SAN JOSE, Calif. – As aid trickles into their hometowns, Filipinos with Tacloban and Leyte roots believe the biggest help will come in about a month when Pope Francis visits their typhoon-ravaged provinces.
Some believe the Pope had a lot to do with typhoon Ruby, sparing the country from devastation in the scale of last year’s super typhoon Yolanda.
“We thank the Santo Papa because I think he prayed so hard for us that the typhoon should spare us,” said Orville Tuca, who has family in the Tacloban area.
Pope Francis is scheduled to arrive in the Philippines from Jan. 15 to 19, where he will say mass in Tacloban and meet with survivors of typhoon Yolanda.
Despite the recent typhoon Ruby, Pope Francis will make the trip.
Some Pinoys believe it will be good for the pope to see the impact of this recent typhoon.
“I think it’s already obvious [that] the worst is already there and there’s no need to cover the obvious thing, so what we need now is obviously the help to make the improvements,” said Tuca.
They believe that the Pope, who is known for his humility – from reaching out to the poor, to dining with the workers – will make the effort to see the least fortunate while in the Philippines.
“The Pope is really a people’s person, so pero for me, it’s much better he’s there to see it, at least makita nya,” said Kim Malate. “I know Philippines is so blessed. It’s perfect timing.”
Pope fever in Manila is also stirring up hometown pride for Filipinos believing that Pope Francis will bring positive spirituality to a part of the Philippines that has seen the worst.