The long wait is over, the Pope is finally here.
At about 5:30PM (PH Time), Sri Lankan Airpline carrying Pope Francis and his whole entourage landed at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City. At that time, all churches throughout the country rang their bells to signify that the Pontiff is already in the country.
The Pope was welcomed by the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, President Benigno S. Aquino with his cabinet and Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle with other bishops of the country. The President shook the hand of the Pope and greeted him with a big smile, same with Pope Francis in return.
On the part of Cardinal Tagle which is known as a close friend of the Pope, Pope Francis greeted him with a big long hug, signifying his delight and gratefulness for the warm welcome.
Before alighting the plane, the Pope was seen peeking on the window several times showing his excitement and seemingly impatience to get out of the plane and meet the Filipino people.
After several state protocols and quick chat with the President, Pope Francis was then ushered into the Pope Mobile (the Izuzu Dmax Pope Mobile) to start his 1st open motorcade at the streets of Manila going to the Papal Nunciature in Taft Ave.
The Pope was greeted by thousands of enthusiastic Pinoys who filled up the streets where the Pope’s convey traveled. In return Pope Francis greeted them with his big and electrifying pleasant smile, showcasing how simple, humble and adorable this Pope is.
Tomorrow, the Pope will be in Malacanang for a Welcome ceremony and meeting with different government authorities and diplomatic corps. After that he will proceed to the Manila Cathedral to celebrate mass with different priest, bishops and other religious people. And on the afternoon he will be in MOA Arena for the meeting with the families.
See his full itinerary on his 5-day State and Pastoral visit here.