Can you imagine Christmas in the Philippines without any light?
It might be unimaginable, especially to Filipinos – we are in a place where every few steps, there are lighted parols, twinkling lights, and even extravagant light shows in the park during the months of November and December. But surprisingly, there are still 16 million Filipinos who yearn for light, not just for decoration during their holidays, but for year-round practical use in their homes and communities.
The Initial Spark for the Liter of Light Project
In 2011, MyShelter Foundation received a partnership grant from its pioneering sponsor Pepsi Philippines to provide sustainable lighting solutions through upcycling of plastic bottles. The original ‘day light’ (a plastic bottle filled with bleach which defracts and magnifies the natural light of the sun into homes) has been upgraded to provide light when it is needed the most – at night. This is made possible through the attachment of solar panels and a simple circuit to power an LED light inserted into the bottle. This simple technology is able to provide up to 10 hours of light at night and could last up to 3 years.
Within the last four years, Pepsi has helped the foundation put up over 190,000 lights in 95,000 homes, impacting more than 475,000 people in the Philippines. Due to the simplicity and adaptability of this technology, this program branched out and is currently spreading light in 24 countries worldwide. Aside from that, they also provide solar-powered gasera-style LED lanterns (no carbon emissions!), and also over 500 moonlights that schoolchildren can wear during their early morning treks to their schools.
There has recently been increased clamor for Liter of Light that Pepsi Philippines sent its associates from nearby Tanauan, Leyte to install community street lights and to give out solar lanterns in Barangay Maasin in Leyte, in partnership with the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. With 20 Pepsi volunteers, they were able to contribute 240 volunteer hours to light up a whole community.
Another partnership was with the Miss Earth Pageant – a fitting collaboration between Pepsi, Liter of Light, and Miss Earth to drive up awareness on simple solar lighting solutions. With 5 delegates and 2015 Miss Earth Angelia Ong herself, the accompanying Pepsi volunteers were able to produce 25 solar bottle lights in the TESDA Women’s Center in Taguig in only 90 minutes!
A Liter of Light Christmas
This Christmas season, superstars Daniel Padilla, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, and Yassi Pressman enjoin Pepsi in its Liter of Light project and give much-needed Christmas cheer. Every purchase of the Pepsi 1.5L bottle will help bring solar-powered lights to communities without access to electricity.