BAGUIO CITY — The Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary here, commemorated the 18th anniversary of the July 16 killer earthquake Wednesday.
HEALING THE EARTH. Bamboo poles serve as acupuncture needles to “heal the earth.” Photo by Myko Franco Chiong/NORDIS
Dr. Michael Bengwayan gave a lecture on biodiversity and its conservation. Tackling the important issues regarding rice, as well as that of water and the continuing deterioration of the ozone layer.
According to Bengwayan, biodiversity, being the variation of life at all levels of biological organization, is often taken for granted. “Here in the Cordillera, the water, the soil, these are all often abused,” explains Bengwayan. “We are a part of biodiversity, not apart from it,” he adds.
After his lecture was the “Acupuncturing of the earth,” headed by the Baguio Arts Guild. People gathered to hoist and plant five large bamboo poles adorned with etchings and embellishments to call for a “healing of the land”.
Eric de Guia, better known as Kidlat Tahimik coordinated the “acupuncture” ceremony, inviting everyone else to join while distributing thinner bamboo rods for everyone else to “plant into the ground”.
“We do not just plant the bamboo poles in. We say a little prayer for kalikasan (nature) as we do it, and maybe ask for forgiveness for our less environmentally aware brothers and sisters who continue to pollute this world we live in,” said Tahimik.
Also present for the commemoration were former Baguio City Mayor Virginia De Guia, Imelda Village Barangay Captain Ernesto la Guardia, and the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary sisters who participated in the “earth acupuncturing” ceremony.
Sister Teresa Dagdag, directress of the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary said, “Earthquake preparedness is crucial to saving lives and biodiversity preservation is key to our survival as human species so let us learn to walk lightly on the earth so that future generations may have a healthy planet to inherit from us.”
Walking lightly is leaving no environmental destruction and caring for the earth while one enjoys its vast resources, a Nordis regular writer Chen Reyes once said in one of her articles on “Getting lost,” a Nordis travelogue section. # Myko Franco Chiong