EcoWaste Coalition Praises Waste-Less Feast of the Black Nazarene amid COVID-19 Health Threat

The EcoWaste Coalition lauded the tens of thousands of ardent devotees who yesterday flocked to the Quiapo Church for a waste-less manifestation of their undying faith and gratitude to the Black Nazarene.

The almost litter-free surroundings of the Quiapo Church and adjacent streets was a far cry from the massive trash and filth that had tainted the observance of the grand Catholic feast in previous years.

“We congratulate and thank the devotees and the organizers for this gift of a waste-less feast in honor of the Black Nazarene and of Mother Earth.  You all deserve a pat on the back,” said Jove Benosa, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“The respect for the environment shown by most devotees prevented yet another ‘trashlacion’ from degrading the time-honored feast of faith,” he said.

The group coined the term “trashlacion” many years ago not to mock the annual re-enactment of the “Traslacion," but to draw attention to the reckless disposal of garbage that is incompatible to the revered faith celebration.

“Despite the absence or lack of ‘please don’t litter’ signs and garbage bins, most devotees who gathered in Quiapo yesterday chose not to leave any trash behind,” he pointed out.

While admitting there were pockets of trash left in some places, mostly empty boxes of face shields, used face masks and food containers and wrappers, the vicinity of Quiapo Church and satellite churches was generally clean, noted the EcoWaste Coalition.

“After bearing witness to the most regretful trashing of the Black Nazarene feast year after year, we cannot help but think of the waste-less streets as a kind of miracle,” said Benosa.

“It’s a clear proof that preventing garbage even in a huge gathering that still attracted hundreds of thousands of people despite COVID-19 risks is doable,” he said.

“The devotees themselves have sent a benchmark by which the celebration of the feast of the Black Nazarene in the future may be measured.  We hope that a zero waste faith celebration will now become the new normal,” he added.

“What a nice way to mark January as Zero Waste Month,” he concluded.

Presidential Proclamation 760 calls for the observance of January of every year as Zero Waste Month.