Climate Change Consciousness Week 2016

Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary is observing Climate Change Consciousness Week this year, with a series of activities from November 28 – December 3. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Building a Collective Consciousness on Water and Food Security.”

On November 28 and 29, Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative will lead a workshop on “Inner Optimism and Resilience for Change Makers.” The workshop is for those with new ideas, technologies, and solutions and also for those trying to create better families, work places, and communities. The two-day workshop runs from 8:30am to 4:30 pm, and has a registration fee of P150.

On December 1, Sr. Marvie Misolas, MM will be speaking on the Global Situation of Water and Food Security. On December 2, Jefferson Laruan of Lily of the Valley Organic Farms will conduct a whole-day training on “Growing your own food.” On December 3 in the morning, the Friends of ENCA Farm will be speaking on “Seed Saving for Climate Resilience.”

For the children, a Nature Walk will be done in the afternoons of December 1 and 2. The week’s activities will end with a Holy Mass on December 2 at 3:30 pm.

Seats are limited for these activities. Please pre-register at MES office or call Joyce at (074) 424-5745 / 09155565745 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Food will be served at very reasonable prices.

The Learning Garden

Behind the main building in MES, you will find a green and peaceful space which we call the Learning Garden. It is a space for people to build their connection with the earth, and to learn practical skills for sustainable living.

The first important step was to improve the fertility of the soil by introducing organic matter. Biodegradable wastes were collected from the MES kitchen, neighbors and friends, and were buried in the soil. An important component of the Learning Garden is vermicomposting. It is an effective method to manage biodgradable wastes, and to produce our own premium organic fertilizer to improve the soil in the garden. Leaves and small twigs from the Sanctuary garden were used as mulch.

The plants in the garden are mostly edible, with a few medicinal herbs and flowers to help control the pests. Some features in the garden include a small pond, a scarecrow, herb spiral, vertical growing and trellisses. A simple rainwater harvesting was set-up, which is now being used in the garden.

The Sunbeams daycare kids and their families participated in this process, and they enjoyed helping the Learning Garden take shape. The garden serves as an outdoor classroom for the Sunbeams, and is an important element of the Early Earth Education program of MES.

We have already harvested vegetables, such as beans, potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes and many others. Some were served to the Sunbeams children and the MES community, and the surplus was sold to friends and visitors.

This month, MES offered trainings related to the Learning Garden. A training on Growing Organic Vegetables was conducted on November 14. We were lucky to have as trainor, Mr. Jefferson Laruan, Gawad Saka “Outstanding Organic Agriculture Farmer” in the Cordillera region, in 2012 and 2014, and owner of Lily of the Valley Organic Farms in Puguis La Trinidad. The training focused on Soil Fertility Management and Pest Management.

On November 15 and 16, Moren Macay, vermiculturist, led a training workshop on vermicomposting and vermi technologies. Participants learned how to make use of their biodegradable wastes to produce organic fertilizers and pesticides.

Training participants came as concerned citizens who wished help make Baguio city clean and green. Quite a number came from the neighboring barangays of MES, and some NGOs.

The Learning Garden serves to inspire people to get their hands in the soil and grow their own food, for their own and the planet's health . Teaching people how to work on the soil, and to produce healthy food is a great contribution towards a healthy urban ecosystem of Baguio city and the wellbeing of the residents. (Judy Cariño)

Rebuilding Baguio communities through urban agriculture

For a city that was originally a grassland and has morphed into a concrete jungle, some of those reminiscing the city’s pre-pollution pre-traffic, pre-garbage, pre-construction boom, and pre-overpopulation years have stopped dreaming of having the old Baguio City back. Instead, they started propagating the idea of becoming real stewards of the city that has hosted them. And that even if Baguio City could no longer backtrack to what it originally was, there are other ways to help their city disentangle from the problems it is now facing due to development. 


Self-taught agriculturist Danny Agliam is being invited to be a resource speaker in several trainings to share his knowledge on urban agriculture, which he has been practicing for several years now in his rooftop garden at P. Zamora Street in Baguio City. -- Harley Palangchao

They believe that while progress is beyond their control, the city and its residents do not necessarily have to leave it at that and live with the consequences. 

As Baguio celebrates its 107 years as a city on Sept. 1, one of the new visions being recommended for the 128 barangays and the city government to consider as a sustainable program is the practice of urban agriculture, which, to a growing number of “urban gardeners” in the city, is doable and doesn’t take much to set up and maintain. 

Its advocates suggest as well that making Baguio City as an urban agriculture capital is not impossible. In fact, the city should set its eyes towards this direction because the advantages of keeping vegetable gardens in idle nook s have no bounds, and current circumstances of the city and the environment as a whole demand for it. 

They have proven that even in small ways coupled with creativity and a sense of survival, urban agriculture helps in addressing concerns ranging from food security, proper nutrition, health, pollution, waste management, disaster preparedness and resiliency, clean environment, climate change, tourism; to the need to care for, reap from, and commune with the earth that has supported human existence. 

Further, they believe involving the city’s young generation by teaching them to grow their own food in pocket gardens and eat healthy would spell the difference for Baguio in the next 100 years. 

