Metro Manila experienced a five day holiday from January 15 to 19. It is in lieu of Pope Francis’ visit here. There were a lot of religious activities held and seems like every Catholic was eager to join in the celebration. Every Catholic, had the same wish.. to see Pope Francis! Fortunately, I saw him twice!
Afternoon of January 15th, my mother decided to go to Baclaran immediately knowing that Pope Francis will pass there. Being so hopeful and optimistic, I went with her. Once we’re inside the jeepney, there were 4 female senior citizens who wanted to see the pope as well and they came with us.
Keeping the faith and patience, Pope Francis was just meters away from me. I thanked God for my tall height for the nth time. He passed in front of me, felt the goosebumps and I stared at him for seconds and reality slapped me that it was him! I waved and he waved back to a sea of people. Well that was quite a relief! The 4 senior citizens who came with us, did not see him though we were standing on the landscapes. But they were still thankful even if the pope mobile’s roof was the only thing they saw. For them, seeing the pope mobile was seeing a part of the pope and they felt his presence through the persons around us. They thanked us greatly for an experience and from that I knew that God sent me and my mother there for a reason.
Second was when he came back to Manila immediately after Tacloban last January 17th. My grandmother wanted to see the pope and so we decided to go to Baclaran but roads were closed at Buendia. We just stayed and waited there for the pope to pass by. Fortunately, we were very near to him that we were the first in line.
The highlight of his visit was the Concluding Mass at Quirino Grandstand last January 18th. We went there at around 3am, knowing that we have a chance. But as policemen diverting us, I know that we were not meant for the event. We’re meant for something else. With the pouring rain and cold strong wind, it didn’t bother these dedicated and devoted Filipinos. We all used different plastics just to keep us warm and dry somehow. Trash bags were the new fashion trend that day! It was a great experience and adventure with my other 8 family members and take note, we were all girls who went there!
The Papal Visit taught many Filipinos to practice mercy and compassion. Whether it is giving way to the elderly and the children, thinking of others first before yourself, keeping your patience and understanding the situation, everything is possible if you believe and you keep your faith with you!