By Jun R. Guiang
PAOAY, Ilocos Norte, Mach 21, 2020–Owing to the Luzon-wide lockdown, Carlo Tenerife and six fellow laborers braved to walk night and day along the national highways from Mabalacat, Pampanga en route to their hometown here since Thursday evening, March 19, 2020.
As of Saturday morning, March 21, Tenerife told reporters in a long-distant interview via cellphone that his group was temporarily resting now in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur and hoping to reach this town, their final destination.
Tenerife’s companions were identified as Joey, Jordan, and Joseph, all surnamed Cabundocan; Christian Tolentino, Bonnie Tagatac and Marvin Piga, all natives of Brgy. Pasil, Paoay, Ilocos Norte.
Tenerife said they didn’t inform their families about their long road journey to keep them from worrying about their safety.
Now, that the media broke the news about their whereabouts, their concerned families and barangay officials in Paoay had vowed to rescue them in Narvacan town, Tenerife added.
Before thanking the PNP Narvacan and the local folks for their hospitality, Tenerife narrated how they survived the ordeal:
–armed with a barangay certification that they are laborers in a barangay at Mabalacat, Pampanga, the 7-man group started their non-stop hike Thursday night;
–Friday morning, they reached a checkpoint at Bamban, Tarlac where they were offered a free breakfast;
–under the heat of the sun, they continued walking until they reached Capas, Tarlac;
–before leaving Capas (site of the infamous Death March during the World War II), a good Samaritan offered them a free ride in his pickup vehicle until his destination in Tarlac City;
–all the way via Pangasinan, La Union and southern Ilocos Sur, their journey was mostly walking, sometimes interrupted with free hitch rides, and finally,
–he noted with gratitude the generosity of many concerned local residents who shared them with food and water during the crucial hours of their road endurance journey. (JUN R. GUIANG/from tri-media report)