On the afternoon of Bonifacio Day, dozens of individual volunteers and members of JCI Manilena gathered at Rizal Park grounds near the Rizal Monument to assemble over 3,000 sustainable lamps to form a giant image of the Philippine flag and with the words SALAMAT PO inscribed alongside it.

I went there at sunset, together with other bloggers and online media groups, to witness the grand unveiling of the project aptly called LIGHT IT FORWARD. A brain child of LITER OF LIGHT founder Illac Diaz, the giant tableaux which will be re-arranged a couple of times until December 5 (Saturday) to form different symbolic images by various volunteer groups is meant to be a grand tribute to all Filipino frontliners as well as a means to send a message of hope and solidarity with the rest of the world in our battle against the CoViD 19 pandemic.

“This is our tribute to heroism on a global scale, a tribute to all the Filipino frontliners worldwide who have fought to contain the pandemic. It is a profound expression of solidarity with those who have risked life and limb to be in the frontlines of the fight,”

Illac Diaz

The giant tableaux is placed in an enclosed grassy area in the park while two 3-level scaffolding – one in front and one at the side serves as viewing decks for visitors. Only a limited number of persons are allowed on the viewing – social distancing and face masks are mandatories when inside the park.

After the Luneta event, the lights will be distributed to off-grid communities ravaged by typhoons Rolly and Ulysses with the help of partner airline, Air Asia Philippines.

Joining Illac Diaz during the unveiling event were National Parks Development Committee Deputy Executive Director Jezreel Galus Apelar, Neurologist and Former Medical Director of St. Luke’s Medical Center Dr. Joven Cuanang and actor and Former NYC Commissioner Dingdong Dantes.

Founded in the Philippines, Liter of Light is a global grassroots movement committed to providing affordable, sustainable, solar lights to people with limited or no access to electricity. As the first global Filipino NGO, Liter of Light has brought light to millions of people in off-grid areas across the globe. To Diaz, the organization’s programmes have also spearheaded a progressive narrative for the Filipino people – that of a forward-thinking nation capable of contributing solutions to the world’s problems.

Diaz has been selected as the Philippines’ private sector representative to Expo 2020 Dubai as part of its EXPOLIVE Impact Innovation Program showcasing the work of innovators of global importance.  Liter of Light’s grassroots platform operates hubs in 32 countries, and has positively impacted the lives of over 1.5 million individuals globally.   

“In the darkness of Covid, stars of hope, exemplified by Filipino frontliners globally,  have emerged.  Where there is light, there is always hope,” Diaz said.

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