Tomorrow I begin my solo, unsupported run/hike from Davao City (Southern Mindanao) across the mountains of Bukidnon and ending in Iligan City (northern Mindanao). I have dubbed this "Solo Trans-Mindanao Run/Hike for Peace & the Environment" - Lakbo (lakad-takbo) Para sa Kapayapaan at Kapalagiran.
I will be leaving behind my mountain-bike and journey on foot - running and hiking - for nine consecutive days covering almost 400 km. I will be doing this alone - without any companion, without a support vehicle. I will carry everything I need in my backpack.
I begin on Saturday, the day before Palm Sunday, and end on Easter Sunday. So this is a Holy Week activity - a spiritual journey as well as a penitential act. I will be fasting - eating only one full meal a day (at night). I will be staying overnight in 9 parish rectories and concelebrate in the masses and Holy Week liturgies - so I will visit nine churches (Visita Iglesia) across Mindanao.
I am doing this at a time when peace remains elusive in Mindanao and the rest of the country. The armed conflict between the government forces and New People's Army continue. The armed clashes are escalating. The peace negotiations between the Government and the National Democratic Front have been abandoned. There is still no peace agreement between the Government and the Moro Islamic Front.
I am running and hiking while Mindanao is under a state of calamity as declared by the government. The drought has affected the power supply (we have daily brown-outs) and agriculture. This is a manifestation of the environmental crisis - the climate change - caused by the destruction of the environment. The government has failed to stop logging, mining, construction of coal-fired power plants, aerial spray, and the over-reliance on oil. This calamity is not "Acts of God" or "God's Will" but the consequence of the selfishness and greed and of the materialistic and consumerist mentality.
As I run/hike eight to ten hours a day, I will pray for peace and for the environment.
I pray that we will learn to walk the way of peace that Jesus taught us - to reject the culture of death and violence, to value the sacredness of life. I pray that a peace agreement will soon be achieved between the Government and the MILF and also with the NDF.
I also pray that we learn to care for the earth, to preserve and protect the environment not only for our survival but for the future generations.
So tomorrow at 5:00 am, I will be departing from the Redemptorist Church in Davao City and begin my journey.This is my schedule/itinerary:
March 26 (Saturday) Redemptorists Davao City to Lomondao (53 km)
March 27 (Palm Sunday) Lomondao to Buda (40 km)
March 28 (Monday) Buda to Quezon, Bukidnon (45 km)
March 29 (Tuesday) Quezon to Valencia, Bukidnon (42 km)
March 30 (Wednesday) Valencia to Malaybalay (30 km)
April 1 (Holy Thursday) Malaybaly to Manol0 Fortich (54 km)
April 2 (Good Friday) Manolo Fortich to Cagayan de Oro (38 km)
April 3 (Black Saturday) Cagayan to Libertad, Misamis Orientl (43 km)
April 4 (Easter Sunday) Libertad to Iligan City (46 km)
I will be posting on this blogsite by mobile phone (as long as there is a signal). I will also try to post via twitter: www.twitter.com/FatherPicx
This Holy Week Run/Hike is also a preparation for my 800 km- Running/Hiking Pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela (from the South of France across Northern Spain) which I will do in July 2010.