EVEN if Pope Francis is yet to land in the Philippines, the Filipino faithful this early has a chance to have “selfies” taken with him.
Fr. Anton Pascual, president of Radyo Veritas Philippines, on Tuesday said more than 100 Pope Francis life-sized standees have been distributed in the Philippines as part of their preparations for the papal visit in January 2015.
Pascual added that the life-sized standees of the pontiff were delivered last week to churches, organizations and some select schools in the country.
“That’s in preparation for the papal visit,” he said, adding that this would be a chance for the country’s Roman Catholic flock to take “selfies” with the Pope’s standees.
“Yes [this is an]opportunity [and many are having sefies with him],” Pascual said.
The purpose of releasing the Pope Francis life-sized standees, according to the Radyo Veritas official, is to promote the pontiff’s “advocacy, biography, quotes and pictures” four months before his visit.
Pascual said Radyo Veritas will be the papal radio for the duration of Francis’ stay and where “you would be able to listen to everything you want to know about the Pope.”
Retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop the Oscar Cruz also on Tuesday said the pope’s standees, which are made from cardboard, will help create public awareness that Francis will be in the Philippines next year.
“The purpose is not bad. Who does not want his pictures taken with the pope, although it’s only a cardboard [Francis]? What can you do? He is a quite amiable, likable and famous personality. We Filipinos are very fond of even actresses and actors,” Cruz pointed out.
Pascual clarified that the standees are to be distributed for free but private individuals who want replicas will have to coordinate with Radyo Veritas.
He said they are going to release more standees of the Pope in the next few weeks.
Some standees are now found at SM Megamall, Arzobispado, Residencia, Caritas Manila, National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Layforce Center, Christ the King Parish Batasan Hills, Diocese of Antipolo and Pasig City.
They can also be found at Religious of the Virgin Mary, Assumption Antipolo, Santuario de San Antonio, Santo Nino Parish Tondo, Greenbelt Chapel, Immaculate Heart of Mary Diliman and Christ the King E. Rodriguez.
Pascual said Radyo Veritas mounted the “Mary and the Pope Exhibit” at SM Mall of Asia last August 30 “as part of papal awareness” build-up.
The exhibit will run until September 28.