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Ilongga in Warayland

Polopina Island Pays It Forward

Blog about solar home systems project distributed to almost a hundred households in an island community, co-written by Andrea and Glinly of RE-Charge Tacloban As our motorboat docked on the island, I was greeted by the typical Filipino hospitality. The people immediately helped us out with our luggage and equipment. They were so lively and showed obvious excitement to have solar home systems in their houses. I recognized the simplicity of …Read More

Life in Transition: Stories from the temporary shelter

We gathered the kids inside the day care center and spread out sheets of manila paper over their desks as they sat around it.  We distributed a few boxes of crayons along with small packs of chocolates.  Merlinda went around asking the kids their names, how old they were, and in what grade they were in.  Some can confidently talk in front of this young crowd while others answered in …Read More

A Brighter Mamanwa Community

Believed to be descendants of the original settlers of the Philippines, the Mamanwas are known to be upland dwellers, skilled in ways of life in the mountain, and have a striking physical resemblance to the Negritos. They are most commonly living in Mindanao and parts of Southern Leyte. However, small groups scatter in other areas of Leyte and Samar. Last November 11, we were fortunate to meet them in Kilometer …Read More


Being both an advocate of renewable energy and sustainable development and an electronics engineer by profession, I often find myself in debates with people who remain skeptical about the alternative technologies of photovoltaics and electric cars. There are so many aspects to this skepticism and they range from economic to political reasons. I guess I have been talking about solar panels long enough to know how much harder it was …Read More

RE-Charge Turns One

One adventure-filled year has passed since RE-Charge Tacloban was launched. A solar powered training center and charging station for electric vehicles in the heart of the city, the facility has seen seemingly strange ideas come to life. It played an important role in the empowerment of those who are survivors of the impacts of climate change, transform from being ordinary citizens into Solar Scholars. The initiative has supported the daily …Read More

Standing on Both Feet

She walked from the far end of the buffet table to the folding table nearest to me. I watched her as she placed her coffee mug and the plate of puto and moron on the table and slowly positioned herself comfortably on her seat. I noticed that she can stand straight only with one leg while the other was supported by a cane she held in her right hand. But …Read More

Solar Scholars Training Program Goes to Marabut

It was a lovely sunny day by the beach.  All the drowsiness from the early morning trip from Tacloban to Marabut were wiped off by the beautiful view of the rock formations, islets resembling Coron’s, and the waves that roll in from the Leyte Gulf. The limestone walls were calling out to us “climb me!” since it has been days since I last touched the holds of our local climbing gym, …Read More

Empowering the Women of Samar

Commencing our day with ground coffee from Benguet, chocolate moron from Abuyog, and puto cheese from Tacloban, the ladies of PKKK (Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan) communities in Basey and Marabut Samar arrived at the RE-Charge facility morning of September 4. They were the second batch of our Solar Scholars basic training program.  Sitting in for the first day of training were our RE-Charge Staff and representatives from the …Read More

Suluan Island Part 1: Of Giants and Serenades

by AX Gaurana and G Alvero We were awoken by the sound of women singing coming from downstairs.  Half-conscious at four in the morning, I heard the song being concluded with “Happy Birthday”. It was the first time we have heard a mananita in our lives.  A mananita is an early morning serenade, usually a birthday song being sung before sunrise as a surprise to the celebrant.  This is one of the many unique …Read More

Stories from the Road I: Why You Should Love Mondays (aka What Really Happens When I Ride My Bike)

Little children  pulling their trolley bags behind them and the older ones wearing their bright blue Unicef knapsacks by the side of the road trying to hitch a ride from the passing tricycles.  This was the scene that changed my whole mood this morning.  I left the site a quarter before six to ride my 26.5er mountain bike, Amidala, crossing the lengthy San Juanico Bridge to the town of Santa …Read More