WTFu (What the FU) by MR. FU: Ces Drilon and the Salt Lamps

Published March 16, 2022, 7:10 PM

by Mr. Fu

Ces Drilon, TOWNS Foundation president

Former ABS-CBN News Anchor Ces Drilon has turned a new leaf and is now in the business of empowering women through the works of The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service or TOWNS Foundation, which she now heads as President.  (gusto ko rin maging president kahit ng TODA!)

Committed to the goal of not just honoring the country’s woman achievers but actually pursuing the national good, Ces has managed to lead the organization and its awardees into undertaking bigger missions that are supposed to benefit an even greater number of their countrymen. (gusto ko rin magka-purpose in life!)

The latest batch of achievers who are now in such pursuit for even greater relevance are the eight 2016 TOWNS awardees who have decided to take on the mission of literally and figuratively bringing light to the darkest communities in the Philippines.  (sana magkaroon din ako ng relevance tulad nila!)

Envisioned even before the COVID19 pandemic started, the technology they will be using to achieve their objective is now even more advanced in terms of features.  The project is now set at full speed as a new search for 2022 awardees is underway. (walang makakapigil sa mga lola nyo!)

SALt founder Aisa Mijeno

In line with the celebration of the international women’s month, TOWNS Foundation, Inc. recently launched, the “Light and Love Lifting the Philippines” (L3P) project, which aims to distribute at least 5,000 salt-water portable lamps to far-flung communities hit by Typhoon Odette. (gogogo girls!)

L3P showcases the invention of TOWNS awardee and young engineer Aisa Mijeno, founder of Sustainable Alternative Lighting Corporation (SALt).  Mijeno is set to release the new version of the SALt lamp, which serves both as a lighting and power-charging device. (bigyan ng power yan!)

Conceptualized by information and communication technology (ICT) and countryside development advocate Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, also a 2016 awardee, the project aims to raise at least P7.5 Million for the purchase and distribution of the lamps across the country. (todo nato!)

Joining Mijeno and Batapa-Sigue, in this worthy cause, are their fellow awardees, namely, Philippine Olympic Weightlifting Gold Medalist Hidilyn Diaz, art curator and medical doctor Isa Lorenzo, MetroBank Outstanding Teacher Sabrina Ongkiko, global food security icon Cherrie Atillano, multi-awarded investigative journalist Patricia Evangelista, and PhilippineNavy Commander Marissa Arlene Andres-Martinez. (next time, isama ko name ko sa list!)

2016 TOWNS awardees

The target households shall be among 2.5 million families reportedly affected by typhoon Odette in 9,003 barangays in MIMAROPA, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Soccsksargen, and Caraga. (di basta basta ang scope ha!)

“This batch project was fueled last December by our collective desire to collaborate in providing a concrete contribution for the recovery of communities from the calamity and to also promote Filipino invention and innovation, development of women in science and technology, and the growth of alternative or renewable energy,”  Sigue says. (ibang collab kasi ang alam ko!)

Even prior to the pandemic, Mijeno’s vision for SALt is to make it the leading source of environment-friendly energy generation and storage systems and devices, the demand for renewable energy steadily grows. SALt lamp is reusable, requires low maintenance, and is activated by one of the world’s abundant resources, salt. (tayo na ang nagmama-alat!)

The second version of SALt is smaller and more compact, lighter in terms of weight, and offers more powerful lighting. The LED component can last up to ten years, while the lighting metal can easily be replaced every month when the lamp is used as main energy source. The plastic casing is made of recycled plastic as part of Mijeno’s environmental commitment. (hindi basta basta!)

Ces, for her part, welcomed the project as it complements the on-going assistance of the foundation to the recovery of Dinagat Island Province, headed by another TOWNS Awardee, Governor Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao. (marami sila, bakit ba?!)

(MR.FU hosts on 91.5 Win Radio, 7pm-9pm, Mondays to Fridays. Twitter/IG: @mrfu_mayganon. FB: mr.fu tagabulabog ng buong universe. Youtube/FB: WTFu. Patreon: website: )