PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK

Quirino Grandstand Mass for Nazarene moved to midnight
BRIEFING Msgr. Clemente Ignacio (right) and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada brief reporters about preparations being undertaken for the observance of the Feast of the Black Nazarene. PHOTO BY MELYN ACOSTA This year, the feast of the Black Nazarene will be observed with a difference: There will be no morning Mass at Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park.Instead, the Mass to celebrate the Feast of the Black Nazarene will be held at midnight on January 9.Msgr. Clemente Ignacio, rector of Quiapo Church, on Monday said they decided to have the Mass at midnight so that the attention of devotees will be focused on the Eucharistic celebration, not on the procession.In previous years, Eucharistic Masses were disrupted by unruly devotees.READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: No selfie, no booze for Nazarene feast
YOUNG DEVOTEE A boy sits beside the images of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila, in preparation for Friday’s annual procession. JOAN BONDOC MANILA, Philippines–Two shots are “prohibited” on the Feast of the Black Nazarene—taking selfies at Manila’s Quirino Grandstand and imbibing alcohol in certain parts of the city. Priests from Quiapo Church urged people, wishing to kiss the image of the Black Nazarene when it is taken to Quirino Grandstand in Manila on Friday, its feast day, not to take selfies. “We appeal to devotees, please, don’t take selfies immediately before, during, or after you get your turn at the pahalik,” said Fr. Ric Valencia, parochial vicar of Quiapo Church, or the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Black Nazarene procession of replicas in Quiapo today January 7
 
FINAL TOUCHES – Workers adjust the lights atop this tall post at the Quirino Grandstand in preparation for the feast of the Black Nazarene which will be held this Friday with thousands of devotees expected to participate in the traslacion or procession of the image of the Black Nazarene. (Linus Guardian Escandor II) ----Thousands of devotees of the revered Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno from various parts of the country are expected to join the procession of replicas of the Black Nazarene at 3 p.m. today through the streets of Quiapo, Manila, in a prelude to the 408th grand Traslacion procession on Friday, Jan. 9. Organizers are expecting a bigger crowd this year due to the series of calamities that affected the country the last two years in addition to the influx of devotees and tourists in Manila in anticipation of the arrival of Pope Francis to the country next week. Since the first day of the year, throngs of devotees have been going to the Quiapo Church (Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene). Some 8,000 devotees attended the parish thanksgiving mass and procession last Jan. 1. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: The Black Nazarene   
      

BLESSING RITES. A replica of a centuries-old black statue of Jesus Christ, known as the Black Nazarene, is carried by devotees during the blessing and procession of the icon’s replicas in Manila on Saturday. AP
The Black Nazarene is paraded in procession every January 9. The Black Nazarene is a life-sized, dark-skinned statue of Jesus Christ, which was carved by an Aztec carpenter. A priest bought the statue in Mexico during the time of the Galleon Trade. The image is now enshrined in the minor basilica in Quiapo, Manila Friday is when devotees go to the church to pay homage. The Feast of the Black Nazarene, celebrated every year on January 9, is one of the largest and most popular religious festivals in the Philippines. The statue was brought to Manila by the first group of Augustinian Recollect friars on 31 May 1606.Black Nazarene image 400 years in Manila on Wednesday GMA News.The image was enshrined at the first Recollect church in Bagumbayan (now part of the Rizal Park), which was inaugurated on 10 September 1606 and placed under the patronage of Saint John the Baptist READ MORE...

ALSO: PAL adjusts flights during Papal visit 

 
A total of 71 Philippine Airlines (PAL) flights will be cancelled on January 15 and 19, 2015, to give way to the arrival and departure ceremonies of Pope Francis at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia). The 31 cancelled domestic and international PAL flights on Jan. 15 are:
1. Manila-Bacolod-Manila (2P2907/2908)
2. Manila-Busuanga-Manila (2P2033/2034)
3. Manila-Cagayan de Oro-Manila (2P2527/2528)
4. Manila-Cagayan de Oro-Manila (2P2525/2526)
5. Manila-Caticlan-Manila (2P2057/2058)
6. Manila-Caticlan-Manila (2P2049/2050)  CONTINUE READING...

