Building the Earth House, the ‘bayanihan way’

Photo Credit: EV Espiritu


If you think home-building the “bayanihan” way went out when the overseas Filipino workers began sending money to have sturdier homes made of concrete and GI roofing, think again.

The Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary (MES) in Baguio City, over a 10-month period, built its earth house covering 82 sq.m. at a cost of a little more than P500,000 without buying the usual materials from lumberyards and hardware stores.

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Sanctuary in a Damaged Land

(Here, we share an article, about how Maryknoll center in the Philippines leads visitors through Earth’s evolutionary story. Written by Brian Roewe, the story was first published in National Catholic Reporter, April 13-26, 2012.)


The story of the Maryknoll sisters in Baguio City, the Philippines, can remind one of Dr. Seuss’ classic story The Lorax. Like the short-statured creature of the title, the sisters have resided in their environment for a long time, arriving in the northern Luzon region in 1928 and quicky establishing a school, one that welcomed generations of students until a 1990 earthquake split its foundation in two.

The quake disrupted not only the foundation of the Maryknollers’ buildings, but the very purpose of their mission in the Filipino city. When Maryknoll Sr. Ann Braudis and others reflect on the earthquake, they see its as a “mindquake,” that, like the Lorax, stirred in them to speak out and be a voice for not only the trees, but for the entire planet.

“What my companions (and I) became deeply aware of was how devastated the Earth had been in the Baguio area prior to the earthquake,” said Braudis, a Massachusetts native who arrived with other sisters shortly after the quake.

Recognizing the damaging effects gold mining and commercial growth had had on the region, the sisters reoriented their mission, choosing not to rebuild their schoolhouse, but instead construct a center for a broader audience and a larger purpose—teaching about the Earth.

In 1991, the sisters broke ground on the Maryknoll Sisters Center for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation—popularly known as the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary—and opened it to the public in 1999 as a haven for the planet and a path toward a better understanding of the Earth’s journey.

“It serves as a great educational project,” said Braudis, the center’s first director, serving in that role until leaving in 2006 after 15 years in the Philippines.

Situated near the center of the city, the sanctuary covers four hectares (9.9 acres) of land in the Cordillera Central mountain range. The former Maryknoll house is now a bio-shelter, powered by solar panels, it houses an art gallery and serves as a retreat center, with a biodynamic vegetable garden nearby. Education continues through the Sunbeams daycare program, where preschoolers are introduced to environmentally conscious ideas.

Current center director Maryknoll Sr. Cathy Encarnacion sees the sanctuary as embodying the order’s deep commitment to the promotion, protection and regabilitation of the Earth, and offering a way to invite people into a greater concern for creation.

“Being a haven of spirituality, justice, peace and integrity of creation, (the sanctuary) impacts tourists in various ways, both small and big,” said Ivee Bongosia, a volunteer at the center from 2009 to 2011.

For many, the first steps toward conservation education take place on what’s known as the “cosmic journey”—a stations-of-the-cross-esque nature trail that climbs and winds across the Maryknoll grounds and through time, chronicling the changes of the planet.

“It has to do with the overall evolutionary story of the Earth, but it is focused from a Filipino and northern Filipino perspective,” expalined Braudis, who holds a doctoral degree in applied cosmic anthropology earned while in the Philippines.

Either on their own or with a guide, guests trek through the ground’s hilly, pined woods to 14 stations depicting signature moments in the Earth’s development, arriving first at the emergence of the universe—illustrated by a fire display amid primitive stone altars.

Other stations depict the creation of the oceans, with a majestic view of the South China Sea; the cave era, with replica dwelling and burial caves; and the hunting and gathering era, by crossing a replica of an ancient hanging bamboo bridge.

“The bridge sort of gives you a sense of spanning time and space and eras,” Braudis said.

At the end of the trail, guests return to the modern era, represented through a silo-chaped chapel in the bio-shelter. Braudis describes the era as “the awakening of humanity to the reality of our evolutionary story moving forward and … the dawning on humanity of the responsibility to collaborate and bring forth the future in a sustainable way.”

Local artists and engineers collaborated with Maryknoll in constructing each station and catering them toward the local culture.

“The people had a natural sense of earth literacy,” Braudis said.

“All of these steps were taken in conjunction with the people. We chose points in the whole mysterious unfolding of the universe, starting 13 and a half billion years ago, with pieces of that story that could be best represented and best understood there in Baguio.”

‘City of Pines’

For years, Baguio has been a popular tourist destination for the people of the Philippines. Sitting nearly a mile above sea level the “City of Pines” offers a cool, pleasant climate (80 degrees) to visitors seeking refuge from opressive heat (100 degrees and up) elsewhere in the country during the summer season, which lasts from March through May. For the world’s third-largest Catholic country, Holy Week in Baguio is a huge evenet, with tourists often inflating the city’s population threefold.

