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 Señor 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

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-