VP Binay’s Holy Week destination: Mt. Banahaw | Inquirer News
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VP Binay’s Holy Week destination: Mt. Banahaw

By: - Correspondent / @dtmallarijrINQ
/ 01:58 PM April 02, 2015
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Vice President Jejomar Binay. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

LUCENA CITY — Vice President Jejomar Binay on Maundy Thursday joined the annual trek of Lenten pilgrims to Mount Banahaw in Dolores, Quezon, police said.

Insp. Madonna Abang, Dolores police chief, said Binay arrived in the town around 9:45 a.m. and motored directly to the compound of the religious cult “Suprema Dela Iglesia Del Ciudad Mystica De Dios” in the village of Sta. Lucia located at the base of Banahaw.

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Binay paid homage to the religious sect founder Suprema Isabel Suarez, said Abang who also accompanied the Vice President.

READ: Binay joins Banahaw pilgrims

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“Vice President Binay ate lunch in the company of sect leaders,” Abang said in a phone interview.

During Holy Week for the past several years, the Vice President never failed to visit Banahaw, known as a “mystical mountain”.

Many religious believers trek the mountain to experience something divine, particularly during the Lenten season, as they believe it is inhabited by heavenly spirits.

The Vice President left Dolores after one hour for his next visit at the “Kamay ni Hesus” shrine in Lucban town, another popular Holy Week destination among Filipino Catholics, police said.

The Protected Area Management Board (PAMB), a multisectoral government body tasked with monitoring state-declared protected areas, closed the mountain peak in 2004, citing the deterioration of Banahaw’s environment and vegetation due to abuse and tons of garbage left behind by trekkers.

The peak will remain close to the public until February 2016.

Visitors will only have access to several government-allowed areas at the base of the mountain in Sta. Lucia and neighboring village of Kinabuhayan.

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The open areas have been declared as “multiple use zone,” for praying, camping and nature-tripping. The zone is open to the public throughout the year.

But despite the prohibition, devotees and adventure seekers have continued to sneak to the peak prompting authorities to ask help from volunteers, police and Army soldiers to implement the off-limits order during Holy Week.
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TAGS: Banahaw, Devotion, faith, Holy Week, Holy Week exodus, Jejomar Binay, Kamay ni Hesus, Madonna Abang, Mount Banahaw, mystical mountain, Pilgrim, pilgrimage, Suprema Dela Iglesia Del Ciudad Mystica De Dios
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