After trekking through Mindanao and Eastern Visayas for three weeks, today I began my trek across Luzon. It also happens to be Good Friday. Most of the people who saw me along the way probably presumed that I was a "penitente"doing penance for my sins. But seeing the sign in front and at the back of my pack made them aware that I am on a long journey for life & peace. I could hear many exclaim loudly to each other: Davao to Aparri!
The stops I made in the sari-sari stores (the small stores in the barrio) provided opportunity to converse with some local residents and to explain to them about my peace & pro-life advocacy. Unlike the Davao region where the coverage of the GMA-TV news and ABS-CBN magnify my advocacy, in Visayas and Luzon I am just a small insignificant voice, preaching my message in some churches, sari-sari stores and waiting shed. Pehaps, to many I am just a stranger journeying on foot from Davao to Aparri - on an adventure, or trying to set a record for the Guinness Book of Records , or on a religious mission. But that does not bother me. What matters most to me is I am doing something I believe in without being attached to the fruits or effect of this . Even in my voice is ignored or I am dismissed as a crackpot or weird, I will continue doing this.
Me feet continue to hurt. The pain persists but I slowly go on. Running has become difficult, even walking is agonizing. It reminds me of the message of Good Friday - that like Jesus we must be ready to embrace pain, suffering and even death to fulfill our mission. This is the way of the cross - the way of suffering and peace that leads to victory of life over the culture of death, sin and evil.
I reached Juban at 4:30 pm after covering 44 km. The Good Friday services have just finished. Fr. Alberto (Treb) and Nap welcomed me and provided me with comfortable accommodation and good meal.
(sorry couldn't upload my pictures)