Pope Francis arrives safely in Manila from Tacloban

Pope Francis arrives safely in Manila from Tacloban.

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Pope Francis now back at Apostolic Nunciature

MANILA, Jan. 17 — Pope Francis, one of Christendom’s most popular figures, arrived at the Apostolic Nunciature in Taft Avenue, Manila at 2: 55 p.m. after an almost five-hour visit in Tacloban City and Palo, Leyte Saturday.

His supposed eight-hour stay at the two “Yolanda” battered areas was cut short by inclement weather and stiff head winds caused by Tropical Storm “Amang”.

Pope Francis departed from Villamor Air Base at 2: 38 p.m. but not without spending time with thousands of well-wishers and devotees who gathered there just to get near him.

The Pontiff was seen shaking hands with government officials who gathered to meet, handing rosaries to the elderly, and in one instance, exchanging his skull cap to a devotee carrying a similar one, kissing a baby girl, and commending and blessing the pilots of Philippine Air Lines Flight 0810 for safely transporting him and his entourage back to Manila. (PNA report by Priam F. Nepomuceno)

Pope Francis arrives at Villamor Air Base from Tacloban City

MANILA, Jan. 17 — The Philippine Air Lines (PAL) aircraft carrying Pope Francis and his entourage safely landed at the Villamor Air Base, Pasay City at 2:14 p.m.

The Pope was welcomed by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Delgado, Philippine National Police officer-in-charge Deputy Director Leonardo Espina.

Thousands of well-wishers were also present.

The Pope’s plane, PAL Flight 0810, left the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport, Tacloban City at 1:07 p.m. after inclement weather caused by Tropical Storm “Amang” threatened to close the airfield from air traffic.

The Pontiff was supposed to stay in Leyte until 5 p.m. Saturday but this was cut short due to inclement weather and stiff winds, conditions that may prevent Pope Francis’ aircraft from safely leaving.

Pope Francis was not able to have the scheduled lunch with survivors of Typhoon Yolanda and Bohol earthquake but met with them at the Palo Cathedral.

This, after he blessed the Pope Francis Center for the Poor, which is part of his itinerary.

Earlier in the day, the Pontiff was able to officiate a Holy Mass at Tacloban City Airport. (PNA report by Priam Nepomuceno and Joann Santiago)

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