DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/08 Dec) — He biked “for peace” across the country for 18 days in 2000, meeting truckloads of soldiers on their way to the Estrada administration’s “all-out war” in Mindanao; “for life and peace” around Mindanao for 21 days in 2006; “for life and peace” from Davao to Appari and back or 5,000 kilometers for 56 days in 2008; walked “for life and peace” from Davao to Appari for 57 days in the summer of 2011 and in this stormy month of December, go on a 1,800 kilometer 14-day “Climate Ride” from Manila to Bicol, Samar, Leyte, Compostela Valley, Davao, Bukidnon, Cagayan and Iligan,
Redemptorist priest Amado “Picx” Picardal of Iligan City, presently based in Manila as Executive Secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines – Basic Ecclesial Communities, intends to start his 1,800 kilometer ride from Baclaran to Iligan on Wednesday, December 10 (also International Human Rights Day). He is expected to arrive in Iligan City by December 23.
Picardal, who turned 60 two months ago, said he will bike across areas hit by destructive typhoons since 2011, in honor of the victims of Typhoon Sendong (December 16-17, 2011), supertyphoons Pablo (December 4, 2004), Yolanda (November 8, 2013) and Ruby which made landfall in Dolores, Eastern Samar at 9:15 p.m. Saturday, December 6.
Picardal said he will stay overnight in parishes and will concelebrate the misa de gallo and preach as well to “call attention to the climate change and the disasters that result from it” such as extreme weather events like super-typhoons, floods, droughts, rising sea levels, water and food crisis,” and to promote biking “not only for exercise but also as a regular means of transportation and commute within our cities.”
“I have done three advocacy rides (for life and peace) around the country in my younger years and I thought I won’t be doing this anymore when I become a ‘senior citizen.’ But the super-typhoons that have hit our country every year and other calamities such as floods and droughts have spurred me to ride my bike across the country once again. I am aware that these are not ‘acts of God’ or mere natural occurrences. These are manifestations of climate change,” Picardal said in a pre-departure statement (see statement).
“We are being reminded that we human beings are responsible for climate change due to our materialist and consumerist lifestyle, deforestation, dependence on fossil burning fuel for our cars, factories, power-plant which emits carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases into the atmosphere resulting in global warming and climate change. As the oceans gets warmer, the super-typhoons have become the new normal. Ruby will not be the last super-typhoon, there is more to come,” he said.
He appealed to the government to come up with measures to address more seriously the problem of climate change and mitigate its effects.
He also appealed to the public to “do our part to contribute in saving the planet and saving our lives.”
While he will bike alone, Picardal said he would welcome local bikers to “join me for a few hours as I pass their cities.”
Dec 10 Baclaran – Gumaca (Quezon, Luzon): 187k
Dec 11 Gumaca-Naga:187k
Dec 12 Naga-Sorsogon: 147k
Dec 13 Sorsogon-Matnog ferry crossing to Allen- Calbayog (Visayas): 135k
Dec 14 Calbayog-Tacloban: 175k
Dec 15 rest day Tacloban
Dec 16 Tacloban-Liloan Leyte cross to Surigao City (Mindanao): 154k
Dec 17 Surigao- Prosperidad (Agusan del Sur): 182k
Dec 18 Prosperidad-New Bataan (Compostela Valley): 142k
Dec 19 New Bataan- Davao City: 118k
Dec 20 Davao- Maramag (Bukidnon): 152k
Dec 21 Maramag-Malabalay: 49k
Dec 22 Malaybalay-Cagayan deOro: 97k
Dec 23 Cagayan-Iligan: 88 k
Picardal will leave Baclaran after the 5:15 a.m. pre-departure blessing in the Baclaran Mother of Perpetual Help Shrine on December 10.
He told MidaNews some bikers will join him from Baclaran to Laguna while another group of bikers will meet him somewhere between San Pablo, Laguna and Tiaong, Quezon. (MindaNews)