Saturday, April 16, 2011
Day 16: Run-Walk Across the Philippines
My right foot was still sore when I woke up this morning. I'm glad that this is my rest day, so I could give my body and feet enough time to recover. I washed my clothes in the morning and worked on a paper that I will deliver during the Spirituality Forum. At ten I went to Robinson's to buy some pair of socks. I celebrated and preached at the 5:30 pm anticipated mass. Besides preaching about Palm/Passion Sunday, I also talked about my running/walking pilgrimage for life and peace. ... I had a conversation after mass with a young woman by the name of Elsie May. She got an email from a common friend - Fr. Claro - who told her that I will be passing by Tacloban during my run/walk pilgrimage. She asked me why I was doing this. This is the same question that many people ask me whenever I stop in sari-sari stores and waiting shed. The usual answer is that I am doing this to preach the Gospel of Life & Peace, to generate support for the peace process, to oppose the mining and logging in the country that is destroying the environment, to denounce the continuing extra-judicial killings and to oppose the Reproductive Hill bill. . . I often tell people that this is my mission. I am an itinerant preacher - who walks all over the land preaching the message of life and peace. This is also part of my penitential practice especially during lent and holy week. . But besides all these, I am also doing this because it is fun - it is an adventure. This is also a continuation of my pilgrimage, my sacred journey. This is how I see my life. It is fitting that I do this as a period of my life has ended - 16 years as full-time theology professor. Another period is about to begin (by June) as full-time executive secretary of the Committe on Basic Ecclesial Communites of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. When I begin my new assignment, I doubt if I have another opportunity for doing what I am doing. Tomorrow, I cross over to Samar. I am already excited to cross San Juanico bridge. I used to to run that from our monastery here in Tacloban when I was a newly-ordained priest, training for the marathon.