MANILA, Philippines — Saying that he realized that he might have forgotten something vital behind in his room at the Apostolic Nunciature in Taft Avenue; Pope Francis returned to the Philippines unannounced, only to see what the country really looks like without the pomp and circumstance.
“I remembered that I left the faucet on in the bathroom before my departure,” said Pope Francis. “I asked the pilot if we could make a U-turn in order for me to check whether or not I have caused any damages.”
The Pope didn’t want to bother anybody, hence the unannounced nature of his return, which saw him go through regular customs and immigration checks at the airport.
“I just wanted to check the faucet myself just to be sure,” he added. “What I wasn’t expecting was this!”
The Pope was referring to the horrendous traffic that greeted him upon his exit at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
“You say that my visit is a miracle; but after seeing this bumper-to-bumper traffic, I would definitely say that any person reaching his/her destination on time, in this traffic, IS a miracle!”
Travelling to his destination sans the huge security escort and the pope mobile, the Pope took a local taxi where the driver tried to overcharge him thinking that he was an unsuspecting tourist.
“Three thousand five hundred pesos from the airport to Taft?!” he added. “Jesus Christ! Bless His name. That’s daylight robbery!”
Pope Francis also noticed the amount of trash and urban decay that was not present or he was not able to witness during his visit just a day ago.
“Umalis lang ako naging chaotic at undisciplined na agad ng Pilipinas?! said the Pope in the vernacular via his translator Msgr. Mark Miles; after seeing buses, jeepneys, private vehicles and pedestrians trying to one-up each other on the road.
“Kailangan bang nandito ako palagi sa inyong bansa araw-araw para lang maging disiplinado at masunurin kayong mga Pilipino?“
He added that being well mannered and disciplined should be innate and intrinsic values and not just for show.
“Ganun na bang kagulat-gulat ang pagiging maayos at masunurin ng mga tao dito na kailangan pa kayong pasalamatan kapag naging mabait kayo?” he added.
But the Pope did find one positive thing with his surprise return to the country.
“At least cellphones signals are back to normal,” he said.