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Man walks home from Manila to Samar

Elmer Recuerdo




BORONGAN CITY — Just a week after a teenager pedaled his way from Metro Manila to Eastern Samar, another local resident arrived at the provincial border using only his own two feet.

Roel Navidad, a 27-year-old construction worker from Gen. MacArthur town, arrived at the Taft checkpoint in the morning of 29 September after over a month of walking from Manila.

Navidad’s story went viral on social media when Vince Yadao, a frontliner government employee who was manning the checkpoint, posted his photo on Facebook.

According to Yadao, Navidad left Metro Manila third week of August and decided to just take a walk since he has no fare money to spare after losing his construction job due to the pandemic.

He said that when Navidad entered Sorsogon he was subjected to a mandatory quarantine 14-days until he was released on 16 September.

Navidad resumed his hike until he reached Matnog, Sorsogon, where he took a ferry going to San Isidro, Northern Samar. From Northern Samar, Navidad hitched on a truck going to Jiabong, Samar, where he walked again until he reached Eastern Samar’s checkpoint in the town of Taft.

The road distance from Manila to Matnog, Sorsogon is 591 kilometers, while Jiabong, Samar to Taft, Eastern Samar is 81.5 kilometers.

When Navidad reached the Taft border, the personnel manning the checkpoint immediately informed the local government unit (LGU) of Gen. MacArthur regarding the arrival of one of its residents. A rescue vehicle of the LGU picked him up at the checkpoint and immediately brought him to the town’s community quarantine.

Josephine Corre, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management officer of Gen MacArthur, said the LGU was able to find the relatives in Barangay 3 of the municipality.

Teresita Samarro, an aunt of Navidad, said the relatives have lost contact with him but they are happy to have him finally back.

Navidad is the second returning resident of Eastern Samar who went on a daring journey from Metro Manila in the past two weeks.