Bagong Liwanag lights up Layag-Layag Community PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 07 June 2011 14:53

Inspired by the My Shelter Foundation’s Solar Bulb project, the Tzu Chi Foundation-Zamboanga in coordination with the Rotary Club of Zamboanga City and documented by the Photography With A Difference (PWD)-Zamboanga installed solar power bottle bulbs at the Layag-Layag Community, Talon-Talon, Zamboanga City last May 29, 2011.

Where there is no electric power to light their home, these solar powered plastic bottles named by the group as “Bagong  Liwanag Light Project” are heaven sent  for the poor residents of this village. It gives light for free from the sun! These bulbs do not only save precious fuel for power, it is an environmental friendly project worthy of emulation everywhere.

The solar bottle light, an innovation by students of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is being promoted by My Shelter Foundation Inc. around the country under its “Isang Litrong Liwanag–The Solar Bottle Bulb Project”. It was launched in San Pedro, Laguna province early this year and has powered homes in Tondo last April under the auspices of Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim.

The cheap solar bottle light is easy to assemble using inexpensive and recyclable material (plastic liter bottle of Coke). Inside the bottle, one combine 1.5 distilled or purified water with 3 caps of chlorine or bleach which is commonly used in household cleaning products. The bottle in a holding base (made of plastic sheet) is then inserted halfway into a hole made on the roof of a house. Sealant is applied to prevent leaks and the end result gives the impression of a small, plastic chimney. It gives off light equivalent to a 55-watt electric lamp as the water inside the bottle refracts sunlight and other exterior light.

Layag-Layag is a poor offshore community where the residents have to use boat or to wade through the water during low tide to go to mainland Zamboanga City for their basic needs. Their children, particularly those going to school, have to swim to get education. It caught the attention of concerned individuals and organizations who donated a boat, named Bagong Pag-Asa, last March this year to help them go to school dry.

My Shelter Foundation was established by Illac Diaz to create a system of sustainability and reliability through its capability-building and employment-generating projects. Introducing groundbreaking social enterprise, appropriate technologies, and alternative construction in the Philippines, it has pioneered projects such as the Pier One Seafarer's Dormitory, the Design Against the Elements (DAtE) competition, and the Bottle School Project.

Their "Isang Litrong Liwanag" (A Liter of Light), is a sustainable lighting project which aims to bring the eco-friendly Solar Bottle Bulb to disprivileged communities nationwide. It is based on the principles of Appropriate Technologies – a concept that provides simple and easily replicable technologies that address basic needs in developing communities.

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"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

Matthew 5:14-16 (KJV)