I am Catholic but as much as I want to see His Holiness Pope Francis in person in this rare occasion that he will be here in Manila, I thought that the volume of the Filipinos who also want to see him would make it impossible for me. My dad told me that I can just watch the pope on TV where I will surely be able to see him. Daddy’s right, but many Filipinos would not trade the solemnity and the spiritual lift that they would experience in something historical for comfort and safety. For those who plan on hearing mass on January 16 at the Manila Cathedral or on January 18 at Rizal Park, below is the itinerary provided by The Varsitarian.
Philippine Star also provided a list of the closed roads in the metro for the Papal Visit along with the corresponding schedule. Attending gatherings like this would require health, knowledge, and preparation. Here are my tips:
1. Arm yourself with an adequate supply of snacks and water, and not with jewelry and gadgets you would not be needing to contact people or document people’s backs.
2. Wear comfortable modest clothes. Expect something like the Feast of the Black Nazarene because failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Don’t expect 15°C and cushioned seats; this is Manila.
3. Bring umbrellas, fans, handkerchiefs, wipes, and medications. Remember that safety comes first; you went there to see a pope, not Jesus.
4. Good luck with the portalets. Pray.
5. Remember that there’s always just EWTN, or the local channel on TV.