Haribon member finds calling

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 Czarina Constantino teaches biodiversity to public elementary students through the HARI Ecovan—Biodiversity on Wheels Program.

Czarina Constantino teaches biodiversity to public elementary students through the HARI Ecovan—Biodiversity on Wheels Program.

I do not agree with the idea of a pre-destined path, or the “calling” before.

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To better explain myself, I haven’t seen dedicating myself in doing something in the near future.

Last January 2013, my friend and I decided to climb Mt. Pulag but realized that we are not yet ready physically and emotionally, so we went to Sagada Mountain Province instead. Little did I know, this impulsive travel, which I expected to regret actually changed my life. The place is beyond beautiful, with places I would always remember and return to.

While on our way home, I found myself staring blankly at the window as sceneries pass by me. I saw how mountains shifted its colors from green to brownish, and I remember thinking, “What have we done to Sagada?”

When we reached La Trinidad, Benguet, the mountains were already filled with houses, but without forests. I was deeply saddened by what I saw that I did not notice tears falling down my cheeks. I remember saying, “hindi dapat to mangyari sa Sagada, dapat may gawin ako [This shouldn’t be happening to Sagada, I should do something].” A week after my trip to Sagada, I became a Haribon member and it sincerely changed my life.

I promised to myself to be an active member by diligently learning about the environment and experiencing measures first-hand. I was able to appreciate bird watching, which I did not understand back in college.

I learned that birds have different features and bright colors. Corals, on the other hand, are animals that are essential in the proliferation of underwater species. It was a good feeling to be acquainted with these environments that I get pumped and fulfilled after every activity.

This slowly changed my perspective, making me appreciate nature more and pushing me to involve more on biodiversity conservation measures.

Right now, I am studying my post-graduate degree on Environmental Management, after my Environmental Psychology course. I want to contribute on changing how people view the environment.

Currently, I am working for Haribon Foundation as a training assistant.

My work primarily teaches biodiversity to elementary students, hopefully, the country’s future eco-warriors. My heart fills with happiness as students write their pledges for the environment while we all sing Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World.”

I am enjoying my chosen path and I pledge to continue this advocacy until the day the people consider the environment in their daily activities such as pre-recycling and vermicomposting.

This proves that the idea of a “calling” is true as I have found mine with the environment.

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