Watching pontiff’s arrival on screen sparks papal visit excitement in Palo town

January 16, 2015 2:00 am 

By Sarwell Q. Meniano

PALO, Leyte, Jan. 15 (PNA) — Watching Pope Francis’ arrival on a wide screen has flared the excitement of super typhoon Yolanda survivors to see the pontiff in person on Saturday.

Hundreds of residents gathered outside the Palo Cathedral to watch the live coverage on big screen of the Roman Catholic Church leader’s arrival around 5:45 p.m. today.

Some were moved to tears as they watched the pope embraced children and greeted the crowd. The Archdiocese of Palo had set up the big screen outside the Cathedral for the locals to watch the papal visit coverage.

Teary eyed Vilma Guia, 54, a resident of this town, said she could not wait to see the Pope in their hometown.

“He’s really a bearer of blessings. We will welcome him with gratitude on Saturday,” said Guia, whose house was razed to the ground by the powerful typhoon on Nov. 8, 2013.

Sarah Ramos, 51, who traveled for hours from his hometown in Leyte said that watching Pope Francis on screen is like greeting him in person.

“I’m very happy to watch the coverage. It seems that I was part of the welcoming party,” said Ramos, whose house and small farm were damaged by Yolanda’s wrath.

Preparations have been stepped up in this town with people painting their houses, cleaning up surrounding, clearing roadside obstructions, and children rehearsing their presentation.

Some pilgrims took photos around the Cathedral and mass grave sites while the area is still opened to public.

After the open-air mass at the Tacloban airport on Saturday, Pope Francis will proceed to this town to have lunch with 30 disaster survivors, bless a home for orphans and elderly, meet with the religious, and bless the mass grave.

Palo town, the seat of Roman Catholicism in Eastern Visayas, took the toll of super typhoon Yolanda’s wrath when it unleashed its fury, killing more a thousand people and destroying all houses. (PNA)

LAP/SQM/RSM

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