Green Pilgrims

Green Pilgrims
We are part of a mountain and its streams. I grew up with Mt. Banahaw where I bathe my mind and heart in its streams of ginhawa. Mt. Banahaw, all 7175 feet ,is a dormant volcano, embraced by Laguna and Quezon provinces. To a large number of devotees from various provinces, Mt. Banahaw is the holy land, banal na lupa.

Historically ,Mt. Banahaw had been a cradle of Filipino nationalism and spirituality. When the Spanish missionaries planted the seeds of Christianity in the 16th century, the indigenous settlers believed that seven angels transported Calvary from Jerusalem and Jesus Christ lived in its meandering streams. Mt. Banahaw became the tierra santa of many pilgrims from that time on.

How does this fact weave into babaylanship? A friend’s experience, Karl Gaspar, who made a pilgrimage to Banahaw said:
“A pilgrimage to Mt. Banahaw is a unique spiritual experience as it combines a number of what ordinarily are opposing elements in today’s society. Here the politics of a nationhood forged in revolution co-exist with the spirituality of liberation; the culture of folk Catholicism rests gently with the semiotics of indigenous mysticism. The symbols of a country that aspires towards lofty ideals of freedom and justice are at the same time the signs of a militant faith that seeks to build communities (samahans) of truth and righteousness. The most ubiquitous, dominant and striking of symbols in Mt. Banahaw is the triangle with an eye. It appears everywhere from the landscape design to altar-shrines, above two pieces of cement on which the Ten Commandments are etched and the murals inside the different churches. Here its reference is, of course, God’s all-seeing eye. In my reflection as I walked around, I was reminded of our own logo as Redemptorists, where this eye refers to Jeremiah 1:11. It is supposed to be the eye that makes us able to see ‘the signs of the times’ long before others see them.”

LET US PRAY with Karl Gaspar to see what Mt. Banahaw means :
It’s seeing eye point to the signs of our times :
We have taller skyways in metro- Manila but shorter tempers.
We have wider expressways in the North and South but narrower viewpoints.
We eat in all the trendy food venues but we grow ulcers and cancer.
We have fast access to information from the world wideweb but less wisdom.
We have more experts but bigger disasters each year.

What then should we do if we want to the sacredness of life that Mt. Banahaw epitomizes?

First ,become green pilgrims. Protect Mt. Banahaw : learn to be, conserve and live better with our Pinoy sense of of kalikasan and pakikipagkapwa-tao..

Second, honor our forbears and cooperate more. Since our DNA is 99.9% the same, let us secure the SNIP gene that produces love for PEACE,TRUTH and JUSTICE.. We are all related and we should cooperate more.

Third, learn to live together as a compassionate people; developing our green heritage.
We are not the center of our universe but our DNA, if woven into a single strand, would stretch from the Earth to the Moon. We can live together to conserve our natural heritage as one green world wide web.

Finally, make time to dance. Since we have enough bio-electrical energy in our cells, around 20 million volts per meter, equivalent to that of the charges that a thunderstorm carries, we can dance and make life better all over the world.

We breath, we move, we heal. Let us dance in Mt. Banahaw accompanied with the thought :
“we shall not cease from dancing and the end of all our dancing ,will be to learn who we are, where we started, see and know ourselves .”
(based on t.s. eliot’s truth about exploring).

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Explore posts in the same categories: Babaylan, Lifelong learning, Spirituality

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