While most descriptions of Baguio will present a tropical paradise, the scene was quite different on July 16, 1990. At 4:26 p.m., a magnitude-7.8 earthquake shook the city for 45 seconds. Across the northern Luzon region, 1,621 people died.

In the aftermath, the Maryknoll sisters recognized how large-scale gold mining had left the ecosystem fragile and vulnerable to future natural disasters.

At the time, the Baguio Mining District was viewed as he most important mining area in the country. For years before the quake, companies used bulk mining—removing large quantities of low-grade ore in order to separate the high-grade portions—to extract the gold, creating large tunnels underground but leaving the surface intact.

“When the earthquake happened, the surface of the land had already been very weakened,” Braudis explained. “It just seemed to myself and to the other Maryknoll sisters at the time that that mining practice, as well as other very destructive Earth practices like deforestation, needed to be brought into question.”

While the city is largely restored from the 1990 quake, it remains ecologically endangered. Located on an active tectonic zone and in the heart of the country’s typhoon belt, Baguio receives more rainfall than other Filipino cities and is vulnerable to flooding and landslides, disasters compounded by the area’s unstable ground.

In August, Typhoon Nanmadol triggered a series of landslides and flooded parts of town, killing eight people. In November the World Wildlife Fund for Nature-Philippines released a study naming Baguio as the Filipino city most vulnerable to climate change.

“The environmental problem overall just keeps getting worse and worse,”Braudis said. “And that’s basically because of unbridled for-profit corporations.”

After the quake, miners switched to open-pit mining, which devastated the land’s surface, destorying the water table, as well as streams and lagoons. By 1999, the area was mostly mined out, with gold left only in more difficult-to-mine – and thus more expensive – areas. What remained was a destablized surface and deforested area, leaving it vulnerable to landslides and future tremors.

Keeping vigilant

“What’s happening now is a consequence of all these big mistakes in the past, so I keep hoping that we’re at a turning point at the present time,” Braudis said.

Encarnacion, a native Filipina, said the sisters are active in preventing further damage. She said her order attends community consultations when mining companies and other businesses seek to alter the environment. A current campaign has the sisters joined in a fight to save hundreds of trees in downtown Baguio from giving way to a parking lot for a popular mall.

But the ecological effort also requires reminding the region of its roots. Encarnacion said the sisters are working with indigenous Ibaloi people in “calling them back to reclaim their sensitivity and oneness with creation.” She said that for some, their concern for creation has submerged into their subconscious amid the city’s fast-paced modernization and development. To rekindle that spirit, the center’s Cordillera Cosmology project has begun documenting the rituals and practices of indigenous peoples through oral histories and translations.

While Encarnacion and her fellow Maryknoll sisters continue their vigilance in Baguio, Braudis has taken the cause to the United Nationas, where she serves as Maryknoll’s main nongovernmental representative. There, she says the concern has shifted from a human-centered understanding of justice to one focused on the Earth.

“The movement and the thrust at the United Nations at this time is Earth rights, that that’s more fundamental than the human, and that human rights extend to us from the Earth itself,” she said.

It’s a message the Maryknoll sisters, like the Lorax, intend to continue sounding to the people of Baguio, amid continuing growth and modernization at the expense of the land’s well-being. However, unlike the Lorax, they don’t see themselves disappearing anytime soon. There’s still much to be done.


Makasolusyong Sistema ng Zero Waste Tungo sa Bagong Langit at Lupa

Isinulat ni Vicky C. Martires, VP for Youth and Academe, Zero Waste Recycling Movement of the Philippines, Inc. (ZWRMPFI);

Chairman, Zero Waste SWRM Committee, Inner Wheel Clubs of the Philippines, Inc., Dist 383, para sa Climate Consciousness Week , November 23, 2015 Zero Waste Forum ng Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary, Baguio City, bilang Resource Speaker sa naturang pagtitipon.


Mula pa sa Simula Ng Pagkakalikha o Genesis of Time, ang lahat ng bagay ay episyenteng gumagana ayon sa MGA SIKLO NG BUHAY tulad ng Oxygen Cycle, Water Cycle, Food Cycle, Nitrogen Cycle, Sulfur Cycle, Phosphorus Cycle, Rock Cycle, at iba pa. Ang Mga Siklo Ng Buhay na ito ay kusang gumagana at nagtataguyod ng buhay sa kalikasan at sansinukob na likas na nagko-compost o nagreresiklo ng kanyang sarili.

