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Dying of envy: Pope Francis visits Malacañan
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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.

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Walter Robles

I’m surprised even with your connections you weren’t able to kiss his ring and my parents did. And we’ve been disconnected for decades. And my dad doesn’t even believe in religion.

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CVS Reply:

how did your parents get near?

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Walter Robles Reply:

I come from two farming clans. Tatay was cited for setting up the largest farmers’ co-operative in Central Luzon in the 60s that taught small-scale planters financial literacy and business management. He used to tell us Pope John Paul II was a scam artist. 🙂

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Alleycat

“All the politicians and epals kissed the ring” — YESSS, there were so many epals, even in Tacloban. Plus, the family-sharing whatever at the MOA Arena was super awkward to watch. The pope looked happiest when he was interacting with the poor and underprivileged children. IMO, we should have let him do what he originally wanted, which was a low-key visit, mingling with ordinary people and Yolanda survivors. [Reply]Walter Robles Reply:January 28th, 2015 at 11:32 AMYou can’t keep the Pope’s visit low-key. About 83% of Filipinos consider him the closest thing to what they consider a God. He’s public property,… Read more »

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Walter Robles

You can’t keep the Pope’s visit low-key. About 83% of Filipinos consider him the closest thing to what they consider a God. He’s public property, both for the rich or the poor. If they should’ve done something it’s better rollout of programs and project management.

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Jasmine

You should go to Luneta for Sunday Mass, really. 🙂

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Hansel

Ok, so the attacked of the Epals happened on the second day!!! Well at least, a day delayed!

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Juan M. Borra III

What a powerful, moving experience. I walked around alternately crying and laughing all day. I love you Pope Francis!

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