10 Things You Should Not Do During Pope Francis Visit in the Philippines

10 things that you should not do during Pop Francis visit in the Philippines on January 15 - 19, 2015. Government ask for the cooperation of all citizens who wants to see the Pope.

Here are easy-to-achieve reminders every Catholic participating in the papal visit could do to ensure Pope Francis’ trip to the Philippines is peaceful and in order.

1. Refrain from plastering Pope Francis’ face in posters. Clearly, the visiting pope is no narcissist. He doesn’t want towering billboards or beaming welcome banners include his face. 

Do this instead: The Catholic Church, a religion of symbols, promotes bringing of images of Jesus and other saints. Local leaders also encourage millions who will troop to Rizal Park on Sunday to bring Santo Niño as January 18 falls on the feast of Jesus’ child figure.

2. Liquors are prohibited. Manileños will probably be on celebratory mode during pope’s visit, but Mayor Joseph Estrada already imposed a drinking ban within 200 meters from the pope’s official residence on Taft Avenue. A stricter one-kilometer radius liquor-free zone applies to the areas near University of Santo Tomas, Quirino Grandstand, and Manila Cathedral on the days the Pope is there.

Do this instead: Organizers of the pastoral visit are introducing a different concept of partying in Quirino Grandstand come Sunday. Sinulog dancers will fly in to teach the crowd how Cebuanos do it whenever they celebrate Santo Niño de Cebu in the Visayas.

3. Don’t try to get near the popemobile. Every Catholic dreams of having a selfie with the pope—and a few were lucky enough to do so on previous occasions—but being defiant just to get near him would block the Pope’s way and could even cause a stampede as President Aquino worries. 

Do this instead: Bishop Mylo Vergara, Papal Visit Committee information head, reminds the faithful: seeing the pope in person (or if you’re lucky, catching his eye contact even for a second) is more than enough. After all, following peace and order is a better display of Christian values.

4. No umbrellas during Pope Francis’ potentially rainy visit. Unfortunately, bad weather threatens the Pope’s excursion to various areas in the Visayas and Manila. Umbrellas are a no-no because it could disguise as a weapon to destroy peace and order.

Do this instead: Wear raincoats as a better alternative. Local church leaders in Leyte are set to distribute 1 million free raincoats in the area. Bring your own for those attending the mass at Rizal Park. Also, do bring idenfitication cards, just in case. 

5. No backpacks, too. Terrorists have given backpacks a bad name and authorities discourage using it, even with the 4,600 media personnel covering the papal visit. 

Do this instead: Use other form of bags, or if possible, don’t bring one anymore. Authorities will consume a lot of time checking millions of people’s bags one by one.

6. Don’t wear skimpy clothes. Time and again, local churches remind parishioners to dress properly when attending the Sunday mass.

Do this instead: Wear something modest and comfortable. Francis leads by example by being the pope of modesty and it’s good to replicate even just a little of his Godly ways.

7. Keep your bad mood at bay. Remind yourself that you’re attending religious activities. They’re supposed to inspire you and wash away your worries. 

Do this instead: Keep your cool, make friends and watch each other’s back. Meeting new people is one way to ease long waiting time. Meanwhile, as authorities reiterate, the best way to fight potential danger is to report when you find something or someone strange.

8. Don’t attend a papal activity just for the sake of attending. See those curious bystanders at Black Nazarene procession looking totally clueless on TV? Don’t be like them.

Do this instead: Prepare yourself physically and spiritually for the pope’s pastoral visit. Again, papal activities are religious in nature and you should fully know what you signed up for.

9. Don’t spread potential health hazard. If you think you’re not physically fit, you’ll do a crowd of millions a favor by not attending.

Do this instead: You better stay indoors and just monitor papal activities in the Internet, on TV or some other means.

10. Don’t end up losing the chance to see him just because you didn’t know his whearabouts. This is his first visit to the country and we don’t know when a visit of this kind could happen again.

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