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TRIP JOURNAL: Pope Francis visits Sri Lanka and the Philippines

Rappler.com
TRIP JOURNAL: Pope Francis visits Sri Lanka and the Philippines
Follow Rappler's contributors, Joe Torres and Roy Lagarde, as they join Pope Francis aboard the papal plane for this Asian journey

On January 12, Pope Francis boarded the papal plane in Rome’s Fiumicino Airport for his 7th foreign trip as head of the Catholic Church – a trip that brought him to Asia for the second time.

From January 13 to 19, the Pope visited Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

Rappler joined the Pope aboard the papal plane through its contributors, Joe Torres and Roy Lagarde, who were accredited to accompany the pontiff for the entire trip. 

A veteran journalist, Joe is the Philippine correspondent of the Union of Catholic Asian News or UCAN, the leading independent Catholic news source in Asia. UCAN is Rappler’s partner in covering the Pope’s trip to the Philippines. 

Roy is a staff writer for CBCP News, the official news service of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). A documentary photographer, he hails from Dolores, Eastern Samar, an area hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013.

Read their stories as they accompanied Pope Francis on the historic journey.


January 19, 2015 | Philippines / Aboard the papal plane / Italy


Aboard the papal plane, approaching Aeroporto di Ciampino, Rome, Italy


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@jotorres on Instagram: Approaching Rome’s airport aboard the papal plane 


Aboard the papal plane, somewhere over China


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@roilagarde on Instagram: Joe Torres chats with Pope Francis.


Villamor Airbase, Pasay City

@jotorres on Instagram: Departure in Manila Monday morning


January 18, 2015 | Philippines


Luneta, Manila


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@roilagarde on Instagram: Crowds greet Pope Francis on his way to the Nunciature after the Mass at the Luneta Park on Sunday.

University of Santo Tomas, Manila


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@roilagarde on Instagram: Pope Francis waves to the crowd from the popemobile as arrives for the encounter with the youth at the UST on Sunday, Jan 18.


@roilagarde on Instagram: Pope Francis the crowd from his popemobile at the UST. 


January 17, 2015 | Philippines


Villamor Airbase, Pasay City

@roilagarde on Instagram: Papal plane just landed at the Villamor Airbase.


Aboard the papal plane, somewhere over the Visayas

@jotorres on Instagram: Food inside the papal plane courtesy of Philippine Airlines


Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport, Tacloban City


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@jotorres on Instagram: Almost an hour after the Mass in Tacloban, the airport is already empty with people because of the rain and strong wind. 


Joe Torres on Facebook | It’s a sea of yellow in Tacloban airport.


@jotorres on Instagram: Pope has landed in Tacloban.


Villamor Airbase, Pasay City


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Joe Torres on Facebook | Ready for takeoff


Joe Torres on Facebook | Checking the weather bulletin


@jotorres on Instagram: Vatican Accredited Media Personnel (VAMP) wait to board papal plane to Tacloban


January 16, 2015 | Philippines


Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica, Intramuros, Manila


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@roilagarde on Instagram: Pope Francis during the Mass at the Manila Cathedral.


January 15, 2015 | Sri Lanka


@roilagarde on Instagram: Off to airport… leaving Colombo with Pope Francis @ 9am. #PapalVisitPH #PopeFrancisPH




January 14, 2015 | Sri Lanka


Galle Face Green, Colombo


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Joe Torres on Facebook | Filipino journalists covering the papal trip share experiences at the end of a day’s coverage in Sri Lanka.




Joe Torres on Facebook | Filipino journalists covering the papal flight have their photo taken with Vaticanisti and author John Allen Jr. 


@roilagarde on Instagram: Pope Francis waves to a group of Filipino pilgrims as he arrives for the canonization of Sri Lanka’s first saint, Joseph Vaz, at the Galle Face Green in Colombo, Jan 14 2015, #PapalVisitPH #PopeFrancisPH


January 13, 2015 | Aboard the papal plane / Sri Lanka


Flying high with Pope Francis

FLYING WITH THE POPE. Pope Francis touches the head of a Filipino cameraman aboard the papal plane. Photo by Joe Torres

ONBOARD THE PAPAL PLANE – “I thank you for your company in this trip, and I wish you a good trip,” the pope told us with a smile.

But he warned with a chuckle, “there is a lot of work.”

The journalists on board AZ 4000, the papal flight from Rome to Sri Lanka laughed.

It was the first day of the papal trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. And it was clear it would not be easy.

The trip started early Monday morning, with a convoy of journalists dragging their luggage from the hotel to St Peter’s Square to take a taxi. Note: one cannot just hail a taxi in the streets of Rome. You either call by phone or you go to a taxi stand.

So off we went to the airport, 4 hours before the flight on orders of the Holy See Press Office.

Continue reading his blog.


Joe Torres on Facebook | Yes, I met the pope, shook his hand, whispered to him, had a photo, but the schedule is too hectic. We just arrived in Colombo and now proceeding to the pope’s meeting with Sri Lankan bishops. The pope made a joke with us journalists. “It’s a lot of work,” he said, and wished us luck. Will file stories later in the day.


