Baclaran shrine now a ‘green zone’

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More than the usual devotion, the thousands who visit the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help (OMPH) in Baclaran, Parañaque City now also learn “eco spirituality” by observing the church’s ban on smoking and the proper disposal of recyclable plastics. (Photo: Raymond A. Sebastián)

PARAÑAQUE City, Aug. 28, 2015 – In a bid to be an example to others, the Redemptorist community of Baclaran, Parañaque City began promoting “eco spirituality” among its devotees and guests by making the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help (OMPH) a “green” zone.


“I believe that we at the shrine must embody what we want to preach … and what we want to preach is sustainable living, sustainable relationship with Mother Nature, with God’s creation … And that begins with the shrine,” said Fr. Joseph O. Echano, C.Ss.R., shrine rector, in an interview.

In line with this, the Redemptorists fathers of Baclaran officially banned smoking within the shrine compound starting on July 31.


To drive home the importance of proper waste management, large containers have been placed in strategic spots in the area where devotees can dispose of plastic bottles and other recyclable materials.

Echano explained this is their way of eliminating trash, especially the non-biodegradable kind, from the environment by setting aside things that can still be used.

Backyard planting

Moreover, the Redemptorist community, which currently observes the Year of Jubilee of the introduction of the original Perpetual Help icon, also boasts of vegetable gardens.

Besides adding beauty to the place, Echano pointed out these aim to prove to the public that growing vegetables even in the city is feasible, and to encourage them to grow food right in their own backyard so that they do not have to buy everything they need.

Going solar

The rector went on to share that the Baclaran shrine is in the process of adopting solar power as a safe and clean alternative to conventional energy sources.

“Although we know it will cost much money, we would like to do our part in helping lessen carbon footprint in the environment,” Echano added. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)

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