ON July 9, the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary held a classical music concert entitled A Rebirth: A Classical Concert For A Cause to raise funds for the rejuvenation of their Learning Garden, Vegetable Garden, and Sanctuary Garden in Baguio City.
The concert featured a vocal performance by the “Pavarotti ng Baguio,” Glenn Gaerlan. There were also piano performances from Sister Nenita Tapia, MM, Nina Agustin, Angel Leal, and Francis Ramos. (One can view the concert at https://www.facebook.com/baguiomaryknollecologicalsanctuary/ )
Originally an elementary school run by the Maryknoll sisters, an earthquake in 1990 flattened the original convent; this prompted the sisters to reconsider the value of their school, and convert it into an ecological sanctuary.
“We try to help the humans understand that creation, nature is really part of one earth,” said Sr. Teresa “TD” Dagdag, MM, the current president chair of the Sanctuary. Through its 14-station “Cosmic Journey” garden tour, the sisters promote environmental awareness, and a greater solidarity with nature.
“It is a very unique kind of integration between religion and science,” says Sr. TD. The whole sanctuary and Cosmic Journey experience are still centered around Christ, despite the detailed discussions on scientific concepts like biodiversity and climate change. Speaking on the presence of God in nature, she adds, “God is still here. Who is to say that Christ is not here?”
It has been difficult for the sisters to continue maintaining the Sanctuary, especially since the COVID-19 lockdown prevented them from welcoming guests for an extended period of time. However, the Sanctuary’s doors are once again open to the public.
The Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary is still accepting donations through the following channels: BPI: 0571-0169-07 and GCash: 0995-932–4875.
To learn more about the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary, visit its Facebook page. — Martin Mariano Celiz