Another group of children from Parañaque were handpicked to perform a dance number for the Pope, using umbrellas that will form a huge Philippine flag. They have their own wishes, too, if they get the chance to talk to the Pope – to have siblings, and for help in school work, among others.
Strict security protocols are being followed inside the airbase, the headquarters of the Philippine Air Force, where up to 3,000 people are expected to welcome the Pope.
Outside the airbase, thousands are also waiting to catch a glimpse of the Pope. Many of them have camped early Thursday morning along the routes of his motorcade to the Papal Nunciature, the residence of the Vatican’s ambassador to Manila.
Government, church officials to welcome Pope
Based on the schedule, the President will welcome the Pope as soon as he disembarks the plane, and exchange pleasantries as they wait for the rest of the papal delegation.
They will proceed to the ceremonial dais for the playing of the national anthems of the Vatican and then of the Philippines.
After reviewing the honor guards, the two children will offer the Pope a bouquet of flowers. The President will introduce Francis to his Cabinet members and to the Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See.
The Pope will later introduce to the President the members of his entourage.
The two leaders will be introduced to the officials of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines before proceeding to the Kalayaan Lounge. The rest of the papal delegation will be led to their assigned vehicles.
At the end of the program, the President will lead the Pope to the popemobile at the driveway of the Kalayaan Hall, from where the state guest will proceed to his official residence in Manila.
Among the government officials at Villamor Airbase are Vice President Jejomar Binay and Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II.
Names and Designations of PH VIPs:
1. Hon Jejomar C. Binay – Vice President
2. Hon. Paquito N. Ochoa Jr – Executive Secretary
3. Hon. Albert F. del Rosario – Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs
4. Hon. Cesar V. Purisima – Secretary, Department of Finance
5. Hon. Leila De Lima – Secretary, Department of Justice
6. Hon. Rogelio L. Singson – Secretary, Department of Public Works and Highways
7. Hon. Armin A. Luistro – Secretary, Department of Education
8. Hon. Voltaire T. Gazmin – Secretary, Department of National Defense
9. Hon. Manuel A. Roxas II – Secretary, Department of Interior and Local Government
10. Hon. Joseph Emilio A. Abaya – Secretary, Department of Transportation and Communication
11. Hon. Florencio B. Abad – Secretary, Department of Budget and Management
12. Hon. Arsenio M. Balisacan – Socio-Economic Planning Secretary and Director General, National Economic and Development Authority
Names and Designations of Church VIPs:
1. His Eminence Orlando B. Cardinal Quevedo, O.M.I., Archbishop of Cotabato
2. His Excellency Most Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma S.J., Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro
3. His Excellency Most Rev. Romulo G. Valles, Archbishop of Davao
4. His Excellency Most Rev. Sofronio A. Bancud, S.S.S, Bishop of Cabanatuan
5. His Excellency Most Rev. Rodolfo F. Beltran, Bishop of San Fernando De La Union
6. His Excellency Most Rev. Jose A. Cabantan, Bishop of Malaybalay
7. His Excellency Most Rev. Bernardino C. Cortez, Prelate of Infanta
8. His Excellency Most Rev. Gilbert A. Garcera, Bishop of Daet
9. His Excellency Most Rev. Angelito R. Lampon, O.M., Vicar Apostolic of Jolo
10. His Excellency Most Rev Emilio Z. Marquez, Bishop of Lucena
11. His Excellency Most Rev. Jesse E. Mercado
12. Rev. Fr. Marvin S. Mejia, Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
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