EcoWaste Coalition, Barangays Call for Garbage-Free Fiesta

Environmentalists and local
leaders from communities surrounding the Quiapo Church, the home of the
venerated image of the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno (NPJN), have appealed to
all devotees and visitors to work for a “ maroon and green” fiesta.

Maroon is associated with the garments of the Black Nazarene, while green is
linked with the environment, explained Tin Vergara, Zero Waste Campaigner of
the EcoWaste Coalition.

In a joint press release with barangay leaders in time for the start of the
nine-day novena to the NPJN  today December 31 until January 8, the
EcoWaste Coalition drew the attention of the public regarding the power of
combining faith  with action to protect the environment.

“Combining our people’s amazing devotion to the Black Nazarene with action
respecting, nurturing and defending Mother Earth will be a powerful force of
hope and deliverance against those who trash and ruin the environment,” said

“If the millions of devotees who come to Quiapo will simply not litter and
avoid waste in all its forms, we’ll have a feast that is pleasing to the eyes
and pleasing to the Lord,” she said.

Local barangay leaders aired the same appeal to the huge crowds of devotees and
visitors who will throng to Quiapo in the days leading to the re-enactment of
Traslacion (the transfer of the image of the Black Nazarene from Luneta to
Quiapo) on January 9.

“We call on everyone, particularly the devotees, not to leave any garbage
behind as they pay their respects to the Black Nazarene and seek His guidance
and blessing,” said Joey Uy Jamisola, Chairman of Barangay 306, Zone 30.

For Mariano “Boy Bata” Gopaco, Jr., Chairman of Barangay 307, Zone 30, “the cooperation
of government and church authorities, residents, visitors, vendors and others
is vital to ensuring a clean and safe fiesta.”

“Keeping Quiapo streets tidy should be everyone’s responsibility. Please do not
think that it’s alright to litter because someone else will pick it up for
you,” said Reynaldo Moises, Chairman of Barangay 308, Zone 30.

Among the most littered items in past fiestas include cigarette butts, candy
and snack wrappers, plastic bags, cups, bottles and straws, Styrofoam
containers and bamboo skewers that often cause injuries among barefoot