TABON-TABON, Leyte, Jan. 22, 2015 – The Sangguniang Bayan of Tabon-Tabon Leyte, located some 45 kilometers south of Tacloban City, passed a resolution on Monday naming Pope Francis “Superpope.”
Sponsored by newly installed council member Nestor Abrematea, the resolution expressed the people’s admiration for the pontiff for braving typhoon Amang in order to be with survivors of super typhoon Yolanda and to celebrate Mass with them.
The Holy Father proceeded with his flight to Tacloban in spite of a typhoon signal number 2 hoisted over Eastern Visayas on Jan. 17.
Abrematea, who just assumed post as new councilor of the town, was overwhelmed by the unanimous assent given by his colleagues on the local board and was optimistic about the immediate passage of the resolution due to the impact of the Pope’s visit in the Archdiocese of Palo.
The Liberal Party member also stressed the history of Leyte being the site of the first Mass and where the seed of Christianity was first planted in the archipelago in the 16thcentury.
According to historical accounts, Limasawa Island, which used to be part of the Leyte mainland, is the place where the Cross of Christianity was erected and the first Eucharistic celebration was held.
Fr. Eliseo “Bong” Loreto, chief vicar of St. Anthony of Padua parish in Tabon-Tabon, was himself impressed with what the Holy Father did.
“He was really like a father who came for us and showed his super ‘malasakit’ (much concern) for us,” said Loreto, who was likewise dazed by the sincerity of Pope Francis.
He strongly believes that the 270 pilgrims from his parish present during the papal Mass deeply felt the message of Pope Francis.
“They went on a pilgrimage to Tacloban not just to hear the Mass of the Holy Pope but to be inspired by him as well because they needed that,” he said.
Tabon-Tabon parish was also hardly hit by super typhoon Yolanda, causing great damage to property, including the parish church edifice.
Meanwhile, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Tacloban led by Vice-Mayor Jerry “Sambo” Yaokasin, passed a resolution today, Jan. 22, expressing deep gratitude to Pope Francis for his apostolic journey to Tacloban.
“It is the city government’s gesture of expressing gratefulness to Pope Francis for the inspiration he gave to the victims of Yolanda and the joy and comfort he gave to those still grieving,” he said.
In the said resolution, the council also expressed Taclobanons’ gratefulness that of all the cities in the Visayas and Mindanao, Pope Francis chose to visit Tacloban.
The council also appreciated the Holy Father’s comment during a press conference aboard “Shepherd One” on his flight back to Rome, that the moment that most moved him during his visit to the Philippines was his visit to Tacloban.
Yaokasin said they will send a copy of the resolution to the Vatican through Papal Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto and Palo Archbishop John Du. (Eileen Nazareno – Ballesteros/CBCPNews)