TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol: Pope Francis may not be able to step on Bohol’s soil during his visit on January 15-19, 2015 but he’s likely to meet and dine with five Boholanos, who are victims of the earthquake that struck this province last year.
The five Boholanos, together with several typhoon “Yolanda” victims, will have a rare opportunity to have lunch with the Pope at the Archbishop’s Palace in Palo, Leyte, Fr. Warli Salise, director of the Diocese of Tagbiliran-Social Action Center, said in an interview.
Fr. Salise identified the Boholanos as Veneranda Gentallan from St. Vincent Ferrer Shrine-Parish in Maribojoc; Salome Israel from St. Isidore, the Farmer Parish in Tubigon; Saturnino Barace from Our Lady of Light Parish in Antequera; Shiela Bongay from Our Lady of Light Parish in Loon; and Niza Flores from St. Augustine Parish in Sagbayan town.
Gentallan suffered head wound and almost died when her house crumbled at Barangay San Roque of Maribojoc town. She said in earlier interview that what happened to her was a “miracle.”
Israel and Bongay lost their right hands in the aftermath of the tremor. Flores lost her son. Barace is the only survivor after four members of his family died when their house collapsed. He also sustained injuries.
A committee created by Monsignor Leonardo Medroso, bishop of Tagbilaran City, chose the five Boholanos to dine with the Pope, Fr. Salise said.
The municipalities of Maribojoc, Tubigon, Antequera, Loon and Sagbayan are among the hardest hit by the earthquake.
Earlier, the diocese of Palo, Leyte announced that the Pope was slated to dine with the survivors of the earthquake and supertyphoon “Yolanda” that killed more than 6,000. PNA