04 January 2013

Black Nazarene Devotees Urged to Lend a Hand for a Garbage-Less Fiesta

(Photo by Danny Pata, GMA News TV)
 
An environmental watchdog exhorted devotees who are expected to flock to Quiapo Church today, the first Friday of the New Year, to honor Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno with a garbage-less fiesta next week.

In a statement released ahead of the annual re-enactment of the Traslacion (the transfer of the revered image of the Black Nazarene from Luneta to Quiapo) on January 9, the EcoWaste Coalition urged the pious disciples of SeƱor Nazareno to take the lead in keeping the solemn occasion free of trash.

“We appeal to the faithful followers of the Black Nazarene to be His reliable stewards on earth, protecting Quiapo and its environs from trash, abuse and destruction,”said Tin Vergara, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Keeping the surroundings garbage-free – from Luneta to Quiapo and all the way to our communities - is not only a civic duty, but an act of worship and devotion as well,” she said.

“We hope that the widespread littering last year, particularly in the vicinity of the Quiapo Church, will not see a sad repeat this time around,” she added.

The group urged the clergy led by Msgr. Jose Clemente Ignacio, the Parish Priest, his parochial vicars and other priests to include in their homilies a "gentle reminder" that will inculcate the responsibility of all devotees in ensuring a cleaner and safer celebration this year sans waste and pollution.

Last year, the EcoWaste Coalition deplored the reckless littering that marred the religious celebration.

The group’s Basura Patrollers found food wrappers, plastic bags, cups, bottles and straws, Styrofoam food and beverage containers, cigarette filters and bamboo skewers scattered along the six-kilometer processional routes and in the streets and barangays adjoining the Quiapo Church.

For a cleaner and safer fiesta, the EcoWaste Coalition urged devotees, food and beverage providers and vendors to observe the following:

A. For the devotees: 1) refrain from smoking to avoid cigarette butt litter; 2) if you smoke, please don’t toss butts on the ground; 3) if you chew gum, do put it in a bin after you’re done with it; 4) do not spit on walls and other spots; 5) do not urinate on the streets, 6) return used food and beverage containers, including bamboo skewers, to the vendors; 7) put your discards into the designated bins; and 9) bring a reusable bag if you are planning to buy some “pasalubong” from Quiapo.

B. For food and beverage providers: 1) pack meals in biodegradable packaging such as banana leaves and paper or serve meals, as well as drinks, in reusable containers; and 2) collect all food leftovers for “kaning baboy.”

C. For vendors: 1) refrain from using single-use disposable containers; 2) bring your own “sako” for your discards; and 3) make a final sweep of your vending area before you leave.-end-

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