Top 6 hot men during Pope Francis visit

Bless me Father for I have sinned….
Sorry but my eyes can’t help it. I’ve been spotting good looking men throughout the papal visit.
My friend Grace and I have been talking about it, causing Teddyboy Locsin to tell us to shush on Twitter.

In no particular order, here are the Top 6:

1) The parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes church in Caloocan.
Fr. Luciano Felloni has been very visible on TV these past few days due to personal recollections about fellow Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, whom he encountered even before the latter became Pope Francis.
Fr. Felloni has a deep love for the Philippines and said he will die here. Not only does he speak Filipino like a native, he also dresses well in my color scheme! Wish we had more priests like him. I would go to Mass more often.


2) The Seminarian.
Okay so my jaw slightly dropped when Kenneth Rey Parsad sang during Mass at the Manila Cathedral. Not my type because he is less than half my age. Just saying he has showbiz looks and really good hair. Let us suppress immoral thoughts about 1 and 2.

3) The Bodyguard.
Whitney Houston had Kevin Costner, and the Pope has this guy who could pass for George Clooney x Clive Owen’s borta brother. If he lost 20 lbs. he’d be perfect.

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 12.19.44 AM

4) The other bodyguard.
I really like good-looking AFAMs* in dark suits and a smart rain coat. And you?


jayson cayabyab
Photo: Jayson Cayabyab

And you’ll forgive me because the only bodyguards we see in Manila look like this:


5) The camera man.
It was Atty. Mahal who pointed him out to me on Twitter:

Ah yes. If only his right eye weren’t perpetually stuck to the camera lens, we might be able to confirm it.

camera man

Hello po.

Pope's camera man


Camera man

6) The driver.
Eek. If my driver looked like this—very wrong! He could pass for Antonio Banderas’s baby brother.


May dimples pa.


Well, Kat, as you can see, he is in very good hands. Don’t worry!

*AFAM = A foreigner assigned in Manila

Dying of envy: Pope Francis visits Malacañan

I lost track of time last night while watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and playing Candy Crush Soda (I’m a multi-tasker). When I checked, it was already 4:23 AM. Time to sleep.
I woke up at 9:15 AM just in time to watch Pope Francis en route to Malacañan for a courtesy visit.
I have never been to Malacañan and it looked so retro beautiful on TV with the sprawling lawn and the retro marching band.

Pope Francis at Malacañan

The Pope looked happy and refreshed, even with the 21-gun salute. It went smoothly.
The politicians and bishops were all lined up. All the politicians and epals kissed the ring and all the bishops just shook hands.

Pope Francis at Malacañan

He kissed and blessed some very lucky children

Pope Francis at Malacañan
Pope Francis at Malacañan
Pope Francis at Malacañan

Upon entering the palace he was offered a cold towel, which he used to wipe his face, and a drink of water. Klazzz!

Pope Francis at Malacañan

I love him na. I wonder who ended up with the towel!!!

Pope Francis at Malacañan

He was led to a room where he signed a giant guestbook

Pope Francis at Malacañan

And wrote down a message, copying from a cheat sheet, according to Catholic News Service

Pope Francis signs the guest book

He exchanged gifts with President Aquino who gave him a sculpture of Our Lady carved out of a tree felled by Yolanda

Exchange of gifts between Pope Francis and President Aquino

An Atlas from the Vatical library was presented to President Aquino in return

Exchange of gifts between Pope Francis and President Aquino

There were speeches—a strong one by President Aquino that was delivered so fast, I don’t remember. Something about someone insulting his hair….

My friend Anthony was lucky to have been at Malacañan as part of Margarita Fores’ catering team.
Anthony got up at 2:30 AM and was there by 4 AM to prepare brunch for the guests before the Pope arrived.
He was able to see the Pope up close and take this amazing photo.

Pope Francis at Malacañan

I died of jealousy after that and spent the rest of the day eating, sleeping, watching TV and crying.

Pope Francis arrives to a painless, smooth reception in Manila

Even though foreigners think we’re crazy (so I’ve heard), I think it’s great that President Aquino gave us non-working holidays to enjoy Pope Francis’ five-day visit to the Philippines.
I woke up to a household of boys destroying my bedroom until (thank God) Markus decided they would swim at the condo and eat at Pepper Lunch. Peace & quiet.
When they came back, that was my cue to go to Megamall to pick up some “odds and ends” (as Tito Rocky used to say).
Made sure I was home by 5 PM to watch the Pope’s arrival on TV.

