Pope Francis in the Philippines: impressed with Filipinos

“He is happy to be here finally in the Philippines. First encounter with the Filipino people was very impressive, touching. Important, the pope has received a very strong impression, spiritual experience with your people,” Director of the Vatican press office Federico Lombardi said in a press conference at Diamond Hotel after Pope Francis’ motorcade from Villamore Air Base to the residence of Papal Nuncio where he will stay during his Philippine pastoral and state visit.

“The pope was very impressed,” Lombardi told the press.

“He understands very well the enthusiasm that he will experience here is something particular and the entire action would be around him waiting for word of consolation of love, hope,” the Vatican official adds.

Pope Francis is scheduled to meet President Aquino today at Malacanang. He will also meet diplomats from other countries while in Malacanang. After Malacanang, he will proceed to Manila Cathedral for Eucharistic Celebration intended for bishops and priests.

Later in the afternoon, he will again have a motorcade from Taft Avenue to SM Mall of Asia Arena. At SM Mall of Asia Arena he will meet with the families.