Filipino in Glasgow Urges Concrete Development

Peter Zabala is a Certified Laudato Si’ Animator

Filipino in Glasgow

A Filipino in Glasgow called for “concrete and sustainable agreements” for his country.

“Even if I can only be a ‘drop in the ocean,’ I would love to give that ‘drop’ in solidarity with all those who care about our common home.”

Peter Zabala is a certified Laudato Si’ Animator of Filipino origin living in Leicester, UK. Eager to participate in the COP26 Prayer Vigil in Glasgow, Peter traveled by bus all night in order to be present at the meeting.

Since Peter works as a letter carrier, he was afraid to get permission, for Saturday is the busiest day of the week. However, he managed to do so by telling his superiors about the end of his trip.

What is the reason for Peter’s struggle? The unstoppable climate crisis that is already unleashing consequences in the Philippines: “It’s about my closest loved ones in my home country, the Philippines. It is not that my family and relatives have been severe and deadly victims of the weather disasters (thank God!), but they are most likely next. May the Lord have mercy on them and our many more unfortunate fellow Filipinos on the front line of our Mother Nature’s relentless fury and in retaliation for humanity’s unjust exploitation of her resources, neglect, and indifference to her ill-health,” he says.

For Peter, participating in the Prayer Vigil was “a mixture of enthusiasm to march with my fellow LSM (Laudato Si’ Movement), CAFOD, and other Catholics and faith-based protesters who care about our planet.

But he also stressed the importance “that we all march safely and peacefully (non-violently) and that our impact translates into concrete and sustainable agreements most needed from the COP.” 

His ecological conversion, as he recounts in his blog, took him more than twelve years, and is still ongoing. The Filipino trained with environmental courses: “All that opened my world, my heart and my conscience to our abused ecology,” he says. 

But what impacted him the most were the climate disasters in his country, such as super typhoon Haiyan in 2013, which ended uprooting his commitment to the climate crisis. Since then, Peter embarked on concrete actions, such as owning a hybrid vehicle and taking the bus to work, and being 85% vegan, only allowing himself to eat meat on Sundays. 

The Covid-19 pandemic plunged him into a new challenge, and Peter decided to take the Laudato Si’ Animator course, from which he graduated in June 2021, and was then able to form a Circle with his community. 

The Filipino aims to raise awareness among his friends and acquaintances with posts on social networks. “What further surprises from the Holy Spirit are yet to come? In the meantime, I just have to keep doing my part and keep sowing, so that future generations will reap better fruits than our fears,” he wrote.