Monday, April 04, 2005


One evening in 1981, I stood along Shaw Boulevard with my father. We were among thousands who gathered under the moonlight, waving white and yellow flags and Amo Te banners, waiting for a glimpse of his motorcade heading for nearby Villa San Miguel, home to the Archbishop of Manila.

I was expecting him to be in a black limo. Instead, when the motorcade arrived, he was in a bus. From the well-lit interior, among seated cardinals, he stood waving and blessing the crowd outside.

One afternoon in 1995, I sat on the UST football field with some classmates, the other 'pagans' from the group (the devout Catholics from the gang weren't allowed to come because of the crowds). We were supposed to have a World Youth Day sign like the rest of the people. However, the guy who made the art paper and cartolina sign for us had written WE LOVE YOU, POPE JOHN II. And he was saddened when I told him that was the wrong pope (one that was dead for about 1,500 years).

It was hot. It was crowded. But when he appeared on the grandstand, by then with the aid of a cane, it was worth the wait.

Yesterday morning, as I had been watching the news of his passing, I tried to fight back tears.

And lost.

I never agreed with him all the time. At least, not on issues like contraception (I'd buy so much condoms that I'd earn dissaproving looks from drug store counter girls).

But I do respect him.

He will be missed.



you know, i really regret not going to the world youth day in 95. in fact, i actually told my mom the day he died that it was her fault cos a good mother would have forced me to go.

anyway, water under the bridge.

but he was extraordinary wasnt he?
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