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Entertainment

Cherry Pie’s ‘impossible’ dream

Edna Trillo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Cherry Pie Picache dreams of a world without poverty and where people don’t go hungry. Judging from history, it’s an impossible dream, but she can dream, can’t she? Just like acting in an “aged” advocacy film (produced in 2008 and shown sporadically since, in different venues), where she does and doesn’t deliver the message as we know it.

Towards this end, the 43-year-old actress advocate uses her celebrity status by joining Oxfam, an international confederation of 17 organizations networked together in more than 94 countries, as part of a global movement for change, to build a future free from the injustice of poverty. As for the ancient advocacy film, we’ll tackle it later, much like its delayed mainstream cinema screenings.

History tells us that Oxfam comes from the Oxford Committee for Famine and Relief, founded in Great Britain in 1942. Initially, the group campaigned for food supplies to be sent through an allied naval blockade to starving women and children in enemy-occupied Greece during the Second World War. (What about in today’s bankrupt Greece?)

Since then, Oxfam has grown and become a world leader in the delivery of emergency relief. In the Philippines, its impact has been greatly felt in disaster-stricken areas including those ravaged by typhoons Sendong, Ondoy, Pablo and many others.

As Oxfam ambassador, Cherry Pie took the Grow Challenge to Reduce Food Waste, particularly in the Philippines. Recently, Oxfam held a promotional program at the Trinoma Activity Center in North EDSA, Quezon City to introduce the so-called Grow Challenge.

Along with Cherry Pie, the other Oxfam celebrity ambassadors are Mikael Daez (Eat Brown Rice), Tuesday Vargas (Save Water), entrepreneur Stephanie Zubiri (Buy Local) and Erwan Heussaff (Conserve Energy).

“I chose Oxfam for my advocacy,” declares Cherry Pie, “because I believe in its objectives, and what it has done for the poor and the dispossessed (e.g. land-grabbing victims) not only in our country but also worldwide. As Oxfam ambassador, I want to focus on the campaign to reduce food waste in several levels — from product harvest to the table. It’s my way of giving back, of contributing something to the world whenever and wherever I can.”

For starters, the multi-awarded actress cites a 2008 survey of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) that revealed the food-wasting habits of Filipinos. Do you know, she asks, that every Filipino wastes about three tablespoons of rice every day?

According to the Oxfam handouts distributed at the Trinoma affair, cumulatively, this translates to 308,000 tons of rice valued at $535,000 (P23,005,000) every day or at least $223M (P9.58B) a year. And such an amount could have fed about 4.3 million poor and hungry Filipinos.

On a worldwide scale, the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) recently reported that one in seven people are starving. On the other hand, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) said that, at present, more than one billion people are going hungry and that more than 20,000 children below five years old die daily from hunger.

As far as some people know, Cherry Pie is also active in her varied concerns for women prisoners at the Correctional Institution in Mandaluyong City and other inmates at the National Bilibid Prison, through the intercession of certain civic and religious volunteers.

As an actress, Cherry Pie also lends major support to an advocacy film against child abuse — Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil’s Boses, which opens nationwide in select SM cinemas today. Like poverty, child abuse is another form of injustice and violence that diminishes all of us.

In Boses, Cherry Pie delineates a self-effacing character of a social worker, in stark contrast to her eminent award-winning performances in films and on TV. The subtle shift is quite obvious, in the same manner that, at the moment, the actress has opted to focus on her advocacies, for a change, and to free herself, albeit temporarily, from her grueling regular TV work.

These days, whether in indie films or other forums, Cherry Pie makes it a point that her passion and whatever she believes in are always current in her work.

AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT

AS OXFAM

BUY LOCAL

CHERRY

CHERRY PIE

CHERRY PIE PICACHE

CONSERVE ENERGY

GROW CHALLENGE

OXFAM

PIE

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