ALSO Pope Francis: Around PH without leaving Luneta altar

PHOTO: Department of Public Works and Highways workers repair the Quirino Grandstand in time for Pope Francis’ Mass at the Luneta in Manila at 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 18. The altar at which Pope Francis will say Mass at Rizal Park on Jan. 18 will not be decked with flowers but with colorful plants that can be found in backyards in rural Philippines. INQUIRER PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA ---------The Mass will be capped with the lighting of candles and the singing of “Tell the World of His Love” to mark the 20-year anniversary of World Youth Day in the Philippines. “[T]he public is requested to bring their own candles,” Arada said. Some 2,500 priests and 200 bishops will attend the Mass. Music will be provided by a 1,000-member choir and 200-member orchestra, said Rev. Rufino Sescon Jr., executive secretary of the steering committee. “This is the grand activity and we hope to hear and listen to the message of Pope Francis,” he said. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: 12,000 PH troops to guard Pope
LITTLE SWISS GUARDS: Students from the La Sallette in San Jose del Monte in Bulacan who will welcome Pope Francis hold a rehearsal at the Manila Cathedral. PHOTO BY MELYN ACOSTA AFP spreads biggest security blanket for Francis THOUSANDS of soldiers, reservists and policemen will ensure that no harm will befall Pope Francis during his visit to the Philippines next week.The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday gave assurances that all security concerns will be sufficiently covered because 12,000 military personnel will be deployed. The Holy Father will be in the country from January 15 to 19. AFP chief Gregorio Pio Catapang said the military will be mounting the biggest se curity effort for the Pope. Admitting that the Pope’s visit is a security challenge, Catapang said “about 6,000 to 7,000 soldiers” will be deployed by the military, as well as around 5,000 reservists. These include thousands of ground troops and teams of snipers.READ FULL REPORT...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Quirino Grandstand Mass for Nazarene moved to midnight

MANILA, JANUARY 7, 2015 (PHILSTAR) by ROBERTZON F. RAMIREZ REPORTER


BRIEFING Msgr. Clemente Ignacio (right) and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada brief reporters about preparations being undertaken for the observance of the Feast of the Black Nazarene. PHOTO BY MELYN ACOSTA

This year, the feast of the Black Nazarene will be observed with a difference: There will be no morning Mass at Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park.

Instead, the Mass to celebrate the Feast of the Black Nazarene will be held at midnight on January 9.

Msgr. Clemente Ignacio, rector of Quiapo Church, on Monday said they decided to have the Mass at midnight so that the attention of devotees will be focused on the Eucharistic celebration, not on the procession.

In previous years, Eucharistic Masses were disrupted by unruly devotees.

Last year, the Mass officiated by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle was stopped after a group of devotees made its way to the stage right before Holy Communion.

Because of the melee, the cardinal had to quietly finish the Mass backstage, attended only by a handful of priests and lay people.

This year, organizers scheduled a liturgy on January 9 from 5:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. to be led by Tagle, who will give the homily during liturgy, Ignacio said.

The annual procession or traslacion will start at 6 a.m.

Church officials expect that more people will join this year’s procession.

In 2014, at least two million devotees were estimated to have joined the procession, which lasted 22 hours.

The pahalik (kissing of the Black Nazarene image) at Quirino Grandstand will begin at 1 p.m. on January 8 while the vigil will start at 5:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.

After the Mass, the vigil will continue from 1 a.m. until 5:30 a.m. of January 9 and will be followed by the liturgy.

Ignacio said more devotees will likely join the procession this year because the feast day falls on a Friday, which is also the regular day of devotion for the Black Nazarene.

