Gina Lopez- eco-fighter, ardent environmentalist, formerly, a member of the Phillippines government has lost her battle to cancer, aged 65. But no tribute to Gina Lopez can be rendered complete without mentioning the fact that in a time that favored histrionics and salubrious lifestyles, she was a simplist whose life rested on the strength of her character, not on mere words.
In a land that famously birthed the eight-division Boxing World Champion in Manny Pacquiao, it was Gina Lopez who fought vocal supporters and backers of profitable ventures that seconded and belittled environmental concerns.
At a time where not many cared for the deteriorating earth, trivializing real concerns and actual worries such as deforestation and climate change, in Gina Lopez, the world had a warrior who fought with the only weapon that she knew of: truth.
She was more than just a staunch eco-campaigner; she was vocal about the opposition to mining and the vitriolic perils it exerts on habitats it comes to erode. Someone who served formerly in the capacity of Phillippines’ Environment minister, any tribute to Gina Lopez would rightly underline her simple yet charismatic personality that enabled her voice to become her peoples’.
At a time that sided with booming businesses, many built on the iron-willed existence of mining companies, Gina Lopez took it upon her to personally close down many of her country’s quarries, during the passionate ten months she spent in the environment ministry, back in 2016.
What’s more? For someone who so passionately harbored a genuine interest in preserving the sanctity of the Mother Nature, committed her life toward the upkeep of the environment, she was also a real advocate of children’s rights.
One must extend a tribute to Gina Lopez by mentioning that in a world besieged by capitalists, here was a socialist who forwarded the collective interest of her people, seldom putting herself ahead of the cause she espoused or fought for.
The broadcasting company her family founded- ABS-CBN- happened to share the following on the occasion of Lopez’ passing:
“Her caring heart and selfless kind of love inspired people within and beyond the organization to help and serve others.“
In a world mired by self-driven objectives and those who often end up being consumed working for self-vested interests, it ought to be said that in Gina Lopez’ passing, the world’s lost an individual among the crowds, one who deeply devoted herself toward the cause of the others.
She gained as much stardom as biting criticism due to her anti-mining stance, an instance that actually saw Phillippines’ Congress rejecting her appointment by President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
Today, it ought to be said, if Phillippines has a modern-day hero who devoted her lifetime to banning open-pit mining then in Gina Lopez, the last of that rare breed has been snatched away.
Tributes pour in ceremoniously from different walks of life for a woman who moved with inspiration and marked simplicity.
“Gina was a pure champion of the environment, bold and fearless in her advocacies, regardless of the consequences,” her successor Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu shared in a statement.
Furthermore, it’s also worthwhile to note of other tributes. “She was uncompromising in protecting watersheds and imposing high standards of responsibility on the mining industry,” said Mr. Cimatu, a former military general.
Her success can be gauged from the fact that during her term, she canceled as many as 23 mines. Imagine all the households she must have shared in such a commanding action meant for the collective good.
In an age that often craves of inspirational figures and personalities replete with actual substance and no shenanigans, in a tribute to Gina Lopez, one can safely suggest that here was a heroic figure who inspired hundreds and thousands of Filipinos to unite for a common cause.
Here’s some further educational and personal information about the departed soul:
Ms. Lopez went to Assumption College and Newton College of the Sacred Heart in Boston. She held a master’s degree in Development Management from the Asian Institute of Management.
After studying in the US, Ms. Lopez left Manila and became a yoga missionary for 20 years, and lived in Portugal, India, and Africa, according to ABS-CBN News. She is survived by her two sons.