Ngunit dumating ang sangkatauhan at umandar ang EBOLUSYON NG MGA GAWAIN NG TAO o ang tinatawag na EVOLUTION OF HUMAN ACTIVITIES mula sa pagha-HUNTING STAGE kung saan siya ay gumagala at naghahanap ng makakaing mga prutas, gulay, isda o paminsan-minsang hayop. Naglaon at natuto ang tao na magpastol o mag-ipon ng mga hayop sa koral o kulungan. Ito ang PASTORAL STAGE na kasabay ng AGRICULTURAL STAGE kung saan naman ay natuto siyang magtanim sa malawak na bukirin. Marahil ay sinabi niya, “Ah, maaari naman palang mag-angkat o mag-ipon ng maraming hayop, at magtanim ng maramihan kaya’t kumain na rin tayo ng kumain ng maraming karne ng mga hayop at ng mga produkto ng trigo at bigas at iba pa.

Lumipas ang panahon at ang industrialismo ay bumulusok sa pagsulong ng mga aktibidades ng tao. Ito ay ang tinatawag na INDUSTRIAL STAGE kung saan STUCK-UP o STRANDED ang sangkatauhan ngayon. Ang industrialismo ay nagbunga nga mga pabrika, pag-exploit sa mga likas na yaman tulad ng pagmimina, pagpapatag nga mga gubat, pagsusunog nga fossil fuels gaya ng petrolyo at coal, paggamit ng kimikal na pataba at pestisidyo, pagtatayo ng mga matataas na gusali, pagsamba sa kultura nga pagtatapon, pagtatambak ng mga tapong yaman (o waste resources) sa mga dumpsites, landfills, kalye, sapa, ilog, lawa at karagatan, pagsusunog o incineration ng waste resources na lalong naglilikha ng mas nakakalasong material tulad ng hydrochloric acid, abo (bottom ash at fly ash), heavy metals, at particulate matter na nakakaapekto sa kalusugan at kapaligiran pagkat sa bawat tatlong toneladang tapong yaman na iiincinerate ay isang tonelandng toxic waste ang magiging bunga na mas mahirap pangisawaan o imanage, (bukod sa napakamahal, at bukod sa sisirain ang mga ingridienteng compostables para sa organikong agrikultura na magpaparami at pagpapalusog ng ani, magpapababa ng mga presyo ng pagkain, at mapapayaman ng lupa ta dagat), at pagsulong nga walang humpay na konsumerismo at pagbili o pag angkat ng mga bagay na hindi kailangan ngunit kinakalakal ng mindless free enterprise at extreme capitalism to the detriment of the enivronment and to all. Ito ngayon ang sanhi ng pagbuga ng mga GREENHOUSE GASES (Methane, Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen Oxide, Sulfur Dioxide, Water Vapor, at Ozone; acid rain; photochemical smog; colony collapse disorder o pagkamatay ng pulot-pukyutan (samantalang 30% ng world food supply ay mula sa honeybee pollination); at pagtagas ng mga TOXIC WASTES gaya ng heavy metals, dioxin at furans, at iba pang PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTS na halos hindi nawawala sa kapaligiran oras maibuga ito, at naiipon sa mga taba ng hayop at tao, at nagiging sanhi ng sakit ng katawan ng tao, at ng planeta na ngayon ay may lagnat.

Para masawata ang mga ito, at para mahilom ang naidulot sa planet at kapaligiran, at mahilom na rin ang sangkatauhan, kailangang makalaya tayo mula sa pagiging STUCK-UP sa INDUSTRIAL CONSUMERIST THROW-AWAY CULTURE. Kailangan makatawid na ang sangkatauhan tungo sa KOOPERASYONG EKOLOHIKAL sa pamamagitan ng Makasolusyong Sistema Ng Zero Waste, Ang Sustenableng Paraan ng Pamumuhay.

We note that Economy Cannot Be Without Ecology because Ecology Is The Heart Of Everything. Genuine Economic Growth is Sustainable And Not Exponential And Substantial. That is why we must all learn to make informed choices. We choose what is promotive of a sustainable environment which is the heart of Sustainable Development. Ang mga gawain ng tao ay nararapat lang na hindi maging sagabal sa mga Siklo Ng Buhay pagkat kapag naging sagabal ang mga gawain ng tao sa pagsulong ng mga Siklo Ng Buhay ay laging may kapalit o katumbas na paniningil tulad ng global warming, climate change, polusyon, kahirapan at kagutuman ng laman at espiritu. As Newton’s Law states – ‘For Every Action There Is An Equivalent Reaction.’ Unfortunately, the reactions to the disregard for the environment come in the form of cataclysms. Mga delubyo ang tugon ng planeta sa pagpapabaya at pagwawalang bahala sa batas ng kalikasan.