The procession will begin at Quirino Grandstand, turn right to Katigbak Drive thru Padre Burgos Street.; left to Taft Avenue thru Jones Bridge; right to Escolta Street; left to Carlos Palanca Street thru Quezon Bridge; left to Quezon Boulevard; right to Arlegui Street; right to Fraternal Street; right to Vergara Street; left to Duque de Alba Street; left to Castillejos Street; left to Farnecio Street; right to Arlegui Street; left to Nepomuceno Street; left to Aguila Street; right to Carcer Street; right to Hidalgo thru Plaza del Carmen; left to Bilibid Viejo thru G. Puyat; left to Guzman Street; right to Hidalgo Street; left to Barbosa Street; right to Globo de Oro thru under Quezon Bridge; right to Palanca Street; right to Villalobos thru Plaza Miranda; and ingress at Quiapo Church.

Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada said a liquor ban will be implemented in Manila on Friday and during the five-day visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines from January 15 to 20.

The city government of Manila has also suspended classes and work in some government offices, including City Hall.

Meanwhile, pollution watchdog EcoWaste Coalition said the feast of the Black Nazarene should be in line with the theme of the papal visit, “Mercy and Compassion,” and should reflect the first commemoration of the Zero Waste Month held in January beginning in 2015.

The group noted that “every year, the procession of the Black Nazarene attracts millions of barefooted devotees and enterprising food and beverage vendors who sadly leave in their trail voluminous amounts of trash at the end of the day.”

Last year, at least 10 million traslacion participants left more than 330 tons of garbage.
With James Konstantin Galvez


FROM THE INQUIRER

No selfie, no booze for Nazarene feast Nathaniel R. Melican @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 4:16 AM | Wednesday, January 7th, 2015


YOUNG DEVOTEE A boy sits beside the images of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila, in preparation for Friday’s annual procession. JOAN BONDOC

MANILA, Philippines–Two shots are “prohibited” on the Feast of the Black Nazarene—taking selfies at Manila’s Quirino Grandstand and imbibing alcohol in certain parts of the city.

Priests from Quiapo Church urged people, wishing to kiss the image of the Black Nazarene when it is taken to Quirino Grandstand in Manila on Friday, its feast day, not to take selfies.

“We appeal to devotees, please, don’t take selfies immediately before, during, or after you get your turn at the pahalik,” said Fr. Ric Valencia, parochial vicar of Quiapo Church, or the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene.

He was referring to the Filipino word for the custom of venerating the image of the Black Nazarene by stroking or kissing the cross or feet while saying a prayer.

Valencia noted that the queue to the image slowed down in the past few years as people waited for their companions before taking selfies, blocking the path of other devotees.

“It would really speed up the line if people do not take selfies while they are near the Nazarene. This, aside from obviously affecting the holiness or the sacred presence around the image of the Black Nazarene,” he said.

Liquor ban

For his part, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Tuesday signed Executive Order No. 2, which imposed a liquor ban during the feast and during Pope Francis’ visit to Manila next week.

“These are consecutive events in Manila, and we need to ensure that we can maintain peace and order in the city by whatever means we can,” Estrada said in Monday’s press conference detailing preparations for the annual grand procession of the Black Nazarene.

Under Estrada’s order, “no person shall sell, offer, serve, buy or take beer, wine or intoxicating liquors on any street, sidewalk, plaza or any other place within 200 meters” of certain places.

These places are the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (commonly known as Quiapo Church), the route of the procession, and the vigil area around Quirino Grandstand, and other activity areas of the procession.

The liquor ban is also in effect within 200 meters from wherever the image of the Black Nazarene, is located while in transit.

No classes

Estrada also suspended classes on Friday in the city in all levels in public and private schools in view of the road closures and disruptions in traffic the annual procession was expected to bring.

Work at City Hall has also been called off on Friday, except for offices with vital functions during the procession.

Father Valencia said selfie-takers would not be arrested.

“We don’t want to ban them, or even arrest them for doing that; there are no hard and fast rules for taking selfies. We discourage it, especially if they block the way or slow down the line. Let’s be considerate to others,” Valencia said.

This year, a separate replica of the statue of the Black Nazarene will remain at Quirino Grandstand after the procession so more people can venerate the image.

Aside from discouraging selfies, devotees are also urged to strictly follow the queue for venerating the image.

