• A blessed kick-off for ‘Visit the Philippines’

    The papal visit is expected to attract thousands of Catholics to fly to Manila and Leyte this week

    The papal visit is expected to attract thousands of Catholics to fly to Manila and Leyte this week

    The kick off of “Visit the Philippines Year 2015” is indeed a blessed one with no less than the Pope Francis’ visit. Thousands of Catholics have been arriving in Manila and Leyte this week as the Holy Father himself arrives later this afternoon at Villamor Airbase.

    With all eyes across the globe on the Philippines, the Tourism Promotions Board believes the visit of the Holy Father will not only provide spiritual reformation but also renewed interest in domestic and foreign travels in the Philippines, Asia’s predominantly Catholic country.

    Set from today until January 19, Pope Francis’ visit will focus on interacting with communities in Tacloban and Palo in Leyte devastated by Yolanda (Haiyan), the strongest typhoon on record. The visit is also in response to the invitation of civil authorities, which is an opportunity for Pope Francis to meet the faithful in Manila, the nation’s capital.

    Like Pope John Paul 2nd’s visit in 1995, collectibles abound for this Pope Francis’ five-day stay. The Philippine Postal Corporation has release limited Papal Visit stamps based on a winning entry from an on-the-spot stamp design contest. Other items with the official Papal Visit logo will also be plentiful as it represents Pope Francis giving the Philippines a merciful and compassionate embrace.

    “We are honored that Pope Francis chose to visit the Philippines at the onset of the year. We believe the Holy Father’s presence will help the country attract Catholic visitors to the country, who will witness themselves how faithful the Filipinos in the midst of trials,” said Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Chief Operating Officer Domingo Ramon C. Enerio III.

    After the Pope’s visit, travelers will not run out of reasons to visit the Philippines as 2015 proves to be an exciting year for the country. Encouraging nationwide participation, TPB hopes to enhance the economy with tourism by generating jobs and revenue. In the Visit the Philippines Year 2015 (VPY) yearlong calendar of events includes Madrid Fusión Manila, MTV Music Evolution Manila, Malas-imbo Music and Arts Festival, Iron Man and Xterra Triathlons and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meetings and Leaders’ Summit.

    VPY 2015 will feature an exciting mix of events and activities, as well as the unveiling of more historic treasures, natural wonders, and unforgettable adventures.

    For more information, log on to the Visit the Philippines Year 2015 microsite on www.visitph2015.com.


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    1. This “Visit Philippines” (especially as Pilipinas keeps saying it is the bastion of Christianity in Asia)…. “Visit Philippines” is not received well by many religious in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt and other countries. A reason is a fatwa : Saudi cleric Abdullah Swuailem issued an edict forbidding travel to non-Muslim states except “in extreme necessity,” adding that “whoever dies in the land of infidelity could go to hell.”