Re-Opening of Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary 2013
Maryknoll Alumni Tes B. Choa’s Message on the Blessing of the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary
May 01, 2013
Today is an auspicious date. May 1st is not just Labor Day, but the Re-Opening of the Maryknoll Sanctuary. The care and concern of Maryknoll for the environment is legend. Ever since I could remember, Sr. Mary Austin and Sr. Rose Anthony instilled in us students, the importance of trees, appreciation of beauty in the flowers and the different stages that a butterfly goes through before it can truly fly.
My first cosmic journey was given to me by none other than Sr. Ann Braudis. I had founded Mother Earth Foundation by then and we were so involved in various barangays in Batangas and Ilocos Sur establishing Materials Recovery Facilities, teaching segregation, composting and matching junk shops with barangays. Cities and municipalities began attending our training. Unfortunately, most politicians – in finding there would be less ghost trips to the dumpsite, thus less items in their budget – did not pursue the practice.
That 1st Cosmic Journey confirmed Mother Earth’s slogan – LAHAT. Lahat stands for Lupa, Araw, Hangin, Ako, at Tubig. The AKO is every woman, man, and child. We are all stewards of this only home we have – Planet Earth. If we don’t take care of it and fight for the rights of ALL Beings created by Our Father, we will have very little to hand down to future generations. Last Apr 18th, we – in the Pine Cone Movement had our first Forum entitled “Baguio Pine Trees Under Siege”. As you know, there is a beetle known as IPS CALLIPHAGUS that assaults and bores the bark of the Pine Trees.
It forms a community behind the bark as it lays eggs and pretty soon you will notice that the pine needles become brown and falls off. The trunk loses it sap and the tree slowly dies. We had speakers from UP Los Baños, the DENR, and an urban planner from Baguio City.
With the large audience, we can say that Baguio residents are truly interested in the prevention of this infestation and how to care for our pine trees so they don’t become vulnerable to ips calliphagus.
We are indeed fortunate that Baguio has a formidable partner as we fought against the cutting of pine trees on Luneta Hill. Like Sr. Margarita Jamias, I no longer patronize that temple of consumerism that has corporate greed engraved in all their enterprises. SM boasts that they have planted 30K trees in Busol Watershed. Planting is the easy part. Nurturing is the more difficult stage. If you will see the area - there is no 15 to 20 feet distance between the pine trees - that is Error # 1. Error # 2 - we don’t need those trees in Busol or Tuba - we need those pine trees right here in the city - where population has increased and where vehicles abound with their emissions.
I congratulate Maryknoll for their continued care and concern for Planet Earth. The embracing, ecological nurturing of our environment is one priority that we cannot ignore. Thank you Maryknoll for insuring that we are constantly reminded of the bigger picture. Congratulations and Good Afternoon!