Sa Pagbisita ng santo papa Francis sa Pilipinas…maraming napatunayan ang mga Pilipino

Sa Pagbisita ng santo papa Francis sa Pilipinas

…maraming napatunayan ang mga Pilipino

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Maraming napatunayan ang pagbisita ng santo papa, Francis, sa Pilipinas:

  • May disiplina ang mga Pilipino… may nabalya man ay hindi sinadya, kung nakapagmura man ay sarili ang tinukoy, at walang takot sa pamamaos kung sumigaw dahil nasanay sa mga rally noong panahon ni Marcos.
  • Matapang kung humarap sa anumang banta ng bagyo o bombing kaya walang takot kung makipagsiksikan kahit may bitbit na bata…nasanay kasi sa pagharap sa unos na dulot ng matinding korapsyon sa gobyerno.
  • Kayang tumayo sa ilalim ng walang humpay na buhos ng ulan kahit malusaw ang make-up at tumabingi ang iginuhit na mga kilay dahil nabasa. Ibig sabihin, may katawang matibay at mukhang maganda pa rin kahit lusaw na ang make-up at tabingi ang mga kilay…kaya ngang indahin ang gutom dahil sa hagupit ng mga gahaman sa gobyerno, eh!
  • Kahit babae kayang magpatumba ng mabigat na concrete barrier dahil hindi sinasadyang naisalya nang magkaroon ng hindi rin sinasadyang stampede…nakakaya nga ng mahihirap ang mabigat na buwis na ipinataw ng BIR, na dapat ay mga mayayaman ang bumalikat, contrete barrier pa kaya?
  • Matibay ang sikmura na hindi naringgan ng pag-alburuto kahit walang laman sa kabila ng magdamagang pagbantay sa puwesto na pinaghirapang makuha…nasanay na kasi sa pagsikmura sa nakakasukang mga mukha at salita ng mga buwaya sa gobyerno.
  • Handang mag-abot ng sariling kapote sa katabing matanda, bata o buntis na nakaligtaang maabutan ng nasabing donasyon o di kaya ay walang perang pambili nito…nasanay na kasi sa ugaling mapagbigay at maawain pa kahit sa mga tiwaling opisyal na asal-demonyo!
  • Nakakaawit kahit ang tono ng boses ay hindi umaalis sa linya ng lower “do”, ibig sabihin ay hirap umabot sa linya ng “re”, lalo na sa linya ng “mi”…hindi naman kasi halata dahil marami silang may ganitong “ginintuang boses”. Nagkukunwari na lang na sila ay nagsi-“second voice”. Lahat ay gagawin ng Pilipino upang maging bahagi ng isang pakikibaka.
  • Kayang maglakad ng kung ilang kilometro papunta sa mga dadaanan ng santo papa at Luneta dahil sarado para sa mga sasakyan ang mga kalye…pagpapakita ng kasanayan dahil madalas kulang ang baong pamasahe….at yan ang totoo, dahil mismo ang santo papa ay alam na dina-divert ng gobyerno ang mga resources na dapat sana ay para sa mahihirap sa pamamagitan ng sapat na sweldo at mababang presyo ng mga bilihin.
  • Na likas sa Pilipino ang pagpasa ng kung anu-ano, hindi lang pamasahe, mula sa pasaherong nasa malayong bahagi ng jeep papunta sa driver, o di kaya sisi sa iba kung may bulilyaso, kundi pati na mga ostiya mula sa mga pari papunta sa mga nakalahad na mga kamay sa bandang likuran ng mga “quadrant”…isang pagpapakita ng magnanimous sharing nang magkaroon ng concluding Mass sa Luneta.
  • Kayang magpakasimple nang mga Pilipino. Walang nakita ni isang mukha ng showbiz personality na dinaanan ang TV camera, kahit na ang mga kapatid ng presidente ay nakihalubilo bilang simpleng mamamayan, lalo na si Kris Aquino na kung hindi ininterbyu tungkol sa karanasan niya ay hindi nagsalita. For once, nagpabilib sila!
  • Hindi takot magkaroon ng alipunga dahil sa magdamagang pagkababad ng mga paa sa tubig… sa paghintay sa santo papa na muntik nang hindi makarating sa Tacloban dahil sa bagyo, at habang nagmi-Misa na ito sa gitna ng malumanay na hagupit ng bagyong Amang. Nasanay na ang mga Pilipino sa amoy ng alipunga na nanggagaling sa mga bulwagan kung saan ay ginagawa ang mga batas!

