MAGE, Brazil, July 18, 2013—Never mind goodbye tears, Brazilian foster families cried just seeing their “adopted” Filipino children for the first time last July 13 when they welcomed them at Surui, Diocese of Petropolis.
“Kala mo ‘young Pope na ‘yung dumating—nakakataba ng puso (You would think it was the Pope arriving — [it was] very heart-warming),” RJ Moriones of the CFC – Youth for Family and Life sub-group shared in an interview.
According to Moriones, everyone in the small community of Surui came out to greet them, waving from the streets.
But what was surprisingly moving, Moriones shared, was that several hosts started crying seeing the Filipino pilgrims as they came down from the bus.
The community of the Sao Nicolau parish also set up a long motorcade to welcome the Pinoy pilgrims who would be staying with them for a week before the WYD proper.
Lea Dasigan, group leader of the Episcopal Commission on Youth – Philippines pilgrims assigned to the parish of (Nossa Senhora da Guia) Our Lady of the Way, also in the Diocese of Petropolis, said a lot of families even prepared banners with the names of the Filipino pilgrims they would be hosting for the weeklong, pre-WYD Semana Missionaria (Missionary Week).
Two Pinoy pilgrims were given bouquets of flowers — beauty queen style — as part of their Brazilian welcome.
No language barrier
In an interview, Carla Alcantara of the Assumption Philippines sub-group noted how warm and open her Brazilian host family is despite not being able to speak English.
“Even if language is a barrier, it doesn’t matter because you show your love and appreciation through your actions,” Alcantara who is hosted with two other Pinoy pilgrims by Paula with her husband and mother.
Her hosts make sure, she added, that they encounter no problems, making sure they are alright.
The community of Nossa Senhora da Guia plays host, not only to Filipino pilgrims, but also to WYD delegates from Panama and Venezuela. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]