As a new ambassador for WWF Philippines, Iza Calzado said she is happy to join the ranks of other fellow celebrity ambassadors Piolo Pascual, Luis Manzano, and Mikee Cojuangco. Iza admitted that she hopes to be as passionate as Leonardo Di Caprio when it comes to her advocacies.
"I’m extremely honored and delighted to be part of WWF Philippines. When they asked me I said, ‘Why me?’ kasi hindi naman ako environmentalist like Leonardo di Caprio na parang it’s been my advocacy through the years. I can’t even say that my lifestyle is 100% eco-friendly. Hopefully I’ll get there soon enough. I took it as a sign that I needed to work with WWF Philippines and shine a light in this world and maybe one day become like Leonardo di Caprio na talagang sobrang passionate,” she shared during the WWF 2016 Earth Hour Philippines launch held last March 1 at the Fairmont hotel ballroom in Makati city.
The 32-year-old actress said she really wants to help improve the environment. She looks forward to touring different local communities as a WWF ambassador. "I live in this planet and there is only one planet called Earth. I want my children in the future to enjoy Mother Nature and right now honestly I can’t say that I enjoy to its fullest. I live in a place which hardly has parks and you don’t see as much greens as you used to. Parang it’s already alarming at this point so I said I have to do something about it. That’s why I signed up with WWF,” she added.
With the sudden passing of her good friend and former director Wenn Deramas, Iza said she still felt lucky to receive a text from him the night before his cardiac arrest. "Everyday nag-te-text talaga yan. And I don’t say that I respond everyday. Because when you see something everyday you take it for granted. I’ve learned that he just really sends it so that we can receive it. Not so much so that we can respond to it. Everyday yan. Dati bible verses ngayon prayer. Pag binasa mo yung last niyang prayer parang iisipin mo, ‘Ano ba ito? Premonition ba ito?’ He sent it to all, not just me. So all friends, certain friends that he has or everybody on his phone book,” she explained.
On the last day he sent a message to her, Iza said direk Wenn has always been in contact with her. "I looked at it the other morning and sabi ko pa, ‘Ang nice naman ni direk Wenn.’ Hindi ko na nasagot kasi nagmamadali ako. I was rushing that day. And then nung gabi naisip ko pa siya dahil nga sa health card ko na na-receive ko na. Dahil a few weeks ago nag-text-an pa kami kasi he had a problem with his health insurance last year. Yesterday when I got to the set of the movie, kami nila Quark (Henares) nasa car ako nakita ko yung text nung manager ko na si Noel (Ferrer) ang sabi, ‘Kapatid nabalitaan mo ba yung kay direk Wenn?’ Sabi ko, ‘Ano ito?’ Because I know he had a health scare last year. So kinabahan ako. Pagdating ko sabi nila baka naaksidente lang. Hindi sumasagot si Noel so nagtatanong ako sa mga tao dun.Tapos kesyo inatake daw sa puso yung kapatid tapos siya dun inatake so naisip ko nasa ospital. So finally nung tumawag yung manager ko and I was on my headset tapos ang sabi nasa Arlington na daw. Sabi ko, ‘Are you sure?’” she recalled.
Having run into direk Wenn just last weekend, Iza recalled how precious the time they had as friends and co-workers in ABS-CBN. "I think I just saw him sa Madonna concert and before that nag-text pa siya sa akin nung Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising event. Ang gusto kasi ata namin ni Piolo (Pascual) nun gikgikan kami ng hagikgikan. Nag-text siya nun, ‘Hoy nandito ako sa likod niyo!’ Gumaganun pa siya. Hindi ko na siya nakita after kasi maaga ako nag-exit. Alam mo yun. Parang I’m so glad na earlier this year we had a lengthy conversation on the phone kasi si direk Wenn siya yung pinaka-una kong director sa ABS-CBN. Technically it’s direk Ruel Naval in Maalala Mo Kaya pero siya yung first na nag-handle sa akin sa soap opera for Kahit Puso’y Masugatan. Mula noon binigyan niya talaga ako ng tiwala. Kinuha pa niya ako na mag-cameo. Kinuha pa niya ako for Maria Leonora Teresa when Juday (Judy Ann Santos) couldn’t do the film ako yung pinitch niya sa Star Cinema. Alam ko naman eh that the director always has a say in the casting so sa akin malaking bagay yun na pinagkakatiwalaan niya ako lagi,” she said.
Iza said that direk Wenn was a special perosn which is why God chose to get him on a special day. "Last November lang magkasabay pa kami sa eroplano galing L.A so dun nga ang dami naming chikahan. Nag-catch up kami sa life tapos nitong January din nag-chikahan kami. Mga isang oras kaming magka-chika sa telepono. Ganun talaga siguro. Yun ang buhay. At pumili pa talaga siya ng special na day (laughs). So may nagtanong sa akin, ‘Paano niyo ise-celebrate yung death anniversary niya yearly? Sabi ko, ‘Baka ayaw niya yearly.’ I guess that’s how special he is also. God chose a very special day to get him. Ayokong umiyak. Pero ang dami niyang na-touch na lives and I’m just one of many. And my relationship with him is mga four years pa lang. So makikita mo talaga. Hindi ko nga siya lagi nakakausap. Once in a while with his morning texts I’ll say hi to him, I miss you or good morning. Siguro ang dami naming natulungan niya sa pagbigay niya ng suporta niya at napaamdam niya sa amin yung pagmamahal ng isang kaibigan dahil isa talaga siyang tunay na kaibigan,” she said.
WWF Philippines invites the public to switch off their lights for Earth Hour 2016 on March 19, Saturday from 8:30 to 9:30 pm.