Let’s Go Renewable: Transitioning to Solar-Powered, Sustainable Energy in the Philippines + Staycation at the Containers by Eco Hotel Tagaytay

Monday, June 03, 2024

Last weekend, I went to Tagaytay with other content creators to join the Let’s Go Renewable 101 event and learn more about solar-powered, sustainable energy in the Philippines. 

This event brought together key stakeholders, experts, and advocates at the Containers by Eco Hotel to discuss the vital role of solar energy in achieving an affordable, locally available, and clean energy-powered future for Filipinos

With the growing urgency to address climate change and the need for energy independence, the gathering served as a crucial platform to inspire and encourage Filipinos to explore the benefits and possibilities of solar energy and to foster a greener, more equitable, and resilient energy sector. 

The two-day event featured engaging presentations and discussions that showcased the practical advantages and transformative potential of solar power for homes and businesses. 

With fellow workshop attendees and our commitment board, to showcase our commitment to advocating for a more sustainable future for Filipinos:

I joined my friend Ashley's fam on a road trip from Alabang going to Containers by Eco Hotel in Tagaytay, an eco-friendly lodging option designed with sustainability in mind. It's the perfect venue for this kind of event. When we arrived at their function room, the workshop was about to start.

Containers by Eco Hotel offers a unique and environmentally conscious stay, blending modern comfort with green practices amidst the scenic beauty of Tagaytay

Let's Go Renewable Workshop Guest Speakers

Classroom set-up for this event!

Ice Breaker! Human Bingo Game, but make it Renewable Energy related! So hard, but promised I will get to sign a box here next time!

Ms. Brenda Valerio, the Country Director of New Energy Nexus Philippines, shared the profound impact solar power can have on transforming the energy landscape in the Philippines. She emphasized the various organizations the NGO has supported and funded in their endeavors to innovate and make solar energy systems accessible to Filipinos. Valerio further underscored the potential of solar power to create a more just, equitable, and inclusive clean energy sector.  

Brenda Valerio, Country Director of New Energy Nexus Philippines, shares about the organizations they’ve helped fund to make solar energy accessible to Filipinos.

Arturo Tahup, Director for Community Resilience at the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), addressed several common myths surrounding solar energy.

One prevalent myth is solar energy is too expensive. “Renewable energy sources such as solar, hydro, and wind are more affordable and cleaner than traditional fossil fuels,” Tahup explained. “Since these resources are indigenous to the Philippines, they offer a cost-effective solution for energy needs.” He also highlighted that adopting solar energy can lead to significant cost savings for both households and businesses.

Arturo Tahup, Director for Community Resilience at the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) showed to us the TekPak

A TekPak is a portable solar-powered device that can provide solar energy to off-grid households. Here's a quick demo experience of this amazing invention. So fun, and by end of this session I heard murmurs of wanting their own TekPak at home! 

Another barrier is the perception that solar energy is too technical, which may deter others from exploring their options. “With proper education and training, setting up solar energy systems is straightforward,” Tahup said. “Communities can invest in learning about solar technology, since it is accessible and manageable with proper guidance.”

Tahup also addressed the misconception that solar energy is too unreliable. “Solar energy, being abundant and indigenous to the Philippines, is one of the most reliable energy sources available to Filipinos. Unlike finite and imported fossil fuels, solar energy provides a consistent and sustainable power supply.”  

Additionally, Tahup shared inspiring stories of how solar energy projects have positively impacted various communities, providing reliable and sustainable energy solutions that have significantly improved the quality of life for many Filipinos.

Totoo nga naman noh, as a tropical country we are so RICH in solar energy! And another amazing fact, even on cloudy or rainy days, these solar panels can still absorb the UV from the sun to create energy.

We also made these mini wooden houses, with solar powered panel and lights connected to a solar POWER BANK! So challenging but fun!

The implementation of solar energy systems offers short- and long-term benefits for individual consumers and enterprises in the Philippines. These advantages may include significant savings on electrical bills and operations expenses, as well as the potential to generate new revenue streams through innovative solar power applications.

By embracing solar energy, Filipinos not only contribute to a cleaner environment but also enhance the resilience of the nation’s energy system. Ultimately, this transition can lead to an improved quality of life for all, fostering a sustainable and thriving future for the Philippines.

Quick lunch break inside my room, super enjoyed the vegetarian foods they served for me! Thank you!

Dinner and beautiful pink and purple sunset:

Thank you so much to our guest speakers for the insightful yet very practical discussion!

Aside from the talks, we also enjoyed our overnight stay at the Containers by Eco Hotel Tagaytay. It's my first time here, and was quite impressed by their sustainability efforts.

In front of the hotel with Ruthie, sporting our twinning Cabin Zero backpacks!

They said that containers are nearly indestructible, making them safe, strong, and secure even as compact living spaces. At just three stories high, Containers by Eco Hotel is both safe and structurally sound.

My cozy container room in Containers by Eco Hotel! Really cold and comfortable, plus the space is also very clean!

Space is compact, but perfect for solo travelers

Aside from rooms made from old containers, they also implement less waste system with their guests. I realized that the hotel industry must be one of the highest producers of waste primarily because of its high turnover of guests, leading to significant amounts of disposable items such as toiletries, food, and packaging. 

Here are some impressive efforts I spotted from Containers by Eco Hotel:

Garbage segregation starts in your own room

It's in the details: Even room aesthetics are made of recycled paper and bottles

Let's go to the toilet and bath....

A reminder to use the pail to catch water from shower that can be used for watering plants or flushing the toilet

Refillable bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion

No need for new towels everyday if you're only staying for a few days!

Also, most of their hotel decors are recycled materials:

... Such as these cool bottle walls and accents

Gotta love Containers by Eco Hotel's rustic vibe

Cute wall murals, like the ones in Malaysia

Plus they have composting system within their compound:

The next day, prior to leaving the hotel, all workshop attendees made a mark and signed on a commitment board, a promise to advocate more on sustainability--especially in renewable energy.

I really believe that this is something we can start small, beginning at home. Whether it's going all-out with solar panels (a good investment in the long run) or starting with small things like solar-powered lights or power banks, a little goes a long way.

Filipinos who are interested in embarking on their journey toward solar energy adoption are highly encouraged to begin by assessing their energy needs and consumption. To assist with this process, these user-friendly solar calculators are recommended:  

SolarNRG Solar Calculator

Solaric Solar Panel Calculator 

Yuda Solar Calculator 

Meanwhile, for those seeking credible solar installers, the following resources offer valuable assistance: 

Yuda Solar Installer Directory 

Department of Energy Official Solar PV Installer Registry 

More photos during our short stay in Tagaytay:

A different view of Taal

Same view but at night

Hearty breakfast at the Containers by Eco Hotel before check-out

With my "neighbors"! Can't say good bye to our cozy rooms yet! 

Had a fun 2 days in Tagaytay with my content creator friends! L-R Moon, Ava, Me, Ashley, Ruth, Rod, Ate Marj, and Kuya Richard

Special thanks to Clozette Team for inviting me, to Containers by ECO Hotel for the lovely accommodation, to Pineda Fam for my transpo to and from Tagaytay, and to our guest speakers for the valuable lessons.

More photos:


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