Ang mga GREENHOUSE GAS ay nagpapainit ng planeta kaya’t natutunaw ang mga yelo sa rehiyong polar at mga rehiyong permafrost, tumataas ang lebel ng tubig sa mga dagat, umiigting ang lakas ng mga bagyo at pagbabago ng klima. Sinasabing kahit ang giyera sa Syria ngayon ay nasindihan ng CLIMATE CHANGE na nagdulot ng sobrang taguyot at nagsanhi ng paglikas ng mga tao mula sa kabukirang tuyot, tungo sa mga siyudad, at nagbunga ng giyerang sibil, at terorismo. Sa Nobyembre a treinta hanggang Disyembre a-dose ay idaraos ang 2016 Climate Summit sa Paris upang maisapapel ang kasunduang ilimita sa hindi aabot sa dalawang sentigradong pagdagdag ng temperature ng planeta, sa pamamagitan ng pagsawata sa pagbuga ng Carbon Dioxide sa hangin. 400,000 years ago bago nagsimula ang Industrial Stage, ang carbon dioxide level sa hangin ay nasa 200-280 ppm; tumaas sa 340 ppm noong 1988; 388.96 noong 2011; 391.01 ppm noong 2012; 393.66 ppm noong 2013. 400+ ppm noon 2014; at kinikinitang aabot sa 600 ppm sa 2050. Ang upper safety limit for atmospheric CO2 levels ay 350 ppm lamang. Nakalampas na sa 400 ppm ang level ng CO2 sa hangin. Higit sa mga kapapelan, kasunduan at mga pagpupulong, ang kinakailangan ay positibong aksyon sa personal, kapamilyahan, komunidad at mga institusyon.

“Scientists have already established that if we do nothing to reduce our burning of fossil fuel up to the year 2100, the planet will face sea level rise of 14-32 feet (4.3-9.9 meters), said lead author Ben Strauss, vice president for sea level and climate impacts at Climate Central.”

“No matter what we do to abate global warming, Miami and New Orleans are projected to sink as the deadline for CO2 cuts had been breached. Due to low elevation and limestone foundation of Miami, sea walls and levees will not help. Virginia, Florida, California, Louisiana, New York (projected to be unlivable by 2085), will also be affected. Ben Strauss, VP for Sea Levels and Climate Impacts at Climate Central revealed these from a study co-authored by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, and edited by renowned NASA Climate scientists and author James Hansen.”

“Front page news of the Oct 9, 2015 issue of the Manila Bulletin headlined that Global Warming puts the Pearl of the Orient Seas at high risk. In a study, 50 cities in the world will be affected by the man-made phenomenon, 45 of which are in Southeast Asia, and 4 of which are in RP.”

“The 1 Centigrade marker had been reached, brought by human influence. These findings came forth weeks before almost 200 countries meet in Paris to finalize a global climate change agreement. Governments have agreed that global temperatures should not rise more than 2C from pre-industrial levels to avoid irreversible and risky changes in climate. Currently, the rise in global temperatures is steady…and that the integral interventions are carbon cuts and shift to renewable energy use.”

Ang pagtaas ng CO2 ay magdudulot pa ng pagtaas ng mga dagat, pag-igting ng pagbabago ng klima (halimbawa, kung noong araw sa Cagayan Province ang dagat ay malayo sa dalampasigan, noong 2009 ay umaabot na ito sa mga kabahayan. Kung dati ang mga baha sa Nueva Ecija ay umaabot lamang sa sakong at tuhod, ngayong pagdapo ng Bagyong Lando ay hanggang baywang na ang baha roon. Sa 50 siyudad na maaapektuhan ng global warming, 45 ay nasa Southeast Asia, at apat roon ay nasa Perlas ng Silangan.

Ang mga problema ay Global Warming, Climate Change, Polusyon, Kagutuman at Kahirapan na dulot ng malaki ng mga gawain ng sangkatauhan.

Ang solusyon ay nasa kamay ng bawat isa sa atin, pagkat kinakailangan ng kolektibong aksyon upang masawata ang mga ito na pag-alma lamang ng planeta sa pagkakaistorbo ng mga siklo nito dahil sa gawain ng tao.

