Sustainability champions take the spotlight

September 5, 2021

The planet’s ability to provide its inhabitants with enough resources has been alarmingly decreasing because of the escalating demand generated by consumers and businesses.

Various stakeholders have fortunately been initiating measures to arrest the planet’s further degradation.

To highlight its own commitment to sustainability, Conrad Manila feted five Filipino women for their contribution to the social, ecological and economic well-being of various communities.

At the recent virtual launch of its mid-autumn festival, with the theme “Harvest,” the luxury hotel, headed by General Manager Linda Pecoraro, cited Antique Rep. Loren Legarda, Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat, Pasay City Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano, Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Ladies Foundation chair Maria Lourdes Locsin, and KatutuboPH founder Mons Romulo as “women champions of sustainability.” Legarda, who is also a deputy speaker at the House of Representatives, was recognized for her legislative work that sought to reverse environmental damage, and uplift the lives of women and children. The lawmaker was also cited for her promotion of Filipino culture.

Puyat’s focus on sustainable tourism and her drive to boost programs for tourism infrastructure also earned Conrad Manila’s admiration.

Rubiano, for her part, was cited for focusing on health and infrastructure, embracing diversity and inclusion, and empowering persons with disabilities.

Locsin was recognized for championing indigenous Filipino fashion, heritage cuisines and visual arts.

Indigneous artists

Romulo, meanwhile, was recognized for KatutuboPH, which supports indigenous artists by providing them livelihood as artisans who champion local products and culture.

Pecoraro said recognizing the five women was consistent with Conrad Manila’s mission.

“It is our pillar. We believe in sustainability,” she explained.

Legarda zeroed in on the “misimpression” that sustainability is more expensive.

Her legislative body of work, she said, not only sought to help save the environment, but also protect the Filipino people’s income by encouraging recycling, organic farming and other eco-friendly measures.

Ecological lifestyle

“Embracing sustainability is not expensive. It is the least expensive pathway to a simpler ecological lifestyle,” she added.

Puyat agreed. “What will happen to our tourist destinations in the future if we will not practice sustainability?” she asked. Rubiano, meanwhile, shared how her local government has been encouraging “Pasayeños” to grow ornamental plants and vegetables. Aside from the five sustainability champions, Conrad Manila also tapped entrepreneur and socio-cultural advocate Zarah Juan to showcase Filipino culture, and provide jobs for local artisans.

Juan’s collaboration with Conrad Manila produced the bag they called “Harvest.”

Using the embroidery style seen in the traditional barong, the bag’s design features rice grains, an homage to the mid-autumn’s lunar harvest.

Each bag is handcrafted from upcycled wood by artisans of Paete, Laguna.

The Harvest bag, which comes in red and coral tan, contains four mooncakes from award-winning Chef Khor of China Blue by Jereme Leung.

Aside from Conrad Manila’s signature Baked Red Bean Single Salted Egg Yolk and Baked White Lotus Single Egg Yolk, customers may also try the new Baked Fragrant Pandan with Taro Black Gold Charcoal Mooncake.

Eng Yew Khor, the executive Chinese chef, took inspiration from the Harvest bag to introduce the new flavor.

Pecoraro said Conrad Manila’s sustainability program goes beyond the Harvest bag.

She shared that the property has put up a full herb garden, and has been using more bamboo items.

She also said the luxury hotel in Pasay City plans to eliminate single-use plastics in its entire operations by the end of the pandemic.



Sustainability champions take the spotlight

by: Armin Adina