My Climate Tracker journey: How it helped me

by Norhanidah Macatoon

Sa buhay natin, ang pinakamahalagang tanong ay ‘Bakit?’ Bakit ba natin ginagawa ang lahat lahat para sa isang bagay? (In our lives, the most important question is ‘Why?’ Why do we do everything for one thing?) As they say, “When you are already settled with your WHY, you can endure any how.”

Sa Climate Tracker fellowship ko naintindihan nang malalim kung ano ang climate change. (I gained a deep understanding of what climate change is through my Climate Tracker fellowship). Climate change affects the environment, our physical health, mental health, spirituality and our whole well-being as a human.This fellowship empowered me to enhance my storytelling, with emphasis on climate realities and justice.

Isang privilege sa akin bilang isang Muslim-Meranaw na kabataan sa Lanao del Sur na mapabilang sa mga content creators on climate change. (It is a privilege for me as a Muslim-Meranaw youth from Lanao del Sur to be included among the content creators on climate change.)

This fellowship provided me with an avenue to redeem my WHYs and revisit my purpose, particularly in advocating for mental and environmental health within my community.

This fellowship also equipped me a lot such as when I received my very first tripod ever! Tripods are useful for us content creators, and I faced a challenge while covering an event in 2022 because I had no tripod. So I had to hold my camera until my hands got numb for the duration of the event. A tripod makes a lot of difference in my journey as a content creator.

What have I learned?

As I embarked on this journey of telling stories on the environment, I learned the importance of not just raising your voice, but also being intentional in everything you do, practicing what you preach, exerting minimum effort while aiming for maximum result, and being creative.

What others need to know about my fellowship?

In this fellowship, I feel my value as a content creator and as an artist who has a purpose in this world. I have become empowered to tell the stories of our own community! Dahil ako ay isang Meranaw (Because I’m a Meranaw), it’s my maratabat or pride to tell our community’s own story.

This fellowship taught me a lot of things. It taught me how to maximize our time, how to maximize myself to become effective and efficient in storytelling, and how to maximize our patience whenever some circumstances happen. It further taught me how to work creatively so that other people will be able to understand that climate change is really happening.

I commend and extend my profound appreciation to all of my mentors:
To sir, AG Sano, thank you for sharing your talent and story to us that even using art broken crayons can still color, and broken mirrors can still reflect light.

To Ms. Rose, thank you so much for enlightening me on how to not just make a viral content but also how to tell a story worth sharing.

To Sir Jeff Canoy, thank you so much for guiding us on the techniques and strategies in coming up with a whole content.

Thank you also to Sir Jaymart S. Castro, your expertise in film and TV writing empowered us to visualize our content effectively in a very minimalistic way.

Thank you so much also to Ms. Gaea and Ms. Biena for the everlasting support and patience that even on the deadliest deadline you are still there to remind us and support us. Thank you for designing an unforgettable bootcamp for our batch. The bootcamp was very inclusive especially on food preparations, accommodation and workshop.

These were not just food because this food galore during the bootcamp is an utmost practice of righteousness and morally relevant to all of us, especially me, a Muslim. I appreciate how it is being prepared and not feeling the worry I might have eaten food containing pork. I love the sincerity as it was being customized to all fellows. We no longer have to worry about our food because it was truly prepared based on our cultural preferences. For example, for the vegetarians among us, they served vegetables. Thank you so much for these, Ms. Biena and Ms. Gaea!

These are the gifts I received during the first day of our bootcamp, simple yet memorable! Talagang kilig ang feels wearing our first climate T-shirt! #Bukodtangi

Thank you so much for taking us to the place we’ve never been and making us feel that we are united by the virtue of our differences!

To my batchmates, thank you so much for being such inspirations to me. Your simple stories ignite light and hope for me as a content creator. Indeed, we have only one life and one heart for the environment and climate justice.

To Ms. Biena the one who interviewed me six years ago and wrote the content “Sa Mata ni Norhanidah”, I will never forget your kindness as well as the trust and confidence you have given me. Through your efforts and advocacies, my dream of becoming a content creator has now become a reality.

Thank you so much Climate Tracker Asia for empowering me. Malayo pa, pero malayo na. I might not get this far without your support and empowerment. This journey is a life changing experience!💚

What’s my message to those who want to join Climate Tracker?

The earth is sick. Our home, the greatest gift we received, is bleeding. No one can deny the fact that indeed, our world is experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change. It is difficult to deny the fact that we are now experiencing the results of our careless actions. Let us use the power of our words and our voices for the Earth to be heard.