Malawakang adoption ng ZERO WASTE SYSTEM SOLUTION ang liwanag sa dulo ng mahabang daan, kung saan WALANG SINASAYANG na espasyo (SPACE), oras (TIME), enerhiya (ENERGY), materyales (MATERIALS), espirituwal na yaman (SPIRITUAL INTANGIBLE RESOURCES) o S.T.E.M.S. Kahit mga buto ng prutas at gulay ay pinapatuyo at itinatanim. Ang mga NABUBULOK o BIODEGRADABLES tulad ng balat ng prutas at gulay, mga dahon, bulak, buhok, tirang pagkain ay ginagawang lupa muli o ORGANIKONG PATABA o FERTILIZER na tinatawag ng HUMUS o PAGKAIN NG KALUPAAN, sa pamamagitan ng pagko-compost, vermiculture, at vermicasting. Ang HOLLOW BLOCK & TIRE ASSEMBLY ay ideal para sa mga kabahayan at maliliit na tindahan, at maaari ring ikombina sa barangay at community level, habang ang composting method ng Barangay Phil-am at ng The Cravings Group na parehong nasa Quezon City, ay tumataginting na halimbawa para sa mga barangay at mga institution gaya ng mga restaurants, eskwelahan, mall, department stores, supermarket, grocery, palengke, ospital, at mga private at government offices and institutions. Ang resultang organikong pataba ay gagamitin ng kabahayan, komunidad, barangay, o institusyon sa pagsulong ng organic urban or rural gardening and farming. Gagamitin ang organikong pataba sa pagtatanim ng mga buto na na-recover sa pagkonsumo ng mga prutas at gulay. Dahil organiko ang pataba, doble o triple ang matatabang ani kumpara sa kimikal na pataba na kapag tumagas sa dagat ay makakapatay ng mga yamang dagat at mga plankton, at magtataas ng ammonia level, hanggang ang tubigan ay umitim sa pagkakaroon ng plankton bloom.

Ang MGA HINDI NABUBULOK tulad ng mga plastic, bote, lata, papel, aluminyo, kimikal, goma, latex, silicone, elektronika, baterya, bumbilya ng ilaw, tela, sintetikong material na ginamit sa pananamit, sapatos, kagamitan, panambak ay ibabalik sa kany-kanyang pabrikang magreresiklo nito. Ang mga narumihan na plastic at iba pa ay gugupitin pabuka, sasabunin sa pinagsabunan ng labada, babanlawan sa pinagbanlawan ng labada, patutuyuin, isesegregate, iko-collate, ieeempake, titimbangin, lalagyan ng marka kung ano ito at kung gaano kabigat ito bago dalhin sa kanya-kanyang pabrika. Ang Barangay Bagumbuhay sa Project 4, Quezon City, at ang Perpetual Help University Medical Center sa Las Piñas, ang mga huwarang magagaya tungkol sa NON-BIODEGRADABLE MATERIALS RECOVERY AND RECYCLING.

Sa SISTEMA NG ZERO WASTE, ang bawat komunidad, barangay, at institusyon ay umaayon sa Republic Act 9003 (The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000), at nagtataguyod ng kanilang ECOLOGICAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE (ESWMC) na gagawa ng 10-YEAR ECOLOGICAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT PLAN; nagtatayo ng gumaganang ECOLOGY CENTER o MATERIALS RECOVERY FACILITY kung saan naroroon ang COMPOSTING CENTER para sa pagtransform ng BIODEGRADABLES into ORGANIC FERTILIZER; at ang RECYCLABLES WAREHOUSE o BODEGA para sa mga malinis na at tuyong mga NON-BIODEGRADABLES (kailangan na baho ilabas sa mga bahay ang mga non-biodegradables ay malinis at uyo na ang mga ito para walang ipis, daga, at langaw). Tandaan lamang natin na ang COMPOSTING NG BIODEGRADABLES, at ang RECYCLING NG NON-BIODEGRADABLES sa pamamagitan ng ECOLOGY CENTER, ay integral o basic sa pagresolba sa problema ng Global Warming, Climate Change, Polusyon, Kagutuman at Kahirapan.

Sa SISTEMA NG ZERO WASTE ay ineenganyo ang pagkain ng WHOLE FOODS tulad ng prutas, gulay, mga buto o legumes, mga grains at root crops. Ang pagkonsumo ng karne ng hayop ay sanhi ng 50% ng greenhouse gas emissions, dahil sa pagdighay at dumi nito na nagbubuga ng methane. Ang pagkain ng karne ng hayop ay nagpapainit lamang ng katawan at dugo habang tinutunaw ang energhiyang ipinasok sa katawan, at nagbibigay ng ilusyon na akala ng kumain ay lumakas siya samantalang ang hinahanap lamang ng katawan ng tao ay ang mga bitamina at mineral na mula sa mga halamang kinain nito. Ngunit ngayon ay mga processed feeds na ang mga ipinapakain sa mga hayop. Isa pa ay ang mga idinudulot sa katawan ng pagkonsumo ng karne ng hayop – uric acid, cholesterol, impact sa kidney, bato, dagdag sa creatinine level, at iba-iba pang mga sakit. Kahapon, ikinuwento ng aking kakilala na ang kanyang kamag-anak ay nagkaroon ng foot and mouth disease mula sa pagkain ng karne ng baboy, bukod pa sa pagta as ng hormone na DOPAMINE, na nagtutulak sa tao na kumain lalo ng karne ng hayop. Ang mga hayop ay mga spirituwal na nilalang, malakas ang kanilang pakiramdam. Katunayan, walang hayop na namatay sa tsunami dahil hindi pa ito nangyayari ay umaakyat na paitaas sa bundok o mataas na lugar ang mga hayop. Alam nila kung sila ay kakatayin na, nalulungkot sila, umiiyak, nagmamakaawang huwag silang patayin. Ang mga kumakatay sa kanila ay manhid na sa gawain kaya’t wala sa kanila ang pagsisipa sa mga hayop, pagsuntok dito, paghampas nito sa pader at lupa, pagsakal, pagbuntal, paggilit sa lalamunan, pagpapadanak ng kanilang dugo, pagkain ng kanilang dugo, pagluto at pagkain dito. Sa pamamagitan ng pagkain ng WHOLE FOODS ay mapagtatagumpayan ang dependence sa karne ng hayop; tunay na lulusog ang mga tao; at maibababa ng malaking porsiyento ang pagbuga ng greenhouse gases.

