A Decade of Resilience: DAKILA’s Climate Films Mark 10 Years Since Typhoon Yolanda

MANILA, Philippines—DAKILA, in collaboration with the British Council, marked the 10th anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) by presenting the Climate Stories Playlist, a collection of short films shedding light on the pressing issue of climate emergency as a human rights concern. This special screening event took place on September 28, 2023, at Sine Pop in Cubao, Quezon City, as a part of the 11th Active Vista Human Rights Festival (AVHRF): Rebelasyon, hosted by DAKILA and its human rights center, Active Vista.

The AVHRF, an annual celebration of rights, freedoms, and dignity, adopted the theme “Rebelasyon” this year, coinciding with the tenth anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda, with the aim of enlightening the audience about the harsh realities of the climate emergency.

Image Courtesy of DAKILA.

In reflecting on this milestone, Joshua Villalobos, DAKILA Climate Revolution Campaign lead, emphasized the imperative to address climate change as a human rights issue, as a decade has passed since Typhoon Yolanda’s devastation, claiming a minimum of 6,300 lives in the Philippines. The Climate Stories Playlist, a collaborative effort between DAKILA and the British Council, stands as a testament to their unwavering commitment to climate justice.

The Climate Stories Playlist comprises nine short films from various countries, including the Philippines, the United Kingdom (UK), Canada, and the United States of America (USA). These films approach the climate crisis from personal, political, and cultural perspectives, exploring the connections between homeland, community, indigenous culture, and climate change while inspiring hope, courage, and change. The screening at Sine Pop marks the beginning of the playlist’s journey to different schools and communities across the nation, spanning from Northern Luzon to Mindanao.

Nini Oñate, the Managing Director of DAKILA, emphasizes the significance of showcasing climate stories from around the world in the Philippines. She points out that UN Secretary-General António Guterres referred to the current era as a global crisis, underlining the severity of the climate emergency. In the Philippine context, this translates to heatwaves and extreme typhoons akin to the devastating Typhoon Yolanda. Oñate highlights the need for international solidarity in such dire circumstances, and as a response, DAKILA presents a selection of curated films from various countries.

Furthermore, Oñate discusses the landmark case declared by the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP), recognizing climate change as a human rights issue. DAKILA, along with the CHRP, Greenpeace, and other climate advocates, is involved in a significant case against 47 carbon majors worldwide, who have had detrimental effects on the lives and human rights of Filipinos. They call upon lawmakers to enact legislation holding corporations accountable for worsening the climate crisis and urge the national government to lead the transition toward clean and renewable energy.

Arts for Climate Justice

DAKILA, known for harnessing creativity for human rights causes, partners with the British Council to highlight climate justice as a pressing human rights issue.

Through their joint initiative, the Climate Story Lab, they empower Filipino filmmakers to tell climate justice stories that resonate globally. The lab offers intensive mentorship and grant funding to selected participants.

DAKILA’s #ClimateRevolution campaign, ongoing since Typhoon Yolanda, gains momentum with the Climate Stories Playlist screening. It underscores climate change as a matter of fundamental human rights.

The AVHRF 2023 runs from September 21 to October 8. Follow Active Vista and DAKILA for updates and these hashtags #AVF11 #AVFest2023 #AVRebelasyon.