Scenes from the Opening of the Exhibit “What Do Photographs Tell Us About Baguio’s Past”

Here are some photos from the opening of the exhibit “What do Photographs Tell us about Baguio’s past”. The public is invited to view the exhibit that shows old pictures as valuable sources of information. The exhibit runs until August 27, 2016.


Opening prayer – Vicky Macay, Ibaloy elder from Loakan


Program at the MES auditorium


Musical performance by (from left) Gleemore Mackie, Babbab Carantes, Jet Carantes, Bobby Carantes, Chance Carantes


Welcome Message - Sister Nora Maulawin, M.M., Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary


About the NCCA - Ma. Elena Catajan, Executive Member, National Committee of Arts and Galleries, National Commission for Culture & the Arts (NCCA)


On BAGUIO PHOTOGRAPHS AND HISTORICAL RESEARCH, June Prill-Brett, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of the Philippines Baguio


About the Exhibition - Erlyn Ruth Alcantara, exhibit curator, What Photographs Tell Us About Baguio’s Past




RIBBON CUTTING 2 – From left: Erlyn Ruth Alcantara, Malen Catajan, Vicky Macay, June Prill-Brett, Sr. Nora Maulawin



Valuing Indigenous Earth Wisdom

Lagawe, Ifugao. Last July 2, 2016, more than 34 church leaders of Lagawe and other parts of Ifugao attended a seminar workshop on “Valuing Indigenous Earth Wisdom”, held in the Parish Hall of the Diocese of Lagawe. The workshop was organized by the Lagawe Parish in partnership with the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary of Baguio City.
Fr. John Habawel welcomed the participants and pointed out the relevance of the workshop in line with the Catholic church’ s concern for the environment and as a response to Pope Francis XVI’s encyclical letter Laudato Si- “On Care For Our Common Home”. In the encyclical, Pope Francis recognized indigenous people’s contributions in caring for the earth.
The workshop started with Ms. Vicky Macay’s story of her experiences of how the Ibaloy of Loakan lived and took care of their land and the present day changes and challenges they encountered to keep their lands.
After this, the participants talked about how this story resonated with their personal experiences in Ifugao. To further focus their discussions they divided themselves into four groups to discuss the topics of land, unseen spirits, community, and values. The results of their discussions were shared through songs and dramatic presentations.
The participants, who were mostly Ifugao elders, realized that there are many Ifugao cultural practices that they would like the younger generation to continue. They hoped that customary laws on the care of the land would continue. They also place great value on the many different forms of traditional cooperation practices such as dang-a for building a house and bringing the harvest home; baddang for harvesting rice, accompanying relatives of deceased home after burial, and soliciting help for a neighbor who is sick or in trouble; ubbu which is working together by turns; hablag or giving material assistance to relatives of the deceased by the in-laws such as pigs, carabaos, rice, drinks and native blanket. Appreciation was also expressed for the traditional justice system and practices, such as mediation or amicable settlement for cases such as oral defamation, marital problems, stealing, and slight physical injuries. Other valuable traditional practices include the honga, the gathering of relatives and community in thanksgiving celebrations; bogwa, secondary burial and cleaning of remains of ancestors or family members to show their love, respect, gratitude and honor their memory; and the recognition of the existence of good unseen nature spirits.
To summarize the lessons from the workshop, the facilitators Len Regpala and Lucy Ruiz presented a powerpoint presentation on Cordillera People’s Cosmology.
A highlight of the workshop was the participants’ interest in the research technique that was discussed which they can use in their research projects. The researches that they planned were on Ifugao family life and values; historical accounts of the lands where the Lagawe mission chapels and churches are located; and historical accounts of how the lay associates started. Another highlight is Lucy Ruiz ‘s presentation of Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary’s publication on “Indigenous Earth Wisdom”.

“What Do Photographs Tell Us About Baguio Past?” opens at Sanctuary Gallery

“What Do Photographs Tell Us About Baguio Past,” an exhibition that shows old pictures as valuable sources of information, opens at the Sanctuary Gallery, Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary (MES) on June 17, 2016, Friday, 4:30 p.m. It will run until August 20, 2016. 
This exhibition guides viewers in taking a closer look at photographs and to find new ways of interpreting information that can be derived from a historical image. 
Photographs assembled from various archival sources and private collections were selected for the exhibition to illustrate how certain aspects of Baguio’s social and environmental history could be understood through evidences that are best revealed by the photographic medium.
“What Do Photographs Tell...” is sponsored by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), co-sponsored by the MES, and curated by independent scholar Erlyn Ruth Alcantara. 
The exhibition is open daily, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with an admission fee of PhP10. 
The Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary is located in Campo Sioco, Baguio City. For inquiries, call 424-5745, 0915-655-5745 or write to<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>. 
This 1915 picture-postcard labeled “Scene in Baguio” is part of an exhibition entitled, “What Do Photographs Tell Us About Baguio Past?” that will be held at the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary, Campo Sioco, Baguio City on June 18 to August 20, 2016. For inquires, contact  424-5745, 0915-655-5745, <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>.

Workshop: Learning From Indigenous Earth Wisdom of the Cordillera Peoples

Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary is offering a one-day workshop entitled "Learning from Indigenous Earth Wisdom of the Cordillera Peoples". Through this workshop, we hope to promote a holistic understanding of the earth, and a deeper appreciation of indigenous earth wisdom of the Cordillera peoples as a valuable knowledge system that can contribute to solutions to the multliple crisis we face at present. The workshop is open to all interested persons, indigenous or non-indigenous.
The workshop has the following objectives:
  1. To build an appreciation for indigenous knowledge and its contributions to the sustaining of life of Planet Earth
  2. To unlearn the myths and misconceptions about indigenous knowledge, (i.e.,backward and superstitious)
  3. To provide material for Indigenous People’s Education (IPEd) curriculum development for teachers
  4. To provide a venue for mutual learning and sharing on the indigenous knowledge of the Cordillera people
The workshop will be conducted on September 24, 2016, Saturday, 8am – 5pm at the Auditorium of the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary.
A registration fee of P1200 will be charged per participant. This includes copies of the book “Indigenous Earth Wisdom”, workshop kits, workshop certificates, lunch and 2 snacks. We offer a 10% discount for early registration until September 10, 2016.
Please visit Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary or call 074-424- 5745 for inquiries. You can also email the workshop organizers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

New Baguio destination: Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary
From cosmic garden to organic food–check it out before summer ends

Photo Credit: EV Espiritu


Traffic or no traffic,  lowlanders still enjoy motoring up to Baguio in the summer via the smooth roads of NLEx-SCTEx-TPLEx to catch a whiff of the almost elusive scent of pine trees, check out new or favorite restaurants, feel that expected nip in the weather as the sun goes down, then rummage through the ukay-ukay bins on Harrison Road at nightfall.

Meanwhile, the staff of the green museum known as Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary (MES), made up of gardeners all, including the administrator and her office staff, will be there for those who wish to go through the Cosmic Journey, or visit its seven-month-old chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Philippines.

Continue reading this story here.