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Cebu News

Include Cebu in Pope visit

Mechelle P. Florita/ATO - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines -  Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama is still appealing to the Vatican that Cebu City be included in Pope Francis’ itinerary even after the Pope’s final schedule was released last week showing that he would not be visiting Cebu.

“I am asking KBP (Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas), media, to be one in this appeal, ang atong mga bloggers whatever (way) nga maka connect directly to Vatican, chat or whatever mapaabot didto sa Vatican (for Cebu to be included in the Pope’s itinerary),” Rama said.

Rama said that he was dismayed upon learning that Cebu is not part of the Pope’s itinerary considering that Cebu City was also hit by calamities. Among the disasters was the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last year.

“I am a little bit saddened by the news,” he said.

Rama said that he is also wishing that the Cebu provincial government will call for the change of the Pope’s schedule.

“I wish the province will also follow, naigo man sad sa calamity. Grabe kaayo naapektuhan ang mga victims sa Northern Cebu (when the supertyphoon Yolanda hit the country),” he said.

Among the places which will be visited by the Pope are Tacloban City, Palo, Leyte and Manila.

Based on earlier reports, Basilica rector Fr. Jonas Mejares said that he is disappointed with the itinerary.

“Human as I am, I am disappointed. Being the rector of the cradle of Christianity, I can’t help but be dismayed. But if you look at the bigger picture, there must be a reason why this happened,” he said.

However, Mejares said that he is hopeful that the Pope might reconsider visiting Cebu.  Monsignor Joseph Tan, archdiocese head of social communication, said that the faithful should still be grateful that the Pope is visiting the country.

In addition, the Philippine Post Corporation and the Department of Education have launched the Papal Visit Letter Writing Campaign creating awareness on the Pope’s visit.

In this campaign, the public is encouraged to write Pope Francis as support for his visit.

The letter will be entitled “Dear Pope Francis” and the deadline will be on December 5.

“Anything you want to tell and express to the pope, pwede kayo, but we have to choose the best letter,” Rachel Betos, information officer of the Philippine Post Corporation (PHLPost).

The best letter will be presented to the Pope during his visit in the country next year through Postmaster General Josie Dela Cruz.

PHLPost has designated mailboxes at selected post offices, major universities, and malls in Manila, Cebu, Davao and Tacloban City.

There will also be a papal stamp exhibit which will be set up in universities and other public areas, including Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, in Cebu City from January 5 to 9, and in SM Tacloban City from January 12 to 20, 2015. — (FREEMAN)

BASILICA MINORE

CEBU

CEBU CITY

CEBU CITY MAYOR MICHAEL RAMA

CITY

DAVAO AND TACLOBAN CITY

POPE

POPE FRANCIS

RAMA

TACLOBAN CITY

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