Be part of Papa Francis’ visit
KAPATID DAY - Peachy Vibal-Guioguio (The Philippine Star) - December 21, 2014 - 12:00am

After reading the heartwarming accounts of ordinary people who have come in touch with Pope Francis, I instantly became a fan. I followed him on social media, shared stories about him on my FB account, re-tweeted his tweets and never ceased to be amazed by his humility and compassion, especially towards the average folks. So, it is with excitement that I look forward to Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines come January.

To convey this excitement and happiness to the entire Filipino people, TV5, led by its chairman Manny V. Pangilinan (MVP) — in partnership with the MVP Group of Companies PLDT, Smart, Unitel, Cignal, BusinessWorld and Meralco —  recently launched a website solely dedicated to the historic visit of Pope Francis next month. It is unprecedented that so early in his Papacy, Pope Francis chose to bestow the country with his gift of grace. And like the rest of Philippine Christendom, TV5 Network would follow the Pope’s journey through our islands and through the hearts of every living Filipino as well, both Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

With the launch of, the Kapatid Network offers a comprehensive and innovative website that allows even more Filipinos to take part in the upcoming Papal visit. Through the website’s unique set-up, as early as now, TV5 presents Filipinos with the opportunity to send and proclaim their love for the Pope through personal greetings and welcome messages even before he sets foot in Manila next month. An equally remarkable feature is the “Prayer Wall,” where netizens’ personal intentions and petitions for the Pope will be displayed and generated via inspirational postcards on the website. In addition, a section where users can also personally share stories of mercy and compassion will be incorporated to further highlight the spiritual nature of the Papal visit.

Internet-savvy individuals can also take part by simply posting their messages and prayers on their respective social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), while using the campaign’s official hashtag, #DearPopeFrancis. The website will also include an aggregate function that automatically tracks, collates and displays all social media posts and responses that mention #DearPopeFrancis. On top of all of these, users will have access to in-depth news articles, insightful editorial content and exclusive photos, and footage on anything and everything about Pope Francis — from interesting factoids to his itinerary, among many others. The website will also provide free live streaming features that will allow viewers to closely follow the Pope as he makes his historic journey here.

As for the rest of the Papal coverage, the MVP Group also gears into action as PLDT is set to air its plugs on the Papal visit and enjoin all Filipinos in celebrating Pope Francis’ presence among us. There will also be accompanying radio ads to invite listeners to visit the website and use the hashtag #DearPopeFrancis in their social media posts.

During the visit, Smart will be partnering with the Marriage Encounter Foundation (MEF) for the tents and shirts/caps for its marshal/volunteers during the Papal Mass in Luneta. Smart would also be putting up public service stations manned by personnel from the MVP Group for Mass attendees who would need assistance or for up-to-date information that people need to know. Smart has also partnered with Radio Veritas for special edition SIM cards. PLDT will have live streaming of the Papal visit activities through Cignal/TV5’s feeds from selected parishes in GMM and various sales and service centers (SSCs), with TV5 taking the lead in covering the entire proceedings. On Jan. 11, 2015, TV5 will be airing, Pastol sa Nagbabagong Panahon, a one-hour documentary with four segments on the most relevant issues facing Filipino Catholics today: A.) Poverty and The Filipino — a look at “the most pressing problem” in the Philippines; B.) Contraception — tackles an issue that has divided Filipinos; C.) Gays — examines the Pope’s impact on the Church’s stand on homosexuality; and D.) The Selfie Generation — How the Church, led by Pope Francis, has tried to reach out to more people through social media.

With the launch of, TV5 stands at the forefront of bringing Filipinos closer to Pope Francis by letting them openly express their love and warm welcome to the Holy Father.

In sum, TV5 and its extensive coverage of the Papal visit, backed by the resources and technology of the MVP Group, will offer our Kapatid here and around the world an unprecedented 360-degree view of the momentous event that, years from now, people will be retelling to their children and their children’s children as well.

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