“The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is still renovating the stage at Quirino Grandstand in time for the papal visit. So we will have a separate stage built in front of the grandstand for the Black Nazarene. There will be only one line to the back of the image on the right side of the stage,” he said.

Hundreds of thousands of devotees are expected to visit Quiapo Church and Quirino Grandstand in this year’s Feast of the Black Nazarene. Many are expected to join the traslacion, or the procession of the image of the Black Nazarene from Quirino Grandstand to Quiapo Church.

Stick to route

Fr. Clemente Ignacio, rector of Quiapo Church, urged devotees intending to join the yearly procession to stick to the planned route.

“This year, we will be using Jones Bridge and Escolta to get to the Quiapo area, because MacArthur Bridge, which is the traditional bridge included in the route, is being renovated,” Ignacio said in a press conference detailing preparations for the procession this year.

The bridge was used last year in the procession, after the DPWH said it found cracks on MacArthur Bridge which could endanger those joining the procession. However, hundreds of thousands of devotees used brute force to push away the freight containers blocking the bridge to cross it.

Ignacio said there were a few tweaks to the ceremonies leading up to the procession. It will still start at Quirino Grandstand, but instead of celebrating Masses every hour from 3 a.m., a nightlong vigil from sundown to sunrise will be conducted.

Only one Mass

Only one Holy Mass will be held at the grandstand at midnight on Friday, Ignacio said. “And then, around 5:30 a.m., before the procession leads, there will be a liturgy to start it off, led by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle. The procession will then get underway at 6 a.m.”

The traslacion will pass through Katigbak Drive, P. Burgos Street, Taft Avenue, Jones Bridge, Escolta, Plaza Sta. Cruz and C. Palanca Street all the way to Arlegui Street on the other side of Quezon Bridge.

From there, it will pass through Fraternal, Vergara, Duque de Alba, Castillejos and Farencio Streets before returning to Arlegui and proceeding to Nepomuceno, Aguila and Carcer Streets.

The procession will then head to Hidalgo Street and pass Plaza del Carmen beside San Sebastian Church, before going to Bilibid Viejo, G. Puyat and Guzman Streets and back to Hidalgo, where it will eventually go under Quezon Bridge again before heading to Plaza Miranda and Quiapo Church.


FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Black Nazarene procession of replicas in Quiapo today by Christina I. Hermoso January 7, 2015 Share this:


FINAL TOUCHES – Workers adjust the lights atop this tall post at the Quirino Grandstand in preparation for the feast of the Black Nazarene which will be held this Friday with thousands of devotees expected to participate in the traslacion or procession of the image of the Black Nazarene. (Linus Guardian Escandor II)

Thousands of devotees of the revered Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno from various parts of the country are expected to join the procession of replicas of the Black Nazarene at 3 p.m. today through the streets of Quiapo, Manila, in a prelude to the 408th grand Traslacion procession on Friday, Jan. 9.

Organizers are expecting a bigger crowd this year due to the series of calamities that affected the country the last two years in addition to the influx of devotees and tourists in Manila in anticipation of the arrival of Pope Francis to the country next week. Since the first day of the year, throngs of devotees have been going to the Quiapo Church (Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene). Some 8,000 devotees attended the parish thanksgiving mass and procession last Jan. 1.

This afternoon’s procession of the replicas of the Nazareno “will showcase not only centuries-old personal collections of sacred images that have been passed on from generations of devotees but the Filipinos’ unwavering faith, trust, and devotion to the Black Nazarene. It also serves as an offering for the success of the upcoming visit of Pope Francis to the country next week,” organizers said.

Tomorrow, Jan. 8, devotees will converge at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta, where the Black Nazarene will be brought for an overnight vigil and a series of activities before the early morning grand procession that will bring the image back to the Quiapo Church on Friday. The Traslacion procession recalls the transfer of the Black Nazarene from the Recollect Church in Intramuros, Manila, to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene (St. John the Baptist Church or Quiapo Church) in 1787.

This year marks the eighth time that the Black Nazarene procession will start outside the Quiapo Church. The first time was in 2007 during the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the feast.

