In a groundbreaking move to intertwine cultural celebration with environmental responsibility, Instituto Cervantes, alongside the Embassy of Spain, Acciona, and Haribon Foundation, took the lead in organizing a tree planting activity in Tanay, Rizal on November 21. This eco-friendly initiative marked a significant milestone in the 22nd edition of the PELÍCULA>Pelikula Spanish Film Festival, particularly as part of their Pelicula en verde initiative. The collaborative effort, spearheaded by Spanish Ambassador Miguel Utray, Instituto Cervantes’ Director Javier Galván, Acciona Southeast Asia Director Rubén Camba, and Haribon Foundation’s Chairman Dante Ang, garnered participation from esteemed guests, including Rizal Province vice governor Reynaldo H. San Juan, DENR Assistant Secretary Arleigh Adorable, Tanay Rizal Municipal Administrator Jeffrey Pino, and Haribon COO Anna Rita Varona.
A unique pledge scheme introduced during this year’s festival added an extra layer of significance. Instituto Cervantes initiated a commitment wherein, for every film spectator in the Pelicula en verde section, a tree would be planted, setting an unprecedented precedent for the festival. The collaboration extended beyond cultural institutions, as Instituto Cervantes partnered with Haribon Foundation, a renowned NGO dedicated to natural resource conservation, and Acciona, a leading Spanish company specializing in sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy. Notably, Acciona’s Southeast Asia regional headquarters, situated in Metro Manila, has played a pivotal role in various sustainable projects, including the Cebu cable-stayed bridge, Putatan II water treatment plant, and segments of the railway linking Malolos to Clark International Airport.
This collaborative effort underscores the commitment of Spanish society, as highlighted by Ambassador Utray, towards environmental protection. Director Javier Galván emphasized the power of cinema as a catalyst for change, with the film festival deliberately featuring environmental films and issues. The partnership between Instituto Cervantes, Haribon Foundation, and Acciona exemplifies a global alliance for a shared concern that transcends borders. The tree planting activity in Tanay, Rizal stands as a testament to the innovative approach of the PELÍCULA>Pelikula Spanish Film Festival in combining cultural enrichment with environmental stewardship. As the festival continues to evolve, such initiatives serve as an inspiration for others, showcasing how the arts and sustainability can come together to make a positive impact on the world.