Rethinking Society Over a Cup of Coffee

March 2 updates on Lupang Hinirang Lupang Hinarang Farmers' Pilgrimage for CARPER

by Atty. Kaka J. Bag-ao

Yesterday (March 1) was the first day that the Sumilao farmers, Banasi farmers, Calatagan farmers, farmers from Don Carlos in Bukidnon, Davao del Sur, and Agusan del Norte walked together in their bold campaign for CARPER after they converged in front of Rizal’s house in Calamba Laguna last Saturday (28 February).

Thus, from the bare 50 pilgrim-farmers who left Sumilao, Bukidnon last February 11, they now number more than 160. Their increase in ranks speak well of the gravity of their campaign for CARPER, such that the support they have been receiving from the parishes, schools, local government units, even by-standers and commuters continued pouring.

From the St. John the Baptist Church in Calamba, they started their yesterday’s walk towards San Pedro, Laguna at 4:00 a.m. Thus, as they woke up as early as 2:00 a.m., drank coffee, said their prayer, and after they stretched their tired but still willing bodies, they trekked the 28 kilometer distance going to San Pedro.

Around 7:00 am., they rested and ate their breakfast in front of the Nestle plant in Cabuyao, Laguna. Just as soon as they finished eating, they immediately resumed their walk to escape the conquering heat that could slow down their pacing.

Having started to walk early, and doubling their usual pace, they arrived at the Poblacion of San Pedro Laguna at 11:30 a.m. As they entered San Pedro, the public was reminded of the spectacle they witnessed the year before when the Banasi farmers walked passed their place, and even the year before that when the Sumilao farmers also passed by their place.

The pilgrim-farmers stayed at the covered court of San Pedro, Laguna. At 12:00 noon, the Social Action Center (SAC) of San Pedro brought them lunch. They spent their afternoon attending to personal reflection. At 5:00 p.m., they attended the mass celebrated at the parish church of San Pedro. And once again, they gathered more signatures for the citizens’ petition for CARPER from the parishioners.

After they ate their dinner, they spent the night for planning and strategizing especially that they are about to enter Manila. It was the first occasion where all the pilgrim-farmers and their support group met and planned the direction of the pilgrimage for CARPER upon their arrival in Manila.