Activities to be held at the Quirino Grandstand include the “Pahalik sa Poong Nazareno” at 1 p.m., followed by a band parade at 3:30 p.m., vespers at 5 p.m., aand the overnight vigil will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 6 a.m.the next day. Mass will be celebrated at the grandstand at midnight.

The eighth of the nine-day novena masses in honor of the Black Nazarene that began last Dec. 31 will be held at 6 p.m. at the Quiapo Church today.


FROM WIKIPILIPINAS

The Black Nazarene


BLESSING RITES. A replica of a centuries-old black statue of Jesus Christ, known as the Black Nazarene, is carried by devotees during the blessing and procession of the icon’s replicas in Manila on Saturday. AP

The Black Nazarene is paraded in procession every January 9. The Black Nazarene is a life-sized, dark-skinned statue of Jesus Christ, which was carved by an Aztec carpenter.

A priest bought the statue in Mexico during the time of the Galleon Trade. The image is now enshrined in the minor basilica in Quiapo, Manila Friday is when devotees go to the church to pay homage.

The Feast of the Black Nazarene, celebrated every year on January 9, is one of the largest and most popular religious festivals in the Philippines.

The statue was brought to Manila by the first group of Augustinian Recollect friars on 31 May 1606.

Black Nazarene image 400 years in Manila on Wednesday GMA News.The image was enshrined at the first Recollect church in Bagumbayan (now part of the Rizal Park), which was inaugurated on 10 September 1606 and placed under the patronage of Saint John the Baptist.

In 1608, the second bigger Recollect church dedicated to San Nicolas de Tolentino (Saint Nicholas of Tolentine) was completed inside Intramuros, and the image of Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno was transferred there.

The Recollect Fathers then vigorously promoted devotion to the Suffering of Our Lord represented by the image such that after fifteen short years, the Cofradia de Jesús Nazareno was established on April 21.

The confraternity obtained the Papal approval on 20 April 1650 from His Holiness Pope Innocent X. Sometime in 1787, the Archbishop of Manila, Basilio Sancho de Santas Junta y Rufina, ordered the transfer of the image of the Nazareno to the church in Quiapo, again placed under the patronage of Saint John the Baptist.

The image survived the great fires that destroyed Quiapo Church in 1791 and 1929, as well as the great earthquakes of 1645 and 1863, and the destructive bombing of Manila in 1945 during World War II. In 1998, however, a replica of the original Black Nazarene was first paraded due to the repeated damages inflicted on the statue.

Today, the head and the cross stays on the Altar Mayor of the Minor Basilica, and the original body image of the Black Nazarene is used in the processions. Other, even smaller replica can be found in other churches.

Devotion

The devotion to Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno has attracted a huge following. Its initial popularity in the northern and southern provinces of Luzon spread over time throughout the country. The uniquely Filipino devotion to the Black Nazarene merited the sanction and encouragement of two popes:

Innocent X in 1650, with a Papal Bull canonically establishing the Cofradia de Jesús Nazareno; and Pius VII in the 19th century, by granting indulgence to those who piously pray before the image of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo.

Today, despite the rough-and-tumble that usually accompanies the thrice-yearly procession of the image, the Filipino people's devotion to God in the special appellation of Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno continues to flourish and shows no sign of waning--death, wounds, bodily pains and physical discomfort notwithstanding.

For more than 200 years, the statue has been placed on a gilded carriage every January and is pulled through the streets of Quiapo by male devotees dressed in maroon. People who touch the Nazarene are reported to sometimes be healed of diseases.

Catholics come from all over Manila hoping for the chance to get close enough to touch the image and perhaps receive a miracle.

They also throw towels to the people guarding the statue and ask them to rub the towel on the statue in hopes of carrying some of that miraculous power away with them.

408th year celebration

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is working closely with the local government of Manila to ensure security at the Feast of the Black Nazarene on 9 January 2015.

Police crowd control units will be deployed in critical areas like the Manila City Hall during the procession.

Devotees are expected to flock Quiapo on the feast day of their patron whose image is believed to have miraculous powers.

