Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Bike-Tour for Life & Peace - Day 10: Iloilo-Kalibo
At 6:10 this morning, my Irish Redemptorist confreres saw us off in front of the St. Clement's Church. Seven Iloilo cyclists turned up to bike with me. Patrick was also biking his last leg with me. A police patrol car led the way, followed by a pick-up car with Fr. Ryan taking pictures. A support vehicle followed us with Fr. Pat Sugrue inside. One of the Iloilo bikers who joined is Dr. Ramon Mirasol, a 71 year old dentist who told me that he was diagnosed with a heart disease 28 years ago and he decided to take up biking to cure his ailment. I told him that I, too, had myocardial ischemia last year and my biking has strengthened my heart. Yes, I am biking for my life also.
After covering 10 km an ABS-CBN car drove beside me and the newscaster interviewed me as I continued biking. After asking me what the bike-tour was all about, he asked me if I was also asking for the president's resignation. I answered him that although I wished she would resign, this bike-tour was for life and peace - and not to call for her resignation. I don't want this issue to take over the broader concerns that I am biking for: abortion, the ongoing armed conflict, extrajudicial killings, environmental destruction, graft and corruption.
When we reached Dumarao (70 km for Iloilo), the bikers from the Capiz Cyclists' Club, were waiting for us. The patrol car and the support vehicles headed back to Iloilo with Patrick hitching a ride. The Iloilo bikers continued for another 10 km and then turned back to Iloilo.
The Capiz bikers biked with me up to Batan where I took a pump boat to cross to Dumaguit. From Dumaguit I continued biking, this time alone, until I reached Kalibo at 3:45 pm, after covering 147 km. My cycling computer registered 901 km.
I celebrated the Eucharist at 5:15 pm. The church was full. I had supper with Msgr. Dollete after wards.