During his trip – dubbed Pope Francis Papal Visit 2015, Mercy and Compassion – to the Philippines from January 15-19, 2015, Pope Francis will have a full schedule; which includes a visit to Malacañang Palace, several motorcades and meetings, and lunch with the survivors of Haiyan in the municipality of Palo in Leyte province. The Pope’s itinerary spans across almost a dozen venues in Manila and Leyte over his five–day stay in the country.
According to the papalvisit.ph site, the Pope – who is set to arrive is to arrive in Manila from Sri Lanka in the late afternoon of January 15 – will be residing at the Apostolic Nunciature, the embassy of the Holy See, on Taft Avenue in Manila.
On January 16, the Pope will be officially welcomed to the Philippines by President Benigno Aquino III at a reception in Malacañang Palace, where the Pontiff will also meet with members of the Diplomatic Corps.
Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa said that “Pope Francis will be here not only as the leader of the Roman Catholic, but he is also the head of state of the Vatican, and as such, his Holiness will be extended all the courtesies provided to visiting heads of state.”
Pope Francis will head back to Rome on January 19, after fulfilling the duties related to his pastoral trip to the country.
The Pope’s official itinerary for his Philippine trip was disclosed by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle at a news conference held on Friday, November 14, at the Arzobispado de Manila.
“The pastoral visit of Pope Francis will surely bring much blessing to all of us, especially to the poor, the survivors of calamities both natural and human-caused, to the victims of different kinds of injustice,” Tagle said.
Tagle noted that the Pope admired “the faith and resilience of the survivors” of natural calamities, and that he would bring a message of solidarity and hope to the people of the Philippines; a predominantly Roman Catholic nation.
The Cardinal added that the Pope expressed his hope to be strengthened by the “faith of the simple people”.
Meanwhile, former Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See Marciano Paynor urged the public to avoid creating a “people surge” as they follow his Holiness around. Paynor explained that this measure needs to be observed, so as to allow Pope Francis to stay on track with his hectic schedule.
On the other hand, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., who was also in attendance at Friday’s meeting at the Arzobispado, revealed that an international media center will be set-up at the Manila Hotel tent situated in Rizal Park.
The Vatican media center will be located at the Diamond Hotel, as well as on the field in Leyte, Coloma added.
The Pope’s itinerary was detailed by Tagle, as follows:
January 15, 2015
• Arrival from Sri Lanka (Villamor Air Base)
• Motorcade to the Apostolic Nunciature (Taft Avenue, Manila)
January 16, 2015
• Welcome Ceremony, Courtesy Visit to the President, and Meeting with Authorities and the Diplomatic Corps at Malacañang Palace (Manila)
• Motorcade to the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Manila Cathedral)
• Mass with Bishops, Priests at Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Manila Cathedral)
• Motorcade to the Mall of Asia Arena (Pasay)
• Meeting with the Families at the Mall of Asia Arena (Pasay)
January 17, 2015
• Departure for the Archdiocese of Palo from Villamor Air Base
• Arrival at Tacloban Airport
• Holy Mass near Tacloban Airport
• Lunch with the Poor and Survivors of Calamities at Gonzagahaus, the Residence of the Archbishop of Palo (Palo, Leyte)
• Blessing of the Pope Francis Center for the Poor (Palo, Leyte)
• Meeting with the Priests and Women and Men Religious at Cathedral of Our Lord’s Transfiguration (Palo Cathedral in Palo, Leyte)
• Departure for Manila
• Arrival at Manila (Villamor Air Base)
January 18, 2015
• Brief Meeting with Religious Leaders, and meeting with the Youth at the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas (España, Manila)
• Motorcade to Rizal Park (Manila)
• Celebration of the Concluding Mass at Rizal Park (Manila)
January 19, 2015
• Motorcade from the Apostolic Nunciature (Taft Avenue, Manila)
• Departure for Rome from Villamor Air Base