I am practically born a Catholic – My parents are both Catholic and coming from the Philippines which has 80% of the population to be Catholics. I believe in Jesus. I talk to Him when I feel alone. I pray when I remember to pray. I do not go to church that often. Those are my usual practices.
Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines has been all over the news since last year. Everyone is too excited about it. I am too, but not that much. I was like, ‘Hey he’s coming to Manila and Tacloban, that’s something to catch on TV.’
January 15, 2015 arrived, his plane landed in my country. Unexpectedly, I had goosebumps watching him being welcomed by my ecstatic kababayans (fellow Filipinos). I watched the media coverage up until the second day. In both days, all the streets where his motorcade passed by where swamped with people. They were waving at him, calling him, saying they love him. What he gave in return is a never tiring waving back at them, blessing them and a really genuine smile. That genuine smile is what really touched my heart. It made me realize ‘I love this holy man, this modern day disciple of Jesus who showed care and so much compassion to my fellow Filipinos.’ With that, I decided, I must have this once in a lifetime experience of seeing him in person!
And I did catch a glimpse of him last Sunday. It was only a few seconds, but those few seconds will forever be engraved in my memory. I teared-up in happiness because of that experience. Up until now, I have my Pope-Francis-hangover!