My 5 seconds with Pope Francis in Manila

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I missed the Pope when I visited the Vatican. I went on a weekday and he wasn’t there. I had every intention of attending his mass but got lost with a couple of friends and didn’t make it in time. When I found out he was visiting Manila, I was ecstatic. Yes, I am one of the millions who like his style and charmed by him. I knew I needed to seem during his visit. 

The thing about working for a media company, it is common for you to have work during holidays and special occasions. This was not an exception. I was part of the lean Yahoo Philippines Team covering his visit. Our team wrote original stories, curated photos and videos for people to consume and did so much more. I was updated with his every move, touched by a lot of his speeches and encounters but I didn’t see him in person.

Throughout his visit, my only free day was January 19 – they day when he was to depart. I asked myself, how badly do I want to see him? A lot. If that’s the case, I should do everything in my power to make it happen. I was willing to go alone if that was the only way to see him. After a whirlwind of planning, my Mom and Tita Gina ended up going with me. We woke up mighty early to wait. We headed to Quirino Avenue near the Nunciature at 6 AM hoping to catch a glimpse of him. 

After patiently waiting for hours we saw him and his smile for 5 seconds. It was surreal. I expected the screams to be louder and the aura to magically change once he appeared but it wasn’t the case. There was a serene sense of excitement and happiness when he passed.

Thank you for my 5 seconds God. A lot of things could have gone wrong but they didn’t. Everything fell into place. We didn’t even have a hard time going home. Thank you for the beautiful morning God and a short but sweet moment with Pope Francis. 

* Additional photos from Yahoo Philippines.

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