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Imagine a time when life was simple, and stories were told around a fire. With an open mind, let us listen to the voice of the elders, as they share of an ancient wisdom that was nurtured and handed down through the ages.

These stories talk about many things – about a day’s work, about grandparents who had gone ahead to the afterlife, about strange events. These timeless tales look to the past, but also strike a chord within us, though we live in modern times. These stories teach us to appreciate the gifts of nature, and discover simple things we can do to care for the earth, to care for others, and to give respect to the unseen spirits around us.

The storybook has seven chapters which focus on the following:

Our elders’ wisdom

A simple life

Waste not

Sharing and caring

Living in community

Respect for the unseen spirits

Caring for the land that sustains us

Lessons on these themes are passed on through these stories, which are child-friendly and easy to understand.

We started working on this book in March of this year, and just like a baby in the womb of her mother, this book took nine months before being ready to be born. To come up with the stories, we did field visits, interviews, endless draft writing, reading, and critiquing. This was a learning process of each of us, as we shared and received comments on our latest drafts of each story. Our biggest challenge was how to speak in the language of children.

And now, may I introduce to you my colleagues who worked on this book, members of the project team:

Merci Dulawan, Vicky Macay, Maria Elena Regpala and Lucia Ruiz.

Our project team was lucky to have the guidance of the Maryknoll sisters Nora Maulawin and Lourdes Fernandez, and the support of the Mission Projects Funding of the Maryknoll Sisters of Saint Dominic.

The cover artwork and illustrations were competently done by Clemente Delim, resident artist of Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary; and Merci Dulawan. Lay-out was done by Paul Michael Nera. We would like to thank Valley Printing Specialist, especially Sanirose Comeda, for delivering the books in time for this book launch.


Now that the book is finally out, we hope it reaches the children for whom it is intended, and that through these stories, they begin to explore a world that is gentle, loving, and full of surprises.

Time will pass, and the children of today will soon grow to be the elders of tomorrow. Let these wise tales keep the fire burning for the storytellers of the future. Let these stories teach and nourish us with a sense of community and respect.


And let the wisdom live on in stories told, from elders to children.


December 8, 2016


Climate Change Consciousness Week 2016

Climate Change Consciousness Week 2016 at Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary started with a forum on “Global Situation of Water and Food Security,” on December 1, 2016. Sr. Marvie Misolas, MM, gave a presentation on the looming water crisis on a global scale. Mita Dimalanta spoke on “Water is Wealth”, focusing on the water situation in Baguio City. Discussions on the floor were lively, as the participants realized the urgent need to take action on the issue of water.

Jefferson Laruan, owner of Lily of the Valley Organic Farms, and Gawad Saka Regional Awardee for 2 years, led a one-day discussion on “Growing your own food” on the occasion of Climate Change Consciousness Week at Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary. The participants were thankful to learn how to have a supply of safe, healthy, and nutritious food for their families by growing their own food. The day’s discussions centered on organic farming awareness, soil management, seeds and plant management, pest management and harvest.


“Seed Saving for Climate Resilience” was the topic of discussion on the third day of Climate Change Consciousness Week at Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary, December 3, 2016. Sherry Manning and Karen Lee Hizola of the Friends of Enca Farm gave a presentation on seed saving, its importance and the global farmers actions to take back control of the world’s seed resources. Participants tried to identify seeds of various food crops, and saw the difference between organic seeds which are saved by farmers and the chemical laden seeds available on the market.


"Peace is my nature, love is my action, and happiness is the result”. This was a constant message of Ms. Becky Ortega, Brahma Kumaris facilitator of the “Inner Optimism and Resilience Change Maker Workshop” on November 28 and 29, 2016, in preparation for Climate Change Consciousness Week. MES staff and partners participated in the 2-day workshop which focused on inner values, meditation, and inner optimism and resilience.


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.


Do You Have a Worldwide Heart?

Maryknoll Sisters are women of faith committed to the mission of Jesus so God’s love, peace and justice may be proclaimed, witnessed to, received, suffered for and celebrated throughout the world.

As missioners, we cross geographic boundaries engaging and valuing diversities of cultures, societies, races and religions. We seek to respond to the hungers and needs of the times: human trafficking, immigration issues, ecological concerns, peace, spiritual hunger and reconciliation.

We offer our talents and expertise while being life-long learners and collaborators with the people to whom we go. We express our vocation through our presence and services as medical professionals, teachers, theologians, social workers, pastoral ministers, journalists, therapists, promoters of peace and trauma healing, supporters of indigenous rights, artists, earth and cosmic care advocates, community developers, and partners in prayer.

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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)