Trainors’ Training on Zero Waste Barangays

In response to the longstanding garbage problem in Baguio city, Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary initiated a Trainors’ Training on Zero Waste Barangays, last April 4-5, 2016.

Dr. Metodio Palaypay, pioneer advocate for ecological solid waste management in the Philippines, and President Emeritus of Zero Waste Philippines, Inc., was invited as the main resource speaker for the two-day training. Participants included barangay officials, educators, religious, and concerned citizens of Baguio. The training aimed to build a pool of local trainors and facilitators, who could be tapped to train and help build zero-waste barangays in Baguio.

Dr. Palaypay stressed the vital role of the barangays in the achieving zero waste, and explained that zero waste management will allow the barangays to benefit from the waste resources in the their locality, creating jobs for the unemployed, and generating income for the barangay.

Discussions focused on the step-by-step process of achieving zero waste barangays, through composting, recycling, re-use, and recovery of resources. Dr. Palaypay demonstrated a simple composting system for a cluster of households, which make use of 4 old tires, to serve as the compost bin. All biodegradable wastes from the kitchen, garden, and pet’s wastes, are all gathered in the compost bin, and allowed to naturally turn into compost, which can then be harvested for growing food in the backyard.

According to Republic Act 9003, each barangay should have a Materials Recovery Facility, with separate containers for metals, bottles, paper, cartons, plastics, etc. He stressed the importance of sorting at source so that materials are kept clean and could be re-used, sold to junk shops, or sold back to the factory. Some materials could be re-used for fine arts and crafts, providing an alternative income source for the members of the barangay.

 

 

Dr. Palaypay also explained the various laws and memorandum circulars, which lay down the tasks and responsibilities of barangays in environmental management. These tasks are organized in a checklist, for barangay officials to refer to, as they work towards zero waste management. He provided copies of some of these memorandum circulars to help barangay officials to facilitate the education and cooperation of their constituents.

The training ended with a slideshow of best practices and success stories in different barangays in the Philippines, which provided inspiration and challenged the participants to work towards making zero waste barangays a reality in Baguio City.

BAGUIO Then and Now at Maryknoll

Nov. 19 to January 23, 2016
Maryknoll Eco-Sanctuary
 
Baguio Then and Now PosterBAGUIO Then/Now (2015), an exhibition of aerials, panoramic views and re-photography, is now open at the Sanctuary Gallery, Maryknoll Eco-Sanctuary (MES). Featured in the exhibition are early Baguio photographs culled from various archival sources and private collections and re-photographs by 
 
Baguio photographers. Together, these images present a continuing documentation of the city’s cultural and physical landscape. The exhibition curated by Erlyn Ruth Alcantara is open to the public and will run until January 23, 2016.
 
This exhibition was first held in December 2007 at the Gallery, SM City Baguio and in March 2009, was shown at the University of the Philippines Baguio. In celebration of Baguio's centenary, the exhibition opened with additional photographs in September 2009 at the Maryknoll Eco-Sanctuary. Several images first appeared in an early version of the show, Baguio 1900-2001: a photographic environmental history first held at the Sanctuary Gallery in September 2001. This year's show opened as one of exhibitions at MES at the beginning of the annual of Climate Change Consciousness Week held 
every November. Baguio Then & Now 2015 includes photography from elevated views using drone-mounted cameras. 
 
A term used in early environmental studies, re-photography is a 'then and now' visual record. Photographs taken during an earlier period are used as reference to shoot present-day images from an approximate or similar angle. While the challenge of re-photography is to take the same or approximate
angle, it is not confined to a literal 'then and now.' A re-photograph can have, as its points of reference, the context of the subject. 
 
It is the juxtaposition of beauty and loss that makes 'then and now' images quite powerful. Here, photographers play the important task of “turning the lens into a mirror."
 
This re-photography exhibition aims to bring forth insight and focused reflection, meaningful enough to take viewers beyond nostalgia and towards a new understanding of the responsibility we all must bear to care for and heal Baguio's environment.  As Pope Francis appeals in Laudato Si', “We must 
regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world...” 
 
