MANILA, August 8, 2011?The WYD Secretariat of the Episcopal Commission on Youth has already named the three young Filipinos who will sit near the Pope during the youth vigil.
Young people from three main islands of the Philippines (Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) will represent the country for the vigil with the Holy Father, Benedict XVI.
Joana Pauline Manalo from Assumption Antipolo will represent Luzon, Ma. Reinisa Cabual from CIC Cabanatuan for Visayas and Yussef Ababakar Paglas from the Archdiocese of Davao in Mindanao.
Joana Pauline Manalo, 16 years old from Assumption Antipolo said she was shocked when her name was mentioned to be one of the three Filipinos to sit near the Pope.
“Hindi ko po akalain na ako pala ang isa sa mga napili kasi may napili na nga sabi dun sa news. Pero nung namention na that may isang napili from Assumption Antipolo, sinasabi ko sa sarili ko, sana ako yun. Kaya nagulat din ako, kasi ako talaga,” Manalo said.
From the Visayas, Ma. Reinisa Cabual said that she did not expect to be chosen.
“Wala talaga ako idea kasi napanood ko sa news na may napili nang tatlong kabataang Pilipino mula sa Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Nagulat ako kasi di ko ine-expect na out of 400 young people, from our group manggagaling ang isa at ako yun,” Cabual added.
Yussef Paglas, who is the only Muslim delegate under ECY-Philippines, was also surprised.
“Among the 427 pilgrims from our delegation, why did they choose me?” Paglas asked himself.
Paglas shared that until now, he is still in shock about the news and a bit worried on how he will feel comfortable sitting near the Pope.
Manalo wants to speak to the Pope if there will be an opportunity for her. But she also said that, “pero basta makita ko lang ang Pope, okay na s’akin ‘yun. The Pope kasi represents the essence of what we Catholics believe in.”
Cabual on the other hand is excited to be touched by the blessings of the Pope.
“Blessed po ako kasi makikita ko na ang Pope at masaya ang event na ‘yun. Madaming blessings ang matatanggap ko sa nasabing event,” Cabual added.
Still astonished for being chosen, Paglas is yet unaware of what he will do during the overnight vigil where he has the opportunity to sit near the Pope.
According to ECY executive secretary Fr. Conegundo Garganta, the three young Filipinos together with other young people who were chosen by their country’s bishops’ conference will sit near the Pope during the vigil in a big stage fronting the Blessed Sacrament.
Garganta added that young people who were chosen to fill the slots are open to the spirit of World Youth Day.
The overnight vigil will take place on August 20-21 at the Cuatro Vientos Aerodrome. (Jandel Posion)