PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS WEEK

ON A WING AND PRAYER, POPE EMBARKS ON ASIAN TRIP

 

JAN 13 ---PHOTO: FINISHING TOUCHES Workers raise a large tarpaulin with a picture of Pope Francis on Roxas Boulevard in Manila as preparations to welcome the Pontiff to the Philippines enter the final stages. RAFFY LERMA pope francisVATICAN CITY—Amid security anxieties owing to international terrorist attacks in the past weeks, Pope Francis prayed at the shrine of the Madonna in Rome’s Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore early Monday before boarding a chartered Alitalia flight in the early evening on Monday (early Tuesday morning in Manila) for his much-anticipated, one-week apostolic visits to Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
The prayer for a safe trip followed his Sunday Angelus recitation on St. Peter’s Square in which he told the crowd about his pastoral trip, only his second to Asia as Pope, and urged especially the Filipino and the Sri Lankan communities in Italy to accompany him with their prayers. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: PNP ready for any threats to pope

 
JAN 13 ---A jeepney-inspired popemobile, which will be used for Pope Francis’ mass at the Quirino Grandstand, takes part in a papal convoy dry run yesterday. VAL RODRIGUEZ MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine National Police is considering all security situations – including terror threats – to make sure Pope Francis is kept safe during his five-day stay in the country. “All of our efforts right now are to ensure the safety of Pope Francis and the public. We have not received any specific terrorist threat,” PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wilben Mayor said in a press briefing at Camp Crame yesterday. Mayor also clarified the National Capital Region Police Office did not release any memorandum directing intelligence units to track down foreigners linked to terrorist groups. Bureau of Immigration officials said the intelligence community has not yet provided them a list of foreigners with terror links. “We are still waiting for the list of names coming from all intelligence agencies so we can include them in our derogatory database,” BI Commissioner Siegfred Mison said. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Pope mania sweeps Philippines ahead of Pope Francis' visit


In this Jan. 12, 2015 photo, Pope Francis dolls are on display at a store in Manila, Philippines. AP/Aaron Favila
MANILA, Philippines — Well before Pope Francis' plane touches down in this Asian bastion of the Roman Catholic faith, Filipinos have been snapping their selfies beside his life-sized cutout image in churches and malls. His face beams from welcome posters, shirts, cookies, coins, stamps, coffee mugs and all imaginable mementoes. There's even "Pope Francis, the Musical," in which the pontiff is portrayed singing a little One Direction. Filipinos have welcomed popes with rock-star intensity since 1970; the late John Paul II visited twice. Pope Francis' Jan. 15-19 trip, following his ongoing Sri Lanka visit, promises to be as big or bigger, in part because the country has many painful reasons to look for hope. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: #POPEinPH F.A.Q: All you need to know about the papal visit 


Pope arrives in Sri Lanka on leg of Asian tour  ---

ALSO: Bring a raincoat for Papal visit activities, PAGASA says

 
JAN 13 ---COURTESY OF PHILSTAR: Tropical cyclone may enter Philippines on Pope's arrival By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated January 13, 2015 - 1:14pm Satellite image courtesy of DOST-PAGASA ---Bringing a transparent raincoat may be a good idea to keep yourself dry if you are attending the Papal visit outdoor activities later this week. Rene Paciente, assistant weather services chief of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said the low pressure area (LPA) being monitored by the agency has a high chance of intensifying into a tropical depression before its entry into the country’s area of responsibility by Wednesday evening or Thursday morning. Once it intensifies into a tropical depression, it will be named “Amang.”  As of 8 a.m. Tuesday, the LPA was about 1,810 kilometers (km) east of Mindanao. READ MORE...

