8 reasons why the Rainbow Warrior rocks
MANILA, Philippines – Greenpeace's most iconic ship, the Rainbow Warrior, came to the Philippines on a 20-day journey to campaign for climate justice.
Too much of a mouthful? Here are 8 reasons why you may want to see her and fall in love with her as she sails the islands of our beautiful country. (WATCH: Rainbow Warrior calls for climate justice in PH)
1. She's one of the greenest, cleanest ships in the open seas.
As the first ship in the fleet designed and built specifically for Greenpeace, the Rainbow Warrior is one of the most energy-efficient ships in the high seas today.
The ship sails primarily under wind power. Its 55 meter-high A-Frame mast system – one of the highest in the world – can carry far more sail than a conventional mast of the same size. This is the first time this design has been installed on a vessel of the Rainbow Warrior's size.
As it sailed in Guimaras, the ship broke its speed record sailing on pure wind power at 13.5 knots, mirroring how the island province has successfully been harnessing the strength of this natural source of energy.
2. She takes her name after a Native American prophecy.
"When the world is sick and dying, people will rise up like Warriors of the Rainbow…"
The original Rainbow Warrior was named after the Warriors in a North American Cree Nation prophecy. Our sisters and brothers at Greenpeace saw it fit to name our flagship after that, and in a way, through our kickass campaigns, pitch our share to make the prophecy come true.
3. Rainbow Warrior captain Hettie Geenen is one of the few women captains sailing the seas today.
This magnificent ship is helmed by a woman, Hettie Geenen. Her first trip on the Rainbow Warrior – then as a third mate in 1999 – was during the Toxic-free Asia Tour, with a stop in Manila.
Hettie has a remarkable background combining studies (Psychology, Social Studies, Nautical Studies) with being a self-employed furniture-maker and a full-time captain with Greenpeace. She's the perfect example that what a girl wants, a girl gets, through sheer determination, hard work, and perseverance – be it either on land, on air, or on sea.
4. The Rainbow Warrior belongs to a fleet of ships with really awesome campaign runs.
The Greenpeace fleet of ships is a unique asset in the battle to save planet Earth and protect the global commons. These ships – the Rainbow Warrior, the Esperanza, and the Arctic Sunrise – are used at the forefront of Greenpeace campaigning, often sailing to remote areas to bear witness and take action against environmental destruction.
At present, the Arctic Sunrise is on its 3-month expedition in the Antarctic with Javier Bardem, Alison Sudol, and Stranger Things star David Harbour to highlight the urgent need for the creation of an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary to safeguard species like whales and penguins.
Meanwhile, the Esperanza – the largest ship in the Greenpeace fleet – is in France and has just finished a successful ship tour in La Rochelle.
5. Many celebrities sailed onboard the Rainbow Warrior.
"Bayaw" Jun Sabayton sailed onboard the Rainbow Warrior from Manila to Guimaras and experienced firsthand how this awesome ship operates. Rock icon Dong Abay also joined the second Rainbow Warrior during the Philippine leg of its 2010 Turn the Tide tour. Radiohead's Thom Yorke also sailed with the Rainbow Warrior on the vessel's maiden voyage in 2011.
6. In the Philippines, she took on Shell and told them head-on to face their responsibility.
In one totally badass protest action, the Rainbow Warrior carried a banner in front of the Shell oil refinery in Batangas to tell them that the rights of the people and the planet should not be sacrificed in the name of profit. This was part of a bigger action where 6 all-women Greenpeace activists climbed the oil refinery to unfurl a banner with the same message.
Oh, did we say badass already?
7. She came to the Philippines to fight for climate justice.
For the first time in its colorful history, the Rainbow Warrior is sailing in the name of climate justice and amplifying the voice of the climate impacted.
She is sailing to Tacloban, the area most ravaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), and where the Waray people are reclaiming their lives and telling their stories to the world on a journey to hold big polluters accountable.
8. You can't sink a rainbow, dude.
In an attempt to "neutralize" the ship ahead of its planned protest against the French nuclear testing in the Moruroa Atoll, French secret service agents in diving gear had attached two packets of plastic-wrapped explosives to the ship, killing Fernando Pereira, a photographer who sailed with the first Rainbow Warrior to document the protest.
The Rainbow Warrior has been bombed, slammed, and rammed by governments and corporations who see Greenpeace and its ships as a stumbling block to their plans in plundering the environment and the people, but alas, as the saying goes: You can't sink a rainbow.
It is time to stand up for climate justice, guys. Come aboard and check out what Greenpeace Philippines and the rest of the Rainbow Warrior crew are up to – and we're up to something good, we promise! – Rappler.com
Angelica Carballo Pago is a media campaigner at Greenpeace Southeast Asia who is based in the Philippines.
Wanna get involved? Sign up on www.greenpeace.org.ph/balangaw for more information on the Balangaw: the Climate Justice Ship Tour.