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Friday, April 3, 2015

The "Seeing-Pope Francis" Experiment

4/2/2015 1:40:42 PM


Just 15 days into this year, we had a visitor. And it’s not just a visitor, but an iconic one.

What am I talking about?

Here is an Argentinean cardinal (slash-former-chemical-techician-and-nightclub bouncer) who made it to the news as currently the Catholic Church’s world leader. South Americans know him as Jorge Mario Bergogolio, the entire planet recognizes him as Pope Francis I, the first Pope who hailed from the said continent.

And here on the Philippines, people called him “Lolo Kiko.” 

For five days (15 – 19 January 2015), the country’s atmosphere became a festivity though it was supposed to be more of a solemn one instead. And as I’m monitoring the news from all platforms, devout Catholics expressed their wanting to see the Church leader. 

While some of them expressed their excitement and gratitude in some more-than-words manner, such as posting clips or photographs featuring his convoy, regardless if it’s a closed car or that white jeep.

But moreover, are the people up for the experience, or they done it with good faith, something that Pope Francis has been telling us during his Papal visit?

I remember how millions of Filipinos came over to Manila when the late then-Pope John Paul II was here for the World Youth Day in January 1995. Two decades later as I see it, the Catholic may have a new captain, and the former Pope became a Saint, but the reception retained the same albeit technological advances this generation has right now. And in addition, the emotional ride at Tacloban.

But… as a plain observant, I tried figuring out what’s inside these people’s minds.

So on Sunday morning, 18 January 2015, yours truly went to Manila to see everything and tried to immerse myself in one of the country’s historical religious gatherings – the Papal mass held at the Quirino Grandstand. 


The journey went on, with the signal of mobile networks in the nation’s capitol rammed down. Everywhere I passed by at the metropolitan area, I witnessed people donning shirts in different colors—specifically white and yellow—and a lot with photos of Pope Francis imprinted on it; from trains to buses, to jeepneys, and even tricycles and private vehicles. All were flocking on any of these four areas: Quirino Grandstand, University of Santo Tomas, the Nuncio Apostolico, and the roads playing the Pope’s convoy route–be it Taft Avenue, Nagtahan, or even the minor streets of the city.








Some of them though opted to check the widescreens provided, while others lured into their television sets. Some of the city’s thoroughfares are a closed to traffic, as the authorities expect another traffic–like seas of humanity flooring and flooding Rizal Park (apparently, things are already foreseen that way as early as Saturday afternoon).

Around 10 in the morning, I arrived at the scene: Maria Orosa Avenue, just the tip of the Rizal Park, where I saw countless people from all walks of life (and even races), hoping for a glimpse of that Pope Francis’ smile, his hype–the energy and charisma he brought to the people. Everyone endured their respective hardships–physical pain, exhaustion, and even the weather condition (it was raining from late morning ‘til nighttime).

They did not mind them all, until around 2:43 in the afternoon, his convoy was already at the vicinity. A lot cheered; while also a huge number of folks raised their cameras (be it the real ones or those built-in features by their gadgets) to capture the moment.

Well, yours truly had done both.

And after spending some time, I could only understand what these devout people experienced right there. The feels that Pope Francis brought to everyone, be it on close range or not.

I guess, that already says it all.


Author: slickmaster | ©2015 september twenty-eight productions

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