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Mood in Manila a day before Pope’s arrival

Voltaire Tupaz
Mood in Manila a day before Pope’s arrival
(UPDATED) The youth are excited to welcome Pope Francis as the city prepares to welcome him

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Young people in Metro Manila are excited to welcome Pope Francis, whom they call the “Millennial Pope,” the pope of their generation.

About a hundred students from various schools and religious youth organizations, called Movers, are now deployed across Manila as part of the “people’s coverage” of the papal visit. (VISIT: #PopeFrancisPH microsite)

On January 14, a day before Pope Francis arrives in the Philippines, the young citizen journalists checked areas where Pope Francis is expected to meet religious leaders, laypeople, and the general public. (READ: Metro Manila cheat sheet: Routes, rules for #PopeFrancisPH)

Here are some of the images and stories they shared, showing the mood in Manila as the city prepares to welcome the pope.

WELCOME, POPE FRANCIS. A jeep passes by one of the many welcoming signs and tarpaulins for Pope Francis in Intramuros, Manila. Photo by  Pat Nabong

Around the Manila Cathedral, you can already sense a busy but festive and welcoming atmosphere, according to Pat Nabong, a student from the University of the Philippines:

“In preparation for the papal visit, workers repaint the barricades while others tend to the plants around the Manila Cathedral. Yellow and white flags, welcome signs, and tarpaulins of the Pope are also visible in the area. The sound system and several projectors have been set up. Local and foreign media are already on the ground while security guards monitor the area. Foreign and local tourists still wander around, taking photos of the Cathedral and buying papal souvenirs from a nearby shop.”

A worker paints the barricades that have been set up around the Manila Cathedral for the papal visit. Photo by Pat Nabong

In Quiapo, business is vibrant, observed St Scholastica’s College of Tacloban publication editor-in-chief Jenne-Anne Pangue, who is in Manila. 

“Lyn Esperas sells souvenir keychains of Pope Francis along the streets of Bilibid Viejo in Quiapo. She said she is very excited for Pope Francis’ visit in the Philippines. She is even planning to attend the concluding Mass in Luneta together with her family.”

SOUVENIRS. Lyn Esperas sells souvenir keychains of Pope Francis along the streets of Bilibid Viejo in Quiapo, Manila. Photo by Jene-Anne Pangue

Others are preparing to show Francis, considered the “People’s Pope,” various social issues. (READ: #PopeFrancisPH: People’s Pope)

At the Apostolic Nunciature, or the Vatican embassy along Taft Avenue, a woman is determined to bring to the Pope’s attention the plight of her husband, a political prisoner in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan.

Julieta Caloza said her husband and other political prisoners have been on hunger strike for 4 days already. Caloza is also the mother of an extrajudicial killing victim.

Sana matulungan kami ng mahal na Pope Francis na idulog ang aming karaingan sa ating Presidente (We hope Pope Francis will be able to help us bring our plight to the President),” Caloza said.

Pope Francis will pay President Benigno Aquino III a courtesy visit in Malacañang on Friday, January 16.

JUSTICE. The wife of a political prisoner awaits Pope Francis near the Apostolic Nunciature in Manila. 'It's difficult to raise your children alone,' she says in the company of other families of victims of alleged human rights violations. Photo by Michelle Dimailig

You can also share how you’re preparing for the papal visit. Submit your photos, art, and messages or share them via Twitter with the hashtag #ShowThePope. – Rappler.com

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