Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Day 23 & 24 - Restday, Laoag-Bangued, Abra
I woke up late yesterday morning, this being my rest day. After breakfast, I did my laundry and later gave a brief talk about my advocacy to the Laoag clergy who were meeting at the bishop's residence. I then biked downtown and had my bike checked-up at the Ilocos Cycle Center. I also bought an extra tire tube. Upon knowing of my identity as the biking priest, the owner did not ask for payment. He also gave me a cycling jersey and had my picture taken with him and his wife.
I had lunch with Fr. Alex and Bro. Dodong (my fellow Redemptorists) and the lay missionaries working in the Laoag diocese. Before the mass I was interviewed by the ABS-CBN tv crew. After the mass I had dinner with Bishop Utleg and Msgr. Paulie and the parochial vicar.
At 5:30 this morning, I left Laoag accompanied by Bishop Utleg, Fr. Anthony Dimayuga and 5 other bikers. We were followed by an ABS-CBN tv crew. The bishop and his group biked with me as far as Badoc - the boundary between Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte which was 43 km away from Laoag. After saying goodbye, I biked the next 100 km alone. It was exhausting especially because I had to face the headwinds alone and because of the heat. There were some continuous clims 23 km before Bangued. I reached Bangued at 3:30 pm and was welcomed by 3 members of the Abrak biking club who informed me that they will accompany me as far as Malibcong. At 5 pm, I concelebrated the mass with Fr. Andres and preached about the Gospel of Life and Peace.