Suffering Passes, Having Suffered Remains Last Part

By: Prof. Enrique Soriano

The first time I came in contact with pain and suffering during the Camino de Santiago walk, it was really traumatic. But the realization that you can still continue despite pains felt from all over your body, that you can’t wait for the pain to subside before taking the next step the following day is in itself a lesson. For some pilgrims, having horrible blisters during the walk was an ordeal. Thankfully, I did not suffer any but the pain and exhaustion was so difficult to bear. When faced with pain, there is a temptation which leads us to become self-centered. It’s a situation where you always think about yourself and indulge in self-pity.

I considered the last day, the scenic St Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles (navigating the scenic but very brutal route Napoleon) the most difficult part of my pilgrimage (I only joined the group in the last phase but still managed to logged in almost 80 Km). The morning started with a really steep climb of 1,450 m and downhill of 500 m. Midway into the walk, one can easily get lost as the road becomes narrow, rugged and very muddy. There was a point where the high altitude became so torturous and my lungs were ready to surrender. But meditation and introspection and pulling myself into a state of silence made the walk more bearable. I then found my rhythm and stayed focused.

For the distinguished Caminoans who braved the 10-day, 206 Km walk, it is just but fitting to recognize their own journey of pain and sacrifice.  Congratulations to Jun Selma, Bob Gothong, Joe Soberano, Nonoy Tirol, Vic Yuvallos, Ramon Villordon Jr., Kim Kwang Seok, Shean Bedi and Fr. Joe Quilongquilong (JQ). To Caroline our skillful French guide and driver Stephan, thank you! You all have my respect and admiration!


9/25 08 Km

9/26 19 Km

9/27 24 Km

9/28 18 Km

9/29 23 Km

9/30 18 Km

10/1 18 Km

10/2 22 Km

10/3 26 Km

10/5 30 Km



Prof Enrique Soriano is a World Bank/IFC Governance Consultant, Senior Advisor of Post and Powell Singapore and the Executive Director of Wong + Bernstein, a research and consulting firm in Asia that serves family businesses, family offices and family foundations.

He is an associate member of the Singapore Institute of Directors (SID) and an advisor to business families worldwide, a sought after governance speakers, and the author of many articles and publications, including two best-selling Family Business books (Ensuring Your Family Business Legacy)