Spider-Man joins PH, world in Earth Hour 2014 switch-off

Alexa Villano
'Spider-Man' star Andrew Garfield sent a message to Filipinos, thanking them for 'using their power for Earth Hour'

ANDREW GARFIELD. 'Spider-Man' cast members were present during the switch off in Singapore. Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

MANILA, Philippines – Hollywood actor Andrew Garfield, who plays Spider-Man/Peter Parker in the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2, gave a short message to Filipinos as the country joined in the switch-off commemorating Earth Hour on Saturday night, March 29.

“Hello Philippines, this is Andrew Garfield. Thank you for joining Spider-Man in using your power for Earth Hour. You can catch The Amazing Spider-Man 2 when it opens in Philippine cinemas April 30,” Garfield said in the video.

In the Philippines, the World Wide Fund (WWF), together with Megaworld Corporation, led the switch-off at the Eastwood Mall, Quezon City at 8:30pm. 

A ceremonial candle lighting followed the switch-off, showing the Spider-Man and Earth Hour 60+ logos. Glowing mime artists and drum beaters also took part in the one-hour blackout at the Eastwood Open Park.

WWF-Philippines vice chairman and CEO Jose Ma. Lorenzo P. Tan, Megaworld first vice president and head of commercial division Kevin Tan, and WWF Philippines celebrity ambassador Marc Nelson attended the event.

During a press briefing held the same day at Richmonde Hotel, Libis, Jose Ma. Lorenzo P. Tan said that the event serves to “inculcate residents, tenants, employees, and mall-goers of the townships that energy efficiency is a crucial step in minimizing humanity’s carbon footprint.”

Major switch-off ceremonies were also staged at the SM Mall of Asia’s by-the-bay area in Pasay and at the Ayala Triangle Park in Makati.

SWITCH-OFF. An hour of darkness for the environment. Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

‘Hero Country’

In the same press briefing, WWF-Philippines ambassador Marc Nelson told Rappler that he believes this year’s celebration is something Filipinos can genuinely relate to, following last year’s calamities.

“This Earth Hour is quite timely in partly because of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). It’s still quite fresh in everyone’s mind. Everyone really admits now that the ferocity of the typhoon is due to climate change because of the water that made it to a typhoon,” he told Rappler.

“That being fresh in everyone’s mind, it’s so much more personal. People were more aware of the environment and things to be done in order to take care of it,” he added.

In addition to the light switch-off, WWF also launched its crowdsourcing and crowdfunding for projects around the world. In the Philippines, the money that will be raised will go to the purchase of fiberglass bancas for fishermen affected by the typhoon.

Indeed, Filipinos have been making a conscious effort to help environmental preservation. According to a press release about the event, the Philippines has topped town and city participation levels since 2009, earning the title “Earth Hour Hero Country.”

Last March 14, over 40 local government officials, city planners and environmental officers attended the Liga Para sa Klima, a multi-year WWF, Smart Communications and ArthaLand initiative that helps local communities deal with climate-spurred storms, floods and droughts.

MINI SUPER HEROES. The Philippines celebrates Earth Hour with a switch off ceremony in Eastwood City. Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Spider-Man is the official celebrity ambassador of this year’s Earth Hour 60+ campaign.

In an earlier message posted on the Earth Hour website, Garfield and the cast of Spider-Man expressed their support for the cause, encouraging people around the world to go beyond the hour.

“I’m proud Spider-Man is the first Superhero ambassador for Earth Hour because he shows we can all be super heroes when we realize the power we all have,” Garfield said.

Garfield and other Spider-Man stars Emma Stone and Jamie Foxx were present in Singapore’s Marina Bay district for the switch-off.

AMBASSADOR. Spider-Man, the first Earth Hour super hero ambassador at the switch-off in Singapore. Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

After the first switch-off in Australia in 2007, Earth Hour has drawn more than 150 countries to its cause for action in saving the environment not only through lights off but also creating a sustainable future for the planet. 

Watch the Spider-Man and Earth Hour partnership video here:

– Rappler.com

For more info on the WWF-Philippines banca project, log on to www.earthhourblue.crowdeconomic.com.

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Alexa Villano

Alexa is one of Rappler's Lifestyle and Entertainment reporters, covering local entertainment news to a wide range of topics from beauty pageants to reality shows.