way for 100 Indigenous People (IP) of a far-flung village in Lambunao, Iloilo to avail of solar lamps.
The entire family of Mary Perez, a global ambassador of the One Million Lights Foundation, went home to Iloilo to personally deliver the 100 solar lamps, according to Jennifer Osorio, the municipal tourism officer of Lambunao.
The IP community is in Brgy. Panuran, about 16 kilometers away from the town, proper passing through a rough road. While there are lights in the barangay proper, yet some of its far-flung sitios unfortunately are yet to be reached by the household electrification program.
Osorio relayed that Panuran IP Chieftain Romeo Loraña happened to talk with Miriam Lima who worked for the Department of Education (DedEd) during one of their cultural gatherings. Loraña shared that pupils of their far-flung sitios study using kerosene lamps.
Lima is the aunt of Perez. They are from Mandurriao district of Iloilo City.
Over the weekend, the entire family led by the parents –Edgardo and Myra Perez – went to Panuran to turn over the donations raised through Mary’s blog.
Each lamp costs US$15. However, since the recipients no longer have to buy kerosene, they were urged to save the money instead and used it to acquire for the replacement. The lifespan of the solar lamp is five years.
Based on its website, One Million Lights is an organization with a mission to “improve the daily lives of children and adults by providing clean and healthy lighting.”
The Perez family was joined by Lambunao Mayor Jason Gonzales, One Million Lights Philippines Focal Person Raffy Tan Pho, DepEd personnel and other local officials during the turnover ceremony. (PNA)