Climbing Mt. Maculot this Holy Week? Bring trash bags

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Climbers ascend the steep and narrow trail of Mt. Maculot, a 600-meter or 2,000 feet) high volcanic rock wall, in Cuenca, Batangas. (R. Lagarde)

MANILA, March 20, 2014— Aside from rosaries, a Catholic bishop said there’s a new must-have item for pilgrims climbing Mt. Maculot this Holy Week: extra garbage bags.

Mt. Maculot is famous among mountaineers and trekkers alike.

During Holy Week, it is also place where devotees go for its Stations of the Cross and a grotto atop the mountain.

However, each year, according to Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, pilgrims leave a memory – a rather gross one.

Items found during cleanup, he said, vary from leftover food, plastics and, even condoms and underwear. “Every Holy Week, thousands of people go to the mountain hopefully for prayer and penance. Among the garbage found, however, are condoms and undies,” Arguelles said.

Seeking to address the problem and promote environmental awareness, the archdiocese is organizing an “ecological prayer” at the Mount Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas on April 7.

“This assembly is intended for cleanliness in all aspects of Mt. Maculot,” said Arguelles, adding that the activity is spearheaded by Lipa’s Archdiocesan Ministry on Environment (AMEn).

‘It is also a plea to preserve our province from natural calamities which mining and logging, and flattening of mountains for industrial purposes can only bring about,” he said. (CBCPNews)

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