I would be the first to admit that I’m not a devout Catholic in the truest sense of the word. However, I do have a deep, strong, personal relationship with God and my faith in Him has never faltered all throughout the ups and downs of my life.
Needless to say, I was very excited to see Pope Francis when I first heard he was coming to visit the Philippines. However, we weren’t able to plan on how to see him because of our schedule.
We spent the first couple of days of his visit at home, watching him on the live coverage on TV. I was deeply moved by him and his speeches and found myself crying several times while listening to him.
I made sure to watch the coverage of his Meeting with the Families at the Mall of Asia Arena. I wished I could be there but sadly, I couldn’t leave the house. So, I just watched everything on TV. Let me share with you my favorite snippets from his speech during the event that day.
Here’s my most favorite one. I am all for dreaming. This one definitely resonates.
As someone who has had one failed marriage, I can definitely say this is true. I plan on posting this message now in our house so that it can serve as a reminder to me and hubby.
Resting is definitely something I don’t get to do a lot of. But I know we, as a family, need to recommit to “resting together” especially in prayer.
After watching Pope Francis that day on TV, hubby and I decided we can’t possibly let this chance pass by without attempting to see him while he was here. So that Friday night, I booked us a stay at Midas Hotel and Casino for the coming Sunday, after studying his route for Monday morning, which was his last morning in Manila.
As much as we wanted to attend his Sunday mass at the Quirino Grandstand, we knew it wouldn’t be practical to bring our three kids there, including a rambunctious and restless 3-year-old. So, the next best option was to wait for him on the street, Roxas Boulevard to be exact, which is where he will pass by on his way to Villamor Air Base to take his flight home.
We checked in to the hotel on Sunday afternoon and watched his encounter with the youth in UST and his mass at the Quirino Grandstand on TV. Here are my favorite quotes from the Pope during the youth encounter.
I love how he made a special mention about women. I think there’s a need for people to be reminded of this every so often because women’s roles in society tend to be downplayed a lot.
This is a good reminder to all of us the importance of putting our thoughts and feelings into action. A lot of us think of doing good deeds. But if we don’t really feel it in our hearts and don’t do anything about it, then thinking is a waste.
I especially like this quote about love. This definitely holds true for me. We can even think of love in romantic relationships this way. It sounds like something my hubby said to me before.
I woke up at 4 am on Monday morning and couldn’t go back to bed because of the excitement. I woke up hubby and the kids by 5 am so that we can have time to have our breakfast first before heading to the street. Midas is located on Roxas Boulevard so all we had to do to see the Pope was to cross the street. We actually got a table with a view of the street so that we can see if people are flocking the barricades already. We actually saw policemen and people there already when we woke up.
We were expecting Pope Francis to pass by around 9:15 a.m. so we went to the street an hour before that. There were a lot of people milling about already but there was still lots of space available. I was actually very surprised by how nice the people were. They were especially helpful in assisting us to go over the islands to get to the other side of the road where the barricades were. The nuns in front of us even offered Ziggy some water to drink when they overheard him saying he was thirsty. They were actually live streaming the live coverage so that we would all know when the Pope is already on his way. If only everybody is this nice every day.
Let me just say, I really admire the policemen there who were manning the barricades. They came all the way from Calabarzon and they were already stationed by the barricades by 5am. I think what they have done to maintain peace and order during the entire Papal visit is admirable.
Anyway, we took a couple of photos of ourselves while waiting. I think this is the first time we did something like this as a family.
Finally, we heard from the live streaming that the Pope was on his way. Some of the police handed out white flags to wave but we didn’t get any. Everybody started standing up and prepared their gadgets to take photos. The energy was really something else. Thinking about it now still gives me goosebumps.
Then finally we saw his motorcade coming. I really tried my best to capture nice photos with only the use of my new iPad mini since our digicam is busted. Pope Francis passed by for only two seconds in front of us. It was so quick!!! But at least I was able to get some decent photos. Here they are.
This was the closest shot I got but someone’s hand is partially blocking the view. Of course, a lot of us were waving to the Pope so it’s all good.
The two seconds that we got to see him was so short yet so worth it. But I do hope he comes back again so that I can hopefully have a closer encounter with him.
His coming to the country means a lot to me, so much that I can’t even put it into words. Just thinking about it now makes me cry. It’s overwhelming to say the least. So, allow me to just revel in this feeling.
‘Til the next time, Pope Francis. Thank you for coming.