CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 25 June) – Senator Benigno Simeon Aquino III traveled to Mindanao in early September 2009 to go on a spiritual retreat at the Carmelites in Zamboanga City to pray for discernment if he should run for President in the May 2010 polls.
Aquino’s mother, Corazon, also went on retreat in a convent of the Carmelites in 1985 before deciding to run against President Ferdinand Marcos in the 1986 snap Presidential polls.
Aquino flew to Zamboanga from Davao City where he sought the counsel of his mother’s friend, businessman Jesus Ayala, and met with friends and representatives of civil society and Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
On September 9, Aquino declared he would run for President.
He returned to Mindanao on September 25, 2009 to launch the Nonoy-Mar Movement with Senator Mar Roxas who was supposed to run for President but opted to run for Vice President instead. Aquino had by then become the more viable candidate of the Liberal Party following the death of his mother in August.
Aquino and Roxas went to Tagum City in Davao del Norte where they were greeted by hundreds of supporters who lined up the streets and filled a gym with lighted candles.
They also went to the campus of Ateneo de Davao University in Davao City where they answered questions asked by students and teachers.
The next day, the tandem proceeded to Cagayan de Oro City passing by Bukidnon as typhoon “Ondoy” inundated many parts of Metro Manila.
The driving rains of typhoon “Ondoy” forced Aquino and company to stop at the checkpoint in Lorega, Kitaotao town in Bukidnon.
In Maramag, the convoy was again stopped along the highway with residents carrying plastic jars filled with one-peso coins.
Residents told him they launched a fund drive to support his campaign.
Noynoy made a detour the Monastery of Transfiguration in Malaybalay City where he met with the Benedictine monks.
Mayor Oscar Moreno, then governor of Misamis Oriental welcomed Aquino when he and his party arrived in Cagayan de Oro.
Aquino also met with students of Xavier University. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)