Quiapo Church, Barangays and Devotees Urged to Work for a Waste-Free Fiesta

Quezon City. “Show your devotion to the beloved Señor Nazareno by dumping no garbage and helping Quiapo cope with the praying throngs of faithful believers.”

The environmental advocacy group EcoWaste Coalition made this plea as millions of devotees from all walks of life prepare for the grand feast day of the famed Black Nazarene of Quiapo on January 9.

In separate letters delivered yesterday to church and barangay leaders, the EcoWaste Coalition asked the authorities to pay attention to the habitual problem of littering and pollution as the preparations for the popular Quiapo fiesta go into full swing.

The mounds of garbage left on Plaza Miranda after the recent New Year revelry, which was shown on national television, prompted the environmental network to approach the church and barangay leaders.

“We have requested Msgr. Jose Clemente Ignacio and some of the concerned barangay captains to enjoin residents and visitors not to spoil the feast of the Black Nazarene with litter,” said Manny Calonzo, Secretary of the EcoWaste Coalition.

“Our pious devotion to the Black Nazarene should also find expression in the way we treat the streets of Quiapo and care for the environment,” he added.

In their letter to Msgr. Ignacio, the EcoWaste Coalition proposed the inclusion of ecological reminders in the homilies and suggested that slides be shown before and after the Masses to encourage the faithful not to waste and litter.

Barangay Chairpersons Josie Dee (Barangay 306), Tessie Sharief (Barangay 384), Rudy Chua (392), Rosie Ruz (Barangay 393) and Goyang Lipana (Barangay 394) have all agreed to put up banners with the EcoWaste Coalition that will remind the public to care for the environment during the festivities.

The EcoWaste Coalition drew the attention of fiesta organizers to “plan the feast with the environment in mind” and offered its “Guidelines for Zero Waste Fiestas” as source of practical tips towards an eco-friendly celebration of faith and life.

The Guidelines include the four basic steps outlined by the late Jaime Cardinal Sin when he exhorted the faithful to make the 2003 World Meeting of Families a “zero waste celebration of life.” These are: 1) minimize the creation of waste by using as few resources as possible at the various events, 2) avoid using plastic and disposable items, 3) separate discards into biodegradable and non-biodegradable, and 4) put them into their proper containers to facilitate recycling and make simpler the work of cleaners and collectors.

“We hope that the maroon-clad ardent devotees of Señor Nazareno will also serve as models for green values that our nation very much need to clean up our streets and communities and bring back the health of our degraded environment,” said the EcoWaste Coalition.

For more information, please contact the EcoWaste Coalition at 9290376.