The Papal Visit 2015 Experience: A Once in a lifetime, out of the ordinary display of Filipinos’ Faith to the Catholic Church, and the #FrancisEffect

Posted: January 23, 2015 in Heritage Conservation Society Youth, Trips, Visits, and Explorations

Pardon me if I tried hard to make the title sound as politically correct as possible. Hurting religious feelings in my country might have me end up in jail, you know. This entry by the way, to explain the redundancy, is all about my online posts about Pope Francis and his visit in the Philippines. I collated all of them and put it here.

I must say, I am blessed for having part of the two of the biggest events for the Catholic Church in a span of two weeks. A week before the Pope’s visit, I was lucky to witness the Translacion De Nazareno. I thought of putting balance to my ideas about the Creator, that I decided to watch the movie The Theory of Everything, in the hopes of having Stephen Hawking and his theories bring me back into my agnostic and pragmatic self.

And knowing who I am based on my previous posts (kindly refer to the articles: Atheism According to Red Tani : a Blunder of Biblical Proportions, and My Lenten Reflection , I couldn’t still fathom how The Pontiff made me do all these.

The failed trip to his mass at the Manila Cathedral forced me to just wait at the corner of Roxas Blvd. and Quirino Ave. for his motorcade; but I still failed to have a glimpse of him because he was on-board the enclosed van and not on the Pope Mobile due to the rain.

I waited there for more than an hour and I had an idea of how it feels to be in there, along with the crowd, media personnel and other photographers who are all excited to see just even his face for a brief moment as his motorcade passed by. It was thrilling, and fascinating at the same time.

A couple of days after, me and other volunteers got a special access to be as near as we can get for his concluding mass at the Quirino Grandstand. The experience is really different when you’re in there, versus the feeling that you have when you watch the Papal activities on TV. Both of which are solemn and holy, of course. To see Pope Francis that close is definitely priceless.

It is an awesome experience overall. This is one of the most memorable events in my life, a bucket list worthy of an event.

As Morgan Freeman said in the the movie Bruce Almighty “If you want to see a miracle, be the miracle.” Well, guys, Pope Francis has done it during his visit. I am really thankful to have been a part of this momentous event.

My Facebook Status: January 19  –  

“We Survived 15+ hours while at the concluding mass of ‪#‎PopeFrancisPH‬ at the Quirino Grandstand, I only had one single pack of Graham crackers and small shots of water to drink for my fuel – while having the most difficult time in my volunteering experience in finding the way around the Rizal Park to get in with the call time as early 3AM and having entered the are only at 630AM (and yeah, the mass started at around 3PM; and ushering thousands of overly eager pilgrims and guarding the Blessed Sacrament; and standing under the monsoon rains for more than 7 hours while at it. But if you ask me if it was all worth it? I’d answer YES in a heartbeat.”

And as I was reposting a GMA Network Online article, I added:

“I really have to give it to this guy. I only saw snippets of his homily in Tacloban. And then a few clips showing how the Taclobanons prepared for him. That is one big display of resilience and faith. Amidst the threatening strong winds and rains by Typhoon ‪#‎Amang‬, The Pope did not fail to give the Yolanda Survivors HOPE.

I hope he lands back safe to Manila.

And then some ninja sliced some onions nearby. ‪#‎PopeFrancisPH.”

And this, for a Manila Bulletin article online by Reina Reyes :

May he be the catalyst for our social healing. I hope my fellow Filipinos use this momentum to change how we behave as a nation. From the way that the Filipinos showed their discipline (as it appears on all news cameras, but being with them in the grandstand is entirely another story), to how both believers and non-believers of the Catholic Church showed respect, admiration, and fascination to The Pope. This religious euphoria may stay with us and leave once The Pope goes back to Vatican, but let’s not end it there.”

“I don’t believe in God, but I want to believe in Pope Francis. I want to believe that he is sincere and genuinely open to dialogue, reform, and accountability. I want to believe that he has the necessary political astuteness and goodwill to usher in structural and spiritual reform in the Curia, if not throughout the Church. I want to believe that it is possible to change a fossilized dysfunctional organizational culture in the course of a lifetime. Because then, maybe-just maybe-it can be done here, too.” – Reina Reyes, The Francis effect : An atheist takes a no-biased, non-deified look at the rockstar pontiff the Catholic Church is in love with.

Go check the videos and read the one I did below this first one:

#PapalVisit2015
#PopeFrancisPH

Visit more photos here at :

The Papal Visit 2015 Experience

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