Monday, January 12, 2015

Philippines Is All Set for Pope Francis

In any local or national news, I hear the preparations for the arrival of Pope Francis. The excitement is overwhelming as come January 15, our beloved Pope will warm every Filipino for his compassion and care for Filipinos. I could only wish that Mindanaons like me can at least see the Pope first hand but I guess the big tube will do.

Even entrepreneurs have taken the travel as opportunity for business as different memorabilias and souvenirs are sold with Pope Francis' images and statements.

Pope Francis with Filipino celebrities in Art by artist Dante Hipolito
The national government has done extreme measures to safeguard the pope and at least make his travel as convenient as possible that non  - working holidays are declared in areas that will be affected by his  4 - day stay. 

Pope Francis will convene with top officials, meet the Yolanda survivors and officiate the mass before a crowd of over 5 million.

His itinerary is as follows (excerpted from :

January 15, Thursday
5:45 pm - Arrival at Villamor Air Base in Manila. President Aquino and 12 cabinet members to welcome the pope
              - Motorcade to his official residence at the Apostolic Nunciature (Taft Avenue)
Best vantage point: The route of his motorcade (to be issued later in the day)

January 16, Friday
09:15 am - Welcome ceremony at the MalacaƱang Palace.
10:15 am - Meeting with authorities and diplomatic corps at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall of the Presidential Palace
11:15 am - Holy Mass with the bishops, priests, and others from religious orders at the Manila Cathedral
5:30 pm  - Meeting with families (pre-selected by Philippine dioceses) at Mall of Asia Arena
Best vantage point: Intramuros to MOA Arena for his motorcade

January 17, Saturday
08:15 am - Departure from Manila for Tacloban
09:30 am - Arrival at the airport of Tacloban
10:00 am - Holy Mass near Tacloban International Airport
12:45 pm - Lunch with some of the survivors of typhoon Yolanda at the Archbishop’s Residence in Palo, Leyte
3:00 pm  - Blessing of the Pope Francis Center for the Poor
3:30 pm  - Meeting with the priests, seminarians and families of the survivors at the Cathedral of Palo, Leyte
5:00 pm  - Departure from Tacloban to Manila
6:15 pm  - Arrival at Villamor Air Base in Manila

January 18, Sunday
09:45 am - Brief Meeting with the religious leaders of the Philippines at the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas in Manila
10:30 am - Meeting with the youth at the Sports Field of the UST
3:30 pm  - Holy Mass at the Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park in Manila
Best vantage points:
UST grounds (Gates 5 and 6 are designated for participants; The general public can stay at designated areas, please enter at Gates 10 and 11. Gates open at 4 AM.)
Periphery of Rizal Park, where Pope Francis will also reportedly hold a short motorcade before starting the mass.

January 19, Monday
09:45 am - Send-off ceremony at the Presidential Pavilion of Villamor Air Base in Manila
10:00 am - Departs for Rome
5:40 pm  - Pope arrives at the airport of Rome/Ciampino

The Pope along with the Catholic Church will continue to be a solid anchor for Filipino families and for the entire Philippines. 



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