Friday, May 16, 2008

Day 54: Mangagoy-Cateel, Davao Oriental

At 5:00 am this morning, Fr. Florio brought me to the radio station where I was one of the guests for the program entitled: "Kisaw." The other guests were the leader of the PICOP labor union, the head of the parish social action and the parish disaster committee. Immediately after the program we went back to the parish where Gabby was already waiting. So we departed at 6:15 am. Gabby biked with me as far as Lingig - 24 km away from Mangagoy. We did a lot of climbing along rough road. We reached Lingig at 8:30 and after breakfast Gabby went back to Mangagoy and I continued my journey alone. After an hour of biking, I stopped by an store in a remote barrio to buy some ice. A woman run to the store to greet me and told me that she just saw me featured on the ABS-CBN TV patrol early this morning. That must have been the footage and the interview done in Butuan a few days ago. A few hours later, two more people riding motorbikes also greeted me - they must have also seen me on TV. I am just amazed how mass media has been a big help throughout this journey for magnifying my "life and peace" advocacy.
The road between Mangagoy and Cateel reminded me of the Kalinga road in the Cordilleras. There were a lot loose sharp rocks and steep climbs. The heat contributed to the exhaustion that I began to feel. I could feel the beginning of cramps on my legs. I had to do a lot of walking especially in the uphill sections. I reached Cateel at 4 pm after biking for 78 km. I was welcomed by the parish priest - Fr. Darwey - and his parochial vicars - Frs. Jojo and Bingbong. I presided and preached at the 5 pm mass. We had dinner of lechon afterwards.
The main issue in this area is logging. Fr. Darwey has been denouncing the logging companies in the area that are denuding the forest. It appears that some local government officials are protecting these logging companies.

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