Des and I went to the Encounter with Families of Pope Francis at the SM MOA Arena. We were so concerned about the traffic and parking situation that we left the mountain at 7am, passed for Dylan and Fyron along the way. Signals were jammed from Makati all the way to Pasay, and most of the day, so we had to rely on the old fashioned way to meet up: your word. Setting a time and place and actually showing up!
Though free WiFi from SM helped, even for the limited one hour usage. We got to Arena by 8am, loved that there was no build up of traffic yet, and got to park for free at Arena parking. Though we parked pretty high up because the parking slots were almost all full! Everyone else thought the same thing as us. We had 3 hours to eat up before the gates opened, so we ate up:-)
At 11am, we made our way through the thick crowds (so many people already! Flashbacks of World Youth Day in Madrid as we convoyed through thick crowds). And finally got into the venue and found our seats. The show was great and it wise nice seeing Christine Jacob and Paco Sandejas host with their FIVE children, just like us! Well, this June, we will have the 5 kids with us 🙂 Maybe next Papal visit we can be the hosts!
The program was very nice with good talent from so many places (except that one dancer with legs of stone). It was a good space filler while waiting for the Pope to come. The cameras tracked his way from the Apostolic Nunciature all the way to Arena, and it was electric and exciting! Then, he walked into Arena, and …. wow.
It was such a blessing and privilege to see you, Pope Francis. You make us feel the warm love of Christ, the hopeful anticipation of Mary and the silent strength of Joseph. You are who we all want to follow, emulate and serve. Thank you for your message of love for families. For defending life from conception to natural death. And for reminding us not to be swayed or influenced by these colonizers who want to destroy what make the Philippines so beautiful.
We stand with you. We will renew our quest to renew the family and defend life! We love you Pope Francis!
More photos here (and I REFUSE to call him Lolo Kiko. I REFUSE):