After 56 days of biking around the country, home at last, on Sunday

Picardal, Dean of Academics of the St. Alphonsus Theologate at the Redemptorists in Davao City, comes home six days short of two months since he left the Archbishop’s house with 12 other bikers, including the Auxiliary Bishop of Cotabato, Colin Bagaforo, for the Davao-Buda leg on Day 1, on Eastern Monday, March 24.

Bagaforo promised to join Picardal in his Surigao-Davao leg that started last Monday, but he told MindaNews he couldn’t because Archbishop Orlando Quevedo was out of the country and he had to attend to some duties in the Archdiocese.

Picardal arrives with news that although barred from proceeding to the gate of Malacanang to deliver his letter to President Arroyo  last April 27, a member of the President’s Cabinet has sought an appointment with him through a Redemptorist priest based in Baclaran, Manila, to “discuss the letter.”

“Well, it seems that delivering the letter to Malacanang was not in vain. Of course, I can thank the media for covering the event and disclosing the content of the letter to the public,” Picardal said.

Picardal offered a special prayer on May 13 and 14 for a biker, Eric Reyes, “who is dying of cancer. He texted me yesterday before he was put on a medically induced coma. His friends thought he was lying when he claimed he had cancer.”

Picardal has biked more than 4,800 kilometers since March 24.

Picardal said he biked “3 hours and 30 minutes 81 kilometers from Hilongos to Liloan, accompanied by over 50 bikers.” The ferry ride from Liloan to Surigao City took three hours, he said.

Picardal has dubbed his 56-day, 5,000 kilometer bike journey as “Philippine Bike-Tour for Life and Peace: Preaching the Gospel of Life amidst the Culture of Death.”

In 2000, he biked “for peace” across the country for 18 days from Davao to the northernmost part of Luzon  and for 21 days around Mindanao in 2006 “for life and peace.”

Picardal left Surigao for Butuan on May 13, to San Francisco in Agusan del Sur on May 14, to Mangagoy, Surigao del Sur on May 15, to Cateel in Davao Oriental on May 16, Cateel to Compostela to Nabunturan in Compostela Valley on May 17 and from Nabunturan to Davao City on May 18. (MindaNews)