The Big (Black) Night

What is just one hour spent in darkness in exchange for a brighter tomorrow?

A candlelit dinner in Apulit Island Resort during Earth Hour 2012

I distinctly recall that I was traveling in a bus during Earth Hour 2009 and was at a wedding in 2011 (and we didn’t turn off the lights). Earth Hour 2012 was the first Earth Hour I actively participated in. As the Environmental Officer for Apulit Island Resort (AIR), it was my responsibility to organize the event and coordinate all the needed preparations. This wasn’t the first time AIR shut down its generator in the name of climate change awareness. We have our Environment Hour shutdown every full moon from January to May (read about Kring’s experience). However, this was AIR’s first time to join a global movement to spend an hour in darkness. Apulit, Lagen, and Miniloc Island Resorts shut down their generators from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

My stress levels usually increase whenever we have a power shutdown. We have to make sure that all appliances are unplugged before the shutdown to prevent surges when the power comes back on. I reminded everyone via radio announcements to please start unplugging appliances and switching off unneeded lights. The Marine Sports Guides must be ready with their flashlights and stand by to escort guests wanting to go to their cottages or to the toilet during the blackout. I also reminded everyone to eat dinner early, or at least be advised that the lights will be out during dinnertime. We made sure that all the guests were informed about the shutdown and why we were doing this. This is just one of the ways we involve our guests in our environmental efforts. Experiencing a blackout in a world-class resort is definitely something unexpected. All these little details and more make the event challenging to organize, especially when the resort is fully booked. But hey, I’m nature’s sentinel, right? Knowing that we’re doing this for the good of the planet makes all the sweat worth it. Earth Hour is an important global event. Millions of people in different parts of the world are sending a bold message: we, as individuals, can do something about climate change. We, at Apulit Island Resort, are doing it today.

Serenades by candlelight

To celebrate Earth Hour 2012, we used candles to illuminate the dinner set-up, their warm orange glow setting the perfect ambiance for an intimate dinner. It was made even better once our singer, accompanied by an acoustic guitar, started serenading the guests.

The Earth Hour set-up

The perfect final touch would have been having dinner on the beach, underneath the stars. Unfortunately, the weather was very temperamental the last few days and the sky
was overcast. We couldn’t risk a shower during dinner so we had our lovely set-up in the Clubhouse instead. Our guests appreciated the serene experience, with some even commenting that we should do this more often. I told them that we already are!

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Read all articles by Mavic Doctor.
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