Save Bundok Banahaw Network joins Pahiyas Fest celebration; marches to stop illegal quarry

Lead by Save Bundok Banahaw Network (SBBN) and Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI), young people, church workers, and environmentalists from Quezon province marched in Lucban town on May 15 to urge Mount Banahaw's protection. (Photo Credit: SBBN)

By Save Bundok Banahaw Network

Youth, church workers, and environmental advocates from Quezon province, led by Save Bundok Banahaw Network (SBBN) and Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI), marched in Lucban town on May 15 to demand Mount Banahaw’s protection and condemn the illegal quarrying that is taking place in its protected areas.

They marched into Lucban proper, waving their creative placards and streamers denouncing the corporate plunder that is destroying the natural environment on Mount Banahaw. They also call on Quezonians to work together to conserve the sacred mountain, which is part of the province’s cultural, economic, and heritage.

The network strongly condemns unlawful quarrying and other types of development aggression on Mt. Banahaw, particularly in the Mt. Banahaw-San Cristobal Protected Landscape, which supports local biodiversity with at least 500 species of flora and fauna.

In April, residents of Brgy. Concepcion Pinagbakuran and Brgy. Concepcion Bugon in Sariaya reported destructive quarry operations along Lagnas River. Dynamites were employed in quarry operations, which frequently shook the houses.

In line with this, the network launched a petition on May 10 to stop unlawful quarry operations in Sariaya town.

Furthermore, deforestation in  the mountains contributes to the current extreme high temperatures. Quezon’s nature-loving residents are deeply upset that, while companies profit from development aggressions, the people suffer the severe consequences of global warming caused by climate change.

SBBN is leveraging the established platform of the Pahiyas Festival to address Mount Banahaw’s declining condition. Most importantly, it urges tourists to participate in the people’s initiative to rescue Mt. Banahaw during the Pahiyas Festival.

“If we do not speak up to safeguard Mt. Banahaw immediately, the Pahiyas Festival will be cancelled because there will be no bounty harvest if agricultural areas in the mountains are devastated,” SBBN said.

Pahiyas Festival is one of the country’s largest harvest festivals, held annually on May 15th. It is a celebration of a successful harvest in honor of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers.###