MARYKNOLL ECOLOGICAL SANCTUARY
03 August 2016
25 North Santo Tomas Road, Campo Sioco, Baguio City, Philippines.
Tel. No.: +63 74 424 5745;
CP No.: +63 915 655 5745
8:30AM to 4:30PM (Cosmic Journey closed on Mondays)
How to Get There:
· Take a Campo Sioco jeep at the Igorot Park
· Take a taxi.
· For private car, drive to Marcos Highway, then take a right turn to North Santo Tomas Road
Revisiting the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary had been a nostalgic moment to me as it had been a venue to several self-awareness activities with my students when I was working as a clinical nurse instructor. The stonehenge, the native huts, and concrete benches had been mute witnesses to some of my students’ priceless smiles as they recounted their best life experiences as well as tearful accounting of their struggles and how they coped with it. It is basically the perfect place when you want to unwind, find the inner peace in yourself, or discover the balance in your stressful life.
The Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary, a green museum, is located in the City of Pines just a few minute drive away from the hustle and bustle of the central business district. The green museum offers a two-hour Cosmic Journey among its several programs
. The Cosmic Journey walks you to 14 stations depicting natural history along its easy trail.
Following the trail gives you a serene feeling that “challenges us to reassess our role and relationship with the Universe, and to refashion our way of life in conformity with nature” (Cosmic Journey, n.d.). This had been the biggest factor why this venue is good for self-awareness activities.
- Follow the trail as indicated by the map given by the security guard.
- Do not pick flowers.
- Do not vandalize any of the art forms along the trail.
- Be guided by the Leave No Trace mantra.
After securing a ticket, the security guard will direct you to the start of the journey.
Follow the stairs going up to the right, the left merges with the end of the journey.
You will not be lost as you will be guided by arrows, rails, and caricatures along the trail.
One of the ruins during the 1990s earthquake.
A good place to sit, relax, or even meditate. However, there are even better places along the trail.
Obviously, another building ruin.
The Hermitage near the ruins.
The first station.
“The universe came into being 13.7 billion years ago.”
Near the first station is a bell inscribed with “We are the Earth, the people, plants and animals, breath of the forest and flow of the sea.”
“I pledge allegiance to the Earth and to the flora, fauna and human life that it supports, one planet, indivisible, safe air, water and soil, economic justice equal rights and peace for all.”
Unfortunately, the concrete chairs arranged in a circular manner is located near a private building. I remember sitting and talking with my students before on those concrete chairs. I just cannot reconcile with my memory if the building was there before.
“Planet Earth emerges 5 billion years ago.”
A depiction of the Stonehenge is the center of the second station.
One of the stonehenges. Don’t climb it just to have a selfie.
This is also located in the Stonehenge area serving as a gate or entry way.
Another place for chitchat though could only accommodate a few.
“The oceans are the birthplace for life 3 ½ years ago. “
Adorned with shells, the min-pool at the center gives connection to the station. I remember burning papers inscribed with my students’ bitter memories here, a symbolic act of letting the bitterness of those memories go as we go on in our life.
The sanctuary is a haven covered with pine trees and Chinese bamboo. During my revisit, the bamboos and grasses are abundant awaiting for pruning and mowing.
The side rails guides you to the next station. You might as well enjoy the plants along the way.
“Dinosaurs on the scene 235 million years ago.”
Unfortunately, the art depiction on this station is on maintenance during my revisit. Anyway, it shows dinosaur eggs and a hatchling.
“The mammals arrive 220 million years ago.”
Well, though we are mammals humans are not yet here, I think.
“The birds take flight 150 years ago.”
A nest made out of pine needles.
“Flowers spread on the earth 130 million years ago.”
A flower at the center of the circular stone bench depicting the station.
Here we are!
“The primates come forth 65 million years ago.”
Charles Darwin versus the Bible, huh?
“Early humans lives in caves 50,000 years ago.”
Depiction of the Tabon cave.
A note inside the “cave.”
Yeah, yeah, that is the exit from the cave. Don’t worry, you don’t need to crawl or slide like in real caves.
Lo, the bridge! I have seen a few of my extraordinarily brave students cower in this bridge.
From this vantage, you cannot see the full stretch of the bridge because of its upward curve.
“The village period 10,000 years ago.”
A traditional Cordilleran village had been used to depict the flourishing of villages.
A closer look at one of the depiction of the native huts.
It’s not typical in a native hut but it’s an artwork I must say.
The campsite is near the traditional village.
The campsite as seen from a high vantage point.
A path leading to the next station. There is a comfort room to the left of the path (not shown in photo).
“The earth gives sweet water.”
A well depicting the station’s theme.
“The emergence of the Earth’s religious traditions.”
A bulol depicting the station’s theme.
At this point, there are still few remaining station and artworks depicting each station’s theme. However, I was already engaged in a conversation with visitors like me in the sanctuary, thus I was not able to take images. This, I guess, is a cue that you need to visit the sanctuary to see the remaining artworks, the gallery [no images shown], take a coffee at Mollies Café, or you might try the other programs being offered.