MANILA, Philippines - Like an international personality who produced a film on the inconvenient truth of global warming, a senator came up with a documentary on the causes and effects of climate change, complete with disturbing pictures of calamities that hit the country.
Sen. Loren Legarda, who chairs the committee on climate change, produced and hosted “Buhos,” a 30-minute documentary on climate change.
The film bears similarities with the Academy Award-winning “An Inconvenient Truth” by former US Vice President Al Gore, a world-renowned environmental activist who has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Both films show the dangers of a warming world, and warn of even more danger if harmful human practices do not stop.
More than Gore’s film and advocacy, however, Legarda said what inspired her to come up with the film was the devastation brought by the storms Ondoy and Pepeng to the Philippines last year.
“This is very local. Akmang akma sa Pilipinas (This is suited to the Philippines),” she told reporters after a special screening for Senate employees on Thursday.
Directed by Cannes award-winning director Brillante Mendoza, “Buhos” features videos shot during the aftermath of the two disasters. Mendoza pitched the idea of following and shooting Legarda during her visits to areas hardest hit by the typhoons, she said.
The documentary explains the science behind climate change in layman’s terms, and exposes how humans have worsened it through pollution and abuse of resources. It also shows what has been done about the problem so far, including Legarda’s own efforts.
In the end, people are told what to do to help solve the problem.
“I did not want this to be an emotional film. It’s instructional,” she said.
Legarda, who lost in the last vice presidential elections, is the author of the Climate Change Act, which was signed into law in 2009. She can speak volumes about climate change, sometimes even refusing to answer questions not related to it.
“No other topics ha,” she told reporters who tried to ask her other matters during the press briefing. “Kasi gusto ko ito ang maging storya n’yo (Because I want this to be your story).”
The senator lamented how the issue of climate change is being given small, if at all, attention in the media and government.
“Why am I so passionate about this?” she said. “I’ve seen how people died. I’ve seen how people are dying.”
Asked if she considers herself the Al Gore of the Philippines because of her efforts, Legarda replied, “I don’t consider myself as anyone except me … I wouldn’t even consider myself as anything close to him.”
The film will be shown for free in select theaters nationwide in September. Legarda also plans to send copies of the film—with English subtitles—to heads of state and other world-famous figures, including Gore.