Yesterday was another long day - 50 km from Juban to Cumadcad. I had to start at 3:30 to make sure I get there before dark. I tried some running in the downhill portions but gave it up as soon as I felt some pain in my knee and feet. My main concern is to avoid injury. The only way for me to continue my long journey is to walk in a relax manner. Walking has become a means for survival, running is something optional - a source of exhilaration and fun but very risky when done continously and at a faster pace and with a heavy pack which increases the impact on the knees and tendons. I long for the day when I can fully recover and do intermittent runs.
I reached Cumadcad at 5 pm but the parish priest was not around. Nevertheless, the convent boys brought me to the simple cottage. Fr. Joel Teruel arrived after supper and welcomed me. I concelebrated with him at the 10 pm Easter vigil which ended at one in the morning. In his long homily he explained in my advocacy in Bikol language.
At 5 am this morning I was on the road again even if I only had less that four hours of sleep. By seven I felt so sleepy and weak that I had to take a nap in the waiting shed on the side of the road. After 20 minutes I was back on the road feeling refreshed.
Today is the 30th anniversary of my ordination. So I went over and reflected on my life as a priest over the last 30 years.
As I was nearing Daraga, I saw six motorcycle riders on the side of the road eating halo-halo. They wanted to have their picture taken with me and bought halo-halo for me.
I reached Legazpi City at 2 pm after covering 34 km. I stopped by a coffee coffee shop and ordered cappuccino and cake before going to the Redemptorist monastery.
Fr. Ron Murray, an Australian Redemptorist, welcomed me. Later, I concelebrated the 6 pm mass with Fr. Sylvester - an Indonesian Redemptorist. I had the opportunity to talk about my pro-life & peace advocacy during the mass. After the mass I had dinner with my Redemptorist confreres. I drank a generous amount of wine to celebrate Easter and my priestly ordination.
So after 24 days, I am now in Legazpi, covering a total of 940 km.