The Pope Francis way: Faith beyond religion | Inquirer Entertainment

The Pope Francis way: Faith beyond religion

/ 12:14 AM January 27, 2015


Martin Nievera says the Pope’s visit has made him reevaluate what’s important and what’s not. Alexis Corpuz

Martin Nievera says the Pope’s visit has made him reevaluate what’s important and what’s not. Alexis Corpuz

Since we are all loco over Lolo Kiko, here’s Part 2 of my celeb forum on the Pope Francis effect. I’ve always been more spiritual than religious, that’s why I like the Pope’s openness. He doesn’t have a “holier-than-thou” attitude, which makes him all the more lovable.

While watching the TV coverage of the Pope’s visit, my kids commented that people seemed kinder and more cheerful throughout those five days. His being compassionate rubbed off on us. Hopefully, it stays that way.


I wish we could have frozen time when Pope Francis was here. But a part of him will remain with us if we let his teachings guide us every day.


Jamie Rivera

I was very nervous before singing “We Are All God’s Children” (at the SM Mall of Asia). I was worried I’d make a mistake and forget the lyrics. But when I started singing with the children, I saw Pope Francis asking Cardinal (Luis) Tagle about us. The Cardinal seemed to be translating the song. I saw the Pope smile and he looked straight into my eyes as if he was pleased with the song. After our performance, he called me and the kids to go near him. Slowly, we walked together toward him and we all kissed his hand. I felt so blessed and happy not only for myself but for the kids who performed with me. I felt the responsibility that goes with the blessing I got from the Pope… our duty to be more compassionate and merciful to others, especially the poor and weak.

Erik Santos

The feeling was inexplicable. It was truly magical. I had goose bumps all over when I saw Pope Francis in person. When I was asked to sing the responsorial psalm in the concluding

Daphne Oseña-Paez stood in the rain for five hours, waiting for the Pope’s motorcade on Quirino Avenue.

Daphne Oseña-Paez stood in the rain for five hours, waiting for the Pope’s motorcade on Quirino Avenue.

Mass (at the Quirino Grandstand), I said yes right away. At first, I thought it was just a big deal to be part of the celebration. But when I got there… I realized it was not just a big event. It was something that might not happen again. I have to admit that it was nerve-wracking. I was trembling the whole time. Singing in front of a mammoth crowd was a dream come true. I feel truly blessed and honored to have been given the rare chance to sing for our dearest Pope Francis, millions of Filipinos and, of course, the Lord. It’s something that I will treasure for the rest of my life. And because of that extraordinary opportunity, I thank God all the more for the gift of music that He has bestowed on me.

Martin Nievera


Pope Francis touched me with his tenderness, humility and compassion. His sincere love and concern for people especially the less fortunate has made me reevaluate what is important and what is not. Now we have a living, breathing answer to the question, “What would Jesus do?”

Daphne Oseña-Paez

I spent the first three days of the papal visit glued to the TV set, watching and listening to him. I listened to all his homilies and speeches with tears in my eyes. I was touched by every single one of them.

The events in Tacloban did it for me: the storm, the pilgrims in raincoats, the “Yolanda” survivors, the Pope’s silence, the unfortunate death of Kristel Padasas, the plane mishap. I wanted to see the Pope, even if it was just a little glimpse.

I had no means of getting IDs or special passes to get close to the Pope. I didn’t want to use my “connections.” I just wanted to go out and see him along his motorcade route.

Luckily, my cousin Joan Barretto had plans and, more importantly, she had the will to go Pope-stalking with me and a few friends. We waited along Quirino Avenue on the day of the Mass at Rizal Park, from 10:30 a.m. to

3 p.m. It was raining the entire time. We didn’t bring umbrellas (we followed orders). We wore raincoats, but we still ended up wet and muddy after nearly five hours.

Christine Bersola-Babao hopes to heed the call of mercy and compassion.

Christine Bersola-Babao hopes to heed the call of mercy and compassion.

The Pope passed by us and waved toward our direction. The feeling was electric. My hands and knees were shaking. I was crying, jumping and screaming.

The whole experience was amazing. It was an incredible feeling being with the people in the streets of Manila on a rainy day. I got to see the Pope without pulling strings. We just waited patiently and he came. It wasn’t so much about seeing him than it was about being together.

In the eyes of God, we are all equal—rich or poor, sick or healthy, good or bad. Of course now, I wish the whole world would just be like that… no poverty, no corruption, no inequality, no suffering. But that’s all up to us now.

Christine Bersola-Babao

The Pope inspired me to practice mercy and compassion in my daily life, especially to those who really need and deserve understanding.

Papal ratings

Pope Francis’ visit was a resounding success.

Like in previous significant events, more viewers nationwide trusted GMA Network as their source of news and information on television.

Based on household data from Nielsen TV Audience Measurement, GMA 7’s “Ang People’s Pope sa Pilipinas” posted an average of 15 percent from Jan. 15 to 19 (based on overnight ratings) in the National Urban Television Audience Measurement. It led ABS-CBN’s 11.7 percent.

The Kapuso network’s coverage—headlined by Mel Tiangco, Mike Enriquez, Vicky Morales, Arnold Clavio, Howie Severino and Jessica Soho, along with the full roster of GMA News and Public Affairs reporters—registered bigger leads in Urban Luzon and Mega Manila.

GMA 7’s coverage was also a hit among netizens. GMA News’ hashtag #BlessedByThePope was a top trending topic in the Philippines and was a trending topic worldwide for two consecutive days.

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GMA News Online was also able to get user-generated content, photos and videos, through YouScoop. Its “The Filipino faith is waterproof” photo was shared by thousands.

TAGS: Celebrities, Entertainment, papal coverage, papal visit, Pope Francis

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