The Rev. Michael Sinnott said he was not harmed but complained of arduous journeys as kidnappers took him by sea and through jungles to evade government troops.
"I was treated well. Once I had been kidnapped and brought to the boat, that was very rough," he told Manila's ABS-CBN television from a military camp in southern Zamboanga city.
He said he was not angry with the kidnappers, whom the Philippine government suspected had ties with a large Muslim rebel group. "They gave me lectures on their ideology but apart from that, they treated me well."
Irish President Mary McAleese called Sinnott's freedom the answer to the shared prayers of millions in both countries.
"He is clearly a man of great resilience, strength and courage and we wish him well as he seeks to recover from such a trying ordeal," Mrs. McAleese said.
And Prime Minister Brian Cowen said the government would help the priest enjoy "a speedy reunion with his family and friends."
Six armed men abducted Sinnott Oct. 11 from his missionary home on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, escaped by speedboat, and took him into the jungle.
Officials had feared he could suffer a fatal heart attack because he was still recovering from heart-bypass surgery. Rumors persisted that he had died in captivity.
Philippine security officials blamed Rev. Sinnott's kidnaping on the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a separatist group that has fought for decades for Muslim self-rule in the predominantly Catholic country.
But the rebels denied involvement.
Rebel leader Mohagher Iqbal said his group applied "pressure and our moral authority" on the kidnappers to release Rev. Sinnott.
Chief Philippine negotiator Rafael Seguis credited Moro rebel leadership with persuading the kidnappers to hand over the priest.
Senior military commander Maj. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino said Sinnott was debriefed in the southern military camp before flying to Manila later Thursday to be greeted by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Maj. Dolorfino and Mr. Seguis said Philippine authorities paid no ransom.