Let’s cut to the chase. Although the Earth Day Jam is a yearly free summer concert for the masses of Manila, it’s not all about braving the mosh pit to watch local bands for free. It’s about getting a message across—a message that’s been long used in bumper stickers and hippie posters before the dawn of online social networking.
Does the message “Save Mother Earth” ring a bell?
My friends from Dimitri Productions have been running this show for 11 years, and I’ve had VIP access for the past three. On the night of May 6, I asked myself the same question I asked myself in 2009: “Did the people in attendance even know what Earth Day is all about?”
I watched as the sweaty bodies in the mosh pit screamed their hearts out for popular Filipino bands such as Imago and 6cyclemind. During the break, members of eco organizations and animal rights groups took to the stage to talk about their green causes. As I expected, majority of the masses in attendance did not even pay attention to the eco lingo.
It’s like high school all over again: the cool kids and their followers are watching the jocks and pretty cheerleaders at the basketball game, but nobody is really paying attention to the principal’s boring opening remarks—except for the geeks and nerds, of course.
Well, I’m proud to be on the side of the eco geeks. There were a handful of us there, bopping our heads to the music, but also trying our best to listen to the words of wisdom from the philanthropists and green organizations amidst the “woohoos” and “I love you, [insert name of lead singer here]!”
That’s the life of an eco geek. We constantly voice out our causes, but we know that it’s going to take a lot of effort to influence an apathetic plastic bag user to switch to paper bags and reusable cloth bags instead. It will take more than Tutti Caringal’s charms to convert the masses to live a greener urban lifestyle.
When I left the concert venue, I cringed at the sight of plastic bottles and rubbish carelessly discarded by the people in attendance. Happy Earth Day Jam indeed. I just took refuge in knowing that there were a handful of people who will be googling “a liter of light,” “peerless bikes,” and “go green” tonight.