CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews/23 December) – His experience along the Bukidnon-Davao highway Sunday proved to Redemporist priest Fr. Amado “Picx” Picardal that he was doing the right thing when he embarked on a grueling bike tour for climate change from Manila to Iligan City.
Picardal said excruciating heat along the Sayre Highway in Bukidnon nearly stopped him from completing his Manila-to-Iligan “Climate Ride”.
Picardal, who arrived here Monday afternoon said he encountered the hot weather when he reached Buda in Marilog District, Davao City last Sunday.
“It was so hot that I felt dizzy at times. I never encountered this kind of weather in the past campaigns when I jogged or rode to Bukidnon,” he recalled.
He said he had to stop and rest by a roadside sari-sari store in Buda because of the heat.
The priest said the weather persisted along the way to Malaybalay City forcing him to stop several times to rest.
“This might be the climate change we are talking. The weather in Bukidnon is supposed to be cool because of its high altitude,” he said.
Picardal arrived here Monday afternoon accompanied by around 20 cyclists from Malaybalay City.
He will proceed to Iligan City early Tuesday where he will say a memorial service at Hinaplanon Bridge on Mandulog River where a flash flood killed hundreds of residents during tropical storm Sendong last Dec. 17, 2011.
Hundreds also perished in Cagayan de Oro during Sendong.
Picardal left Baclaran in Manila on Dec.10 for the start of a 14-day “Climate Ride” passing through Leyte Island, the area hardest hit by super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) on Nov. 8 last year. He had no support vehicle tailing him.
Along the way, Picardal also complained of cramps and drowsiness as he winded down toward Mindanao from Luzon.
A veteran campaigner, Picardal persisted.
“I am doing this in honor of the victims of Typhoons Sendong, Pablo, Yolanda and most recent—Ruby. The Philippines has become one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change,” he said in a statement prior to his departure from Manila. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)