"It's very empowering because what used to be a problem is now a solution," says Illac Diaz, the Foundation's Executive Director.
It's a pioneering way to look at how a simple plastic bottle can be used as a brick," explains Diaz
The first school, Payatas Elementary School
, was built by the Foundation in partnership with Pepsi
, which organised a bottle collection to build the classroom on a site donated by the local government of San Pablo.
developed the idea of using bottles when he
saw ancient buildings made from adobe, a mix of mud, sand, clay and water, along with straw and twigs still standing after centuries.
explains, "Basic lighting would seem to be a fundamental right for any community and yet too often in our crowded urban areas it simply doesn't exist.
By the easy application of previously used plastic bottles, we can create a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solution for basic lighting needs".
Born in Manila in 1972, Diaz
has been a model, actor and advertising executive, while also studying a range of subjects all around the world, including Management Economics and Urban Planning.
is perhaps best known as a social entrepreneur.
first venture was the Pier One Seafarer's Dormitory in Manila, which provides cheap, safe accommodation for sailors and overseas contract workers.
Other projects followed and the World Economic Forum
in Switzerland named him "Young Global Leader of 2008".
Diaz founded the My Shelter Foundation, a direct response to solving the Philippines' chronic lack of schools.