The Green Pavilion on today’s headline

Monday, 6 May 2013
 The Green Revolution begins
By Marbee Go
Published: May 6, 2013

The First Solar Pavilion in the Philippines

My Shelter Foundation, a non-profit organization spearheaded by social entrepreneur Illac Diaz that takes sustainable building solutions to the grassroots level, recently launched a nationwide campaign with the opening of the Solar Pavilion at the Rizal Park. Diaz, who made waves in the world of sustainable development with the Liter of Light project, or in Filipino, Isang Litrong Liwanag, shared about his new nationwide campaign, dubbed Green Revolution – which not only highlights the innovative projects of the foundation, but also aims to rally Filipinos to do their part in addressing the pressing issues of environmental destruction, using resources in a sustainable manner, and rethinking the way we look at waste materials. “We are excited to open the very first Solar Pavilion in the Philippines. 2013 is the 150th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio who began a revolution for freedom; the Solar Pavilion celebrates Bonifacio and symbolizes the birth of a new kind of revolution,” Diaz said.

The Liter of Light project began in 2010 and has lighted 120,000 homes in the Philippines and 350,000 globally. The idea has since been shared to other nations such as India, Indonesia, Peru, Colombo and Switzerland. Seeing the impact it had on the lives of many people, Diaz decided to expand the scope of his foundation’s advocacy and take on a bigger challenge. “Creating sustainable solutions to help ourselves and others around the world is not out of our reach. Filipinos can do it; we can begin this revolution,” added Diaz.

David de Rothschild and world-renowned South African green designer Stephen Lamb were special guest speakers at the launch. De Rothschild advocates for awareness of the impact of garbage in the world’s oceans. He is best known for crossing the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Sydney aboard the Plastiki, a 60-foot catamaran built out of 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles. “Plastiki was really just the first step. Ultimately, I want to challenge everyone to find new and sustainable ways to use our resources. We are already using the natural resource capital of the next generation so we need to take action now. I applaud My Shelter Foundation and the Green Revolution; we need to put our minds together for a positive change towards global sustainability.”

Lamb, meanwhile, previously collaborated with Diaz in 2004 for the Solar Pavilion in China and the Liter of Light project. “It’s my pleasure to be working again with Illac and it is wonderful to see that this green initiative is being implemented here as well. The Solar Pavilion is a great example of combining the needs of people and nature in simple ways and I hope to continue sharing more design ideas to contribute to this campaign of positive change.”

The Solar Pavilion was built with recycled plastic bottles placed inside plastic crates which were then supported by plastic ties and scaffoldings. The interior of the pavilion boasts of a hydroponics design that allows plants to be grown without the use of soil and using only mineral nutrient solutions in water. The Solar Pavilion will be open for public use, especially to students, and will offer scheduled workshops on sustainability and green technologies from April 20 to June 12, 2013.

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Kasbah’s Sunset Sundays

Late last month, Kasbah at the Fort Strip kicked off Sunset Sundays, a rejuvenating, laid-back version of a weekday night out, an ode to its Boracay roots and a fitting finale to a weekend. It featured an exquisite Moroccan buffet crafted (with sumptuous dishes to be changed weekly), and personally supervised by owner Madonna English and Chef Zeki Fazlioglu, a souk-style bazaar, and cool, steady beats from DJs Abdel Aziz and Mark Zero a.k.a. El Ministro.

The highlight of the night was definitely Kasbah’s carefully thought-out Mediterranean buffet. Mezzes included 7 Layer Mediterranean Dip, Mussels harissa and crunchy Falafel. Save room for seconds—or even thirds—for the signature dish of the night, Koshari, a Mediterranean version of paella, made with lentils and rice, topped off with spicy tomato sauce.

The buffet also included a dessert selection of Turkish Semolina Cake, Oranges in Cardamom Syrup with Honey and Whipped Cream, and Saffron Cardamom Crème Caramel.

Artist and entrepreneur behind Mister Clothing, Fort mural artist Deejae Paeste and his fellow artists created art on the spot, and we did a bit of stress-free shopping with the eclectic array of summer bags, mini-satchels, handcrafted accessories, from cool indie designers.

Email Around and About at msgo@mb.com.ph.