Viewed individually or collectively, these photographs document change and loss. These reflect how we engage our environment or push our resources to the limits. On the other hand, these also reveal some changeless qualities of a peoples' spirit and of classic Baguio landscapes or vantages which 
many would like to remember as home. (E.R. Alcantara)
 
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These photographs of the City Hall are part of the exhibition, BAGUIO Then& Now, aerials, panoramic views, and re-photography at the Sanctuary Gallery, Maryknoll Eco-Sanctuary, #25 Campo Sioco, Baguio City. The exhibition curated by Erlyn Ruth Alcantara is open to the public and will run until January 23, 2016. Open daily, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For inquiries call tel. #424-5745. 
 
 
City Hall circa 1925
 
City Hall, ca. 1925 (Ben Cabrera collection)
Built in 1911, the City Hall was designed with some resemblance to the elegant European half-timber architectural style. At the center of the building was a porch where one could view Burnham Park and the Government Center directly across the valley. This building burned to the ground during the carpet 
bombing of the city in 1945.
 
 
City Hall 2015
 
City Hall, Nov. 2015 (Elicon Consul photograph)
Post-war City Hall, an all-new reinforced concrete structure was inaugurated in 1950. The middle stairs made of Baguio stones that were part of the original landscape were dismantled in September 2015 and replaced with concrete.  A stage and mini-museum at the top of the stairs is now being built. In addition, a perimeter fence now under construction is a controversial project that had national agencies like the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the National Historical Commission of the Phil (NHCP) weighing in on the issue of cultural and institutional heritage. (ERA)
 
 
FOR COMMUNITY CALENDAR:
BAGUIO Then & Now: aerials, panoramic views, and re-photography at the Sanctuary Gallery, Maryknoll Eco-Sanctuary, #25 Campo Sioco, until January 23, 2016. Open daily, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For inquiries, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tel. #424-5745.

Book Review

Indigenous Earth Wisdom: A documentation of the cosmologies of the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera

By Judy Carino-Fangloy, Merci Dulawan, Vicky Macay, Maria Elena Regpala and Lucia Ruiz

Published by Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary, 2015

118 pages

 

Indigenous Earth WisdomIt was a pleasure reading Indigenous Earth Wisdom: A documentation of the cosmologies of the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera, put together by Judy Carino-Fangloy, Merci Dulawan, Vicky Macay, Maria Elena Regpala and Lucia Ruiz.

At UP Baguio, we are now planning an Ibaloy Studies Conference for April. We decided that the theme would be, “Surfacing Ibaloy indigenous knowledge.”  Such theme is of course presumptuous. It assumes there is such a body of knowledge that is either submerged, hidden or buried that we should discover, dig out, or unearth. The book featured this afternoon is a testament that there is such a treasure trove of knowledge. This book has, in fact, overtaken us, and perhaps rendered as redundant if not irrelevant.

Aside from the stories of currently living community elders and bearers of traditions, the book puts together in one readable volume many research findings done during the past decades.

Several of such sources are masters’ theses and doctoral dissertations by both foreign and Filipino scholars, which could otherwise be gathering dust in some library corner.

Others are old publications that have become rare and are now perhaps in private collections. Still other sources are the researches done by non-government agencies that have been initiating admirable people-centered development work in recent years.

The book gives us a sampling of local knowledge and wisdom held by the Bontok, Ibaloy, Ifugao, Kankanaey, Kalinga, and Tinggiyan, among others.

In general, the book paints a picture of indigenous peoples who live close to the earth, who commune with the unseen, and who are connected to each other in community.

The book shows us that the indigenous peoples have been dependent on the fruit and bounty of the mountains. Aside from cultivated or domesticated crops, the indigenous peoples nourished and healed themselves with wild plants and food crops, each bearing fruit in its own season.

In many ways, this shows us that indigenous peoples did not need to meddle with the genetic make-up of plants and animals to provide them with instant food or all-season fruits like Chinese pears and apples, not to mention Sagada oranges that are now produced in and travel all the way from China.