Classes in all levels in Manila are suspended on January 9. On January 8, its image will be brought to Quirino Grandstand for the yearly vigil. It will be brought back to Quiapo Church via the Traslacion (procession) the following day.

Starting January 1, the police are on heightened alert because of the Feast of the Black Nazarene and Pope Francis' visit to the country. He will visit the Philippines from January 15 to 19.


FROM THE INQUIRER

PAL adjusts flights during Papal visit 8:51 PM | Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines—A total of 71 Philippine Airlines (PAL) flights will be cancelled on January 15 and 19, 2015, to give way to the arrival and departure ceremonies of Pope Francis at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).

The 31 cancelled domestic and international PAL flights on Jan. 15 are:

1. Manila-Bacolod-Manila (2P2907/2908)
2. Manila-Busuanga-Manila (2P2033/2034)
3. Manila-Cagayan de Oro-Manila (2P2527/2528)
4. Manila-Cagayan de Oro-Manila (2P2525/2526)
5. Manila-Caticlan-Manila (2P2057/2058)
6. Manila-Caticlan-Manila (2P2049/2050)
7. Manila-Caticlan-Manila (2P2063/2064)
8. Manila-Caticlan-Manila (2P2053/2054)
9. Manila-Davao-Manila (2P2817/2818)
10. Manila-Davao-Manila (2P2819/2820)
11. Manila-Davao-Manila (2P2823/2824)
12. Manila-Dumaguete-Manila (2P2543/2544)
13. Manila-Laoag-Manila (2P2196/2197)
14. Manila-Legazpi-Manila (2P2927/2928)
15. Manila-Puerto Princesa-Manila (2P2787/2788)
16. Manila-Surigao-Manila (2P2095/2096)
17. Manila-Tacloban-Manila (2P2985/2986)
18. Manila-Tacloban-Manila (2P2987/2988)
19. Manila-Tagbilaran-Manila (2P2777/2778)
20. Manila-Tuguegarao-Manila (2P2014/2015)
21. Manila-Zamboanga-Manila (2P2997/2998)
22. Davao-Manila (2P2808) Jan. 16
23. Cebu-Manila (PR2860)
24. Manila-Cebu-Manila (PR2861/2862)
25. Manila-Cebu (PR2863)
26. Manila-Singapore-Manila (PR511/502)
27. Manila-Hong Kong-Manila (PR318/319)
28. Manila-Hong Kong-Manila (PR312/313)
29. Manila-Kansai (PR408)
30. Manila-Bangkok-Manila (PR736/737)
31. Manila-Honolulu-Manila (PR100/101)

Those cancelled on Jan. 19 are:

1. Manila-Bacolod-Manila (2P2903/2914)
2. Manila-Basco-Manila (2P2084/2085)
3. Manila-Busuanga-Manila (2P2031/2032)
4. Manila-Butuan-Manila (2P2967/2968)
5. Manila-Cagayan de Oro-Manila (PR1519/1520)
6. Manila-Calbayog-Manila (2P2071/2072)
7. Manila-Catarman-Manila (2P2079/2080)
8. Manila-Caticlan-Manila (2P2039/2040)
9. Manila-Caticlan-Manila (2P2045/2046)
10. Manila-Caticlan-Manila (2P2043/2044)
11. Manila-Caticlan-Manila (2P2051/2052)
12. Manila-Caticlan-Manila (2P2059/2060)
13. Manila-Caticlan-Manila (2P2041/2042)
14. Manila-Davao-Manila (2P2811/2810)
15. Manila-Davao-Manila (2P2813/2814)
16. Manila-Iloilo-Manila (2P2931/2940)
17. Manila-Kalibo-Manila (2P2969/2970)
18. Manila-Legazpi-Manila (2P2925/2926)
19. Manila-Naga-Manila (2P2265/2266)
20. Manila-Ozamiz-Manila (2P2889/2890)
21. Manila-Puerto Princesa-Manila (2P2781/2782)
22. Manila-Roxas-Manila (2P2201/2202)
23. Manila-Surigao-Manila (2P2095/2096)
24. Manila-Tacloban-Manila (2P2981/2982)
26. Manila-Tagbilaran-Manila (2P2773/2774)
27. Manila-Zamboanga-Manila (2P2993/2994)
28.Manila-Zamboanga-Manila (2P2991/2992)
29. Zamboanga-Jolo-Zamboanga (2P2245/2246)
30. Manila-Cebu-Manila (PR2841/2842)
31. Cebu-Manila (PR2846)
32- Manila-Cebu (PR2849)
33. Manila-Hong Kong-Manila (PR300/301)
34. Manila-Hong Kong (PR312 Jan. 18) & Hong Kong-Manila (PR313)
35. Manila-Singapore (PR509 Jan. 18) & Singapore-Manila (PR510)
36. Manila-Haneda-Manila (PR422/421)
37. Manila-Haneda-Manila (PR424/423 Jan. 18)
38. Manila-Bangkok-Manila (PR730/731)
39. Manila-Jakarta-Manila (PR539/540)
40. Manila-Fukuoka-Manila (PR426/425)
41. Manila-Singapore-Manila (PR507/508)

