Lighting the nation with Light Up Phil.

CTU Climate Change Center Director Mydah Kabingue, the precursor of Light Up Cebu (LUCE) Project, said “It all began with a desire. My training with the Climate Reality Project in Florida in 2015 inspired me to contribute actively to the resolution of climate change.”

At  the project’s national launching on Friday, June 16, Prof. Kabingue barely found herself at the center of it all; the joy and laughter of these children benefiting Light Up Philippines (previously Light Up Cebu or LUCE) are those that fill the dwellings bereft of the light that should shine upon  the nation’s children.  JCI Philippines is adopting LUCE as one of the organization’s projects   in its goal to empower communities by providing free, renewable energy.

LUCE Philippines,CTU, JCI
from left: Climate Reality Project Country Manager Rodney Galicha, Light Up Phil.National Chairman Joeven Lee, Congressman Raul Del Mar, JCI National Vice President Ken Ngo, Jimmy Lasaca (consultant/partner) and CTU Climate Change Center Director Mydah Kabingue

LUCE Philippines committed to providing a solar power set to at least 20,000 homes in the country. With longevity in the discussion, LUCE Philippines will have its seemingly longstanding impact on the Philippine economy as the solar kit can light homes for  approximately 25 years.  In the press conference prior to the launching, JCI Philippines President Herem Furigay mentioned that service to humanity is the best work of life, seeing children happy with a simple glimmer of hope on top of them at night. “We will never let darkness hinder Filipino children from education they want to pursue,” he added.


Putting smiles on children’s faces is an act that takes roots upon one’s perception on life. Emanating from a single desire, branches come out strong and reach sections of the heart to build a nation.

To many, climate change is like a swirling storm whose end could never be determined by anyone. There could be no trace of understanding at all among people who consistently break norms that contribute to the build up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. There could even be no room for discussion among people who adore so much about capitalism. These and more create a series of irrevocable decisions that clout climate reality projects all across the globe. So what more could have prodded Prof. Kabingue to advocate for hope? In her simple response, she sees her very own kids to have provided her the impetus: “Being a mother of two motivates me to leave [them] a better planet.”

The instinct is essentially there to reckon things before they wreck vital elements. Knowing the legacy it brings, it is without doubt that the purest of intentions is what drives her to go on with LUCE at the outset, a  simple drive to help kids learn at night with light from solar energy. Little did she know that things would go sparkling up the trail when people gradually learned of it.

“It was a pleasant surprise. But we noticed since last year that things took a life on its own, starting with invitations from various NGOs and international events,” she shared her sincerest take on the matter.

Finally taking shape indeed is the one thing in life she wants to nurture— the lives of individuals in far flung areas having no access to electricity. Mulling over the detriment to one’s impulse every time an assignment comes up and there is nothing to use save a lamp that guides one’s eyes is unthinkable in today’s generation. Making sense of it all pushes her to go on despite the risks in reaching those households in Cebu’s remote communities.

Seeing the north star, quite headstrong with its radiance, she has always been adamant to change course (with the project still at its earliest stage), knowing that at some point she could emerge as the victor—the compassionate “light” bearer who now stands at the center for the whole nation to see. Since taking on the responsibility, she felt more engaged with the beneficiaries. “ They make me realize … the bounty I have in my life… .”

With numerous qualms in social media about climate change getting a rousing  stance of its own, Light Up Philippines can swerve discussions to the direction where possible contributions could flourish. Around 100 low-income households in Cebu have already been lighted and 500 children have been given the opportunity to study in their homes after the launching of LUCE in 2015.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of this noble initiative and very proud to showcase CTU’s expertise in technology and applied communications. We are looking forward to more installations and community engagements.”

from left: Brgy. To-ong Councilor Melvin Bacalso, Jimmy Lasaca, Joeven Lee, Prof. Mydah Kabingue and Rodney Galicha show the solar power set during the press conference at Cebu Capitol.

LUCE was initiated by JCI Cebu, in partnership with Cebu Technological University, Climate Reality Project Philippines and Sunmagnet Philippines Corporations. The 2017 Climate Reality Leadership Awards launched LUCE to a wider audience by virtue of the the Luntiang Kausaban Award given at the House of Senate last month.

The honor itself sends a deeper message to the public that there is solution to that storm that not only takes the present but also the future. Speaking of education, she considers it as a   primary concern to which the project’s reverberations should be concentrating on. “The solar lights will ensure that they can study at night and hopefully finish school … through the community’s generosity and constant support.”



Major supporters have already shown up such as Congressman Raul del Mar, JCI Philippines President Herem Furigay, National Chairman Joeven Lee, Philippine Climate Reality Project Manager Rodney Galicha, Sunmagnet Phil. Corp. Vice President Jimmy Lacasa and more. Others are asked  to also do their part in Lee’s statement  in the press conference.

Resonating one of America’s respected writers, Maya Angelou,  she wrote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget  how you made them feel.”  Prof. Kabingue, in common with many advocates around the globe, stands to make change effectual the moment lives regain hope through a simple gesture of lighting homes. UPO