Sa SISTEMA NG ZERO WASTE ay huwaran ang NATURAL BURIAL kung saan ang labi ng tao ay hindi ineembalsama kundi hinuhugasan ng herbal na solusyon, binabalot ng untreated organic fabric tulad ng muslin, o inilalagay sa organikong karton, at inililibing derecho sa lup. 40 mga bitamina at mineral na naimbak sa katawan ng tao ay babalik sa lupa at magiging pinakamatayog na alay sa Lumikha at Nilikha, at magsisilbing ‘connective link’ ng FOOD CYCLE. Ito ang ninais ni jose Rizal. Bago siya patayin ay ibinilin niyang ilibing siya sa libingang walang marka, at natupad ito nang itapon ang kanyang mga labi sa Paco Park. Ito rin ang ninais ng sikat na aviator na si Charles Lindbergh na nagpasimuno ng pagpapatayo ng mga paliparan, pagsulong nga mga zonang pang-ekonomiya at pagpapalitan ng mga kalakal. Noong tumanda na si Lindbergh ay naging environmentalist siya at naisip niya na hindi niya nais na makadagdag sa pagsira ng kapaligiran. Ibinilin niya na ayaw niyang mailibing ang kanyang labi sa sementeryong de nicho kundi sa tabi ng isang puno, sa pamamaraang NATURAL NA PAGLILIBING.

Sa SISTEMA NG ZERO WASTE ay sinusunod natin ang panuntunan ng REDUCE, REUSE, REFUSE, RESTRAIN, RECYCLE at ang SEGREGATE, COMPOST, RECYCLE. WITH THESE WE LEARN TO MAKE INFORMED CHOICES. Bibilhin o iaangkat natin ang siyang kailangan lamang within the FOOD, CLOTHING, SHELTER SPHERE. Iiwasan natin ang plastik at mga palamuti. Gagamitin muli ang magagamit pa. Tatanggihan ang dagdag na plastic. Gagamit tayo ng REUSABLE CLOTH BAGS sa pamamalengke at grocery, at hindi natin pinapayagan ang paglalagay ng mga nabili tulad ng prutas, gulay, at iba pa sa mga plastic na supot. Nagdadala tayo ng sariling utensils. Sinasara natin ang mga ilaw kapag hindi ito kailangan. Gumagamit tayo ng baso habang nagsesepilyo.

The Dalai Lama of Dharamsala, Tibet notes the harsh impact of Climate Change in Tibet which need protecting, for environmental health and sustainability of the entire world, and shared that Tibetans’ expertise as (responsible) stewards of their own land, should be part of climate change talks. I am honored to share with you the top comments to this October 20, 2015 posting of the Dalai Lama in his Facebook account.

Sa SISTEMA NG ZERO WASTE ay itinataguyod natin ang tunay na diwa ng ating pagiging Bayang Malay Ng Perlas Ng Silangan, at ang likas na pagnanais nating itaguyod ang buhay. Nalimi na ng ating mga ninuno ang SISTEMA NG ZERO WASTE. Ang BAHAY KUBO ay ang ECOLOGY CENTER ngayon, at ang BAYANIHAN ay ang KOOPERATIBA ngayon. KOOPERASYONG EKOLOHIKAL ang PUWERSA NG PAGKAKAISA TUNGO SA SUSTENABLENG KAPALIGIRAN.

Sa SISTEMA NG ZERO WASTE ay itinataguyod ang mga katutubong sining at kultura na likas na KISA NG KALIKASAN AT NGA LUMIKHA sa paraan nito ng pamumuhay, sa paglikha nga mga KATUTUBONG HABI para sa pananamit at mga ibang gamit tulad ng mga bag, tsinelas at sapatos, pambalot sa pagkain, at iba pang pumapaloob sa pangangailangang pagkain, pananamit, at pamamahay.

