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Priest to cross country on foot for peace
āBiking priestā to run, walk for peace and life right round PhilippinesāBiking priestā Father Amado Picardal
- Sean Salvador, Manila
- March 31, 2011
Father Amado Picardal, 56, has already cycled right round the country for āpeace and lifeā but he feels this was not enough sacrifice to generate sympathy for his cause.
This time he is set to take a ājourney of a lifetimeā by running and walking across the Philippines.
He said the trip will run from Davao City in the south to Aparri in Cagayan, the northern tip of the country.
The Filipino missionary is taking little more than his optimism on the 2,000 km journey to promote peace and the protection of the sanctity of life.
He expects to be away from home for 58 days and plans to cover at least 42 km per day of walking and running.
āThis will symbolize my life as a continuing journey and pilgrimage for life and peace,ā Father Picardal said. āI will even do fasting and will only eat at night. Iām very serious about this advocacy.ā
He said it will be a āwalking or running prayer of appealā for the success of the peace process between the government and the communist-led National Democratic Front and with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
āAlso, these threats to life [that] are ongoing, like mining and logging, the extrajudicial killings, the reproductive health bill ... my appeal is to stop these,ā he said.
Running across the country is not new in the Philippines. Father Picardal will be following in the footsteps of four runners: Cesar Guarin (1980), Father Robert Reyes (1996, 97 and 98), and Jay Roxas and Mat Macabe (2005).
But what makes Father Picardal unique is that he is older and will do it alone, without any companion, support vehicle or crew, carrying what he needs in his backpack.
āI will also mix running and walking, which I believe will be more relaxing and sustainable for me,ā he said.
āI will follow a different path, especially in the last leg when I will trek across the Cordillera mountain range,ā Father Picardal said.
He is confident he will enjoy the experience. āIām used to this. For me itās the journey and hopefully it will inspire people.ā