His Holiness Pope Francis has finally arrived and was warmly welcomed from Villamor Air Base through his motorcade to Apostolic Nuncio, his residence while in Manila, earlier today.
Even if my mom, siblings and I was just at home watching the free HD coverage of Cignal DigitalTV, seeing Pope Francis smiling as he waves and walks through the red carpet makes us feel very happy, blessed with unexplainable feeling.
The safety arrival, not boring ceremony at the Villamor Air Base, and Pope Francis looking happy and all smiles are also a plus!
My mom has undergone medical operation in getting rid of the cancer source months ago (which explains why my blog is on a semi-hiatus) so we can't really take the risk of taking her to join the Holy Mass at the Quirino Grandstand on Sunday. So when she asked me of what Pope Francis' itinerary will be after he arrives, I searched and bookmarked the official website for Papal Visit PH.
For those of you who are planning to get a glimpse of the pope, let me share what I got and track Pope Francis' whereabouts starting Friday:
January 16, Friday
09:15 am - Welcome ceremony at the Malacañang Palace.
10:15 am - Meeting with authorities and diplomatic corps at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall of the Presidential Palace
11:15 am - Holy Mass with the bishops, priests, and others from religious orders at the Manila Cathedral
5:30 pm - Meeting with families (pre-selected by Philippine dioceses) at Mall of Asia Arena
Best vantage point: Intramuros to MOA Arena for his motorcade
January 17, Saturday
08:15 am - Departure from Manila for Tacloban
09:30 am - Arrival at the airport of Tacloban
10:00 am - Holy Mass near Tacloban International Airport
12:45 pm - Lunch with some of the survivors of typhoon Yolanda at the Archbishop’s Residence in Palo, Leyte
3:00 pm - Blessing of the Pope Francis Center for the Poor
3:30 pm - Meeting with the priests, seminarians and families of the survivors at the Cathedral of Palo, Leyte
5:00 pm - Departure from Tacloban to Manila
6:15 pm - Arrival at Villamor Air Base in Manila
January 18, Sunday
09:45 am - Brief Meeting with the religious leaders of the Philippines at the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas in Manila. Best vantage point: UST grounds (Gates 5 and 6 are designated for participants; The general public can stay at designated areas, please enter at Gates 10 and 11. Gates open at 4 AM.)
Periphery of Rizal Park, where Pope Francis will also reportedly hold a short motorcade before starting the mass.
10:30 am - Meeting with the youth at the Sports Field of the UST
3:30 pm - Holy Mass at the Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park in Manila
January 19, Monday
09:45 am - Send-off ceremony at the Presidential Pavilion of Villamor Air Base in Manila
10:00 am - Departs for Rome
5:40 pm - Pope arrives at the airport of Rome/Ciampino
Also, here's an infographic which you can save on your smartphones.
(Source: varsitarianust /Twitter)
And here's a few friendly reminder for those who are planning to attend the Holy Mass on Sunday:
1) Strickly NO BACKPACKS ALLOWED.
2) Bring your coin purse instead of wallets with just enough cash and an emergency ATM card, and try to limit your gadgets to just one smartphone.
3) Snacks and drinks are allowed but must be placed in transparent containers.
4) Expect tens of thousands to millions of people. Limiting what you eat and drink may help you not to frequently use the portalets that may become limited during the Holy Mass.
5) Bring round folding fans (which you can fold and keep in your pockets), hats and raincoats rather than umbrellas to provide others an unobstructed view.
6) Rizal Park and the Quirino Grandstand will be open at 6 am until 1 pm. Re-opens to the public when the mass starts at 3:30pm.
PS. Thanks to Cignal DigitalTV for the free HD (with wide screen and news-reporter-blabber-free) coverage to all its subscribers. And no, this is not a paid post. :)