MANILA - Sixty-six-year-old Antolin Adlawan walked for over a month from his residence in Bukidnon to Tacloban in Leyte with only one goal -- to hear the Mass to be celebrated by Pope Francis.
Adlawan arrived at the Tacloban Airport on Friday, after walking for a total of 36 days from Kitaotao in Bukidnon.
He traveled a total of 968 kilometers, and passed through four regions, 32 towns and eight cities.
He survived by seeking refuge in churches, where he slept, only to wake up to another full day of walking.
He was on the streets when Christmas and New Year came as well as when storm Seniang struck the country.
He said many passersby offered him fare money, but he graciously declined.
All of the hardships, he said he endured, just to be able to finish what he called his "spiritual journey" to Tacloban.
Pope Francis, who is in the Philippines for a five-day state and pastoral visit, will go to typhoon-ravaged Tacloban on Saturday.
The Supreme Pontiff will celebrate Mass at the Tacloban Airport, considered as the ground zero of super typhoon Yolanda, and then meet with survivors of the typhoon as well as the massive quake in Bohol.
According to Adlawan, he wants to hear the Mass of Pope Francis with the hope that his daughter will stay healthy after having been "miraculously" healed of leukemia.
He said his daughter, now 26, was miraculously healed of cancer after he had himself crucified three times.
He said last year, he also carried a giant cross all the way from Bukidnon to the office of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in Manila.
That journey lasted for over two months, he said. -- Report from Noel Alamar, dzMM