Gina Lopez, former environment secretary under President Rodrigo Duterte was recently pronounced as dead at the age of 65. Filipinos all over the globe are mourning the death of cancer warrior and environmental advocate. Gina Lopez is a respected woman who has done a lot for the Philippines all out of love for its citizens. She has spearheaded numerous projects for the improvement of the nation, such as the Bantay Kalikasan program wherein she championed the rehabilitation of the La Mesa watershed.

Her work has earned her many awards from both the government and the private sector. According to an article published by ABS CBN, Gina Lopez was described as “The pillar of strength that pushed [ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.] to achieve what seemed to be impossible." Passionate activist for our earth, Gina Lopez has fought tremendously against the mining industry in our country. She has travelled around the Philippines and realized the resources and beauty found in its provinces despite the slumps of poverty in the city.

According to Philstar:

“She had been an outspoken champion of social and environmental causes in the

Philippines, which include the rehabilitation of the Pasig River and nearby urban

streams. Her efforts resulted in the cleanup of at least 17 tributaries in the Pasig

river system.”

She also starred in her own show which aired on ABS CBN which revolved around environmentalism. It taught Filipinos about conservation, area development and innovations. She became the first Filipino to be awarded the prestigious Seacology

Prize for her “exceptional achievement in preserving island environments and culture.”

The loss of Gina Lopez is one that truly breaks the hearts of many, but taking a look at the life she has lived gives us hope for the future. It is with high hopes for the Filipino nation to act upon the disturbances occurring in our country, highlighting those that create damage to our resources. With enough perseverance, we can embody love for the globe just like Gina did. We only have one planet, we must preserve it, take care of it and most importantly love it--just the same way it loves us, by giving us all the resources we could ever need. With one environmental hero gone, it is our duty to step up and fight for our earth.

written by Leonah Yosalina

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