Volleyball MVP Bagunas rallies youth to become climate champions

January 18, 2024 Thursday

CLIMATE CHAMPION. Volleyball superstar Bryan Bagunas partners with the Climate Change Commission in promoting sustainable lifestyle choices and practices. [Photo credits to Bryan Bagunas]

MANILA, PHILIPPINES | 18 January 2024 – To heighten awareness on climate change issues among the youth, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) has collaborated with Bryan Bagunas, the first Filipino professional volleyball player to earn a Most Valuable Player (MVP) award outside the country.

At the top of his game
Hailing from Balayan, Batangas, Bryan Berroya Bagunas currently plays as an import for Taichung’s Win Streak. He showcased a remarkable performance of 42 points, leading the team to dethrone the seven-time champion, the Pingtung Taipower.

Bagunas began his career with the National University (NU) Bulldogs, securing  back-to-back championship victories in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Men’s Volleyball League for Seasons 80 and 81. He received the Finals MVP award for both seasons and was honored as the three-time best server of the league from Seasons 79 to 81. Bagunas capped off his final year at UAAP in Season 81 with the Season MVP Award.

Post-UAAP, Bagunas gained recognition in the regional volleyball arena as a key player for the Philippine Men’s Volleyball Team in the SEA Games 2017 and 2019, achieving a historic silver medal finish for the country since its last podium finish back in 2005. In mid-2019, he attracted international scouts, signing up with Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler in Japan. Later, Bagunas joined the Win Streak in August 2022, earning  the MVP  award for Taiwan’s Top Volleyball League (TVL) Season 22-23, playing as Taichung  Win Streak’s outside hitter.

A climate champion in the making
Beyond volleyball, the 6-foot-5 outside hitter passionately addresses climate change. Having witnessed and experienced many disastrous typhoons in the Philippines, Bagunas emphasizes the urgent need to address improper waste management. This commitment anchors his venture as a climate change champion.

The collaboration between Bagunas and the CCC highlights the Philippines’ vulnerability to climate change. Between 2011 and 2021, the country suffered losses and damages totaling PHP 673.30 billion due to tropical cyclones alone – 27% larger than the 2023 budget for social work (PHP 197 billion) and public health (PHP 296.3 billion), combined. This exemplifies the economic losses the country sustains due to typhoons. Knowing this, Bagunas hopes to inspire Filipinos, especially the youth, to help address the effects of climate change in the little-big ways they can.

The volleyball star envisions a green, clean, and sustainable future that the next generations of Filipinos can enjoy and sustain.

“Nasa edad na ako para magkapamilya at gusto ko na ang mga magiging anak ko at mga future generations ay maranasan na mabuhay sa isang fresh at malinis na mundo,” Bagunas said during an interview with CCC. “Gusto ko rin na sila [future generations] ay maging responsable sa pangangalaga sa kalikasan,” he added.

Practicing and promoting sustainability
While playing for a team overseas, Bagunas actively participates in the Philippines’ climate efforts through this campaign, aiming to influence Filipinos to adopt and promote a sustainable lifestyle. It underscores the importance of integrating effective, systematic, and easy waste-management practices into daily routines in response to climate crises and plastic pollution.


Inspired by the eco-friendly practices he observed from the countries where he played, Bagunas centers his advocacy on waste management and sustainable lifestyle. In one segment, he discusses the 4Rs in addressing climate change – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – and encourages everyone to adopt these principles.
“Bilang import nakita ko yung mga local practices nila na napakaganda…napaka-istrikto nila pagdating sa pag-segregate ng basura. Sa transportation, maraming nagkalat na mga bikes na pwedeng rentahan kahit nino. Gusto ko na ma-adopt yun ng mga Pilipino, lalo na ang mga kabataan,” the athlete narrated.

According to the World Bank’s “Market Studies for the Philippines: Plastic Circularity Opportunities and Barriers,” around 4.8 to 12.7 million tons of plastic worldwide leak into the oceans yearly, with Asia contributing over 80% of this marine leakage. The Philippines ranks third globally, producing over 2.7 million tons of plastic waste annually, with 20% or 0.75 million metric tons of mismanaged plastic ending up in the ocean.

These figures underscore the necessity of involving Filipino communities in adopting effective and sustainable waste-management practices starting at the grassroots level.
The campaign videos highlight the vital role of youth participation in combating climate change, echoing the famous line of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, “Kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan.”

In a data by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), it was found that 31.40 million Filipino youth are more than willing to adopt a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle. While this is already a huge milestone for the Philippines, Bagunas, together with the CCC hopes to ramp this up even higher by reaching out more to the youth.
Through the collaboration, the volleyball player urges all Filipino youth, athletes, and the public to proactively participate in climate efforts, rallying together with the Climate Change Commission to ensure a green and sustainable future.

Likewise, these videos demonstrate the CCC’s commitment to engage every Filipino in the fight against climate change, irrespective of age, status, and profession.

For more information about the CCC’s mainstreaming activities, visit
https://www.climate.gov.ph and https://www.facebook.com/cccphl.