Rethinking Society Over a Cup of Coffee

March 3 update on Lupang Hinarang Lupang Hinarang Farmers' Pilgrimage for CARPER

By Atty. Kaka J. Bag-ao

The CARPER pilgrimage is now in Manila!

Yesterday (2 March), as early as 6:00 in the morning and even without having breakfast, the pilgrim-farmers started their day’s walk with full of excitement and enthusiasm. They all knew that a few more steps will soon lead them to Manila.

When they reached Muntinlupa, one bread vendor approached one of the farmers and gave 5 plastics of bread and said “maliit na kontribusyon ko sa pakikipaglaban nyo” (my small contribution to your cause). The farmers were moved by this gesture. On behalf of the 160 farmers, one of them immediately hugged the vendor and whispered “Salamat Bay” (thank you my friend).

The pilgrim-farmers continued their journey. While walking, SPO1 Vega of Muntinlupa PNP approached the farmers and informed that it’s the Mayor’s birthday and the farmers need to re-route. He explained that the alternative route has the same distance and will likewise lead them to their destination. Without any second thought, the farmers accommodated the suggestion of the said police officer. They continued walking and the Muntinlupa police officers escorted the farmers all throughout the Muntinlupa leg. The former facilitated the smooth walk of the farmers and arranged the traffic as well.

In the previous days, the farmers struggled to endure the heat of the sun. Yesterday, however, they walked under the pouring rain. But that did not dissipate their commitment to reach their target for the day.

They reached Mary Mother of God Parochial School soaking wet. They had breakfast and rested for a while. After regaining strength, they proceeded with their walk until they reached Cathedral of St. Andrew in Paranaque at 3:00PM where they had late lunch. At the cathedral, Monsignor Manny Gabriel, the parish priest and Monsignor Greg Ramos, SAC Director, welcomed and attended the needs of the pilgrim-farmers.

The farmers likewise went to Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Baclaran where they were blessed by Father Frank Pigeon, superior priest of Baclaran Church Community. The farmers maximized the opportunity to roam around the vicinity of the church and asked the people to sign the CARPER petition. Before they left, they all feasted with the snacks prepared by Father Ventoriano Cueto.

Then they continued walking and reached De La Salle University (DLSU) where they were warmly welcomed by the university with its cheering squad, and the St. Benilde Band chanted the pilgrim-farmers’ calls. Hundreds of students likewise cheered while the farmers approached the university. Aside from DLSU, students from ST. Scholastica and some representatives from the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) were also present and cheered upon the arrival of the pilgrim-farmers. The ambiance was really overwhelming and the farmers felt affirmed and happy.

Despite the long walk (38 kilometers), the farmers still found time to interact with the students who listened to them intently.

A mass entitled “Misa sa Makatotohanang Repormang Agraryo” (Mass for Genuine Agrarian Reform) was celebrated in the chapel of the university.

The pilgrim-farmers settled and rested at the La Salle Sports Complex.


Hi coffeewriter,

I've heard a little about the Carper pilgrimage.

I feel for these farmers and what they are going through.

I hope our government can hear their plea. Hopefully congress will pass CARPER for their sakes.