I have vague memories of being at the airport when Pope John Paul II visited 20 years ago.
Life was easier then. There were less Filipinos and somehow we had connections. I think I went with my Tita.
The reason I am sure I was there instead of watching his arrival on TV, is because I distinctly remember picking a fight with the security guard who told me I was not allowed to bring my water inside the premises.
The guard told me to dump my water. It made me so mad because back then, I didn’t know the connection between liquids and bomb making.
I remember being among the school children doing their mechanical dance moves as the Pope arrived.
I wrote about it in my newspaper column in 1995 but I don’t have a copy.

This is how the Pope looked when he arrived in Sri Lanka a few days ago.

Pope Francis

No offence, but he looked kind of miserable. The event was painful to watch. It was so long, sober, and boring with the military fanfare and 21-gun salute.
I’m so thankful the Filipino welcome was much, much easier and warmer than that.
Minutes before the Pope arrived, there was a countdown on the ANC screen. For us, it was a family affair, with all the boys and I watching TV from the bed.

Pope Francis arrives in Manila

I started to cry. Seriously. Painful tears. I think it has something to do with my eye makeup or foundation, cause my crying stings. I was just overflowing with emotions. At that moment I envied everybody at Villamor Airbase.
Soon I could hear Herve Villechaize saying, “De plane! De plane!”

Pope Francis arrives in Manila

The Pope landed safely in a Sri Lankan Airbus. As they taxied, two flags were waved from the cockpit.

Pope Francis arrives in Manila
Pope Francis arrives in Manila

At last we could see the Pope from the window and wondered what was taking so long. Somebody tweeted he was probably just following captain’s orders: “Your Holiness, the seatbelt sign is still on.”

Pope Francis arrives in Manila

A few officials entered the plane before the Pope came out and cuteness happened.

Eek, somebody forgot to brief the President about the ring kissing.

Pope Francis arrives in Manila

One thing I can say, the Pope looked really, really happy. Much happier than his arrival at Sri Lanka (no offence).
I think it’s great that God granted us great weather, not just for the Pope but for everybody waiting and in the days to come. (I’ve been asking God to make this weather permanent for the entire year, possibly forever. Think of its positive effects on tourism and local fashion.)

Overall I think everyone did a great job. What they expected to be a three-hour trip from arrival to nunciature (where Pope is staying) turned out to be a painless 37 minutes.

Pope Francis arrives in Manila

Thank God for the painless welcome ceremony

Pope Francis arrives in Manila

A brief stopover somewhere at Villamor

Pope Francis arrives in Manila

So festive, well-planned, and safely arriving at the nunciature

PS. Thank God no epals at the airport.
Good job to everyone involved. We’re proud of you.

A stalker’s guide to Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines

In 1995, I was one of one million people that went to Luneta to see Pope John Paul II in person.
I was 20 years younger and had the energy to get up early in the morning, trek there, and have a view of the Pope the size a rice grain. That small.
It was also around this time of month and the weather was cool—that was a great comfort to the masses.

Twenty years later, I really do love Pope Francis, but hearing the word “portalet” on TV is enough to convince me to watch the events on TV, at home.
Besides, as my friend Miguel says, “If you really wanna see the Pope, just go to Rome.”
Oo nga naman.
But for those who are planning to stalk or catch a glimpse of the Pope either on TV or on the road, here’s an infographic on what his schedule will be like in the next few days.

Pope intinerary

Helpful hints:
1) Backpacks will not be allowed (think Boston marathon), so I suggest you bring out the fanny pack you’ve been hiding in the closet.
2) Minimize your eating or drinking to avoid the portalet scenario.
3) I would not recommend the adult diaper because those things are damn hot. Trust me, I have tried them in the hospital.
4) Though the Pope is a holy man, he is not Jesus. If you are sick, don’t think you will be cured if you get a glimpse of him. Just stay home.
5) Best to leave the elderly, little kids and babies at home too, for their safety and your sanity.
6) I’ve read that the Pope doesn’t like his ring to be kissed, so if you have the chance to get close to him, just keep that in mind.
Any other friendly tips are welcome in the comments section.

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