MANILA -- "Rainbow Warrior," Greenpeace’s iconic and environmental campaign ship, arrived in Manila last month for a 20-day tour around the country to promote climate justice in areas affected by different calamities.
From afar, the ship looks nondescript, but there's more than meets the eye.
The boat sails in the name of climate justice and liability as it visits areas that have experienced the brunt of climate-change, such as Tacloban, which was hit hard by supertyphoon Yolanda in 2013.
Onboard the ship are environmental advocates who devote their time to increase awareness and to campaign for climate justice.
Among the volunteers is 37-year-old Ron Faurillo. A former crew for a shipping company in the United Kingdom, Faurillo is familiar with sailing.
It is also his second time on board a Greenpeace ship, as he was also part of Esperanza's "Ocean Defender Tour of Southeast Asia" in 2013.
As a volunteer deckhand, Faurillo helps in cleaning different parts of the ship, as well as support all the other duties assigned by the ship crew.
According to Faurillo, volunteering for the Rainbow Warrior is his way of contributing to the environment.
"That is one of the things that I can contribute to the environment. And this ship tour is about climate justice, the campaign that is related to my hometown, Sagñay in Camarines Sur. We were among those affected by typhoon Nina that hit the Bicol region in 2016. All of our coconuts, bananas and other crops were washed out. Houses were destroyed. No electricity. What’s worse is that our area didn’t receive help. Typhoons hit every year and they’re stronger every year," he said.
Twenty-seven-year-old Meil Isbon Mangana, on the other hand, joined Greenpeace as an activist in 2008 to stop a proposed coal-fired power plant in Ingore, Iloilo.
Growing up in his school's cafeteria, Mangana now shares his passion with the Rainbow Peace crew as an assistant cook.
"What I love about being on the Rainbow Warrior most is cooking. But apart from that, I love people here; their bond, their compassion. We are like a big family. It makes work easier. I Don’t have to deal with toxic people. People are motivated and work with passion. They work for what they believe in," he said.
Working as a volunteer deckhand and assistant engineer on the Rainbow Warrior is 21-year-old Joselito Sepe, an Environmental Science student.
He has been volunteering with Greenpeace for more than a year.
According to Sepe, it has always been his dream to be able to make his mark in the world, and to lessen the impacts of climate change.
"It’s nice to volunteer because it comes from the heart. Volunteering makes me happy because I'm doing something good for the communities, the environment and the animals. It’s therapeutic and can keep you happy. It also increases my self confidence. I also want the future generations to witness how beautiful it is to live in a world where there's no chaos," he said.
Dubbed the “Balangaw: The Climate Justice Ship Tour,” the Rainbow Warrior will have port stops in Tacloban, Leyte and in Guimaras Island until March 5.