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I’m doing something different for a change [The Light of Hope Project]

Some people just love to go wherever everyone else is going – like me. You get to go to places you’ve never even planned of going. And then you come to like the place. And you meet the locals and find out about their ways of living.  Then you think, WOW.

The island life is relaxing. You get to lay in the sand all day under a Talisay tree’s shade. You get to swim with the fishes (and then later on eat them hahaha!), and just have fun at the beach.

And then comes nighttime. The locals use whatever source of energy they can to make light. And for a small island, there is not a lot of them. So around six in the evening, you start to hear noises coming from the neighborhood. It’s their generators. The whole community shares a few generators to power their lights and appliances. They are the internal combustion portable types that emit noise that sounds like a boat engine (and when I say boat, I mean the traditional banca with the outrigger and all… Robin, anyone?)

In these times of heightened awareness to climate change, I realized it is my moral duty and responsibility to help out in every way I can (char. Seriously.)

So, how do I start helping, while having fun at the same time?  Read on.

The Place

Tulang Diot is a small island right atop the Camotes group. It is situated here. Now I don’t quite know much about the land area, economics and other nerdy geographical stuff, but I know one thing. It has this really lovely beach, with white sand and very swimmable waters.  Have a look…



Panorama didn’t quite make it. So I decided to do a photosphere view:


The People

We luckily have someone in the group who knows someone on the island. I am not sure with the details but I think some relative (guys who were with me, fill me in on this?)

But anyway, we got to request them to cook the fish we bought from the early bird (umm I just made that name up. We got it from the fish folks who docked early morning.) So the whole time we were eating FISH! And people who know me would know I am not a big fan. Heck I have them as pets! But yeah, it was one of the best experience I had. Fish is just yum when it’s fresh like that.

So enough about food. Yeah, the people. We checked out the neighboring houses to see how they are doing. And here they are…

So you judge. I’d say it’s a laid back life here. Not too many worries about anything except living for today and then the next and so on…


The Project

The pictures above are taken from our second visit to the island. On our first visit, one of us who is pretty enthusiastic about solar power presented an idea to install solar power on one of the houses to help them with their bills. They share the generator with the neighbor, and the deal was that they pay 6 pesos for every lightbulb, and 10 pesos for each appliance.

Here’s the really interesting part. And really, the reasons why I took part in this project.

Solar panels have gone cheap nowadays. And it can only get cheaper. For around 10 thousand pesos, you get to have a 50W setup with the batteries, controller, and the panel itself. Now that does not look like a huge number, but if you take a look at the relativity, note that a single lightbulb, and I mean the LED ones, can be as small as 3W, and it can light up a small room. Now if you do the math, you will end up with approximately 15 bulbs to light up whatever party you are going to throw. But no party is happening here. So we came up with offering a neighborhood of 5 houses 3 bulbs each.

Going green is the right way. You can ignore it all you want, but there is no denying the fact that we humans contribute to the climate change that is going on right now. I don’t want to give links to studies and news but you can look it up and see for yourself how the overall temperature of the ocean has increased, leading to all sorts of weather disturbances and increase in sea level. I could go on all day about this. When you have an opportunity to do something about it, you kinda have to.

Solar power is interesting Interesting in that it is right there, yet we don’t harness it. I don’t know about you, but with our country’s sky high power rates, solar power sounds like a steal. It’s basically free energy. And now that equipment has gone cheap, this becomes even more true. I myself am planning to setup solar power in our home back in the province, so I can stick it to those board members of that lame excuse of an electric “cooperative”!

So before we go to the site for the actual deployment, we got to dry run the system for a few days to see how it fares. Not too bad at all!

On the 20th of May, 2017, we will be going back to the island to finally install the solar setup. If you would like to know more about this activity, you can find more details here.  You can see the Light of Hope Project page to see how you can help and join the cause. And also meet us!

Now that the technology is within reach, it is not hard to realize being able to help people, and at the same time, the environment. I do not want to sound like I am evangelizing, but the satisfaction of giving back to Mother Earth is real. Thinking about helping is one thing. Actually doing it is an entirely different game!

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