Passengers booked on these flights are advised to call PAL Reservations (632-8558888) for rebooking and/or refund assistance.

Tickets may be rebooked for travel within 30 days from the original travel date without penalty, provided tickets are still valid. Tickets may be refunded without penalty. Rerouting will be allowed under certain conditions.

Passengers may also check the PAL website (www.philippineairlines.com) or PAL Facebook page for updates on the status of their flights.

Passengers are likewise advised to allot more time in going to the airport due to road closures and the anticipated traffic from well-wishers who will line up the streets around the airport.

PAL will fly the Pope to Tacloban on Jan. 17, leaving Manila at 8:15 a.m., returning at 5 pm.

PAL has been tagged official Papal carrier of Pope Francis’ first pastoral visit to the Philippines, after past experience of flying now Saint John Paul II in 1981 and 1995.


FROM THE INQUIRER

Pope Francis: Around PH without leaving Luneta altar Jocelyn R. Uy @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 3:36 AM | Tuesday, January 6th, 2015


PHOTO: Department of Public Works and Highways workers repair the Quirino Grandstand in time for Pope Francis’ Mass at the Luneta in Manila at 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 18. The altar at which Pope Francis will say Mass at Rizal Park on Jan. 18 will not be decked with flowers but with colorful plants that can be found in backyards in rural Philippines. INQUIRER PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines–The altar at which Pope Francis will say Mass at Rizal Park on Jan. 18 will not be decked with flowers but with colorful plants that can be found in backyards in rural Philippines.

It will also be replete with other native elements symbolizing the Philippines—from the marble top and the white linen cloth of the altar table to the papal chair.

“If we can’t bring the Pope to go around the Philippines, we will bring the Philippines and its elements close to the Pope,” said the designer of the altar, Rev. Alex Bautista, who is also chair of the Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church in the Diocese of Tarlac.

At a press briefing on Monday, Bautista said the marble top of the wooden altar table came from Romblon, while the white linen cloth that would cover it was spun from Bulacan’s piña fiber, an indigenous material used to make the barong Tagalog.

The canopy will feature Bulacan’s arts and crafts, while the altar will be adorned with San Francisco and Pandan plants, which are “very common in rural backyards,” Bautista said.

Symbols

“In the design consideration… the concept is to serve the liturgical purpose and to have Filipino character and reflect the simplicity of the Vicar of Christ,” said Bautista, who also designed the papal chair.

Some of the design elements also have their corresponding symbolism relevant to the Filipinos, he said.

The San Francisco plant, for instance, requires light to acquire its colors, he said. “They need sun to have color. It’s like the faith of the people, [which comes from] Christ, who is the light of the world,” he said.

The altar table will also feature anahaw patterns to symbolize the strength of the Filipino people, he said. “The Filipino context will be incorporated in the design [of the altar], including the landscaping.”

English Mass

At the Mass, the culmination of Pope Francis’s five-day apostolic visit, devotees will get the chance to hear the Argentine Pontiff speak in Filipino when he leads the faithful to recite the Apostle’s Creed, said Rev. Carmelo Arada Jr. of the service committee on liturgy.

