‘Biking chaplain’s‘ to wrap up 17-day country-length bike tour
By Noel B. Najarro
BUTUAN CITY, April 25 (PIA) - Except for a minor weather glitch which had lagged for some time his final ferry crossing, everything is doing well and on schedule as far as the country-length bike tour of the Police Regional Office 13’s chaplain PSupt. (Fr.) Joselito D. Borja is concerned, as he is about to wrap up his 17-days, 1,276 kilometers cycling journey crossing the three major islands of Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao back to his home-base at the regional police headquarters in this city.
In an interview with PSupt. Martin M. Gamba, chief spokesman of the regional headquarters, he said that Chaplain Borja is now in his 15th day (Mindanao Leg) of his Philippine Bike Tour dubbed as “PADYAK BAYANI: A Tribute To The 44 SAF Commandos” which commenced at Luzon on April 9 (Araw Ng Kagitingan).
”So far from the Day 1 of his country-length cycling tour, Chaplain Borja experienced no hitches as per updated information from the regional chaplaincy office here nd everything is doing well and on schedule for him,” Gamba said.
Borja, according to Supt. Gamba is now at Oroquita City and on his way to Ozamis City and ready to board the ferry (Roll on-Roll off to Mukas, Lanao del Norte). However, a minor weather glitch lagged for some time his final ferry crossing. But this will not significantly affect his remaining route as scheduled, as well as his expected arrival at Camp Rafael C. Rodriguez on Saturday evening, Gamba said.
Among the highlights of the chaplain’s bike tour, according to Gamba was his celebration of the holy mass at Camp Delgado, of Police Regional Office 6 (Ilo-Ilo City) Friday dawn, after which PNP and civilian bikers accompanied him in pedaling the 20-kilometer stretch along his route.
Being both a priest and a police officer had been an advantage of the biking chaplain as he can conveniently arrived at any convent or police stations to take his rest along his route, whichever is nearer. He also had ample time to check up his gears and equipments and do all the necessary preparation of himself before proceeding on to his next leg of his cycling journey, Gamba said.
From Mukas, Lanao del Norte Fr. Borja will pedal the 144- kilometer stretch (his 4th longest in terms of more than a 100 kilometer distances covered) towards Police Regional Office 10’s Camp Alagar in Cagayan de Oro City. On his 16th day (Friday, April 24) he will tackle the 89-kilometer stretch from Cagayan de Oro City to Balingoan, Misamis Oriental.
According to Supt. Gamba, Chaplain Borja is expected to pedal his last 114-kilometers stretch on his 17th day (Saturday, April 25) from Balingoan, Misamis Oriental to his home-base at Camp Rafael C. Rodriguez, Brgy. Libertad, this city.
Supt. Gamba said, the PIO and the Regional Police Community Relations Services had initially planned to organize a party of PNP and civilian bikers who would have welcomed the home-coming biking chaplain, but accordingly, Borja informed his chaplaincy office here that he doesn’t want an elaborate welcome activity during his arrival.
”Our beloved regional chaplain informed his regional chaplaincy office here that he doesn’t want an elaborate welcome activity for his home-coming. According to him that he is happy enough to contribute his humble way of sacrificing for the fallen 44 police commandos, the survivors and the surviving families and kindred of the fallen heroes,” Gamba said.
It can be recalled that the main purpose of Chaplain Borja’s country-length bike tour was to express his sympathy to the families of the 44 fallen SAF heroes, who were killed and those who were wounded in action and to perpetuate their heroic memory. It is also a call to every PNP member to be true to their sworn duties: to serve and protect; a call to every Filipino to love their policemen and police women and be a partner in solving crimes and a call on every Filipino to strive and make positive changes in whatever endeavor.
According to PSupt. Gamba that since, Borja’s arrival will also be on the time of their “Regional PNP Family Day” celebration, the regional PNP will instead welcome and honor his home-coming as a member of the “Regional PNP Family” at a local beach resort here. (PNA/PIA-Caraga)