The book also demonstrates that the forests have always served as the people’s pharmacy.

It was surprising to read that the native Ibaloy mining system sagaok was meant to share gold with others, and not to amass for oneself the mineral wealth of the earth.

The book also includes many stories about nature spirits that guarded streams, rivers, hills and mountains with their own diverse flora and fauna. Reading such stories made me realize that the belief in spirits must be nature’s way to prevent the people from destroying the natural flow of rivers, and the unbridled destruction of mountains and forests.

On page 72 of the book, a story is recorded on “Appeasing the vengeance of a pinading (Kalinga), as told to Lucy Ruiz. A part of the story says upon consulting a mandadawak or community priest, “The spirit said he is a pinading in the forest whose house was totally wrecked by JB’s tractor, which killed his pregnant wife and other members of his family. To avenge their death, the spirit punished JB and eventually killed him by choking, and said this was not enough and that he would also take others. A carabao had to be offered to appease such spirit.

Republic Act No. 101211 of 2010 is the “act strengthening the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System, providing for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Framework and Institutionalizing the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan, appropriating funds therefor and for other purposes.”

The law recognizes “indigenous knowledge systems” as one of the basic foundations of DRRM. In the law’s Declaration of Principles, it states that the law shall

(j) Ensure that disaster risk reduction and climate change measures are gender responsive, sensitive to indigenous knowledge systems, and respectful of human rights.

In a recent article “Katutubo ba sa atin and coral reef?” in his column “Kulo at kulorum,” National Artist and KWF chair Virgilio Almario (2014) talks about his unease about the use of “coral reef” in the Philippines as though it were a foreign concept.

He says in fact many language groups in the Philippines have indigenous terminologies for it because coral reefs are part of the everyday lives of many Filipinos.

Certainly “indigenous knowledge systems” are articulated in the language of the people who possess them. This book is introduces us to the rich local vocabulary in which local knowledge and wisdom are couched.

In all, the book is right in emphasizing that the indigenous principle in relation to land is “stewardship” not “ownership.” In other words, the beliefs, knowledge and wisdom related to the earth provide logic to a lifestyle that is gentle and careful in treading on earth. It is a rational way of life that is fully aware that we are simply passing through.

But what is the use of such a book in light of current emphasis on Western science and technology that has systematically denigrated indigenous knowledge?

In a post on the Internet, Fabio Y. Lee Perez (2005) reports that during the vast 2004 tsunami, the Moken indigenous people of Thailand, and of the Gunung Sitoli on Nias Island, Indonesia reported alessercases of death and injury.

Perez states that, “It is due to their knowledge and understanding of the way of nature, and their traditional resource management practices.” Lee Perez concludes, “Although our understanding of science has increased and information technologies have become intense, we have lost our human’s primary instinct of survival. We have much to learn from the keen environmental awareness that many indigenous people possess.”

In the most recent KAPWA international conference on indigenous peoples here in Baguio, one of the speakers made the statement that the future is indigenous.

On Page 4, the authors say this book “may be of interest to people who are searching for more meaningful ways of living on the earth, as an alternative to the dominant Western paradigm.”

I would say, this book on indigenous wisdom could very well be our salvation from our own destruction.

 

References

Almario, Virgilio. 2014. “Katutubo ba sa atin and coral reef?” Kulo at Kolorum. http:// kwf. gov. ph. (accessed 15 October 2014)

Judy Carino-Fangloy, Merci Dulawan, Vicky Macay, Maria Elena Regpala and Lucia Ruiz. 2015. Indigenous Earth Wisdom: A documentation of the cosmologies of the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera. Baguio: Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary.

Quebral, Nora Cruz. 2012. Development Communication Primer. Penang: Southbound.

Republic Act No. 101211. An act strengthening the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System, providing for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Framework and Institutionalizing the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan, appropriating funds therefor and for other purposes. Congress of the Philippines. Passed by Congress on February 1, 2010, Approved by PGMA May 27, 2010.