Tayo ay mga Malay, Diwa Ng Malay Dumadaloy Sa Ugat Ng Malay kung ito man ay Igorot Malay, Tagalog Malay, Kapampangan Malay, Ilokano Malay, Bicolano Malay, Visayan Malay, Tiboli Malay, Tausug Malay, Blaan Malay, Mangyan Malay, at iba pa. Bago pa dumaong ang mga mananakop ay mayroon nang paraan ng pamamahala, sining at kultura, Diyos na sinasamba, at alpabeto ang ating mga ninuno. Noon ang mga kababaihan ay maaaring mamuno, at ang mga kalalakihan ay lumakad sa likod ng kababaihan.

The Challenge To Pursue Zero Waste Action Is Now. We Need To Act NOW. The Time Is NOW. We are all in this owing to the Law of Interconnectivity. Whatever we do to the planet, we do to ourselves. Whatever we do to ourselves, we do to the planet. We behold the physical and planetary anatomies. For we are the planet as it is us. The planet breathes with us. It eats with us. It refreshes itself with us. We Are One With The Planet As We Are One With Each Other. In Our Diversity We Are Equal In Terms Of Basic Humanity. We Are Created In The Image Of God. We Are The Temple Of God. We Are TAO (Tao, Alpha, Omega). We are to preserve this temple through TOTAL ECOSYSTEM CONSERVATION IN ZERO WASTE. WE ARE COOPERATOR-STEWARDS WITH THE PLANET. As Jesus Christ himself says in John 6:12 – Gather all the pieces. Nothing must be wasted. Jesus Christ happens to be the Zero Waste King. The New Heavens And New Earth Be With You, In The Light Of Zero Waste. Maraming Salamat Po.


The Garden of Eden with all kinds of trees with good fruit. – Gen 2:8

The soil itself makes the plants grow and bear fruit. – Mark 4:28

You were made from soil and you will become soil again. – Gen 3:19

Gather all the pieces. Nothing must be wasted. – John 6:12

So stand ready with truth as a belt around your waist… and your shoes the readiness to annunce the Good news of peace. – Eph 6:14

Do your best to preserve the unity which the spirit gives by means of the peace that binds you together. – Eph 4:3

Unless a grain of what falls to the ground and dies, it shall not bear fruit. – John 12:24

You may not eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, except the tree that vies the knowledge of what is good and what is bad. You must not eat the fruit of that tree. If you do, you will die the same day. – Gen 2:16

What does it profit a man if he gains the world but loses his soul. – Matthew 16:26

Do not conform yourself with the ways of the world but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God – what is good and is pleasing to Him and is perfect. – Romans 12:2


Zero Waste maketh the name of God holy;

The Kingdom Of God cometh through Zero Waste;

The Will Of God is done on earth as in heaven, throug Zero Waste;

Zero Waste gives us our daily bread;

Zero Waste redeems us from our environmental and other sins;

Zero Waste is sin offering;

Zero Waste is freedom from temptation;

Zero Waste is deliverance from evil. Ahmeyn.


Zero Waste is Alpha and Omega. Zero Waste is God.

Promoting the Teaching in Schools of Indigenous Earth Wisdom

Three workshops on indigenous earth wisdom were successfully conducted among public school teachers, Diocesan schoolteachers, and indigenous youth. The workshops had the following objectives:

  1. To build an appreciation for indigenous knowledge and its contributions to the sustaining of life of Planet Earth;
  2. To provide material for Indigenous Peoples’ Education (IPEd) curriculum development for teachers;
  3. To provide a venue for mutual learning and sharing among teachers on the indigenous knowledge of the Cordillera people.

The workshop module was designed to build on indigenous methods of sharing information and teaching, including ritual, story-telling with indigenous elders, and sharing of knowledge and experiences among the participants. The workshop area included an open informal space to approximate the indigenous shangshangan or ritual space, and this area was used for the opening and closing rituals, and story-telling.

The first workshop was conducted on October 10, in coordination with the Department of Education Baguio City. Twelve public school teachers in Baguio including the Supervisor of the Indigenous Peoples’ Education program of the Dep-Ed attended the workshop. The second workshop was conducted on October 17, in coordination with the Diocesan Schools of Baguio Benguet. Twenty-six diocesan school teachers from Baguio and Benguet attended and actively participated in the workshop. The third workshop was conducted on December 6, 2015 among nineteen indigenous youth leaders in Baguio, representing various cultural youth organizations in the different colleges and universities.

At the end of the workshop, participants were gifted with copies of the book “Indigenous Earth Wisdom: a documentation of the cosmologies of the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera”, published by Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary in 2015.

