Monday, January 19, 2015

My Pope Francis Experience

I always had the perfect answer to the beauty pageant question: If there was one celebrity in history you would like to meet, who would it be?

Me: Thank you very much for that wonderful question.  I believe in the saying that Love is blind and since God is Love, I'd like to meet Jesus.

Pardon the logic, but I’m sure you get my drift...

Seriously, I always wished I could be there during the time of Jesus.  Mala-flying house, super book moment, where I can just zap my way back in time and listen to Him speak or just touch his robe!

And since I have no near plans of joining my Creator just yet, I think the closest I could get to meeting my ultimate super star is through meeting good people whose lives are a reflection of Christ’s love.


I see Jesus in my girls.  They remind me of God's generosity and love.

I see Jesus in them.  They remind me of people Jesus loves the most.

And I see Jesus in him...

I mean, how close can you get? 

I was too little when the Pope last visited—ay bente na pala ko nun (I was already 20 then).  But I guess since I lived in the far, far, away land of Taytay Rizal then (or for whatever lame reasons I had at that time)  I was not as enthusiastic then as I am now.  (That had cost me the opportunity to have personally gazed on a saint).

My husband  was just recovering from fever and was not interested very much on battling with traffic and  the crowds—or dealing with a demanding, nagger of a wife who he knew hated the sun, rubbing elbows with strangers as well as waiting and walking  for a long time. (Patience is not my strongest virtue)

So I knew it was either I find a companion or watch from home.

A few days before the Pope’s arrival I was already making parinig (dropping hints) to Jun.

...Pero di pa sya tinatablan.  (to no avail)

Then when I watched him arrive…that very moment I saw him peering from the airplane with that big smile of his I knew I just had to see him in person.  Promise, even just for 3 seconds, at a far distance…just as long as I can wave at him and shout : I LOVE YOU POPE FRANCIS!!!! 

How many of you got jitters at just the sight of this...OMG he is really here!!!

I was never a fan of anything or anyone, but when Pope Francis stepped out of the plane, I got so giddy that I found myself waving at my TV screen and shouting like a die hard fan !!!!!! 

Sky waving along with me...
 Jun knew he had no choice when I already gave him the ultimatum : You either bring me now or you bring me to the Vatican when he goes home!!!

Jun: I was just waiting for you to dress up…tara na, lets go!

The power of persuasion always works!

We had no plan.  We just knew we will park wherever our car takes us.  I brought my rubber shoes as I was ready to walk from Makati to MOA under the sun!  (Chos)

(In the car, so giddy)

 I was shrieking in excitement.  I was really, really nervous .  I never set out without a plan but this time we just rode the car and went---

Dad: Sa MOA diba?
Me:  I think…bahala na.  We will know once we see a crowd.
Dad:  What time is he there?
Me:  I dunno,  let’s just wait…I never thought you will really accompany me so I did not check.

It was a smooth ride and before we knew it we reached the parking area of MOA at exactly noon.  No barricades, no hassle!.  (There goes my planned cardio walk exercise--- chos again)

For sure he will pass by the MOA Globe so we will position ourselves there.  That was our great plan.  Go with the crowd.  

And so we waited…and waited…and decided to go for pizza.

...Where I met an old friend who decided the brave to crowds with his kids.  At least they had tickets and a plan.  What I only had was a mission:   to see the Pope in person and bathe in the holiness of his presence.

We went back to our original position by the Globe but this time the crowd was thicker and I can no longer see very well. So we decided to walk back to the mall and buy foldable chairs ..and then we waited some more.

This is is product of my waiting…Nagmukha lang long lost sister ni Katrina Halili

After 3 -4 hours…the crowd went wild---over an advance party of lucky folks who get to go with the Pope.

And then----tantatanan--- there he was!!!!

And then there he went…

A few seconds of bliss.
(Mas mahaba pa yung intro ko sa entry na ito)

Anyway here are my top Pope Francis thoughts and moments:

1,  How many of you like me uttered: How lucky naman! every time someone got close to the Pope!? Every time he carried a child, I wished it was Sasha or Sky.  I remember Rani Raymundo saying he felt he survived his accident (when a barbell fell on his face crushing his skull) because the Pope carried him when he was a baby.  Yes, I really think there is some out of this world power that will make miracles if you get an encounter with the Pope like that.