FRANCIS MEETS THE JOURNALISTS | Pope Francis (C) talks with journalists on the plane, during his flight from Rome, Italy, to Colombo airport, Sri Lanka, 12 January 2015. Ettore Ferrari/Pool/EPA


January 12, 2015 | Italy


Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, Fiumicino


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@jotorres on Instagram: The papal flight from Rome to Sri Lanka

@roilagarde on Instagram: A journalist waiting to board the papal flight at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport.


Pontificio Collegio Filippino, Rome


 



January 10, 2015 | Italy / Vatican City


Sta Maria in Traspontina Church, Rome


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@jotorres on Instagram: Detail of the Belen at the Santa Maria in Traspontina Church.


Vatican Curia offices, Vatican City

Joe Torres on Facebook | Fr Elias Ayuban, CMF, explains his work in the Vatican to Roy Lagarde of CBCP News and Lito Zulueta of the Inquirer.

@jotorres on Instagram: Claretian Fr Elias Ayuban, a doctor in Canon Law, at his office in the Vatican Curia. We studied together in the 1980s at the Claretian seminary in Manila.


Holy See Press Office, Vatican City

Joe Torres on Facebook | Dr Matteo Bruni briefs Filipino journalists on the logistics and schedule of the papal flight at the Holy See Press Office. 


Piazza S. Pietro, Vatican City

 

Joe Torres on Facebook | GROUP PIC: Filipino journalists who will be on board the papal plane to Sri Lanka and the Philippines pose for a souvenir picture at St Peter’s Square after getting their press credentials from the Vatican Press Office. 


January 9, 2015 | Italy / Vatican City


Near St Peter’s Basilica, Rome


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@roilagarde on Instagram: For sale: #PapalVisitPH rosaries in Rome.


Pontificio Collegio Filippino, Rome


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Joe Torres | Today, the priests at the Collegio invited us Filipino journalists who will be joining the papal plane to Sri Lanka and the Philippines for a send-off mass and lunch.

The mass was a bit emotional. I’ve noted some colleagues teary eyed when Monsignor Willy Andrey, vice rector of the Collegio and mass celebrant, called us in front of the altar and invited all the priests present to pray over us after communion.

Monsignor Will told us that our mission is “to bring the good news of Christ to the people” so that the poor, “will feel the love of God.”

“Media has a responsibility,” said Monsignor Willy, adding that like missionaries we too are God’s messengers.

Continue reading his blog, “Pope Francis and the road to Manila.”


@roilagarde on Instagram: Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Mercy Tuason joins the send-off Mass at the Collegio Filippino Chapel in Rome for the 14 Filipino journalists who will join Pope Francis on board the papal plane from Rome for the visits to Sri Lanka and the Philippines.


@roilagarde on Instagram: Alan Holdren, EWTN’s Rome correspondent, briefs the 14 Filipino journalists joining the papal flight to cover Pope Francis’ Apostolic Visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines on January 12-19, at the Collegio Filippino in Rome.


@jotorres on Instagram: Italian TV prepares Fr Greg Gaston for an interview at the Collegio Filippino in Rome.

@jotorres: Italian TV prepares Fr Greg Gaston for an interview at the Collegio Filippino in Rome.

January 8, 2015 | Italy / Vatican City


Piazza S. Pietro (St. Peter’s Square)


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@jotorres on Instagram: The Vatican in the evening.

@jotorres: The Vatican in the evening.

Joe Torres | After a 24-hour journey via Abu Dhabi, I am finally in Rome “to fetch the Pope” and bring him to the Philippines. “He might not find his way,” I told the lady at the airline check-in counter in Manila.

The first order of the day is to see St Peter’s Square and visit the Basilica to take pictures, and of course to pray. Then off to the postal office and see how much is the “much-in-demand” rosary that everybody back home wants to have.

Continue reading his blog, “Pope Francis and the road to Manila.”


January 3, 2015 | Philippines


Manila | @jotorres on Instagram: All set with Roi.

@jotorres: All set with Roi

January 1, 2015 | Philippines


What do we wear when we party with the Pope?

Joe Torres | In 14 days Pope Francis will set foot on the Philippines. There’s a lot of excitement already, and a lot of selfies, and preparations, and politicking.

Yes, everybody wants to see the Pope…

…What will Pope Francis see when he comes to the Philippines later this month?

The pontiff will see a people, immature in their beliefs, traditional in their religiosity, cunning in their politics, but very warm, personal, and honest in their hospitality, and “bonggacious” (ostentatious) in their celebrations and parties.

The coming of Pope Francis will be an extended New Year’s celebration.

Continue reading his blog.


December 31, 2014 | Philippines


I’ll be on the papal plane. Now what?

Joe Torres |  Now it’s out. I will be one of 14 Filipino journalists who will be on the plane with Pope Francis during his trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, and back to Rome, next month.

The opportunity is “one of the great Christmas gifts” to Filipinos this year, said Bishop Mylo Vergara, head of the media committee for the papal visit to the Philippines.

Indeed it’s exciting, and a rare opportunity for Asian journalists, and a lot of work. 

Continue reading his blog.


UCAN, the leading independent Catholic news source in Asia, is Rappler’s partner in covering the Pope’s Philippine trip in January. Both Joe and Roy are contributing for Rappler.

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