Overall, feedback from the participants on the content, facilitation, and technical preparations were positive. Some comments from the participants:

  • The workshop was enriching. I became more aware of the indigenous culture, and how to integrate this in the different subject areas. The workshop is timely, since we are presently working on the IPEd (indigenous peoples’ education) curriculum.
  • The workshop was fruitful, informative and enlightening for me in a sense that I was able to re-check, re-direct the wrong or incomplete knowledge that I have about indigenous culture. It fills my little knowledge about my indigenous roots, ancestors, about my cultural heritage.
  • The workshop was enriching and challenging. It has lit up once more my burning desire to know more of my roots. Very informative, brought me to a nostalgia of my roots and identity as an Ifugao.
  • The content is responsive to the current concerns and issues confronting this generation. Content is timely. More time was needed for group discussion and sharing on the topics.

With the sucessful testing of the modules, MES will be able to offer these workshops to teachers in the different provinces of the Cordillera, in order to promote the teaching of indigenous earth wisdom in Cordillera schools.

These workshops were supported by a grant from the Mission Projects Funding of the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic.


Laudato Si’ Manifesto

  1. The Earth is our common home. (LS, 1)
  2. We demand ecological conversion, both personal, communitarian and institutional. There is a need for each of us to repent of the ways we have harmed the planet, for “inasmuch as we all generate small ecological damage”, we are called to acknowledge “our contribution, smaller or greater, to the disfigurement and destruction of creation.” (LS, 8)
  3. We want ecological liberation. “We look for soltuions not only in technology but in a change of humanity… He asks us to replace consumption with sacrifice, greed with generosity, wastefulness with a spirit of sharing, an asceticism which entials learning to give, and not simply to give up. It is a way of loving, of moving gradually away from what I want, to what God’s world needs. It is liberation from fear, greed and compulsion.” (LS. 9)
  4. Care for the Earth is integral. “He shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace.” (LS, 10)
  5. We call for ecological solidarity that will foment ecological action. “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family to seek a sustainable and integral development…” (LS, 13) Ways to act: divestment in fossil fuels, converting to renewables, energy-efficient attitude, response to climate adaption, disaster response and supporting grassroots initiatives.
  6. We demand climate justice for the destruction of our planet perpetrated by mining companies, businesses, multinational corporations, and greedy countries. “… After ceasing their activity and withdrawing, they leave behind great human and environmental liabilities such as unemployment, abandoned towns, the depletion of natural reserves, deforestation, the impoversihment of agriculture an local stock breeding, open pits, riven hills, polluted rivers and a handful of social works which are no longer sustainable”. (LS 51)
  7. We need to pay our ‘ecological debt’ for the harm we have done to the environment, communities and individuals suffering now and in the future. (LS, 51)
  8. There is a pressing need to engage for a new ecological dialogue. “I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of the our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.” (LS, 14)
  9. We should create an integral space for “ecological cicizenship” as a practical path of becoming witnesses for the nvironment. “Only by cultivating sound virtues will people be able to make a selfless ecological commitment.” (LS, 211)
  10. We are interconnected, we should foment connectedness with other faith-based groups, civil society and institutions. “…Because all creatures are connected, each must be cherished with love and respect, for all of us as living creatures are dependent on one another.” (LS, 42)
  11. Promote “ecological education” as a way of fomenting consciousness, action and integral faith-advocacy for environmental care. (LS, 213)
  12. Our ecological conern is a compassion for the planet and people. “To hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” (LS, 49)
  13. Believing that “integral ecology” in all aspects of life as an integral response to the global crisis. (LS, 137)
  14. We need to cultivate an ‘ecological culture’ as a way of outgrowing ecological destruction. “There needs to be a distinctive way of looking at things, a way of thinking, policies, an educational porgramme, a lifestyle and a spirituality which together generate resistance to the assault of the technocratic paradigm.” (LS, 111)
  15. Special care for the indigenous communities and their cultural traditions. “For them, land is not a commodity but rather a gift from God and from their encestors who rest there, a sacred space which they need to interact if they are to maintain their identity and values.” As we acknowledge the richness of their way of life, we also have to protect their rights.  “In various parts of the world, pressure is being put on them to abandon their homelands to make room for agricultural or mining projects which are undertaken without regard for the degradation of nature and culture.” (LS, 146)
  16. The need for ecological faith. “God, who calls us to generous commitment and to give him our all, offers us the light and the strngth needed to continue on our wau. In the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who loves us so much, is always present. He does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for he has united himself definitively to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward. Praise be to Him! (LS, 245)


(Prepared by Sr. Perla Macapinlac, of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary - ICM.

On April 5, 2015, Sr. Perla gave a short presentation on Pope Francis’ encyclical on the care for our common home, Laudato Si’, to provide a framework for the Trainors’ Training on Zero-Waste Barangays, at the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary.)