Philippines time was awesome! For the second time Ani Himawati flew from Bali Indonesia, to lead two of the Training of Trainer Program. These two events were well organized by Philippines GEA Trainers from last year TOT: @Mam Lou,  @Liza and @Mike. They organized the preparation, connected to some organizations and group of people, invited many passionate people that eventually joined the training. They worked passionately to get some fund and eventually were able to fly one of the GEA principles: Ani Himawati and one of Indonesian trainers, Ood Ignasius Lantip Waspodo, from Semarang Central Java, Indonesia.

In less than two months planning and preparation, the two TOTs went so great. GEA team followed up and responded to serious and passionate groups that really wanted to make the TOT happened, and especially for the Philippines, to continue the spread in the country. GEA followed its intuition! And that’s right! This program was also based on the high demand of the ecobrick workshop from all around the country and the realization that they need more certified trainers to be able to lead and direct the movement, at the very basic, to make sure that people get the foundation behind ecobricking and make good quality ecobrick then how to build them properly in some principles of regenerative design.

First TOT happened on the 6-8 October 2018 in very beautiful farm called Daila in Tagaytay City, about one and a half hour driving from Manila City. In the highland, green space-garden and farm, there are some open spaces and organic buildings. We were staying there for 4 days, and 3 full days in one of the halls that we created to be a cozy class room. It was attended by 25 people from different regions in the country: Manila, Cavite, Bontoc, Cordillera, Negros, Tagaytay, and some more, coming personally and in group. We had varied participants and gender balanced, from 15 year old up to 60ish. There were students, teachers, uni students, NGOs people, volunteers from some initiatives, Fathers and churches people, as well as LGU representatives and people from the company. It was so intense 3 full day training started everyday at 8am (even started 7am  for breakfast and some yoga session) and full day that finished only 6pm. Not only that, in the evening, there was always discussion, Mass and optional workshop also participated by most of the participants. We went through all agenda and curriculum: introduction, presentation on why (plastic, environment, the danger of plastic, issues on recycling industry), hands on to make right ecobrick, how to log it, then how to do presentation and using all GEA materials, how to build ecobricks and some more principles of cradle to cradle design, and yes the last day was all about being a trainer, how to be a good trainers, how to start organizing and leading a starter workshop, some strategy of the movement, and deep discussion on conscious living and plastic transition. Participants were so keen, no one leaving the packed session. The participation and involvement were very high, and togetherness and closeness were created, same thing with the growth of the spirit and commitment. We also had so much fun!!

The second TOT took place in Butuan Mindanau. Yes, Ani, OOd and tim flew from Manila on the next day after the first TOT. Team stayed at Pastoral learning center Butuan. Same with all participants, where the TOT was conducted. This second time, the participant was a bit less, in total was 20 people. Again with varied background and 80% of them have been ecobricking. There were more LGUs here and more Fathers and Sisters from different parishes. Again, we went through deep, intense and fun process of learning, class room, lecture, presentation, hands on, module making, presentation practice, logging on the app, and question and answer. Most of participants coming from Mindanau: Diocese of Digos of Davao del Sur; Agusan del sur- Municipalities of Trento and Bayugan; Agusan del Norte- City of Butuan, municipality of San Luis; Province of Lanao del Norte- Iligan City. Each of them shared their insight and experience, and stories about their own ecobricking and the future plans. Really really humbled to hear all of that.

On the day 3 in each TOT we closed the training with graduation, after reflection and feed bask sharing. We handed a certificate to each participant. Yes, we took many pictures with grateful and fun expression. On the day we all wore a trainer t-shirt designed by GEA supported by Splitvision – a Sweden company who joined the catalyst program. You can see from the pics J

What we learned differently from last year TOT? Yes, we came up with the latest version of the “Plastic, The Environment and Ecobricks” presentation. We learned Ocean Ecobricks that people found it so important and helpful for their activities, then we learned how to make Lego or MD module – the vertical one – besides the triangle and hexagone. We went through more detailed about being a trainer (personal responsibility and be the example) and strategy of the movement – how to do a starter workhop. One interesting thing this time was related with Ood’s involvement. He is an Indonesian trainer and also a staff of a big company in Indonesia. He shared what he has been doing as a trainer in Indonesian context and experience, also what his company doing with ecobrick: their network with government and local initiatives – Ngos- Media, and in how spread the ecobricking in their area in Central Java, with many stories on strategies and media they were using. This session brought lots of interest and questions. And some people could start seeing how to work or connect with companies in very conscious ways.

It was all great experience. Ani and Ood had a great time. Not only to do the TOT, but also to feel and be in the great connection and energy of the change, where the consciousness starts to raise and the passion and motivation are really high. It’s obvious how government, school, NGos, churches start incorporating ecobrick in their program and in their day to day life style.

And the trip!! Ani and Ood had chance to check some museums, taste local foods, people were so generous in introducing many things about their cities, their culture. More over they had opportunity to travel far in the ‘conflict area in Marawi, to supervise the future ecobrick building plan. That was really a life experience, to witness, to feel what was happening there and how people really want to get up, stand up, and see many organizations help each other to rebuild the city and the community.

Another great news, hurray, all trainers signed up on and logged their ecobricks and taggedSplitvision. And now they can be reached on the trainer map on the website! Sure, more ecobricks will be made, more people are joining the movement and connected, more plastics are saved from the biosphere, more statistic data can be tracked! And more smiles from dolphins, turtles, albatross, and whole planet’s inhabitants. Happy packing! GEA team feels so grateful and optimistic what we did. We are thankful with all the support, love and trust.

Collaborators of 2018 TOT Philippines: GEA (Global Ecobrick Alliance) &, Philippine Advocate for The Care of Our Nature Inc., SIFCARE, Season of Creation, ARCAM, Luzon Archdiocese of Manila Ecology Ministry, Daila Farm.