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Monday, January 19, 2015

I went to meet Pope Francis but saw the crowd instead

I went with my brother-in-law and his mother to Luneta to attend the mass on the feast day of the Sto. Nino but we could not enter the area where the mass would be celebrated. They say it was already full (though later on I would see on TV that there were still spaces there). It was drizzling when we arrived and tried different entry points but could not enter. In some choke points I even had to push myself just to be able to move and get out of the crowd who wanted to attend the mass. I wanted to be a part of the crowd that would celebrate the mass with him in Luneta... but I could not get in. For several hours we tried but to no avail so we finally decided to just go to Roxas Blvd where the pope would pass so we could at least see a glimpse of him. The rain was getting stronger and it was cold even if I had a good raincoat on.

Even in Roxas Blvd. there were a lot of people. It was still some hours before he would pass and I watch the crowd. Most were patiently waiting, trying their best to remain dry and warm in the rain, many were figuring out where they could get a position that would allow them to get a glimpse of the pope, others continued pressing their body to be in a good position, some would complain from such act others would just stay firm on their ground and be silent including on the elevated islands. Some were sitting on the islands feeling comfortable that they have secured a good position, some slumped on the pavements tired from all the waiting. There were those who opened their umbrellas to protect themselves from the rain and someone started shouting for them to put it down so as not to block the views and some others followed suit. The heckling became stronger, some sounded really angry but some were still laughing at the situation because many of those with umbrellas would not listen.

The pope's arrival was nearing and people became excited. Most people had their phone cameras ready. There were cheering. I too was excited.! People on the island stood up and blocked our views, people who were blocked were shouting, pleading for them to sit.  The cheering became stronger all people were standing tall and the pope mobile pass. Many were happy, sharing their feeling with people around them... some telling that they got good pictures. Others sigh since they did not see him. Then there was a loud thud, someone hit someone who did not put down his umbrella and there was a commotion.. chaos.

I was startled and felt sad. Not only did I NOT see Pope Francis but I even had to witness such scene. My brother-in-law got on the other side of the island so was able to see the pope... Great for him and that somehow lifted the sadness and we head back to Luneta hoping for a chance to still get a view... but never had a chance..

It was a long day! I was tired! I did not have a chance to get a glimpse of Pope Francis and even failed to celebrate the mass with him BUT I saw the crowd that was eager to meet him. People who started with the eagerness to meet him but experienced different emotions and reactions through the day. Many were happy, but some became irritated and tired from their experience.

I too was tired and a bit sad not seeing him. But I have one consolation, there would be reports and video posting of the event. Even if I did not get to meet him in person, I get to read and view the mass especially his homily of the day and all the other speeches he made during his visit in our country. I could read and view them as often as I want. I could focus on his message and reflect on them...and there I get to meet him and not the crowd.

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