The Mass will be in English, following the new translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal, while the Profession of Faith, to be led by the Pope, will be recited in the vernacular, Arada said.

“The intercessions of the Prayer of the Faithful are prayed using the different Filipino languages—Hiligaynon, Kapampangan, Ilokano, Cebuano, Waray, Bikolano… and the response will be in Tagalog,” he said.

Highlight

The Mass will be capped with the lighting of candles and the singing of “Tell the World of His Love” to mark the 20-year anniversary of World Youth Day in the Philippines. “[T]he public is requested to bring their own candles,” Arada said.

Some 2,500 priests and 200 bishops will attend the Mass.

Music will be provided by a 1,000-member choir and 200-member orchestra, said Rev. Rufino Sescon Jr., executive secretary of the steering committee. “This is the grand activity and we hope to hear and listen to the message of Pope Francis,” he said.


FROM THE MANILA TIMES

12,000 PH troops to guard Pope January 6, 2015 11:10 pm by WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL REPORTER


LITTLE SWISS GUARDS: Students from the La Sallette in San Jose del Monte in Bulacan who will welcome Pope Francis hold a rehearsal at the Manila Cathedral. PHOTO BY MELYN ACOSTA

AFP spreads biggest security blanket for Francis

THOUSANDS of soldiers, reservists and policemen will ensure that no harm will befall Pope Francis during his visit to the Philippines next week.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday gave assurances that all security concerns will be sufficiently covered because 12,000 military personnel will be deployed. The Holy Father will be in the country from January 15 to 19.

AFP chief Gregorio Pio Catapang said the military will be mounting the biggest security effort for the Pope.

Admitting that the Pope’s visit is a security challenge, Catapang said “about 6,000 to 7,000 soldiers” will be deployed by the military, as well as around 5,000 reservists. These include thousands of ground troops and teams of snipers.

The AFP will also be using its air assets to provide protection to Francis, who is scheduled to arrive late in the afternoon on January 15 at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City (Metro Manila).

The Pope and his convoy will proceed to Roxas Boulevard toward the Apostolic Nunciature in Malate, Manila.

“About six to 7,000 [soldiers will be deployed], and we are also mobilizing the reservists, maybe about 5,000,” the AFP chief said.

He noted though that the Philippine National Police (PNP) will deploy a much bigger contingent.
The PNP earlier said the papal contingent will include the 328 soldiers from the 7th Philippine Contingent who were posted at the Golan Heights.

Catapang said sniper teams will be posted on six or eight high-rise buildings along Roxas Boulevard where the Pope will pass, while the air space would be off-limits to all aircraft except those providing aerial coverage for the papal entourage.


SNIFFING DANGER: Security personnel and bomb sniffing dogs patrol the Luneta grandstand as part of security preparations for the observance of the Feast of the Black Nazarene on January 9. PHOTO BY RUY MARTINEZ

The same security preparations will be followed in Leyte province.

“It is a security challenge in a way but we can do it. We will just make do with available forces, we are in joint [coordination] with the PNP. The PNP will bring in the biggest contingent,” Catapang said.

He added that the military has not monitored any specific threat to the Pope but their greatest worry is the expected surge of people who will throng Rizal Park (Luneta in Manila) where the Pope will hold a Mass.

Catapang said it is possible that a member of a terror group may make an attempt against the Pope.

“It’s a concern but we are looking into all possibilities. We call that in the military ‘war gaming.’

“What if, what if, so up to the time that we settle everything, is it plausible, possible or can it happen?”

Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Delgado said they will be providing aerial cover for the Holy Father and conduct security air patrols to ensure that all the routes where the Pope and his party will pass are fully secured.

Delgado added that the aerial cover will be provided in Metro Manila and in Leyte where the Pope will visit the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.

He said all available air assets in Metro Manila and the Visayas would be tapped for aerial patrol.

A PNP official who requested that he should not be named earlier said intelligence reports about a possible attack on the Pope should not be taken lightly.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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