CEBU, PHILIPPINES — Liter of Light, a Filipino-born global grassroots solar lighting movement, unveiled the largest solar tribute to Santo Niño de Cebu to commemorate 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines.
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The installation is being done in partnership with Local Government of Cebu City, Philippines Air Asia, Rotary Club of Makati Business District, SM Seaside City Cebu, SM Cares, Dexcom Philippines, Inc. and Lalamove.
Collaborating institutions include Rotary Club District 3860, JCI Cebu Sinulog and Big Seed PR and Events.
Each of the hand-built solar lights that make up the installation, which pays homage to the patron saint of Cebu, were built by thousands of participants who signed on to Liter of Light’s “Light It Forward” Challenge. Inspired by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, LIGHT IT FORWARD has given Filipinos a new way to connect for good by inviting them to build solar lights for communities without electricity from the safety of their homes. Since July 2020, this pioneering digital campaign has empowered thousands of families in energy-poor and disaster-stricken communities across the country.
The Santo Niño de Cebu solar tribute is the first of its kind in Cebu province, where the social enterprise recently kicked off the Visayas leg of its pioneering LIGHT IT FORWARD campaign. Upon unveiling the finished solar tribute, Liter of Light is inviting people from around the province to come together at 7:30 PM to share a pre-taped online prayer in unity for the health and safety of our people and planet.
The prayer will be led by the Augustinian order, featuring the largest solar rosary in the world.
The tribute to Santo Niño de Cebu is one of several artworks that Liter of Light will be building and unveiling in Cebu over the next months.
Each of the hand-built solar lights that make up the installation, which represents UN SDG #7 – Clean and Affordable Energy for All – was built by thousands of children who participated in Liter of Light’s “Light It Forward” Challenge. Inspired by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, LIGHT IT FORWARD has given Filipino youth new way to connect for good by inviting them to build solar lights for communities without electricity from the safety of their homes. Conceived at the height of the COVID19 pandemic, this pioneering digital campaign has empowered thousands of families in energy-poor and disaster-stricken communities across the country.
Since its launch in July 2020, LIGHT IT FORWARD counts on the support of 350 celebrities with an estimated total fan base of 30 million supporters, including Cebuano celebrities and influencers like Ellen Adarna, Jen Martinez, Toni Pino Oca, Kali and Tonyo Carcel, Divine Lee Go, Ben and Vern Enciso Lim, and Neil Felipe San Pedro, each of whom has committed to building a light and challenged others to join the campaign.
“The quincentennial is a very important time to remember the birth of Christianity in Philippines, but also to remember the rebirth of a stronger community that with unity and faith will be able to get through this pandemic and shape the next 500 years of the country,” says Illac Diaz, Liter of Light’s Founder and Executive Director.
“His Holiness Pope Francis, through his Laudato Si encyclical, reminded us that nature would arrive at a point where it would no longer forgive. We need to take action now to restore our planet. We chose to pay tribute to Santo Niño de Cebu to remind us all that it is up to each and every one of us to do what we can to create the sustainable future we all want, with faith, hope, and love.”
The participative solar artwork is the latest in a series of large-scale solar installations that the Liter of Light has built since November 2020. The foundation built the largest Philippine solar-powered flag in Asia, which was unveiled on Monday, November 30, the birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio, and last December 30, Liter of Light paid tribute to Jose Rizal with a large-scale solar portrait of the national hero. On January 6, the organization built the largest (solar) rosary in the world to unite Filipinos in a healing prayer for the world, led by the Manila Cathedral and in partnership with the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. All three of these images were made in honor of the Filipino frontliners that have kept us safe, healthy, and well during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the organization created a large-scale replica of the UN SDG wheel and artworks representing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, in partnership with Makati City Mayor Abby Binay, the Rotary Club of Makati Business District, and the Bonifacio Arts Foundation, Inc. and the City of Taguig.