Instituto Cervantes, the Embassy of Spain, Acciona and Haribon Foundation held a tree planting activity in Tanay, Rizal last November 21 as a fulfillment of the Pelicula en verde, the green initiative of the 22nd edition of the PELÍCULA>Pelikula Spanish Film Festival.
The tree planting activity was led by Spanish Ambassador Miguel Utray, Instituto Cervantes’ Director Javier Galván, Acciona Southeast Asia Director Rubén Camba, and Haribon Foundation’s Chairman Dante Ang. Also present in the ceremony were Rizal Province vice governor Reynaldo H. San Juan, DENR Assistant Secretary Arleigh Adorable, Tanay Rizal Municipal Administrator Jeffrey Pino, and Haribon COO Anna Rita Varona.
This initiative is a first for the PELÍCULA>Pelikula Spanish Film Festival, which is organized by Instituto Cervantes every October. For this year, in an effort to increase awareness on the importance of protecting our environment while at the same time complying with its mission to promote Hispanic culture, Instituto Cervantes created a pledge scheme wherein for every spectator of a film in the Pelicula en verde section, a tree will be planted.
Instituto Cervantes, the cultural arm of the Spanish Embassy, therefore collaborated with Haribon Foundation, an NGO dedicated to the conservation of natural resources, and among whose activities include tree planting, and Acciona, a leading Spanish company in the field of sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy, to sponsor the planting of the trees. Acciona’s Southeast Asia regional headquarters is in Metro Manila, with projects in construction and water in the Philippines including the Cebu cable-stayed bridge, Putatan II water treatment plant, and parts of the railway linking the town of Malolos with the Clark International Airport in support of efficient mobility towards a low carbon economy. Acciona’s advocacies are geared towards sustainability.
According to Ambassador Utray, one of the main concerns of Spanish society today is the protection of the environment. According to Director Javier Galván, “Through the powerful medium of cinema, the recent film festival was partly programmed to focus and highlight environmental films and issues. Culture is a catalyst of human relations, and Instituto Cervantes acted as a matchmaker between actors in the field of sustainability and the environment, such as Haribon and Acciona. This project is an example of how Spain and the Philippines are working hand in hand for a common concern that has no borders.”