ALSO: 'Amang' may intensify into storm but landfall now unlikely


The forecast of the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center shows approaching Tropical Depression "Amang" hitting the Philippines. State weather bureau PAGASA, however, said there is now a low chance that the cyclone will make landfall. US Navy/JTWC  MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED 11:30 a.m.) - Here's an answered prayer for those raring to see Pope Francis. There is now a low chance that approaching Tropical Depression "Amang" will make landfall though it is still expected to affect Luzon and Visayas during the visit of Pope Francis this weekend, the state weather bureau said before Wednesday noon. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in a 10 a.m. weather advisory that the tropical depression was last located at 1,560 kilometers east of northern Mindanao, packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center. Amang is forecast to move west-northwest at 19 kph and is expected to intensify into a tropical storm before entering the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Thursday morning. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Baptism of priests’ children causes stir


MANILA, Philippines - The baptism of children of two married Catholic priests in Lambunao, Iloilo Sunday drew mixed reactions on social media.
Days before the visit of Pope Francis to the country, Fr. Hector Canto and Fr. Jose Elmer Cajilig reiterated their call for optional celibacy among the clergy. Wearing their liturgical vestments, Canto and Cajilig co-celebrated the baptismal rites with Fr. Jesus Siva, also a married priest. “If the Church says go and multiply, how come the priests are forbidden to do so?” netizen Jabbar said on social media. Andrea, another Facebook user, said they should not have embraced priesthood if they would not follow the mandatory celibacy among the clergy under the Canon law. READ FULL REPORT...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

On a wing and prayer, Pope embarks on Asian trip


FINISHING TOUCHES Workers raise a large tarpaulin with a picture of Pope Francis on Roxas Boulevard in Manila as preparations to welcome the Pontiff to the Philippines enter the final stages. RAFFY LERMA

VATICAN CITY, JANUARY 15, 2015 (INQUIRER)  Lito B. Zulueta @inquirerdotnet - Amid security anxieties owing to international terrorist attacks in the past weeks, Pope Francis prayed at the shrine of the Madonna in Rome’s Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore early Monday before boarding a chartered Alitalia flight in the early evening on Monday (early Tuesday morning in Manila) for his much-anticipated, one-week apostolic visits to Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

The prayer for a safe trip followed his Sunday Angelus recitation on St. Peter’s Square in which he told the crowd about his pastoral trip, only his second to Asia as Pope, and urged especially the Filipino and the Sri Lankan communities in Italy to accompany him with their prayers.

Papal tradition

By visiting Santa Maria Maggiore to offer roses and prayers to Our Lady, the Pope was continuing a tradition he had set for his papacy.

Last year, the Pope also visited Santa Maria Maggiore before going to the Holy Land in May and to South Korea in August.

In fact, right after his election in the conclave of March 14, 2013, the Pope went to Santa Maria Maggiore to pray at the shrine of the Madonna.

Pope Francis, a Jesuit, also prayed at the tomb of St. Pius V, the Dominican Pope who implemented the reforms of the Council of Trent during the Counterreformation and rallied Europe against the Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Lepanto. The Christian victory, according to historians, effectively checked the Muslim advance in Europe.

Security threats

Pope Francis’ prayers for a safe trip came amid heightened security threats owing to recent terrorist incidents particularly last week’s attack on the Paris office of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in which a dozen people were killed and several seriously injured.

The Pope called the incident an act of “human cruelty” and “terrorism.”

“The attack makes us think of great cruelty, human cruelty; of such terrorism, both isolated terrorism and state terrorism,” the Pope said at the Mass he held for the victims at Sanctae Marthae Chapel. “The cruelty of which man is capable! Let us pray, in this Mass, for the victims of this cruelty. So many of them. And let us also pray for those who perform these cruel acts, so that the Lord might transform their hearts.”

In Sri Lanka, the Pope will be received by President Maithripala Sirisena, who defeated Mahinda Rajapaksa in a snap election on Thursday.

Although the security threats may have abated owing to the crushing by Rajapaksa in 2009 of the Hindu Tamil rebellion against the dominant Buddhist Sinhalese establishment, the Pope also has to contend with heightened Buddhist fundamentalism.

He also has to face the lingering Buddhist resentment of Pope John Paul II’s 1995 visit that was preceded by outrage over his best-selling book “Crossing on the Threshold of Hope,” in which he criticized the Buddhist concept of salvation.

Buddhist fundamentalism has only grown in the ensuing 20 years, with hard-line Buddhists waging a violent campaign against Muslims.

In the Philippines, it’s an entirely different ball game, as the Pope has to contend with Muslim fundamentalism.

Although the peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has contributed to the improvement of security in the Philippines, the Pope comes to the country amid global concern over terrorist attacks.

