Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 9: Run-Walk Across d Philippines

April 9, 2011

The rest day yesterday really did wonders on my body. I woke up at 3 am feeling refreshed & ready to go. The blisters had healed quickly and I couldn't feel any pain as I set out at 4:15 towards Santiago, Agusan which is 47 km from Butuan.

As I walked in the dark towards Santiago I remembered fondly the last day of my pilgrim journey to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. What was missing was stars along the milky way in the Camino de Santiago. I only saw one star early this morning.

When I stopped in Ampayon for a cup of coffee, I saw a group of army soldiers in battle gear. I had a chat with them about my run/walk advocacy for peace & life. I then asked them to pose for a souvenir photo with me. Maybe next time I can also pose for a souvenir photo with some NPA units.

I am doing this run/walk for soldiers like them and also for the NPA & MILF guerrillas, and for the civilians caught in the cross-fire, for all of us who are fed up with the war & violence which been going on for too long. I long for the day when a peace agreement will finally be signed - and a just & lasting peace will reign in our land. Then armed men in full battle gear won't be a common sight and young people don't have to waste their time & life fighting it out in the countryside.

The first 30 km up to Cabadbaran seemed to be easy. I did more walking than running. But it got very hot and I had to use my umbrella again. I could feel new sets of blisters forming. I did more running the last 7 km. I reached Santiago by 5 pm and was welcomed by the parish priest - Fr. Dario Tudlasan.

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