Hiker calls out people who left garbage in pilgrimage site

By: Immae Lachica April 20,2019 - 01:32 PM

The pilgrimage site was littered with plastic bottles, candy wrappers and cracker wrappers. | CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines —It was supposed to be a solemn morning hike for Andrea Gaurana that began at 5:30 a.m. on Black Saturday, April 20, 2019.

But Gaurana, a hiker and outdoor enthusiast, was shocked when she saw that the road going to the Celestial Garden, or more popularly known as Good Shepherd, was littered with garbage ranging from candy wrappers to plastic bottles.

Celestial Garden, which is owned and operated by the Tanchan Foundation Inc., has life-sized statues of Christ in tableaus depicting the 14 Stations of the Cross within the 12-hectare hilly terrain.

It is commonly called Good Shepherd because it is located near the convent of the contemplative and apostolic Good Shepherd sisters.

Gaurana said she took the photos at 5:30am on April 20.

“As you may already know, it’s both a family mausoleum and a pilgrimage site with a trail that follows the Stations of the Cross. The same reason why people flock the place during Lent,” she said.

Gaurana frequents the area since it is the jump off point for hiking and trail running activities.

Hiker Andrea Gaurana took this picture at 5:30 a.m. on Black Saturday, April 20, as she passed by the famous “Good Shepherd” pilgrimage site in Banawa, Guadalupe, Cebu City. | CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

She wrote in the caption accompanying the photos she posted online:  “Humans: Goes to pilgrimage site for religious observance, leaves garbage behind. What a horrible species, a disgrace to mother nature and to the religion they believe. “

Gaurana said she decided to post the photos to raise awareness about this inexcusable behavior.

“The more people we can educate, the better,” she said. / celr

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