BAGUIO CITY -- Bishop Carlito Cenzon of the Vicariate of Baguio-Benguet iterated his call for prayer for the people of Baguio who might still be angry and emotional as he underscored a call for understanding to transform the negativity in the mall-initiated tree-balling controversy into a positive development.
In his homily during their centennial anniversary on February 11 Cenzon commended the Maryknol Sisters for their work among children here as he invoked Marian intervention and divine blessings for the nuns' continuing ecological advocacy.
Not explicitly naming the source of conflict, Cenzon mentioned in his homily that while people in many parts of the globe talk about planting trees to curb the effects of global warming and climate change, mall managers were willing to sacrifice trees to accumulate more success (wealth) for SM.
Cenzon iterated that this is where he needs prayers for because "we do not know how to attack the problem because people are angry; people are emotional and we do not like that kind of attitude to persist. It is negative because we do not know where to marshal our energies and do something worthwhile to arrest it and bring it to a positive development," he said.
Formulating his prayer, Cenzon also asked the supreme being for inspiration, especially for those who were at a protest against the earth-balling of trees at Luneta Hill where SM is set to erect another multi-level parking mall, which he refers to as crazy and a display of mismanagement.
"Yet we do not know where the problem lies. Does it come from us, our city officials or from the president himself?" was how the Catholic prelate looks at the Baguio mall controversy.
A series of protest actions has been snowballing for the protection of trees in the city even as more than 182 trees have been allowed to be uprooted from Luneta Hill here. Some 1000 more trees also face a similar fate when the Camp John Hay Development Corporation gets a similar tree-cutting permit.
Meanwhile, in the same occasion, Cenzon also noted that the grandmothers and parents of Marishan alumni were appreciative of what their children have become as he asked for the Maryknol sisters' continuing discernment with the expressed wish for accompaniment of today's children.
The Maryknol Convent School/Marishan School, whose elementary department has been closed down in the '90s, continue to cater to pre-school children with its Sunbeam Day Care Center. Cenzon acknowledged in his homily the accompaniment of children that the school has been extending its alumni, who, he said, "have come out (to be) comfortable in the world.
"I was touched with the testimonies many of the alumni gave," the prelate said as he mentioned that their "mental attitude was not so much of accumulating or getting and getting, and being more at home in their work and happy in our little world."
Cenzon also called on the Marishan community to call on people to be more aware of what "green" can signify as he mentioned in his exposure at the dialysis ward of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center he found many children undergoing dialysis to treat lifestyle-related kidney diseases. He said that the market is laden with harmful stuff that even children ingest.
"I do not know how we will put that in prayer form," Cenzon said. "It is a matter of programming a better healthier lifestyle," he added admitting that a lot of people are also intervening in his diet, without mentioning his own state of wellness.
Maryknol has 38 worldwide missions in a span of 100 years. In the Philippines, there are only about ten left but Filipino nuns are in several countries. The centennial celebration coincided with a grand alumni homecoming. # Lyn V. Ramo