Welcome home, Pope Francis

MANILA, Philippines – Argentine Pope Francis speaks to a thousand Filipinos at the Mall of Asia Arena. 

Spontaneous and heartwarming, the Pope's speech revolves around the crucial role of a family in a society constantly at odds with the changing times.

Bea Cupin reports.


After a wild and frenzied welcome to the Philippines, the pope finally gets the chance to interact and dialogue with his flock during a meeting with Filipino families over thirty thousand people from the different regions of the Philippines.

Filled the rafters and open spaces of the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, typically the venue of concerts and big basketball games. 

It is an entrance that rivals the most popular musical acts and the fiercest basketball rivals.

During the 2-hour event, the Pope hears the stories of 3 filipino families on poverty, disability and migration. 

The pope deviates from his prepared speech and speaks to the crowd in a language close to our Filipino heritage: Spanish. 

POPE FRANCIS: “Excuse my poor English…” 

Pope Francis urges families to dream - and even offers married couples tips to keep the love alive. 

POPE FRANCIS: Dream about the good qualities that they have… don’t ever lose the illusion of when you were boyfriend and girlfriend.

It's his first interaction with the general public but even then, the pope manages to squeeze in intimate, heartfelt moments, to the adoration of a crowd that sees him as part of their families. 

He kisses babies, blesses the sick… Learns sign language on stage. 

As deafening cheers of "Lolo Kiko" -- the country's term of endearment for the Pope -- fill the huge arena and follow him everywhere he goes, it's easy to forget that the argentine pontiff is actually miles from home.  

Bea Cupin, Rappler, Manila. – Rappler.com