MANILA, May 9, 2011â€” Redemptorist priest Amado Picardal, who is on a 58-day pilgrimage on foot around the country â€œfor life and peaceâ€ arrived in Manila on Saturday.
Looking visibly tired, Picardal was received by priests and parishioners of Baclaran Church where he will stay until Tuesday.
In an interview, the priest recounted his ordeal during his 37-day journey to Manila which, according to him, â€œwas not easy.â€
Picardal left Davao City in Southern Philippines on April 1 for his â€œjourney of a lifetimeâ€ to Aparri, the northern tip of the country.
Adjusting, he said, was difficult in the first few weeks but he still managed to walk and run at least 40 to 50 kilometers a day.
On April 21, Picardal suffered from fever but still continued his on foot pilgrimage. â€œI was really chilling,â€ he said.
â€œBut I did not really rest. I just stopped to pray for healing and then continue walking. The following day I was already fine.â€
But his ordeal did not stop there. When he reached Lucena City, the priest suffered severe diarrhea.
â€œIt really weakened me,â€ he said
Picardal said the diarrhea might have been caused by drinking water which he only took from water hydrants along the streets.
â€œI donâ€™t buy bottled water,â€ he said. â€œIt must have been the water from the water hydrants,â€ he said.
Despite what happened to him, the priest said his pilgrimage was worth it and expressed determination that he would finish it to Aparri as scheduled.
â€œI love the experience especially in teaching people about the Holy Gospel of Life,â€ he said.
On Tuesday morning, Picardal said he would carry a letter to MalacaÃ±ang on his way to Aparri in Cagayan.
The letter, he said, contains his expression of support for the peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and with the National Democratic Front.
He added that the letter would also contain his opposition to the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill, which according to him is not a solution to poverty.
â€œI donâ€™t expect to meet the Presidentâ€¦ I will just leave the letter at the guard house and then go on my way,â€ he said.
Picardal targets to finish his 2,000km journey to Aparri by May 31. (CBCPNews)