Church leaders in the northern Philippine city of Baguio, are supporting a proposal by a local legislator to re-introduce a practice of sounding a siren each day to prompt residents to pray. The Baguio-Benguet Ecumenical Group, which includes Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical and Pentecostal churches and fellowships, said the “six o’clock habit” would “strengthen Christian unity.”
Baguio City councillor Philian Louise Weygan-Allan said her proposal was already approved by the city council. She explained that once implemented sirens will sound at 6pm around the city to remind residents, including those in the streets, to pause “even for just a minute” and pray in silence.
Until the 1980s, residents of Baguio City – known as the Philippine summer capital – prayed the Angelus at exactly 6pm when the city’s siren sounded. The practice, however, stopped with the onslaught of modernity.
“The new measure will definitely help strengthen and reinforce our unity, which we have been building up since our participation in the global week of prayer for Christian unity in 1998,” said Reylita Calimlim, local leader of the Focolare Movement.
The global week of prayer for Christian unity was celebrated in the city last during the third week of January.
Rev. Felipe Ehican Jr of the St Stephen Lutheran Church also welcomed the new measure. “This will certainly help develop our prayer habit, which should be part of our Christian practice,” he said.