We Welcome Pope Francis To The Philippines!

Today marks the first day and arrival of his holiness Pope Francis for his first Papal Visit to the Philippines. This is a monumental event for the nation where the majority are Catholics (including myself). The pontiff who was elected in 2013 became a popular figure as he showed a more charismatic and humble image for the papacy. With his simplicity and a more open heart for both Catholics and non Catholics, he gained the trust and love of the public as well as world leaders.

The 2015 Papal Visit has the theme "Mercy and Compassion" that are the creed of his ministry and a call to be compassionate for the poor and the weak. With many world events that have shocked the world recently, the Pope calls for justice and peace which is one of the factors that he was also chosen as Time Magazine's Person of the Year.

For the papal itinerary, he will first arrive in Manila on jan 15 with a motorcade going to the official residence that will span kilometers of roads in the city of Manila. The second day will be official meetings with officials including a visit to Malacanang. The third day will be a day to visit the typhoon-ravaged city of Tacloban. The fourth day will be a visit with the youth and the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas, and culminating mass at 3PM to be held in Luneta. The final day will be the departure ceremonies as he flies back to Rome and the Vatican.

Months ahead, the planning of the papal visit has been rigorous, with heavy security and coordinated event planning made this a national event which also merits the government to declare the papal days as special non-working holidays.

I too, is very excited to take part and would like to see Pope Francis even from a distance, or if heaven permits just a selfie is enough. From Manual To Lyf, we welcome you our beloved father, Pope Francis, Mabuhay and Welcome to the Philippines! 

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