At six in the morning I was on the road. No breakfast as usual. I was thinking of buying a cup of coffee on the way. I was surprised that most of the people I passed on the road waved at me and greeted me: Good morning, Father! Some approached me and shook my hand. Others asked me to bless them. Many told me that they saw me on TV. But what surprised me more was the expression of hospitality and support. After an hour, a man called out from the veranda of his hut and hot coffee. I immediately stopped and accepted his invitation. I had a chat with Ramon and his wife Lina while drinking coffee. While continuing my journey several men on motorbikes approached me and gave me some cold bottled water. A motorist stopped his car and gave me orange juice. Another asked me to stopped by a her store and gave me soft drink and bread. I was just overwhelmed by all these.
I reached Tagum at around ten am and rested at a sari-sari store and bought siopao and cobra energy drink. I spent time in an internet shop. I was back on the road at noon. My feet felt sore and I was worried I could get blisters. I stopped many times to give my feet a chance to cool down. By 2 pm, as I was ascending the hills of Mawab it was cooler. I was running down the hills on the last 7 km to Mawab. After running and walking 37 km, I reached the parish rectory in Mawab by 5 pm. Fr. Chris was out in the barrio and welcomed me later in the evening.
So here I am in a place that has been considered a hot bed of insurgency. There has frequent armed clashes between the NPA and government troops in the hinterlands and neighboring barrios in Compostela Valley.