Sr. Malou Santos, DW, Philippines
An enriching symposium “Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream” was held in the school of the Daughters of Wisdom in Minglanilla, Cebu, Philippines, last January 7, 2017. It was facilitated by John Din and Arlenne Villahermosa, lay Columban Missionaries based in Manila. Their presentation made the participants aware of environmental problems and formed them to responsible management of the Earth’s treasures.
Words from the participants…
“I got mixed emotions at the start of the symposium with the questions “Where are we now?” and “What brought us here?”. The feelings of guilt and disappointment were bursting inside me because I have contributed to the destruction of our beloved home, the Earth. But at the end, those feelings were converted to hope that somehow there are ways to restore and to prevent the destruction of our Planet. Now I will do what is in my power to help, conserve and protect our Mother Earth for the next generation.” Nerissa Pasana, 29 years old, Registered Nurse
“I learned to engage in small actions to preserve our Mother Earth. We are all ‘interrelated and we cannot live without Nature.’ This statement was an awakening for me to appreciate Nature and its beauty and to see, feel and breathe God’s love through Nature.” Jean Mae Amacna, 18 years old, 2nd year College BEED- SPED
“The symposium began in disappointments, guilt and sadness, but ended up with hope, gratitude and happiness. Awareness is the beginning of change! Let us act now!” Jessica Amacna, 17 years old, Grade 11
“As I watched the videos, I realized that we are destroying Nature little by little by our actions. We do not take care of it. The symposium challenged me to save Mother Earth by our care. It is a wake-up call for me! From now on, I will properly dispose of thrash.” Jeniebe Alpis, 18 years old, BSIT 2nd year college student.
Mother Earth came to my mind immediately when I heard that the symposium was about Nature. Questions arose in my mind: Can we still breathe fresh air? What kind of life awaits the coming generations? What would our life be without Nature? How can we be productive members of this growing society? How can we change our polluted air?
Change must begin with actions: picking up the garbage on the street, labeling bins as biodegradable, non-biodegradable and recyclable, cutting plastics into small pieces for pillows, planting plants and vegetables in plastic bottles…etc. Change can come through conservation of energy: avoid using computer, cellphones and watching television for a long time. “We cannot live without Nature, without Mother Earth.” Let us be united to preserve it. Aimee Jane Bacu, 18 year old, BSIT 2nd year college student.
“We, the young generation are the hope of our Nation…change must begin with me… Melchora Torreon, 21 year old, BSED 3rd year college student
Commitment taken from the Pachamama Alliance
The symposium ended with the participants’ commitment taken from the Pachamama Alliance “to bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just human presence on this planet as the guiding principle of our times.” Words of inspiration from George Bernard Shaw: “… my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.”