Remembering Philanthropist and Eco-Warrior Gina Lopez
Gina Lopez was a generous soul. She was a lifetime philanthropist, environmentalist, child-abuse warrior and former government secretary who had built a legacy that will continue to impact and influence the Philippines. Today, she unfortunately passed away at the age of 65. During her tough battle with brain cancer Gina had never lost her tenacious spirit.
She dedicated her life to paying it forward. Gina was a woman who did not think twice about giving back to her community. Gina created a legacy that will continue to impact and influence the country for years to come. She was a staunch eco-warrior who fought to better the country’s environmental efforts, and educate people on the value of caring for mother earth. As the force behind Bantay Kalikasan, Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission and government secretary for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, her efforts made waves for Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig, No To Mining in Palawan, the reforestation of the La Mesa Watershed amongst many other environmental advocacies. Gina even held educational TV programs like "G Diaries" in order to spread the word on the importance of going green.
As the chairperson for ABS-CBN Foundation she truly changed lives: “her tireless commitment to these advocacies gave birth to Bantay Bata 163, Bantay Kalikasan, and other programs under ABS-CBN Foundation. Before serving as Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission chairperson and as Department of Environment and Natural Resources secretary”shares ABS-CBN.
Her work with Bantay Kalikasan resulted in the clean-up and rehabilitation of La Mesa Watershed and the restoration of the La Mesa Eco-Park. She was also successful in her campaign to gather 10 million signatures to prevent commercial mining in Palawan! Gina was never afraid of a challenge, and followed her heart in every endeavor she took on.
“We need to have the courage to change the way we do things.”– Gina Lopez
Throughout her years, Gina lived a colourful life. As a yoga missionary she lived in countries around the world; through this she understood first-hand how those less fortunate experienced life. She enjoyed living a spiritual and healthy lifestyle spending a lot of time practicing yoga and meditation. Gina strongly believed that sustainability, a healthy earth, and being environmentally conscious are strongly tied to the betterment of people’s well-being.
ABS-CBN in an official statement shares: "Gina was the pillar of strength that pushed AFI to achieve what seemed to be impossible. Her caring heart and selfless kind of love inspired people within and beyond the organization to help and serve others. With Gina’s passing, we lost a fervent advocate of children’s rights and protection, a passionate proponent of sustainable livelihood among the underprivileged, and an unswerving champion for environment preservation.”
Rest in peace, Gina Lopez, 1953-2019.