Getting Pope Francis’ attention

Recently, on Facebook, a friend shared a tip on how to catch Pope Francis’ attention while he’s on motorcade. No, not gigantic tarps or cute babies. The former are too common; the latter too risky, since we’re talking about hysterical people in the thousands in Manila.

Wear the uniform of the Pope’s favorite football team.

A longtime supporter of Club Atletico San Lorenzo de Almagro in Argentina, the Holy Father, in one of his round-the-piazza motorcade in the Vatican, is said to have noticed a man wearing the team’s jerseys. Pope Francis pointed at the man, flashing a big grin.

But it’s too late (and too expensive) for me to have such clothes made. Probably I’ll just make do with printing the team’s logo on a white shirt or something.

So if you still have cash and want higher chances of getting papal notice, you know what to do. 😉


How to get the most out of the Pope’s visit

So here’s the Holy Father’s itinerary. Since I can neither bilocate (like St Padre Pio) nor apparate (like Harry Potter), I have to be in the most strategic places to get a good glimpse of the Pope.

Infographic by The Varsitarian (awesome)

This isn’t final yet, but I’ll probably do this:

January 15 (Thursday)

  • Get a glimpse of him in the motorcade from the airport to his residence. I’m thinking of waiting for him on Taft Avenue corner Escoda Street. It’s close to my place.
  • Sleep like a homeless dude outside the Manila Cathedral, and wait for his motorcade and Holy Mass with the clergy and religious at 11am the next day.

January 16 (Friday)

  • “Attend” his Mass outside the Manila Cathedral. Here’s one hoping that organizers will project a video of the liturgy from inside the Cathedral.
  • Rest, recharge, write, upload in the afternoon.

January 17 (Saturday)

  • Rest, recharge, write, upload, prepare.
  • Camp out with friends at Rizal Park, in preparation for the outdoor Mass the next day.

January 18 (Sunday)

  • Attend the concluding Holy Mass at the Rizal Park

It’s important that I also get Internet connection throughout. So I guess I’ll have to extend my “pocket wifi” subscription for this event. Food and hygiene are also important factors to consider before holding “vigils” for next-day events. 😛

If you have suggestions on how I could revise this schedule, please don’t hesitate to tell me in the comments below. Thanks!

Photo: Manila Cathedral on a rainy day. (darylslimshady on Flickr)
Update: An earlier edition of this post assumed that camping out at Rizal Park was allowed; it isn't.

This blog

I live less than a mile away from where many of Pope Francis’ Manila audiences will be held. And like most Filipino Catholics, I’m beside myself thinking that the “vicar of Christ on earth” will finally visit us(!).

I thought of creating this blog to chronicle the Holy Father’s apostolic and state visit, just as I did the days leading to his election in 2013. When I was writing that blog, I knew it would have a very short lifespan, ending on or a few days after election day. Somehow that thought carried some sadness.

The same thing today. This blog has an expiration date. But that’s okay. I know I’ll cherish this…journal of sorts long after the Pope has come and gone. (That’s what I did with the papal election blog.)

This blog will feature mostly my personal thoughts on the events surrounding the visit, my own adventures in getting close to the Pope, and other “pope stuff.”

Good luck to me and God bless the Pope!