Pope Francis flies to Rome, ends official 5-day PH visit.
MANILA, Jan. 19 — Amidst chants of “Viva, Sto. Papa,” Pope Francis walked through the tarmac of Villamor Air Base, Pasay City as he officially concluded his five-day apostolic visit to the Philippines Monday.
A PAL Airbus 340, designated as Flight 001, was the plane tasked to transport the Pontiff home.
With children and well-wishers, also shouting “Pope Francis, We Love,” a slight alteration of the chant then used to welcome then Pope John Paul II during his visit to the country during the 10th World Youth Day activities held in the country in 1995, the Pontiff was seen talking to President Benigno S. Aquino III, who walked besides him.
While this was going on, the lyre band present, strummed up their version of “Tell The World Of His Love,” the song popularized during the 10th World Youth Day.
Pope Francis also took time to talk and greet with ranking members of the Philippine clergy who saw him off along with other government officials.
Also played was the “We’re All God’s Children,” the official theme song of Pope Francis’ apostolic visit.
Around 440 children, mostly beneficiaries of the programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, performed a short dance using this song.
Pope Francis boarded his plane at 9:49 a.m. and waved to the crowd one last time. Upon boarding, the Pontiff went to the cockpit area and chatted briefly with the pilots.
The front entrance of the Airbus 340 was closed at 9:52 a.m. The aircraft started taxing at 10:07 a.m. and was airborne at 10:13 a.m.
Children under DSWD’s care bid farewell Pope Francis at Villamor Air Base
MANILA, Jan. 19 — More than 400 disadvantaged children under the care of the Department of Social Welfare and Development took part in the send-off activity for Pope Francis at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City after the Pontiff’s Jan. 15 to Jan. 19 visit in the country.
These children were rescued under difficult circumstances like abandoned and abused, and are undergoing rehabilitation.
The children happily and excitedly rehearsed their numbers and feel inspired that they will have the chance to have a glimpse of the Pontiff.
Some of the children said that they are happy to be given the chance to be with the admired and beloved Pope who visited the country to spread love, mercy and compassion for the poor.
According to them, seeing the Pope is one beautiful experience and blessing that they can remember in their whole life and will always remind them that despite of some difficult circumstances they went through there will be hope and God’s hand that will watch and guide them.
These children sang and danced through songs like Tell the World of His Love, We are God’s children and Sing Jesus sing.
DSWD is an agency that primarily takes care of the disadvantaged children.
The children are assisted through the DSWD’s different programs designed for them and their families to ensure that they will not be left behind. (PNA)
PHL flag carrier flies Pope Francis back to Rome
MANILA, Jan. 19 — Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) flies Pope Francis back to Rome on Monday.
According to PAL, the chartered Airbus 340 has been at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City since 6 am.
PAL was the same airline that flew the Pope to Tacloban, Leyte last Jan. 17 (Saturday) leaving Manila at 8:15 am, and having to leave at 1 pm due to bad weather brought about by tropical storm “Amang.”
The Pope’s Leyte visit was cut short after the province was placed under Storm Signal No. 2 the same day. He was there to celebrate a special mass at Tacloban Airport and to personally visit victims of typhoon “Yolanda”.
PAL has been tagged official Papal carrier of Pope Francis’ first pastoral visit to the Philippines, after past experience of flying Saint John Paul II in 1981 and 1995.
The airline flew Pope John Paul to six provincial stations within three days in 1981 and again to Port Moresby after a four-day visit that was restricted to Manila for health reasons in 1995.(PNA)