It may not bring back the Baguio of the olden days, but advocates deem it a revival and a shot for sustainability. As the current Department of Tourism Cordillera leadership has also recently proven, with a community that cooperates, agrees for a change of mindset and attitude, and owns that change, things would get done. 

One advocate particularly says that with a change of mindset among Baguio’s stakeholders and backing from public servants, “who have the vision, integrity, passion, and imagination to implement programs such as urban agriculture,” it will have “positive and long-term impact on the lives of residents and on the environment.”


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Barangay plans to solve waste woes though permaculture

Officials of Barangay Lourdes Extension, Baguio City are optimistic about devising a solution to more effectively manage their barangay’s solid wastes through the establishment and operation of an ecological center that involves having gardens in the community and in every household, and simultaneously have a steady source of safe and healthy food.

Employing as a component the basic principles of permaculture mode of farming, Lourdes Extension barangay officials led by Punong Barangay Benjie Macadangdang are embarking on training on proper zero waste practices to gain more knowledge and to overhaul their barangay’s existing programs and activities that deal with solid wastes that have been hampering their aim of having reduced to zero waste.


FRIENDLY CREATURE -- Olive Gregorio of the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary introduces to officials of Lourdes Extension led by PB Benjie Macadangdang the earthworms they collectively call “Eugene, the friendly worm,” which they use in making organic compost that would later be used as a fertilizer. The barangay last week has formed ties with MES, which provides training to individuals and groups interested in establishing ecological centers through permaculture, among other methods, to achieve zero waste. 
-- Hanna Lacsamana

With the assistance of the Zero Waste Cluster, the barangay officials met with the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary (MES) management last Tuesday and availed themselves of a five-day training on zero waste where the basic principles of permaculture are included. 

MES officer Olive Gregorio said the training, funded by the Maryknoll Mission, New York and will be provided for free to the barangay in August, will be given to a maximum of 15 individuals of Lourdes Extension barangay, which may choose its participants. It will involve solid waste management principles, permaculture, and how to make use of urban gardens in attaining zero waste in their barangay.


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8 outstanding Catholic books awarded

MANILA, Sept. 16, 2016 – Eight (8) outstanding books were awarded Best Books during the Jaime Cardinal Sin Catholic Book Awards (CSCBA) ceremony held at the 37th Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) on Sept. 14, 3:00 p.m. at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.


Organized by the Asian Catholic Communicators, Inc. (ACCI), this annual awards recognize Catholic books in the country, which have best fostered Christian formation and values.


2016 Awardees

The following books and authors are the 2016 awardees in their respective categories:

  • Youth and Children

Hugging the Trees – Russell Molina (The Bookmark, Inc.)

  • Family life

How to Avoid Jerks and Jerkettes So you can find God’s best – Bo Sanchez (Shepherd’s Voice Publications, Inc.)

  • Inspirational

Detox Pitik-bulag Meditation A Thirty Day Spiritual Detoxification – Wilfredo M. Samson, SJ (Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.)

  • Theology

Light Which Dims the Stars A Christian Theology of Creation – Colm McKeating (ST PAULS Publishing)

  • Ministry

Indigenous Earth Wisdom A Documentation of the Cosmologies of the Indigenous Peoples of the Cordillera – Judy Cariño-Fangloy, Merci Dulawan, Vicky Macay, Maria Elena Regpala, Lucia Ruiz (Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary)

  • Spirituality

Thirty Days With Lolo Kiko A Deepening on Pope Francis’ Teachings & Wisdom in his 2015 Pastoral Visit to the Philippines – Bro. Jess N. Matias, OFS (Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.)

  • Homiletics

Breaking the Bread of the Word A Lectio Divina Approach to the Sunday Liturgy YEAR C – Sr. Mary Margaret Tapang, PDDM (ST PAULS Publishing)

  • Liturgy

Eukaristia Kapiling si Jesus sa Tuwina – Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, DD (Paulines Publishing House)


10 Years of Serving the Church

Incumbent ACCI president Fr. John Klen Malificiar, SSP explained: “This year’s CSCBA is special because it’s the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Cardinal Sin Catholic Book Awards. It’s a milestone for the organizers.

We reached ten long years of serving the Catholic Church through the CSCBA by simply acknowledging authors and publishers for continually upholding Christian values in their published materials, which the good Cardinal Sin cherished in his lifetime.”


In memory of a charismatic leader

The Asian Catholic Publishers (ACP), a publishers´ and booksellers´ group, was under the guidance of the late Jaime Cardinal Sin when it was organized in 1988. The following year, ACP organized the Catholic Authors Awards aimed to encourage Catholic writers and publishers to produce quality books, outstanding for their content and presentation.

In 2005, after the passing of Sin, the ACP was relaunched as Asian Catholic Communicators, Inc., which revived the awarding of Catholic writers and publications. The annual award was named Cardinal Sin Catholic Book Awards in memory of Sin, who was known in Philippine history as a charismatic leader of the Filipino people for his instrumental role in the 1986 People Power Revolution. (Carl Jamie Simple S. Bordeos/CBCPNews)


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