As in Sri Lanka, the Pope will have to contend with the aftermath of the 1995 assassination try against Pope John Paul II by the global terrorist group al-Qaida.

Police have been on heightened alert since Friday with the celebration of the annual Feast of the Black Nazarene, which drew more than 5 million devotees to the capital.

The Philippine National Police has declared a full alert for the papal visit, canceling all leaves for its 150,000 officers.

From Sri Lanka, Pope Francis will arrive at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on Thursday afternoon. He will stay at the Apostolic Nunciature in Malate, Manila.

Francis will be officially welcomed by President Aquino in Malacañang the following day.

The Pope will then go to Manila Cathedral to say Mass and later hold a meeting of Filipino families at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Visit to Leyte

On Jan. 17 the Pope will head south to Leyte province to visit Tacloban City, the ground zero for Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan), and say Mass at the airport there.

Yolanda, the most powerful storm ever to hit land in history, left more than 6,300 people dead in Eastern Visayas, where Leyte Island sits, and 4 million others homeless on Nov. 8, 2013.

After the Mass, the Pope will travel to nearby Palo town to share a meal with 30 survivors of the 2013 earthquake in Bohol province and of Yolanda. More than 200 people died in the Oct. 15, 2013, earthquake in Bohol, which also toppled several centuries-old churches.

The Pontiff will bless the Pope Francis Center for the Poor in Palo before visiting the town’s cathedral to meet the clergy.

On Jan. 18 he will meet with religious leaders and the youth at the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas in the morning. In the afternoon he will celebrate his concluding Mass at Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park.

The organizers expect up to 6 million people to attend the Mass, surpassing the crowd of 5 million at the closing Mass of the 1995 World Youth Day said by St. Pope John Paul II.


FROM PHILSTAR

PNP ready for any threats to pope By Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 13, 2015 - 12:00am 0 11 googleplus0 0


A jeepney-inspired popemobile, which will be used for Pope Francis’ mass at the Quirino Grandstand, takes part in a papal convoy dry run yesterday. VAL RODRIGUEZ

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine National Police is considering all security situations – including terror threats – to make sure Pope Francis is kept safe during his five-day stay in the country.

“All of our efforts right now are to ensure the safety of Pope Francis and the public. We have not received any specific terrorist threat,” PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wilben Mayor said in a press briefing at Camp Crame yesterday.

Mayor also clarified the National Capital Region Police Office did not release any memorandum directing intelligence units to track down foreigners linked to terrorist groups.

Bureau of Immigration officials said the intelligence community has not yet provided them a list of foreigners with terror links.

“We are still waiting for the list of names coming from all intelligence agencies so we can include them in our derogatory database,” BI Commissioner Siegfred Mison said.

“But at any rate, all of our actions and operations are part of our security measures for the papal visit,” Mayor said.

Mayor said securing the pope is not only about keeping him safe but also upholding the country’s pride.

“Our national pride is at stake, so we are encouraging the public who will go to the public engagements. If you are a devotee, you are indirectly part of the security, so we hope they will cooperate,” he said.

Mayor said there are 18 government agencies involved in the security arrangements for the papal visit from Jan. 15 to 19. Some 25,000 policemen will be deployed for the event.

Government agencies are conducting dry runs of Pope Francis’ public engagements as part of fine-tuning security arrangements. Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II led yesterday’s security dry run.

Mayor also stressed that while they would rather not push the panic button in the face of security threats, “we are not belittling the situation.”

“But if you ask us, we have not yet received any threat. Our preparation is a high level, whole government approach, you can see how the government has mobilized its forces,” he added.

At Camp Olivas, San Fernando, Pampanga, Police Chief Superintendent Ronald Santos led the sendoff ceremony for 1,000 policemen deployed to Tacloban City to secure the pope.

“To all of you, especially those who are neophytes, I have also stood in your shoes, understand the pain of separation from your loved ones and from your comfort zone even for just a short period of time, but I have overcome this through perseverance and faith in our God Almighty,” he said in a speech. Santos is the OIC of the Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3) in Central Luzon.

Not overacting

Meanwhile, Roxas said they were not overacting in the security preparations for the pope.

“This is not OA. This is being done to secure the pope and the people who will come to see him,” Roxas told reporters.

