BIKING FOR LIFE AND PEACE: 12 days and a thousand kilometers later, Fr. Picx arrives in Luzon

After covering 10 km an ABS-CBN car drove beside me and the newscaster interviewed me as I continued biking. After asking me what the bike-tour was all about, he asked me if I was also asking for the president's resignation. I answered him that although I wished she would resign, this bike-tour was for life and peace – and not to call for her resignation. I don't want this issue to take over the broader concerns that I am biking for: abortion, the ongoing armed conflict, extrajudicial killings, environmental destruction, graft and corruption.

When we reached Dumarao (70 km for Iloilo), the bikers from the Capiz Cyclists' Club, were waiting for us. The patrol car and the support vehicles headed back to Iloilo with Patrick hitching a ride. The Iloilo bikers continued for another 10 km and then turned back to Iloilo.

The Capiz bikers biked with me up to Batan where I took a pump boat to cross to Dumaguit. From Dumaguit I continued biking, this time alone, until I reached Kalibo at 3:45 pm, after covering 147 km. My cycling computer registered 901 km.

I celebrated the Eucharist at 5:15 pm. The church was full. I had supper with Msgr. Dollete after wards.

Days 11 & 12, April 3 & 4: Kalibo-Caticlan-Roxas, Mindoro-Calapan

At six ten am yesterday, after waiting for ten minutes to see if any local biker from Kalibo would turn out, I pedaled alone to Caticlan. Once again it was just me and the bike – no other bikers, no motorcycle police escort, no support vehicle and no ABS-CBN TV camera crew. I felt so peaceful. All by myself.

The weather was perfect for biking – dark clouds covered the sun and it rained a bit. I listened to the music of the Phantom of the Opera and of Joey Ayala on my mp3 player. There was a lot of climbing after 12 km of flat road. The toughest climb was the last 20 km, along a cliff overlooking the sea. I was struck by the beauty of the scenery. I pedaled furiously hoping to catch the ferry. I reached Caticlan at 10:05 after biking for 67 km. The boat for Mindoro was just leaving so I had to wait for 3 hours for the next ferry boat.

I went aboard the Grand Star which left at 1 pm. While trying to take a nap, I felt my throat becoming sore and my nose congested – symptoms of an impending cold. I spent time meditating on the healing light and praying for divine intervention.

When we reached Roxas, Mindoro by 6 pm, Fr. Rey Bandayrel, was at the pier to welcome me. I followed his car to the rectory and after taking a shower, I went out with him to a restaurant for dinner. Before going to sleep, I again did some healing meditation and asked the Lord to heal me of my cold.

I woke up at 4 this morning feeling much better. The cold was gone. I presided at the 6 am mass with Fr. Rey concelebrating. The mass was well-attended and I preached in Tagalog. Immediately after mass, I packed my things and set out alone for Calapan.

It was again a perfect weather for biking – slight drizzle. But the sun came out at 9 am and it became hotter. My jersey quickly dried up. I stopped by the way side for halo-halo and talked to some people who gathered around me. I continued biking feeling refreshed. After a couple of hours it rained again, this time it was a downpour. But it stopped again as I was climbing up some steep hills. The heat and the hills were slowing me down. After a hour, it rained again. I felt energized and thank the heavens for the rain. My pace quickened. Some 15 km before Calapan, I met a motorcycle rider who escorted me. Then I saw 20 bikers on the bridge waiting for me. The parish priest, Fr. Nestor welcomed me and we were led by a police patrol car to the cathedral.

After brief rest and a shower I went with Fr. Nestor to see Bishop Cajandig. We came back to the cathedral for supper.

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