Yan ang Pilipino…walang takot…may katawang matibay…may ilong na bantad na sa umaalingasaw na amoy ng korapsyon…may kaisipang matalas…at pagmamahal na sa puso ay umaapaw!…nag-iisa at hindi pangkaraniwang lahi sa balat ng lupa…kaya naatasan ng santo papa Francis na maging sugo sa pamamahagi ng mga salita ni Hesus at marubdob na pananampalataya sa Diyos! Sa Pilipinas lang sila matatagpuan, bansang kahit lugmok na sa kahirapan dahil sa tindi ng korapsyon ay pilit na bumabangon!

The Charisma of Pope Francis and the Euphoria of the Filipinos

The Charisma of Pope Francis

And the Euphoria of the Filipinos

By Apolinario Villalobos

The electrifying impact of Pope Francis’ historic visit to the Philippines is such that it will never be forgotten, especially, with the attestation of the Vatican’s spokesperson that it is the biggest event among the papal visits to any country. The euphoric feeling of the Filipinos borders on justifiable fanaticism. The warm reception accorded the shepherd of the Catholic Church defied the onslaught of nature when he said the Mass in Tacloban which was punctuated with incessant rain and strong wind, and in Manila which was heavily drenched with the steady bone-drenching downpour.

The bad weather did not melt the devotion of the Filipinos as they waited even for the fleeting moment to have a glance of the pope along the routes of his entourage. Wheelchaired PWDs patiently waited under the shield of thin plastic sheets. Mothers risked the health and safety of their children. And, elderlies did not utter any complaint as they waited for the pope with their wobbling legs.

For once, the rich and the poor trekked side by side, to Luneta for the concluding Mass, under the rain. The selfie addicts heeded the call not to click their camera during the Mass. The six million pilgrims gave resonating replies as one solid flock, to whatever call was made by the moderator of the occasion. For the first time, perhaps, hosts were passed on by pilgrims from the hand of the priests during the Communion. Putting to action the call of the pope for compassion, some pilgrims gave their raincoat to mothers and children.

The concluding Mass became some sort of a commitment ceremony during which Archbishop Tagle, speaking for the Filipinos, made a promise to go with him to the wherever his mission will bring him. And, in response, the pope asked the Filipinos to carry on the light of faith and devotion wherever they may go.

The pope played his role as Christ’s spokesperson during his visit, with a resounding success. He was a picture of humility since the first day of his arrival. And, his request that ceremonies do away with pomposity, was followed to the last letter. No colorful streamers from government officials and politicians that scream greetings dotted his routes. Most, importantly, the Filipinos behaved appropriately.

Crowd Control System

Crowd Control System

By Apolinario Villalobos

On January 18, the day the pope was scheduled to say Mass at Luneta in the afternoon, a stampede happened just before five in the morning. The Maria Orosa entrance to Luneta was breached by impatient pilgrims. The Maria Orosa area has two gates for the pilgrims and provided with scanning machines. With the breach that practically toppled heavy concrete barricades, a stampede ensued resulting to the injury of about ten pilgrims with one elderly brought to the hospital, rendering the scanning machines useless.

According to the interviewed pilgrims who were part of the stampeding crowd, they were outside the park since the day before so that they could secure a vantage area in front of the stage or beside the path intended for the pope. They came from the far provinces hoping that as soon as they have arrived at Luneta, they could settle down at a chosen area and make use of the park’s toilet facilities. The opportunities were denied to them because, particularly at the Maria Orosa entrance, only one entrance was opened instead of the two, resulting unfortunately to the stampede.

In the above instance, while the enthusiasm of the pilgrims can be blamed, observable is the oversight of the operating committee in taking into consideration the pent up emotion of the pilgrims that could burst into impatience, resulting to the stampede which, indeed happened.

The people behind the event should have used the chaotic handling of the Cebu Pacific Air passengers at the airport terminal 3 as basis in coming up with a system in handling the papal visit crowd. They should have taken note that the reason of the chaos at the airport is the amassing of the passengers at the gate before checking them in close to departure time by one or two check-in clerks, instead of a full complement of personnel.

Going back to the Luneta stampede, it could have been avoided if the two gates were opened instead of just one. Or better, they should have opened said gates much much earlier to give time for an orderly inflow of pilgrims.

In the same way, the chaos at the airport terminal 3 could have been avoided if Cebu Pacific Air opens its check in counters much much earlier if they see the forming of a long queue outside the terminal….and with a full complement of check-in personnel, to ensure that all passengers with confirmed tickets are checked in on time. Cebu Pacific Air, after operating for so many years is supposed to have a clear profile of their clientele.

Common sense still, is an important ingredient in concocting a systematic handling of a crowd.