Like if and when Sasha wins Ms. Universe, she can say, I’d like to thank the Pope—he carried me when I was 5.

2.  How many of you melted every time he smiled.  It’s the same feeling  and effect when you see your new born baby smile for the first time----Look, he smiled!  Angels must be present.  Awww so cute! Some people do not get the big deal about his smile.  I do.  It felt so genuine…like he was really happy to be here and to see me.  His smile was enough to give warmth and sunshine to an otherwise rainy event.

Ok ...I melted...

There it is again...

and again...


3.  How many of you noticed everyone had a gadget—willing to miss a personal, once in a lifetime moment (in exchange for an instagram or an fb post) wala naman signal.   (NTC directive guys--sorry)

I really wonder what they are taking a picture of? Baka yung air? 
I realized that day how the internet has played a huge role in my relationship with Jun since that day, we found ourselves finally talking---about how there was no internet!  And then there was dead air.  LOL....

4.  How many checked out MMDA officials' pants if they were wearing nappies?

(Yup, the things you do and think of when you do not have signal and wifi while waiting for long hours)

5.  How many of you cringed every time a politician or celebrity was shown in the presence of the Pope.  I know I did.  But  I remembered Jesus himself ate with tax collectors and sinners. 

Matthew 9:12
On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.

(insert picture of corrupt politician here)

6. How many of you like us thought we could go home early after seeing the pope only to find out after several tries that they blocked all roads and exits---and you are trapped to battle traffic once they reopen the roads again.

(We got home at 9:30pm---despite our attempt to leave at 5:30pm)

7.  How many noticed that no matter how sweet a peach is there will always be people who will not like peaches.

Payo sa mga kabataan, don't do drugs! It messes with your brain!  


Somebody remove the stick from this guy's behind please...

Critics and detractors---such unhappy people.  At the end of the day it's all about R-E-S-P-E-C-T and yes a bit of class please.

8.  Have you wondered how the Pope feels with all the love and attention he has gotten?  

The Pope reading from scripture in Manila Cathedral:  Do you love me?
People: Yes!!!  (clapping)
Pope (surprised/laughing): -Thank you very much!
Pope: I read the words of Jesus...Do you love me? Then tend my sheep---

The Pope was once quoted as saying when all this attention is given to him , he thinks of his sins and it humbles him.

And yes, its not about the Pope, it's about who he represents.

9.  Have you noticed the Quirino Grandstand Emcee?   I mean, how can you not?

*Pha-pha Pransico---Mahal ng Filipino!! Isigaw po natin! Lakas pa!
*Sumabay po tyo sa kanta! Lakas pa!
*Everybody, let's do the Pope Francis wave!!!
*Itaas mo natin ang atinng mga panyo--- sabay sabay iwagayway!
*Paalala wag muna tyo aalis--lalabas pa po ang Santo Papa!!!!  Kanta pa! Lakas pa!

Over and over and over the loud speaker.   He kinda reminded
me of the low budget clown I hired for Sasha's party (nung nagtitipid ako lol).

I did tell Jun, is it just me or is that emcee way awkward.
After reading a number of tweets...apparently its not just me.

I admire his enthusiasm tho :)

10.  Have you noticed how Filipinos can unite and behave when needed.

Kudos to :
*Everyone who followed the rigid rules and patiently waited...
*Everyone who braved the rains to hear God's words through Pope Francis...
*Everyone who played their part: The police force, the organizers, each and every volunteer and supplier (Yes even YOU Mr. Quirino Grandstand emcee)--everyone who gave their time and their energy to the event with a happy heart.

Good job!

11.  Have you picked up on the messages the Pope has imparted?

Here is a link from Rappler on each one of them:

Messages of Pope Francis

It's not Rocket Science that will make your nose bleed-

1. Love and help the poor
2. Cry
3. Do no steal (specially from the poor)
4. Humility and Compassion
5. Leave it up to God

My favorite is this: Families will have their living examples of love, forgiveness and care.


At the thought of not being able to see him, I prayed....Lord, let me see the holy father in other people around me---to see the good in every person, to love rather than be indifferent and in doing so Lord, may you see Pope Francis in me.  :)

And with that I leave you with this once in a lifetime moment...mission accomplished.

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