One time I was riding a cab and the moment we got inside the complex the driver expressed surprise. He said he never thought that there would be a forest in the middle of the city.
I call San Carlos Pastoral Formation Complex the lung center of Makati. Nowhere else in Makati will you find a place with so many trees.
Very sad, properties like San Carlos Pastoral Formation Complex are more like the exception than the rule. Due to overdevelopment, many problems arise food security, pollution, climate change, and global warming.
Last September 1st we celebrated World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. We have three prayers when it comes to our Common Home which is the earth.
- Prayer versus greed. Many of the desecrations of the earth are due to greed. Once upon a time, Manila was known as the Venice of the East because of its many canals. Why are we experiencing flooding, then? Because the canals are nowhere to be found due to overdevelopment. Now they are reclaiming Manila Bay. Where will the displaced water go? You have low lands like Hagonoy who will be victimized.
- Prayer versus apathy. I originally came from Mandaluyong, which has a street called San Francisco that has to be dredged every half year. Why? Because people throw their garbage in the canals and don’t care about the repercussions. How many people died due to flash floods because of deforestation?
- Prayer versus disrespecting God’s creation. One of the most fascinating memories of growing up were fireflies, people doing their laundry at the Pasig River (in the 60s), and EDSA having trees in the middle. Love of neighbor means assuring the next generation of a beautiful world to live in.
Let us remember that one of these days, as a priest, one will have to stand up against big businesses and politicians who have a vested interest in companies that would destroy nature. Yes, it has cost the lives of some priests already.
Let us also remember that everything starts in formation. How conscientious are we when it comes not only to nature but also to the facilities which may be considered the bigger home and the smaller home:
- A bulb is left open even when it is daylight
- Water is dripping in the faucet, yet not attended to because “it is not my fault”
- One consumes a lot, therefore, creates a lot of garbage
- Just because it is warm, one switches on the aircon
- Can one even nurture a single plant
Lastly, may we leave this world a better place than when we were born into it.