Roxas said he initiated a meeting with members of the media to get their help in disseminating information and educating the public on security measures to be implemented by law enforcement authorities.

During the briefing, Roxas played a five-second aerial footage taken during the visit of the late Pope John Paul II in 1995 showing a mammoth crowd breaking through security barriers to get near the pope.

Roxas pointed out that the population of the country has doubled from 50 million in 1995 to more than 100 million. About 80 percent of Filipinos are Roman Catholics. He stressed the Rizal Park has not expanded.

PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina told the public that the strict security measures were not meant to inconvenience the public but to ensure the safety of everybody.

“One of the most potent forces in securing the pope is the people themselves,” he noted.

The DILG secretary also said breakers and barriers would be installed in quadrants around the Qurino Grandstand to help manage the crowd.

He noted that each quadrant would have a specific number of people to prevent overcrowding.

“Several quadrants, we have determined more or less what’s the maximum attendees going to designate counters. Security people will coordinate and will inform (people at the) gates to ensure there will be no overcrowding,” Roxas added

“Crowd will be allowed to enter Luneta area from Orosa street at 6 a.m. Sunday for the 3:30 p.m. mass to be officiated by the pope. But entry will come only through certain points with scanner and metal detector,” he added.

Transportation Secretary Emilio Abaya also announced the closure of several roads leading to airports in Manila and Tacloban City.

‘Zero threat’

The military, for its part, said there is “zero threat” to the safety of Pope Francis during his visit to the country.

Security forces, however, are not taking chances and are stepping up measures to ensure the success of the pontiff’s five-day visit.

“So far we have no serious threat coming out of our radar screen,” Armed Forces spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla said.

When asked to rate the threat posed by foreign terror groups to the pope, Padilla said: “As in zero.”

“There is always some degree of capability remaining but we have made provisions for that already but right now, they have been degraded,” Padilla said when asked about the capacity of the Abu Sayyaf to stage attacks.

“Despite the fact we don’t see any serious threat looming in the horizon, the degree of preparation is such in a state that it is geared for any kind of worst- case scenario,” he added.

Padilla said the more pressing concern for authorities is managing the crowds who will attend Pope Francis’ events.

Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr. earlier admitted that a stampede similar to the 2006 Ultra tragedy is possible.

The stampede left 78 fans of ABS-CBN noontime show “Wowowee” dead and hundreds others wounded in Pasig.

“It’s the temperament of the crowd, the people surge. They want to have the chance to have a glimpse of the pope,” he said when asked what he thinks is the challenge that security forces have to hurdle.

In Zamboanga City, however, Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero, commander of Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom), said troops have been tracking any possible terror plot even if the regions in his jurisdiction are not in Francis’ itinerary.

“We are also monitoring the movements of the threat groups here in relation with the visit of the pope,” he said.

Maj. Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, chief of the army’s 6th Division based in Central Mindanao, said they had also launched operations against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and captured the second stronghold of the group in Maguindanao last week.

“Our forces have been identifying the areas of concentration of the BIFF to ensure this BIFF will not discredit the AFP in its security campaign,” Pangilinan said.

Guerrero said eliminating the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) is a priority. “We will intensify the operation against the ASG. It is a high priority. Even the people upstairs are asking us. So it’s a national priority. Actually, on my part, I consider it as one of the highest priority,” Guerrero said.

But as the military was downplaying foreign terror threats, a source said a top Indonesian al-Qaeda terrorist coordinator and explosive expert deported after serving 10 years at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa city for illegal possession of explosives has reportedly slipped back into the country – through Mindanao – to reunite with his Filipina wife.

Agus Dwikarna, who was listed in the United Nations Security Council resolution in 2002 as being linked to Osama bin Laden and the Taliban as financier, facilitator and arms supplier of Jemaah Islamiyah in Indonesia, had vowed to return to the Philippines after his release in January last year. – Alexis Romero, Roel Pareño, Perseus Echeminada, Jaime Laude, Evelyn Macairan, Manny Galvez,Ric Sapnu


FROM PHILSTAR

Pope mania sweeps Philippines ahead of Pope Francis' visit By Teresa Cerojano (Associated Press) | Updated January 13, 2015 - 4:15pm 4 17 googleplus0 0


In this Jan. 12, 2015 photo, Pope Francis dolls are on display at a store in Manila, Philippines. AP/Aaron Favila

MANILA, Philippines — Well before Pope Francis' plane touches down in this Asian bastion of the Roman Catholic faith, Filipinos have been snapping their selfies beside his life-sized cutout image in churches and malls. His face beams from welcome posters, shirts, cookies, coins, stamps, coffee mugs and all imaginable mementoes.

