Latest Stories

Pray, meditate but plant trees, too, DENR exec asks Banahaw pilgrims



LUCENA CITY—If you’re among the annual throng of Mount Banahaw pilgrims during Holy Week, offer the deities not only prayers and candles but also help them turn their spiritual abode into a paradise of lush greens.

Salud Pangan, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) park superintendent for Banahaw, appealed to Lenten pilgrims to also plant trees while spending sacred time in different mountain spots declared open to the public “to help resurrect the mountain’s lush greens.”

Many religious believers trek Banahaw, known as a “sacred mountain,” to experience something divine as they believe it is inhabited by heavenly spirits.

Pangan said the DENR would provide free seedlings to the pilgrims, who could pick them up on the way to their chosen holy spots, while the DENR staff would pinpoint the different planting sites.

“Spiritual communion and activity to protect Mother Earth will be most rewarding during the sacred [Lenten] period,” Pangan said.

She said Banahaw and the adjacent Mount San Cristobal need more volunteer planters to complete the task of rehabilitating the mountains and transform these into a verdant mass of forest trees.

Pangan said they were short of volunteer planters because of the distance of the target planting sites and most of them prefer road sides and accessible areas as planting sites.

Pangan urged nongovernment organizations, civic organizations, schools and private companies to sponsor more tree planting activities in Banahaw and Mount San Cristobal and coordinate these with them so the DENR could identify the areas for planting.

She stressed that Banahaw is still close to the public but camping, praying and other religious activities would be allowed only in designated areas.

Mount Banahaw, a traditional pilgrimage site for religious devotees and mountaineers, straddles the municipalities of Lucban, Tayabas, Sariaya, Candelaria and Dolores in Quezon, and parts of the towns of Rizal, Nagcarlan, Liliw, Majayjay and San Pablo City in Laguna.

Most of the 2,177-meter mountain, which spans an area of 11,133 hectares, had been restricted to the public since 2004 to allow the recovery of areas damaged by slash-and-burn farming and irresponsible mountaineering.

Pangan said this year, the DENR aims to plant forest trees and native wildlife berries, such as “lipute,” “duhat” and “kalumpit,” to meet their target of reforesting 780 hectares in Banahaw.

Last year, Pangan said the DENR and its private sector partners reforested 567 hectares.

In 2011, Gov. David Suarez launched a reforestation project for Banahaw and allocated P1 million a year for the next 15 years to revive the mountain.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: DENR , environment , Holy Week , Lent , Mt. Banahaw , pilgrimage , Regions

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • Drilon denies involvement in pork scam
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Malang the croc must regain strength before return to swamp, says mayor
  • Palace: Lacson’s version of Napoles testimony to be evaluated
  • Scientists eye iceberg bigger than Guam
  • Sports

  • Guiao summoned by PBA for name-calling incident
  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Lifestyle

  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Embassy advisory: Filipinos still need visas to enter US
  • No travel restriction to Mideast, DFA clarifies
  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Marketplace