Ecovillage in the Philippines:
Fasting for the Climate
One of the biggest contributors to the global use of fossil fuels is food production. Each calorie of processed food requires an average of 10 calories of fossil fuels to produce, process, package, and transport goods from the farms and factories, all the way to the shops and dining tables of the world. Bahay Kalipay and Maia Earth Village in Palawan, Philippines invite intentional communities and ecovillages, to join the Global 'FastfortheClimate' movement. Sarah Queblatin and Pi Villaraza write about the background.
In the quiet nature-based alcoves of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines, are two international healing communities that look directly at the source of the problems of climate change and the peak oil crisis directly at the source. They conduct detox retreats and fasts, in environments that have low or virtually no impact to the environment. At Bahay Kalipay Retreat and Detox Center and Maia Earth Village community, the ecovillage ecosystem acts at the core framework for integrating nutrition, ecology, healing, ecosystem, spirituality, community, art, family, and education.
Since 2007, retreats, fasts and healing journeys have assisted people from around the world to help restore not only the physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of humans, but also the health and vitality of our planet’s ecosystem. Numerous guests from all around the world come here everyday, to experience what it is like to subsist happily on natural raw foods, a coconut mono-diet, and water fasts, as they journey into design processes that look at what their lives might be like if it was founded on energy management principles.
Here, we strive to live what we share, founded on an experiential healing process that assists our global network in the emotional, physical and mental release of our attachments to lifestyle aspects that contribute to climate change, disease, emotional problems, and the separation of the individual from the spirit of unity. Simply, when we cleanse our bodies and emotions of toxins, we also cleanse our planet’s dumpsites, rivers, forests, and the atmosphere of our collective home.
The healing process is facilitated as experiential learning and unlearning, a format that looks at energy descent – release and letting go of the old, as it also looks at energy ascent – our co-creative and collaborative evolution. This deals largely with the essential integration of the many dimensions of life on the planet: how we grow what we eat, how we construct our homes, how we live harmoniously with each other, how we birth babies and school our children, how we heal sickness, and all the other dimensions of village living.
The two community centers began when its initial founder experienced what it was like to live on a mono-diet of only coconuts from 2006 to 2007, as a hermit on a deserted beach island in Palawan.
Here, Pi Villaraza found how simplicity healed his body and emotions, brought an inner peace and clarity, reduced his carbon footprint to virtually zero impact, and brought a lasting joy that now translates to the thousands of healing processes that he, his wife and community have facilitated around the world, founded on a powerful healing framework called Inner Dance.
Today, an international network of yoga teachers, gardeners, teachers, ecovillage and permaculture designers, natural builders, healers, business and NGO people, form a web of interlinked communities in various parts of Asia and Europe, that co-facilitates Maia’s healing work. This work is expressed as ecovillage and transition city initiatives with deeply ingrained ecological ideals for assisting the healing of the planet’s problems at the source, through profound inquiry into the essential paradigms behind why we eat what we eat, buy what we buy, and live the way we live.
Late last year, Maia convened the Earth Village Project, a rehabilitative response to the devastation wrought by typhoon Yolanda, particularly in Leyte: the province worst-affected in the Philippines. Using ecovillage design through the lens of the Learning Village framework, Maia, in partnership with global permaculture groups and other resonant communities, embarks on a long-term regeneration effort that brings the many quadrants of sustainability to a country seeking for solutions to global crises, that strive to harvest the insights and the stories that come about in this multi-dimensional transformation work.
An Invitation to Unite to Change the Story of our Collective Future
The two communities are responding to a silent but powerful campaign for climate action and justice inspired by Naderev Sano, the Philippines’ Climate Change Commissioner. Sano inspired many resonating leaders and movements to fast as a non-violent statement to the UN Climate Talks in Warsaw, Poland, in 2013, at the height of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. Today, many leaders have joined this movement, as the urgency to fast-track policies to create a more resilient future for climate vulnerable countries like Philippines.
In solidarity with the Global #FastfortheClimate movement that emerged from Sanos action, the Global Ecovillage Network, and Maia Earth Village in the Philippines, will be assisting in the coordination of a simultaneous fast around the world with partner ecovillage communities, NGOs, companies, government and individuals.
Based on its library of experiences with facilitating detox and fasting protocols, Bahay Kalipay will be creating guides for fasting in various media formats that aids participating individuals and groups in fasting for the climate. We will be bringing our healing center’s fasting and healing protocols into homes, schools and companies. At the same time, we will be harvesting the many stories from global participants that week as they happen, as a way of transmitting what strength, insight and learnings might be gleaned from shared experiences, through the help of the Mandala Earth Story Project and Sattva Reports.
If you would like to participate in this collaboration, kindly email: [email protected] for initial conversations and planning.
A global launch for the project will be active online by August.
For more information about Bahay Kalipay and Maia Earth Village, visit
To learn more about the climate action, visit www.fastfortheclimate.org