There's even "Pope Francis, the Musical," in which the pontiff is portrayed singing a little One Direction.

Filipinos have welcomed popes with rock-star intensity since 1970; the late John Paul II visited twice. Pope Francis' Jan. 15-19 trip, following his ongoing Sri Lanka visit, promises to be as big or bigger, in part because the country has many painful reasons to look for hope.

The leader of the 1.2 billion-strong Catholic world will visit eastern Leyte province, where Typhoon Haiyan killed thousands and leveled entire villages in November 2013. In addition, the pontiff's focus on poverty, inequality and such social ills has resonated in this poor country of 100 million, where a tenth of the population work abroad to support their families back home.

"Filipinos are excited about the visit because people have a lot of problems and have been through a lot of calamities," retired government employee Josephine Graza told The Associated Press after Mass at a Catholic church in Manila. "They want to see the pope so their heavy hearts can be relieved, so their problems can be bearable."

"You always feel that he cares," said retired doctor Marina Bringas.

Pope mania has hit the road, cyberspace and the airwaves.

In Manila, a company sells 12-inch bespectacled Pope Francis dolls. T-shirts, button pins, posters, key chains and mugs with pictures of the pontiff smiling and waving are sold by Catholic charities, street vendors and online shopping sites. In northern Benguet province, an artist created pontiff bobblehead dolls, with one hand waving.

An official website runs a countdown to Francis' arrival and offers meticulous details of his visit and life, including the fact that he once worked as a nightclub bouncer.

Tarpaulins with Francis' smiling image line the spruced-up streets of Manila, where preparations for the visit have peaked. Three work days falling within his visit have been declared holidays. In churches, nine days of prayers for the pope's safety commenced Jan. 6.

In a country where singing is a passion, local artists have recorded at least two papal visit souvenir albums of mostly original songs. Manila Archbishop Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, known for his baritone, is one of the crooners.

With excitement building up, President Benigno Aquino III appealed on national television Monday for Filipinos to strictly follow security guidelines. He said while there are no direct threats to the pontiff, even an admirer trying to pass through barricades for a selfie, or to touch the pope's frock, could trigger a stampede.

On Saturday at Manila's prestigious Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Rev. Enrique Luzung will play a dream role: the young Francis.

The 39-year-old theologian stars in the musical about the Argentinian pope's life, portraying him back when he was known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio. The show revolves around Francis' life and a visit to a fictional Philippine parish. Another priest will play the older Francis.

Reading up on Pope Francis' life and playing him in the musical "has been life-changing for me," Luzung said, praising the pope's humility and compassion for the poor, the sinner and the lost. "Through him we see the presence of God."

"Pope Francis the Musical" has been playing to full-house audiences in Angeles city, north of Manila, since November. The mostly young crowd goes wild at the show when the elder Francis, wearing a headset, dances and sings briefly to One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful," which director Andy Alviz said is among the pope's favorite English songs.

Around 150 Filipino and Asian bishops will be in the audience when the musical opens in the capital. The pope is not likely to attend — he is scheduled to spend most of Saturday in Leyte province — but when he returns that night, the cast plans to serenade him after walking from the theatre to the Vatican's diplomatic mission in Manila, where Francis is staying.

Donnavie Argoncillo and her husband made sure they'll have a lifetime remembrance of the pope's visit. They named their fourth child, a chubby 4.5-kilogram (9-pound, 15-ounce) baby boy, partly after the pope. She gave birth at a Manila maternity hospital early Thursday.

Argoncillo said she hoped the name, Francis John, would rub in to make her latest child "a good boy."

"All my three older children are boys and they are all naughty," Argoncillo said, grinning.


INQUIRER

#POPEinPH F.A.Q: All you need to know about the papal visit INQUIRER.net 1:03 PM | Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines – Pope Francis arrived in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Tuesday morning, on the first leg of his second visit to Asia. He will arrive in Manila on Thursday, at 5:45 p.m.

INQUIRER.net compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines as well as previous papal visits of Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II.

#POPEinPH FAQ:

1. What is the purpose of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Visit?

The main purpose of the Pope’s visit is to be with the victims of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan), the strongest typhoon in history to make landfall. He has also in the past said he would like to visit Asia because his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, never got to, because of health reasons. He visited South Korea last August.

2. Why the theme ‘Mercy and Compassion’?

According to Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, mercy and compassion commonly figure in Pope Francis’ teachings, homilies and actions. The Pope has also called on the faithful to practice these traits when interacting with the poor and in need.

READ MORE: CBCP puts up website for papal visit

3. Will there be work or classes during the papal visit?

Jan. 15, 16 and 19 have been declared special nonworking holidays in the National Capital Region to give the public more opportunity to participate in the papal visit.

In Tacloban City, Jan. 15 and 16 have been declared special nonworking holidays. Classes have also been suspended from Jan. 14 to 16. In Palo, classes have been suspended on Jan. 15 and 16 only.

READ MORE: 3 papal visits declared special nonworking days

4. What Masses and other events are open to the public?

Most events may be attended by the public via big screens to be set up outside, but certain groups will be given priority in designated events. No tickets are needed.

The Mass at Manila Cathedral (Jan. 16, 11:15 a.m.) is open to the public, but only delegates from dioceses across the country can be accommodated inside the church due to the limited space. Tents and chairs will be set up outside the cathedral for the public.

The Meeting of the Families at Mall of Asia (Jan. 16, 5:30 p.m.) is not open to the public and will be attended by families preselected by the dioceses.

The Mass at the Tacloban airport (Jan. 17, 9:30 a.m.) is open to the public but the venue can accommodate less than 200,000 people. The youth dialogue at the University of Santo Tomas (Jan. 18, 9:45 a.m.) is open to the public, but the quadrangle will be reserved for students and youth representatives.

The Mass at Quirino Grandstand (Jan. 18, 3:30 p.m.) is open to the public.

5. What should we expect from the Mass at Quirino Grandstand?

6. Will the Masses and addresses all be in English?

Majority of the Pope’s Masses and addresses will be in English so as to reach more people.

Only the Mass at Manila Cathedral will be in Latin, as the main attendees are bishops and preselected members of the dioceses, who are expected to understand Latin. In all events, however, the Pope could make off-the-cuff remarks in either Italian or Spanish, the languages he is most comfortable with. In South Korea last year, however, Pope Francis also offered impromptu remarks in English.

READ MORE:

Pope Francis to say Masses in English in PH visit

Pope Francis polishes his English for PH visit

7. Where will the Pope stay while in the Philippines?

As in the past, the Apostolic Nunciature on Taft Avenue, Manila, is the official quarters of all visitors from the Vatican.

8. Where will the Pope’s motorcade pass?

From Villamor Air Base to the Apostolic Nunciature on Jan. 15, starting 6 p.m. People may line the streets starting 2 p.m.

From the Apostolic Nunciature to Malacanang on Jan. 16, from 8 a.m.

From Malacañang to Manila Cathedral on Jan. 16, from 10:15 a.m.

From the Manila Cathedral to Mall of Asia on Jan. 16, between 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

From the Apostolic Nunciature to Villamor Airbase on Jan. 17, around 7 a.m.

From the Tacloban airport to Gonzaga Haus on Jan. 17, between 10 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.

From Pope Francis Center for the Poor to Cathedral of Our Lord’s Transfiguration in Palo, Leyte, between 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

From Villamor Air Base to Apostolic Nunciature on Jan. 17, starting 5 p.m. From Apostolic Nunciature to University of Santo Tomas on Jan. 18, before 9:45 a.m.

From University of Santo Tomas to Quirino Grandstand on Jan. 18, between noon and 3:30 p.m.

From Quirino Grandstand to Apostolic Nunciature on Jan. 18, 5 p.m. onward

From Apostolic Nunciature to Villamor Air Base on Jan. 19, between 6 a.m. and 9:45 a.m.

9. What is the Popemobile for the Philippine visit?

Three Popemobiles have been prepared for the papal visit: one for Manila, one for Tacloban City and one backup vehicle.

In Manila, Pope Francis will ride in a white converted jeepney, the most common form of public transport in the Philippines. Some of its unique features include a secure, elevated platform to give the Pope a better view of the public, open windows and, found at each side of the jeep, glass crosses made by renowned sculptor Randy Orlina.

The vehicle to be used in Tacloban is the same Korean-made vehicle from World Youth Day in South Korea.

READ MORE:

Pope Francis to tour Manila in custom-made jeepney

10. What should we do, wear or bring during the papal events?

11. Is it true that some flights have been canceled due to the papal visit?

Around 423 international and domestic flights scheduled between 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Jan. 15 and between 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 19 at Ninoy Aquino International Airport have been canceled to make way for the papal visit.

READ MORE:

MIAA to meet with airlines execs over Naia arrangements for Pope Francis visit

PAL adjusts flights during papal visit

Cebu Pacific cancels flights in Naia for Pope Francis visit

AirAsia cancels flights in Naia for papal visit

12. Does this also mean that roads to and from Naia will also be closed?

The whole stretch of Sales Avenue to Andrews Avenue, Domestic Road to Park and Fly, and MIA Road going to Roxas Boulevard will be closed from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Jan. 15 and from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Jan. 16.

Some Naia terminals will be accessible only via South Superhighway through Bicutan, Alabang and Sucat Road.

READ MORE:

Airport roads to be closed Jan. 15, 16 for Pope Francis visit

Quirino Grandstand will also be closed from when the Pope arrives until 6 a.m., Jan. 18.

READ MORE:

Pope Francis to roam around 58-hectare Rizal Park to bless people before Holy Mass Past papal visits

1. How many popes have visited the Philippines?

Two popes have visited the country thrice. Pope Paul VI visited the Philippines in 1970 and Pope John Paul II visited in 1981 and 1995.

Read the details of their visits here:

Speeches of previous popes who visited the Philippines

2. Why didn’t Pope Benedict XVI visit the Philippines during his term?

The previous Pontiff said his health prevented him from traveling for long hours. His health was also the reason behind his decision to step down from the papacy in 2013.

Sources: Inquirer.net, papalvisit.ph, vatican.va

PHILSTAR

INFOGRAPHIC: The early life of Pope Francis By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated January 13, 2015 - 1:48pm 6 110 googleplus0 0


Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Italian immigrants Mario Jose Bergoglio and Regina Maria Sivori. He is the eldest of five children. BBC

MANILA, Philippines - Pope Francis was known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio before he became the Pope in 2013.

Here are some facts about the Roman Pontiff before entering priesthood.
TO CLICK EACH YEAR ON IMAGE
GOTO
 http://www.philstar.com/news-feature/2015/01/13/1412502/infographic-early-life-pope-francis 


IMAGE FROM PHILSTAR


FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Bring a raincoat for Papal visit activities, PAGASA says by Ellalyn De Vera January 13, 2015 Share this:


COURTESY OF PHILSTAR: Tropical cyclone may enter Philippines on Pope's arrival By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated January 13, 2015 - 1:14pm Satellite image courtesy of DOST-PAGASA

Bringing a transparent raincoat may be a good idea to keep yourself dry if you are attending the Papal visit outdoor activities later this week.

Rene Paciente, assistant weather services chief of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said the low pressure area (LPA) being monitored by the agency has a high chance of intensifying into a tropical depression before its entry into the country’s area of responsibility by Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.

Once it intensifies into a tropical depression, it will be named “Amang.”

As of 8 a.m. Tuesday, the LPA was about 1,810 kilometers (km) east of Mindanao.

“Our data show that there is still possibility that the weather disturbance will recurve northward but it also show that it may cut across Eastern Visayas-Bicol Region area toward the Palawan area this weekend. Either way, it will rain during the Pope’s visit in Metro Manila and Leyte,” he explained.

From January 14 to 17 (Wednesday-Saturday), Metro Manila will experience passing light rains with light to moderate northeasterly winds, Paciente said.

By January 18 (Sunday), moderate to occasional strong winds and moderate rains will be felt, while cloudy skies with light rains will prevail by January 19 (Monday) in Metro Manila, he added.

In Tacloban City and Palo, Leyte, pilgrims will experience good weather with light rains from January 14 to 15, he noted.

Paciente pointed out that light to moderate rains will affect the area by January 16, becoming moderate to occasional heavy rains by January 17.


PHILSTAR

'Amang' may intensify into storm but landfall now unlikely By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated January 14, 2015 - 11:55am 20 484 googleplus0 0


The forecast of the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center shows approaching Tropical Depression "Amang" hitting the Philippines. State weather bureau PAGASA, however, said there is now a low chance that the cyclone will make landfall. US Navy/JTWC

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED 11:30 a.m.) - Here's an answered prayer for those raring to see Pope Francis.

There is now a low chance that approaching Tropical Depression "Amang" will make landfall though it is still expected to affect Luzon and Visayas during the visit of Pope Francis this weekend, the state weather bureau said before Wednesday noon.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in a 10 a.m. weather advisory that the tropical depression was last located at 1,560 kilometers east of northern Mindanao, packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center.

Amang is forecast to move west-northwest at 19 kph and is expected to intensify into a tropical storm before entering the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Thursday morning.

PAGASA said Amang is still too far to affect any part of the country.

"It is predicted to weaken as it approaches the eastern seaboard with low possibility of making landfall," the weather bureau said.

In a phone-patch interview with ANC, PAGASA forecaster Alvin Pura said Amang will be near Northern Luzon by Monday, recurving toward Japan.

"Sa ngayon, most probable yung ating recurvature na scenario," he said.

Eastern Visayas, Luzon still affected Pura said Amang will be near Eastern Visayas and the Bicol region by the weekend or when Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Manila and Leyte province.

Even if it is no longer expected to directly hit the Philippine landmass, Pura said the cyclone's outer perimeter rainband would still not spare Tacloban City.

And by the time Amang approaches the Bicol region, it would also be affecting Central Luzon and Metro Manila.

PAGASA earlier said Amang has a big chance of hitting landmass, noting that cyclones that enter the country during this time of the year are "landfalling."

But the agency said the prevailing northeast monsoon or the cold and dry air from China and Siberia could affect the weather disturbance’s movement and intensification.

US forecast Meanwhile, the Hawaii-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center still sees Amang directly hitting the Philippines and not recurving toward Japan.

Based on its latest forecast, Amang will be in the vicinities of Eastern Visayas and Bicol region over the weekend.

Pope Francis is expected to be in Tacloban City and Palo in Leyte on Saturday to meet some families affected by Typhoon Yolanda.

He will be back in Manila by Sunday to officiate a holy mass at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta.


FROM PHILSTAR

Baptism of priests’ children causes stir By Jennifer Rendon (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 13, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - The baptism of children of two married Catholic priests in Lambunao, Iloilo Sunday drew mixed reactions on social media.

Days before the visit of Pope Francis to the country, Fr. Hector Canto and Fr. Jose Elmer Cajilig reiterated their call for optional celibacy among the clergy.

Wearing their liturgical vestments, Canto and Cajilig co-celebrated the baptismal rites with Fr. Jesus Siva, also a married priest.

“If the Church says go and multiply, how come the priests are forbidden to do so?” netizen Jabbar said on social media.

Andrea, another Facebook user, said they should not have embraced priesthood if they would not follow the mandatory celibacy among the clergy under the Canon law.

But for Siva, the centuries-old celibacy rule should end, as many children were suffering and growing up without fathers.

“Baptizing the children is giving them dignity. After all, they have done no wrong,” he said.

The baptismal was held at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel in Lambunao town attended by family members, friends and parishioners of the three priests.

Canto’s daughter was baptized as Gabriel Opcel for “optional celibacy.” He has three other children, with Opcel as part of their first names.

Siva, 54, has two sons. Cajilig, 53, has three children with his 27-year-old partner.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) gave the three Ilonggo priests legal authority to officiate weddings on July 14 last year.

They established the Compania de los Padres de Familia (Padres de Capilla) Inc. in Lambunao town four years ago.

The group has five members to date but only Canto, Siva and Cajilig are allowed to officiate weddings.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2014 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE