Nowadays, people think of Jun Sabayton as a comedian thanks in large part to shows like “Wasak,” “Tanods” and “Kontrabando” as well as films like “Blue Bustamante” and most recently the QCinema entry, “Dormitoryo: Mga Walang Katapusang Kwarto.”
Not too many are aware, however, that before he started facing the cameras, Sabayton was a jack-of-all-trades behind the scenes as a crew member for various films and TV series. He was an accomplished production designer who was a co-winner of a Gawad Urian award for his work in Lav Diaz’s “Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino.” He also directed several episodes of “History with Lourd.”
It comes as no surprise that there’s a serious side to Sabayton that he shows from time to time when the occasion calls for it. Recently, he went to Leyte to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the onslaught of killer typhoon Haiyan, or Yolanda as it is called here in the Philippines.
As the latest negotiations on climate change are now taking place at the 23rd Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany, Sabayton joined over 500 Leyte youth and local community members in a visual message calling for climate justice in a world where extreme weather events are fast becoming more prevalent and whose impact continues to spread beyond national jurisdictions and other boundaries.
In the video below, Sabayton interviewed Yeb Saño, Greenpeace Southeast Asia’s executive director, who reiterated the clamor for “climate justice.”
“The voice that we wanted the whole world to hear is that the crisis of climate change can be addressed if we stand together. Challenges can be translated into opportunities while sickness and suffering can be translated into something beautiful,” Saño said in mostly Filipino.
Yolanda was a devastating typhoon that brought catastrophic damage to central Philippines, particularly in the provinces of Leyte and Samar. Over 6,329 casualties were officially reported although many more were killed while millions of families were displaced.
Coincidentally, the Haiyan anniversary and the COP 23 UN climate talks are taking place at right about the same time as the Asian tour of United States president Donald Trump. Trump, who is known for taking a dismissive position on the threat of climate change, will be in the Philippines from November 12 to 13.
“While Trump seems to deny climate change and apparently defends fossil fuel interests, Filipinos have learned the hard way that climate change is real and happening now. Greenpeace stands with typhoon survivors and all those impacted by climate change, and especially with the brave activists fighting for climate justice through the courts,” Saño pointed out.
Watch Jun Sabayton’s video here: