A Liter of Light Takes “Journey of Light” to ABS-CBN TFC Daly City Office, Spreads Message on Sustainable Energy, Recycling with a Twist and Lighting Up the World’s Darkest Corners

FROM A MUDDLED WORLD OF FAKE NEWS, TWO REAL ISSUES ARISE: The first has to do with waste called “plastic pollution”: a million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021, The Guardian reported back in June from Euromonitor International’s global packaging trends report.  That’s 20,000 bottles purchased by humans per second.  If placed end to end, they would extend more than halfway to the sun.

Planet Earth is “swimming” in plastic bottles.

The second has to do with energy poverty – the lack of access to a steady, clean and safe supply of energy. In a report by Time Magazine back as early as 2011, there were already 1.3 billion people around the world who lack access to power grids. “Lack of access to electricity affects health, well-being, and income,” said Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and “it’s a problem the world has to pay attention to.”

In short, if you are desperately poor, lack of electricity helps ensure that you stay that way.

Filipino social entrepreneur Illac Diaz (in photo above) proffered to the world one solution to these two issues: “Solve energy poverty, a liter at a time.”

THUS, A Liter of Light was born, a non-profit organization founded by Diaz. Initially, this initiative consisted of a plastic bottle with water and bleach, fixed to roofs to refract sunlight during daytime, a technology inspired by Brazilian mechanic and bottle light inventor Alfredo Mosser, then tweaked by the D-Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Solar night lights were then built by adding micro solar panels to the plastic bottles.

A month after its launch in 2011, the project and its collaborators have already installed 12,000 solar bulbs, lighting 10,000 homes in five Philippine provinces.

Today, A Liter of Light movement has spread to over 15 countries and has lit over 850,000 homes.  Diaz and his team aim to reach 1 million bottles in 2018.

The “light” has assumed other forms and versions, acquiring local flavors to be true to its open source technology and its empowering Do It Yourself (DIY) mode of production.  Today, the plain bleach bottles represent about 5 percent of their lights, with the bulk being solar-converted bottles, kerosene lamps and streetlamps.

Aside from the literal “light” energy, A Liter of Light is also the “light of hope” to many women in poor villages. The Foundation trains women to build circuits from scratch.  The women then sell their lamps, maintaining cash flow in the local community through skills building and entrepreneurship.

A Liter of Light is now the proud recipient of the 2016 St. Andrews Prize for the Environment, the 2015 Zayed Future Energy Prize, and a winner of the 2014-2015 World Habitat Award.  Its open source technology has been recognized by the United Nations and adopted for use in some UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camps.

A Liter of Light spread its bright rays of hope via a DIY solar light workshop to the employees of ABS-CBN North America recently as part of the movement’s “Journey of Light” 30-day tour to 13 states in the U.S.  The visiting team was comprised of A Liter of Light Founder Illac Diaz, Aero 360 Solutions Co-founder Paolo Jaminola, Prodigy Ace Multimedia Co-founder Chino Neri and Content Head Julian Rodriguez, and Bruena Raeder of A Liter of Light Brazil, with Flower Power Man and Solar Man.

This is what happened.

From left, North America Customer Operations Head Agnes Jamias, Flower Power Guy, Solar Man, Global Head of Human Resources Vic Nuguid, A Liter of Light founder Illac Diaz and North America Studio Operations and Technical Director Eugene Libadia get ready for A Liter of Light team workshop at the ABS-CBN TFC North America office in Daly City.

TFC employees examine the various parts needed to build micro solar lights. A Liter of Light will take part at the International Day of Light Flagship Event in Paris, France in 2018. For the workshop, the business model that was used are old kerosene lamps converted into solar.

All workshop participants learned how to use a soldering iron to form electrical connection between wires and metal parts.

Workshop attendees divided into five groups are a picture of wonder, excitement, curiosity and joy as they work together to complete one solar kerosene lamp each.

A Liter of Light’s “Journey of Light” in the U.S. has a goal of producing 2,500 solar lights for Philippine areas that need light the most. The war-torn Marawi City in Mindanao province is a prioritized recipient area.

Chief Information Officer Genemar Simpao analyzes the components of the solar kerosene lamp with teammates Pam Castillo, Marvin Sanchez, Troy Espera, Vic Nuguid and Agnes Jamias.

The team that completed the first solar lamp at the workshop was the team of (clockwise from left) Digital Partnership and Integration Head Connie Lopez, Global Business Unit Head for TFC.tv/TFC Online Enrique Olives, Global Head of Carriage and Canada Country Manager Jun Del Rosario, Chief Finance Officer Edgar Garcia, Global Head of Legal Services Chocho Sagmit, Global Head of Customer Service and Supply Chain Management Emma Endaya and Mannie Castillo of the Digital UI/UX unit.

Celebrating after finishing their solar kerosene lamp are, clockwise from left, Global Marketing Head and North America Regional Marketing Head Pam Castillo, North America IT Operations Head Marvin Sanchez, Illac Diaz, Solar Man and Flower Power Man, Balitang America Executive Producer Troy Espera, Global Head of HR Vic Nuguid and North America Customer Operations Head Agnes Jamias.

Sending out cheers and positive vibes upon completion of their solar lamp are, clockwise from left, Illac Diaz, North America Regional Head of Finance Edgar Carbonel, ABS-CBN Foundation International Administration Head Analisa Gelasio and AFI Head of Operations Alma Magsombol, North America Regional Head of HR Budith Asuncion Palmero, North America PR Manager Pia Lopezbanos-Carrion, Bruena Raeder of A Liter of Light Brazil, and cameraman/director of photography Jeremiah Ysip.

Proudly posing with their kerosene solar lamp are, clockwise from left, Marvs Cabote of North America HR, Mary Ann Bravo and Emely Penas of North America IT, Head of Dealer Management for Sales & Distribution Malou Garcia, Russel Dulay of North America Finance, A Liter of Light team member and Prodigy Ace Multimedia Content Head Julian Rodriguez and TFCU Program Manager Romeo Marquez Jr.

Members and officers of the North America Marketing, Finance and Remittance teams join hands to create their solar kerosene lamp. Clockwise from left, Kevin Santos, Ailen Batusbatusan, Jennifer Soverano, Maile Llaneza, Moselle Cabral, Jordan Tagle and Joshua Reyes. Joining them are Prodigy Ace Multimedia Co-Founder Chino Neri and Content Head Julian Rodriguez, both members of A Liter of Light.

Aero 360 Solutions Co-founder Paolo Jaminola and A Liter of Light Founder Illac Diaz discuss engineering matters with ABS-CBN Global Head of Engineering & Technical Services Sherry Ann Supelana.

ABS-CBN Global leaders Emma Endaya, Enrique Olives (driver’s seat, partly hidden) and Jun Del Rosario check out the electric 1957 Volkswagen bus that the A Liter of Light team is riding from coast to coast in their one-month “Journey of Light” tour in the U.S. to spread the word on A Liter of Light.

Prodigy Ace Multimedia Content Head Julian Rodriguez pose with Jeremiah Ysip, Pia Lopezbanos-Carrion, Aero 360 Solutions Co-founder Paolo Jaminola inside the electric Volkswagen minivan as they hold the finished and lit solar kerosene lamps.

A Liter of Light founder Illac Diaz take some TFC employees on a test ride of their own DIY 1957 electric Volkswagen mini bus.


“What a fantastic opportunity to learn with my own two hands how simple it can be for anyone to help people living without electricity.  It’s something we in America take so much for granted. Yet through groups like A Liter of Light, we are shown what a powerful difference we can make with such a small effort. I applaud A Liter of Light and encourage everyone to learn more about their movement.”


To learn more about A Liter of Light, watch the BA report of Steve Angeles on the first leg of “A Journey of Light”


and visit http://www.literoflightusa.org/

Photo-essay by: Nerissa Fernandez




Head, Global Corporate Affairs & PR

ABS-CBN International

2001 Junipero Serra Blvd., Ste 200

Daly City, CA 94014


MOBILE: 650.455.8616

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