Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Take me back to Vatican

When Duterte mentioned of his plans to head over to Vatican and seek the Pope's forgiveness once he's proclaimed president, an experience of a lifetime all started coming back to me. Part of me wants to head over there too.  

Rome has a special place in my heart. Even as a little girl, I've dreamed of wandering all over the ancient city.  History just comes alive from each corner.

Before Pope Francis even visited the country, I sought to be part of the Papal audience one cold rainy Wednesday morning.  Shivering under my red and black umbrella, I was one of the few Filipinos present in the square that day.  One was based in Spain, the other in the US; and they conversed with some of the old Latinas in fluent Spanish.

I sat on an old paper bag from McDonalds (yeah, I tried American fastfood in Europe while waiting for the next train; do not judge me!:p). It was a vain attempt to protect my skirt, hose & undies from getting wet (tsk, I didn't know my sister's leather skirt would have been useful). I chomped on some apples from my bag to comfort myself.

Alas, when Pope Francis arrived, the senior citizen Latinas suddenly became like giddy teenagers in an Elvis Presley concert. They were just WILD. They pushed and shoved like there's no tomorrow. 

But just one glimpse of the Pope and the remarkable energy of the crowd when we prayed in multiple languages made it all worth the effort.  And when you're there seated in the square, you can't help but study in detail the statues of the angels and saints up above.

I noticed that those in bridal gowns that day were free to come forward and ask for the Pope's special blessing.  Too bad I didn't know that that was possible.

The next day, the weather improved and my cousin dared me to don a wedding gown. He borrowed a dress from a friend and voila! I had my instant bridal pictorial in Rome! People kept saying "Auguri!"-- best wishes in Italian.  Some even took pictures with me pretending they were guests/family.  It was cute. They were all supportive.

I crossed the street, fed pigeons, and even rode a bus wearing that dress! Thank God I had my boots and leggings underneath.  I have Kuya Rey and the rest of his family to thank for forcing me to do this once-in-a-life pictorial.

Needless to say, it was really fun.  I really wish I could go back and eat all the pizza and cheese at Piazza Navona..

I pray all the best for our country now that we've just elected a new set of leaders.  I hope our new president could hug Pope Francis for us.


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