Waiting For Pope Francis

The recently concluded Papal Visit of Pope Francis here in the Philippines is probably one of the biggest events in the country not only this year but also the entire history of the country. Some people are even saying that this is the largest mobilization for a Holy Mass or Liturgical Celebration in the whole world.

Since Day 1, Catholic faithfuls and even non-Catholic spectators flocked the streets and areas where the Pope is reported to pass by like Taft Avenue - Quirino, Roxas Boulevard, Nagtahan, Mall of Asia, Luneta, UST and even far south in Tacloban and Palo, Leyte.

In a tweet and via Facebook post I said,
So, AMAZING.. third day of mobilization for the Pope's visit here in the Philippines - no relief goods, no raffles, no giveaways, no medical missions, no celebrities and superstars, no monetary and material compensation whatsoever - people are still coming, rain or shine, they are still coming!
I elected to participate majority of the Pope's visit here in the Philippines at home and on television while savoring his image and all his messages to the Filipino people.  However, my blogger instinct got the best of me last Sunday (January 18) - his fourth day here in the Philippines.  Yes, I came out early in the morning to wait for him at the intersection of Nagtahan (Otis-Quirino area).

Here are some of the photos that I've taken last Sunday.  Images of anticipation, excitement, elation and involvement.  A true experience of faith!
The intersection of Quirino, Mabini Bridge, Paz Guazona and Jesus St. in Pandacan

The Stretch of Quirino Avenue
It rained the whole day in Manila last Sunday, but that didn't stop people from lining up at the sides of the streets of Quirino just to get a glimpse of the Pope.

Last Sunday was the Feast of the Sto. Nino, and people from all over and especially from the Pandacan area where the parish of the Sto. Nino de Pandacan is located, all went to Nagtahan with their 'Sto. Nino Images' to greet Pope Francis.
Feast of the Sto. Nino

Pilgrims, Sto. Nino devotees and Spectators all eagerly awaiting for the Pope

Sto. Nino de Pandacan Parish Priest Fr. Larry Abaco holding the image of the Sto. Nino while waiting for the Pope
The Pope riding in an open black sedan, waving to the crowds on  his way to UST for his scheduled appearance for the meeting with inter-religious leaders and the youth!

Pope Francis and the Sto. Nino

Pope Francis' visit here in the Philippines has truly inspired a lot of people (Catholics and non-Catholics) - it was indeed a wonderful unifying experience.  My only wish is that the feeling and learning from this event would last and be translated to mission and concrete action.

Here are more photos:
Waiting in Anticipation

Take Care of the Children - Pope Francis

Keep Moving Forward

Protect The Family - Pope Francis

Protect The Young - Pope Francis

A Modern Day Zacchaeus

Business as Usual

The Least, The Last and The Lost

From these experience, I will cherish the following messages from Pope Francis:
Address growing inequality in the Philippines - the widening gap between the rich and the poor. (Pope Francis - Opening Address/State Visit, Malacanang)
It is important to DREAM, dream with your family. Protect your family... Every threat to the family is a threat to society itself. (Pope Francis - Meeting with Families/MOA Arena)
I don't know what to say to you, but the Lord knows what to say.. all I can do is keep silent & walk with you with my silent heart.  (Pope Francis in Tacloban)
Jesus is Lord and he never let us down!... Jesus was here before us! (Pope Francis in Tacloban)
Let us MOVE FORWARD, always FORWARD... (Pope Francis in Tacloban)
Only when we too can cry about the things you said can we come close to answering that question... When the heart is able to ask itself and weep, then we can understand something. (Pope Francis - Meeting with the Youth/UST)
The Philippines is the foremost Catholic country in Asia; this is itself a special gift of God, a special blessing. But it is also a vocation. Filipinos are called to be outstanding missionaries of the faith in Asia. (Pope Francis - Luneta Mass)
An Exodus of Pilgrims After