Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Days 51 & 52: Surigao City-Butuan-San Francisco, Agusan Sur

It was raining when I left Surigao City at 5:30 yesterday morning. I decided to put on my Northface Jacket to keep myself dry. I didn't want to catch cold again. I maintained a fast pace as the rain and wind caressed my face. What a pleasant sensation. I only slowed down as I began my ascent along the mountain overlooking Lake Mainit. The rain stopped by 9 am after ascending the mountain. With only 60 km to go, I increased my pace to 25-30 km per hour. As I reached the bridge before Butuan City, the ABS-CBN TV camera crew aboard their pick-up was waiting for me and took some footages. When I reached the Cathedral rectory at noon time after biking for 121 km in 6 hours, the ABS-CBN newscaster interviewed me. I was welcomed by Fr. Nene Caldoza, the rector of the cathedral and immediately had lunch with some of the priests.
I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and preached at the 5:30 pm mass.

After morning prayer, I left Butuan at 6 am and biked at a leisurely pace across the mountains of Agusan del Sur. San Francisco was only 84 kilometers away so there was no need to ride faster. The weather was perfect for biking - cloudy and cool. There were a lot of climbing but also some descents. Along the way I saw this sign which I found very meaningful: "We are judged by what we finish, not what we start." As I reach the end of my journey, I can only agree.

I reached San Francisco at noontime and was welcomed by Fr. Allen, the Carmelite who is the new parish priest. After lunch with the members of the Carmelite community I spent the afternoon washing my clothes and then resting. I am scheduled to preach at the 5:30 pm mass.

So far, I have already biked for more than 4,800 km.

Some people have been asking me if the president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, has read my letter. Now I can answer that she has and is taking the letter seriously. The other night, I received a call from an Australian Redemptorist priest based in Baclaran and he told me that an old friend who happens to be a member of the president's cabinet has contacted him and wants to set a meeting with me to discuss the letter. I agreed to meet the guy next week in Baclaran, the night before I depart for Bangkok. So I'll write about it after the meeting takes place. Well, it seems that delivering the letter to Malacanang was not in vain. Of course, I can thanks the media for covering the event and disclosing the content of the letter to the public.

Another day of solo biking tomorrow. I am once again a hermit on a bicycle, meditating and praying as I pedal. Yesterday and today, I prayed in a special way for a biker - Eric Reyes - who is dying of cancer. He texted me yesterday before he was put on a medically induced coma. His friends thought he was lying when he claimed he had cancer.


bimbim said...

hi 'dre

nipayat na kag maayo 'dre
hapit na jud ka abot...
iron man na ka 'dre, hehehe...

god bless you!

Nonie said...

Hi ding. Hapit na jud ka mahuman sa imong biyahe. I hope your journey was not in vain.
Take and God bless.

Your sis,
Nonie P.

allan lew said...

gud day..

this is allan lew of san francisco. isa ko sa mga nakig storya nimu dre sa kumbento beofre ka natulog. ako bitaw unta to mouban nimu sa barobo pero wala ko kauban kay naa ko work...
musta naman ka dre.. god bless sa imu bike your for life.. i hope imu na-achieve ang imu tumong sa imu lakaw... bilib jud ko nimu dre kay imu gi-bike ang tibouk pilipinas ug labaw sa tanan bilib ko niu kay imu jud gi-fight ang kanindot sa kinabuhi inspite sa tdaghang temtasyon nga napalibot mga katawhan.. gud luck n god bless sa imu meeting kay president. i hope nga makasabot sa ug mo-uban sa nimu sa pagkab-ot sa imu tinguha..

ayo2 nalng sa imu lakaw, god bless n more power.....

congrats form sacred heart of jesus parish....