THIS week, let us spend time with a Baguio connection perhaps much neglected. While it is wonderful to connect the dots between friends, schoolmates, families, and all else, let us all be reminded that the connection that we must always act on is the connection to the Divine Earth. Oyes.

A not so gentle reminder comes from Sr. Teresa Dagdag of the Maryknoll Sisters, herself a PhD in Sociology. Let me give her space here, in a piece titled “Participate in a sustained commitment to our One Earth Community!”

“Today, we need to make a commitment to Mother Earth and the Earth Community to which we belong.

“These past months in Baguio, mission partners have joined around a common cause; we have made a common commitment to the cause of the One Earth Community, creating opportunities to invite others to deepen human commitment to Mother Earth. This commitment is to One Earth Community and to a sustainable human-Earth relationship that would enable us to care for our Common Home.

“Laudato Si, the encyclical of Pope Francis, released in 2015, calls us to take care of our Common Home because we belong to this home. We need to know how to make way for change in our attitudes towards Mother Earth. This invitation to change is what Laudato Si calls ecological conversion.

“Conversion can be individual and/or communal. This encyclical is addressed to Christians of the Catholic Tradition, Christians of different Traditions and those who do not profess Christian faith – our Buddhist, Muslim, Shintoist, and other religious faith followers. For Christians, it is an invitation to a deep commitment based on a spirituality that praises creation or nature as God’s revelation. Laudato Si is a spiritual guide for us who commit ourselves to this journey.

“To provide a meaningful guide to underline our renewed passion for the Earth, our Common Home, let us also refer to the Earth Charter (1992) to serve as another guide in living out this commitment.

The Preamble to the UN Earth Charter expresses this imperative as written below:

“We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.” (full version in

“May the Earth Charter and Laudato Si be among our guides to our commitment to the One Earth Community.

“The aforementioned mission partners in Baguio have kept the practice of Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary (MES) of holding an annual educational event on Climate Change each year. In 2018, the fifth of such events was the Climate Consciousness and Action Forum, held on December 6-8.

It was attended by representatives of 108 institutions all dedicated to focus on action as the imperative to address our climate issues.

“These mission partners/conveners are MES, Zero Waste Coalition, Igorota Foundation, Global Seed Savers, Saint Louis University, and Soroptimist International - Pines City. As partners, we have a common mission objective: to create an environment that would enable participants to seriously commit to take sustained collective action to address climate issues.”

Let this column thus keep saying, as it has been for a long time: Commit to doing even one thing to help our environment. If that one thing is using the more organic “bayong” instead of the difficult to biodegrade (if ever) “ecobag” – do it. Exclamation point!