These times can be considered as one of the greatest moments in history. Not to mention, that our generation has witnessed the sacred Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis in the Philippines. What more, that this happened in our lifetime as it is challenged by various circumstances that impact everyday lives. Nevertheless, the present generation of Filipinos today are forever blessed by this once in a blue moon experience.
As a Christian and a Filipino myself, I’d like to share my own thoughts and feelings on this roller coaster ride earlier this year. There’s no other way but to write this and I really would not want to leave this blown in the wind.
Personally, there is no exact word that I could think of to describe the 5 day visit of Pope Francis. All I know is that I feel extremely happy and blessed even up to this moment in time.
A more ecstatic thought came to me knowing that I am also from Cebu. Many may not know this, but coinciding with the Papal Visit is the Annual Sinulog Festival held in Cebu. Every year, Cebuanos like me celebrate the feast of Sr. Sto. Nino as a way of gratitude for all the continued blessings everyone has received from the Lord.
Indeed, Sr. Sto. Nino has never failed His devotees. In fact, He has always watched over us and has continued to love us dearly. One proof of that would have to be His gift to us – the visit of the Pope to our beloved Philippines.
Though the Holy Father only had a limited stay in the country, I guess it was not a mere reason to be down. As for me, I would have wanted to see the Pope here in Cebu in time for Sinulog (like every Cebuano really hoped for). But on the other, I still felt happy knowing he was just simply here. I may have not experience the presence of Pope Francis first hand, but I was still blessed enough to have seen him even just in my own TV screen. And that was enough for me to truly feel the spirit of Jesus.
To be able to listen during his homilies in Manila Cathedral, Leyte and Quirino Grandstand, I realized it was a life changing experience. His words coming from his heart became a source of inspiration for the many to do more for the sake of faith and love for Christ. He is indeed a life changer as he leads us to the path where God wants us to be.
On the other hand, I felt much happier for those families and children whom were given a chance to have a personal encounter with the Pope. I think those encounters have moved everyone in the deepest way. Moreover, it was also a great scene having to watch the Pope in his motorcade with all smiles and waves to the crowds.
I guess at this point, everyone will have their own favorite memory on Pope Francis’ visit. As for me, I think one of my favorite scenes would have to be during the Pope’s motorcade going through the Quirino grandstand. As the Pope passed through every quadrant of the grandstand, everyone was dancing to the beat of Sinulog. I felt so much joy as the Holy Father was one with the people in celebrating the Holy Child Jesus.
*A photo of the San Diego Dance Troupe emotionally dancing to the beat of Sinulog as tweeted by @antoniospadaro
I will forever be thankful to Sto. Nino for this wonderful memory. Indeed, it is a beautiful memory that I truly will never forget. For giving us Pope Francis and for letting every Filipino know once more God’s unconditional love.
As the Pope is one his way to Rome, I’m pretty sure every Filipino will miss him. I know I’m missing him too. But on the bright side, this holy experience will always mark in my heart and in my soul. Because for the first time, I feel that I’ve witness God through him and his words. And with that, I had a certain hunch that we’re all going to be okay. And now, we can be good Christians by spreading God’s light to the world wherever we may be. I hope to begin this calling as the year 2015 unfolds and even in the years after.
*See you next time Lolo Kiko!