Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Day 6: Solo Run/Walk Across the Philippines

As usual I was up by 3:30 am feeling refreshed. I was on the road by 4:45 am. After an hour, I was overtaken by a chubby young man who was running fast. He turned to me and said: "Good luck, Lolo." I was taken aback to hear me being addressed as Lolo (grandpa). Either I look too old, or I run/walk like an old man. And to think that I am not yet a senior citizen. Anyway, I consoled my self by the awareness that although many can run faster than me, they cannot run/walk as far as I can (over 2000+), solo, unsupported, carrying an 8 kilo backpack. There was a time when my average training pace was 5 km/hour which I can do for 30-40 km without taking a walking break. But that was 30 years ago. But I don't think that at that age, I can do what I am doing now. Because I am now slower, I take frequent breaks, I have a lot of patience and endurance, I can go on a long, long journey by foot across this country.

At 8 am, while passing Prosperidad, I drop by a roadside restaurant for coffee. I had a chat with Rosalina, the owner. When it was time to pay for the coffee, she told me that it was free. A few hours later, a van stopped and the owner came out and shook my hand. He introduced himself (Mr. Pajelo) his wife, daughter and son and had picture taken. He then gave me a thousand pesos for my expenses and then drove away. At one in the afternoon, an SUV stopped and a couple came out and introduced themselves (Henry & Cora) and they gave me empanada, siopao and mineral water. I have once gain experienced the kindness and generosity of people I met on the way and this started since day one. Most of them told me that they saw me on TV. They probably wanted to show their support.

I feel ambivalent about the media coverage which started a week before I even began my journey and which is continuing. I wanted to make this low-key and very private and yet because this is a run/walk for a cause, I have to accept it since this is the only way my message can reach a wide audience. I am just a small voice which the media can multiply a thousand times.

I've been having problem with the soles of my feet which become sore and painful after six hours on the road. I have made it a point to rest every hour - for 5-10 minutes to give my aching foot a break and to cool off. But this afternoon, it has becomes more agonizing. The continuous slow running provides relief, but I am also careful that I don't get a repititive stress injury that can result in shin splint or stress fracture.

I finally reached Bayugan City at 4 pm after covering 40 km. I was welcomed by Fr. Guy - the parish priest, and Fr. Danny - his assistant. I concelebrated at the 5:30 pm mass and talked for 12 minutes about my advocacy and the message of life and peace. As usual, I ate over-ate during dinner. This is my only meal of the day which should be enough to sustain my fast while I run/walk during the day.

So after six days, I have covered 252 km. That's an average of 42 km per day (a marathon for six successive days).


ksam said...

My feet will be praying for your feet! Peace, Karin

Julius said...

Stay safe, Fr. Picx. You are truly an inspiration. I will be following you through out your extraordinary journey.

Arthur said...

Good luck and god bless, Father! I will be following the daily progress of your journey.

artelita_mangaron said...

Hi Padz Amado. In such a brief and unexpected encounter, you have set a lasting print in our hearts. My dad (Timmy Palijo) has already submitted the video of you to ABS-CBN to send word to people all over the country and the world to support you on your journey to promote peace and protection of the sanctity of life. My family (Timmy (dad), Merlita (mom), Ian and AC (my brothers who unfortunately, weren't with us), Ethel (my husband), Jaydee (daughter), Amzee (son) and I (Tellet) are continuously praying that you will have a safe journey and good health to achieve this journey of a lifetime. You are not alone, we stand one with you in this journey. Our family hopes to meet you one day not only for a brief encounter. God bless you Father Amado.