Rethinking Society Over a Cup of Coffee

27 February Update on Lupang Hinirang, Lupang Hinarang Farmers' Pilgrimage for Carper

by Atty. Kaka J. Bag-ao
Balaod Mindanaw

The pilgrim-farmers feasted with a variety of canned goods as their viands during their breakfast yesterday. They left Sariaya, Quezon at around 7:00 in the morning.

They walked for 4 hours and fought the sweltering heat. They rested for a while at Brgy. Palma, Sariaya and had merienda at Brgy. Masin Norte, Candelaria.

When they left Candelaria, the pilgrim-farmers had a smooth journey because the Candelaria police personnel escorted them all throughout their walk in the municipality until they reached Tiaong, Quezon.

Yesterday’s walk for the pilgrim-farmers was memorable because they witnessed the upbeat of the public support for their pilgrimage. Some by-standers would just freely approach a pilgrim-farmer and give money with words like “a humble contribution to your noble cause…” The commuters, on the other hand, particularly those who take the jeepneys and non-air conditioned buses generously threw peso bills and coins. The pilgrim-farmers consider each act of donation as priceless with far-reaching implications in their resolve to reach Manila and pressure Congress to enact the CARPER Bill.

The outpouring of the public support was reminiscent of the Sumilao Farmers “Walk for Land, Walk for Justice” Campaign. The display of the public support bolstered the pilgrim-farmers’ hope that congress will heed their call.

At 5:00 PM, they went to St. John the Baptist in Tiaong, Quezon and attended the special mass prepared for them. Father Numbrepia’s homily stressed that the sacrifices of the pilgrim-farmers will soon benefit the entire Philippines especially the farmers. After the mass, the priest offered a prayer and blessed the pilgrim-farmers.

They were warmly welcomed in Marcial M. Punzalan Memorial Sports Complex. All of them were tired after walking 24 kilometers. Usually, they go to sleep at 9:00 in the evening. But last night, the pilgrim-farmers were still awake until 11:00 PM because some high school students had their practice for a cultural presentation.

It was a sight that made the pilgrim-farmers missed their children. But their nostalgia was soothed with the thought that their pilgrimage is the best gift they can offer for their children. They tried to keep their minds away from home and just enjoyed the children’s practice.

Upon this writing, the pilgrim-farmers are on their way to San Pablo, Laguna.