Fabio Y. Lee Perez. Survival Tactics of Indigenous People.Spring 2005. http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/LEEPERFY/(Accessed 15 October 2014)

Earth Manual Project Exhibition Opens at MES

Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary

ref: Erlyn Ruth Alcantara/0906-307-7505

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Earth Manual Project, a travelling exhibition fromThe Japan Foundation, Manila in partnership with the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary (MES) opens on June 27, 2015 in three galleries at the MES. The exhibition which will feature 11 projects from the Philippines, Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia will run until August 30, 2015.

An initiative of KIITO (Design and Creative Center Kobe), Earth Manual Project encourages a country of frequent natural disasters, such as the Philippines, to become a country of exceptional disaster preparedness. The exhibition’s maiden run in 2013 was in Kobe, Japan, wherein 23 projects from different Asian countries showcased activities centered on disaster risk reduction and post-disaster relief and recovery. The exhibition traveled to Manila and was shown at the Ayala Museum in November 2014.

The Philippine run of the exhibition includes 11 projects that engagethemes on earthquake, typhoon, and flood: Iza! Kaeru Caravan!, Jishin ITSUMO Project and Red Bear Survival Camp by NPO Plus Arts (Japan), Design for Flood by Thailand Creative and Design Center (Thailand), Climate School Project by Dakila (Philippines), The Filipino Spirit is Waterproof by Ayala Museum (Philippines), Paper Partition System by Shigeru Ban (Japan), RooSuFlood: Knowledge to Fight Flood by RooSuFlood (Thailand), “Lost Homes” Model Restoration Project by Osamu Tsukihashi (Japan), Core House: Extensive Live Post Earthquake by Ikaputra (Indonesia), Floating Wombs: A healing project through the arts – heARTS by Alma Quinto (Philippines) and Forms of Recollection by Plus63 Design Co. (Philippines).

Earth Manual Project is an opportunity for viewers to make their own disaster preparedness manual based on the presented projects. The exhibition aims to draw the interest of viewers in the Cordillera and Ilocos region particularly government offices, NGOs, health workers, teachers, students, and the general public to encourage them to creatively reflect on the urgency of disaster preparedness.

Earth Manual Project is co-organized by the Embassy of Japan in thePhilippines, KIITO, NPO Plus Arts, AIG and supported by Muji, and Plus63 Design Co. Other activities include disaster education through art workshops for children and high school students will be conducted by Alma Quinto on July 18.  There will also be an art writing workshop, the details of which will be announced soon.

The exhibition is open daily, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.with an admission fee of PhP20.

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.>. For more details, contact The Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM) at (02) 811 6155 to 58 or write to<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>. * E.R. Alcantara

The Baguio We Want

(Declaration of the Baguio Peoples' Summit, UP Baguio, February 25, 2015)

 

We, the people of Baguio want a city where residents’ wellbeing is paramount, where governance is built on genuine consultation with and active and continuous participation of the people.

We want a city where our duly elected leaders have sustained engagement with the people and where that engagement results in the passing and implementation of laws and policies that will benefit the city.

We want a city where the people from all levels have strong community spirit and the ability to bring about change in our own neighborhoods.

We want a rational urban plan and healthy environment.

We want a city that is an educational hub and not merely a tourist destination.

We, in our individual and organizational capacities commit to participate in collective efforts to bring about the much-needed transformation. We commit to begin with ourselves and our lifestyles.

We commit to critically engage the government and make our voices heard in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects.

We commit to participate in creating our local history and enriching our unique cultures and heritage.

We commit to protect and nurture our natural environment which is vital to our well-being and the generations to come.

We commit to unifying our various advocacies and support each other’s efforts for the Baguio we want.

We commit to support and elect the leaders who embody the ideals we seek for the betterment of our city.

 

Baguio Peoples' Summit: The Baguio We Want

February 25, 2015

UP Baguio Bulwagang Juan Luna

 

Photo credit: Karlo Altamonte