Green Groups Seek Trash-Less Traslacion in Honor of the Black Nazarene

As the preparations for the
feast of the Black Nazarene go full blast, environmental groups asked devout
Catholics to take the lead in ensuring a trash-less Traslacion on Saturday.

On Thursday, the EcoWaste Coalition, together with Buklod Tao and the Cavite
Green Coalition, gathered in front of the Quiapo Church in a bid to generate support
for a trash-less procession as an expression of devotees’ faith and gratitude
to the Black Nazarene.  
“Time after time, we find the solemn feast of the Black Nazarene being despoiled
by garbage carelessly thrown by the devotees, vendors and others who come to
partake in this venerable tradition every January, which, ironically, is also
the Zero Waste Month,” lamented Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste
“We hope it will be entirely different this time and that everyone will do
one’s bit and combine devotion with environmental protection,” she said.
Truckloads upon truckloads of trash were collected in past events re-enacting
the transfer of the revered image of the Black Nazarene from Luneta to Quiapo
that saw the processional path speckled with discards.
Some 336 tons and 413 tons of mixed garbage were collected in 2014 and 2015,
respectively, along the Traslacion route from Rizal Park to the Minor Basilica
of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo.
“An ecological profession of our faith
will be a concrete response to the poignant plea by Pope Francis for action to
protect ‘our common home’ in light of deepening environmental degradation and
pollution around the world,” said Father Robert Reyes, OFM.
In “Laudato Si,” the historic encyclical on environment and human ecology, the
Pope lamented that “the earth,
our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth,” adding
that “in many parts of the planet, the… once beautiful landscapes are now
covered with rubbish.”

“Let us heed the Pope’s call to nurture and protect
our common home and break free from the unashamed littering that defiles the
Traslacion and our other faith-inspired pursuits,” said Reyes, a zero waste

“As one of the top disaster-prone countries on earth, we need to outgrow bad practices
such as the indiscriminate dumping of garbage on the streets and elsewhere that
only aggravates our vulnerability to floods and other calamities,” he added.  
stewards of God’s Creation, we are called by the Black Nazarene to watch over
and protect the environment,” the groups proclaimed.   
To demonstrate the beauty and necessity of a trash-less Traslacion, the groups
handed out maroon-green ribbons to passersby. 
Maroon symbolizes the people’s long-standing devotion to the Black
Nazarene, and the green signifies the nurturing blessings of Mother Earth that
we ought to care for.
Towards a cleaner and greener feast of the Black Nazarene, the groups requested
the devotees to consider the following reminders:

1. Observe the “no littering, no smoking” policy of Rizal Park.
2.  As an act of penance, refrain from
smoking on the day of Traslacion.
3.  Properly dispose of your
discards and do not simply toss them on the gutter, sidewalk or plant box.

4.  Give back to the vendors used food
and beverage containers, bamboo skewers and food wastes.
5.   No spitting and urinating in public.