“Ang lahat sa buhay ay tungkol sa pagtulong, pagbibigay at bubukas ng puso. Ang pinaka importante sa buhay ay pag-asa at pagmamahal” [Service, giving, and opening of one’s heart is all of life. To hope and to love are the most important things in life.] – Gina Lopez
Gina Lopez was a woman who took leaps of faith, ones that catapulted her into community and service, always for others, always looking beyond the space she was privileged to be born in. It was her unrelenting compassion for others that spilled over into what would be her advocacies.
She established Bantay Bata 163, the country’s first media-based hotline to protect disadvantaged and at-risk children. In her time she also produced Sineskwela a program most Filipinos grew up watching, whose songs and lessons on math, language, and science harken back nostalgia. She established Bantay Kalikasan as the foundations’ environmental arm to aid relief to victims of natural calamities.
Securing lives presently was not the only thing Gina Lopez was concerned about. In her environmental advocacies she strove to leave a liveable world for the children whose rights she fought for in the present day. Her stances against local mining were brazen in the face of large stakeholders. More recently, she led the rehabilitation of the Pasig River, and La Mesa Watershed in Metro Manila.
“As long as people care enough, love enough and work together, our country will have the future we aspire for. The future belongs to those who believe enough to do.” — Gina Lopez
In her advocacies, in the way she viewed life and lived, Gina Lopez was a fiery beacon, burning brightly against the faces of those who oppress and threaten present lives, whether they are shaped like threats to the environment, or dehumanizing circumstances. She leaves us with a legacy of environmental awareness, a love of country, and moreover the love for community.
Gina Lopez passed away on August 19, 2019. She was 64 years old.
Photo Taken by and from: Wig Tysman