My Extremely Close Encounter With Pope Francis
It is not every decade that the Philippines is blessed to be visited by a Pope. The last two visits were in 1995 by Saint Pope John Paul II...
It is not every decade that the Philippines is blessed to be visited by a Pope. The last two visits were in 1995 by Saint Pope John Paul II during the World Youth Day, then just recently by Pope Francis. Looking back 20 years ago, I took part of the World Youth Day activities. In fact, I was part of the official choir who seated at the Quirino Grandstand's front bleachers, just by the right side of St. Pope John Paul II. I saw the Pope visibly from a distance while he was celebrating the mass and I felt really blessed for the opportunity to sing officially for the World Youth Day.
But not as visibly close as my encounter with Pope Francis during his recent visit to the Philippines. On the second day of his visit, he was scheduled for a quick visit to Malacanang to meet President Aquino. Together with our neighborhood friends, we decided to go to Nagtahan Bridge which was very close to home, just one trike away or it could even be a walking distance. We were up as early as 6 AM to wait for his estimated arrival to the venue at 9:30 AM.
|We were at the foot of Nagtahan Bridge as early as 6:00 AM|
|See that white line where the police is standing? I was right that very spot after I took this photo.|
|There were also people at the other side of the bridge waiting for Pope Francis to pass by.|
|The much awaited moment, Pope Francis was passing by us. We all felt very blessed by this rare moment.|
|Goosebumps all over. The feeling was amazing, it's overwhelming actually!|
At the end of the day, it will all still boil down to how one is living his life according to what his religion teaches. Are you good, kind, compassionate, humble and honest, not only to others but to yourself? I hope yes, and if everyone in the planet is indeed good, just imagine how peaceful and beautiful our world would be! Don't you think?