One of the Six Million Reasons to Love Pope Francis

my best shot so far, nevertheless it is priceless.
January 18 would be another day in history to be remembered by many as the day where an estimated 6 million people, including myself, went to Luneta and the surrounding roads to celebrate the biggest mass in history. It has been scheduled for me to attend this grand mass in Rizal Park and have at least a glimpse of the Holy Father as he goes around and blesses the Filipino people.

Upon his arrival, I did not have enough time to go to the streets he will be passing by as I have work schedules but I made a point to prioritize the Grand Eucharistic Celebration at Luneta on January 18 as it is my rest day. The holiday did however served as a blessing for us as it reduced traffic and also provided additional pay for us still working at the BPO industry. However, I suddenly realized that I should have chosen to take these days as a vacation leave after reflecting on the homilies of the Pope. 

On Sunday morning, after arriving from Laguna, I was getting ready for the afternoon mass and it was cloudy back then which I think will be the weather for the whole day. But after taking a nap, I woke up with rainshowers gushing in and a wet street made me worry about the people who were at the venue in the wee hours. I live near Manila and would take one Jeepney ride to Rizal Park which is my advantage. I did however prepared myself with the thick crowd which is like the Feast of the Black Nazarene which happened just last week. And as I can see the crowd getting thicker and the jeepney turning back, I got on my feet and went on a walk-aton to Luneta which is just 2 kilometers from where I got off. 

I saw the diversity of eager people from the rich, the poor, the old, the young, handicapped, children, and many others which we don't usually encounter. The cold rain, would have prompted many to go home and just watch it on TV. But I was surprised that the turn out was beyond my expectations. Another example that the Filipino faith is Weather-proof.

The Pope holds a big responsibility to lead over one Billion Catholics around the world with the Philippines as one of the biggest nation for Catholicism. Along with the international issues of the Vatican, the local clergy also faces issues that involves the chaotic world of Philippine politics. These are some of the reasons Filipinos had somehow lost their faith.

Having Pope Francis in the country is a refreshing feeling from 20 years ago when Saint Pope John Paul II visited the country for the World Youth Day held in Manila. Now Pope Francis is also making history with his visit to Tacloban and Manila. 

Of course there will be problems and challenges that come with the Papal Visit, the security, event coordination, threats, and bashers online and offline which caused frustration and even anger. But in the midst of these negativities, the overwhelming joy and enthusiasm of the people prevailed as they braved the elements, traffic and the sea of people who also want to have a moment with the Pope.

Even myself, I wanted to touch the Pope's hand or probably have a 'selfie' with him. It did reminded me of what I am today and what should I do from now on, to be more merciful and compassionate. He talked about the vibrant energy of the Filipinos as the future of the church, following warm welcomes from the countries he visited recently in Asia like Sri Lanka, South Korea and the Philippines.

The challenge now with the Pope returning to the Vatican today is how we will live the message given by the Holy Father, what struck me most is his message during his visit at the University of Santo Tomas. 

The reality that you have is superior to the paper I have in front of me.

This indeed is true, we may live in a world with a lot of ideologies and dreams which we feed our satisfactions. However we will always face the reality of the world in which we see a lot of unpleasant things caused by greed, superiority, power and fame. For me, I am now challenged to go the extra mile to continue with the mission that I love to do. For now, I will commit to continue with my Catholic blog KatKab (, and will promote the power of social media and blogging to uplift the spiritually of the Filipino Youth.

Of course there is the call for mercy and compassion to the public especially to the officials who can provide and help the poor and needy of the nation. We are still in the harsh reality that there is a extreme margin of the rich and the poor in the nation composed of 100 million people. Corruption and Inequality is a challenge that we should never be lukewarm. It wmay not be a big impact to some of us, but Pope Francis taught us to show compassion to others, to weep for them for the things they have experienced.

I maybe one of the estimated 6 million souls who flocked and braved the rain of Manila just to have seconds of glance with the Pope, and it was both reviving and inspiring. But I am making this post to always remind me that I have accepted the challenge the Pope gives to the young people like me (ahem..ahem..) and know that I am not only blessed by the Pope but also with the big man above. 

Again, Thank You Pope Francis for the gift of mercy and compassion and please come back again, probably join us in celebration of the Sinulog in Cebu.

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