TACLOBAN CITY- The vice mayor of this city, considered Yolanda’s ground zero, exhorted the public to come out in droves to show their gratitude for Pope Francis coming next year. Vice Mayor Jerry “Sambo” Yaokasin said the visit of the Holy Father will surely have an impact to the faithful who are still reeling from the destructions caused by Yolanda which devastated this city more than nine months ago.

Yaokasin also said that he was happy to learn that during his visit in Tacloban, he would be meeting personally with selected ordinary survivors of Yolanda. Earlier, Archbishop John Du said that during his visit, Francis will have among his audience, 30 typhoon victims from Leyte. The Holy Father is slated to visit the country from January 15 to 19 next year. He is slated to arrive in Tacloban on January 17 to hold a mass with millions of faithful coming from other parts of the country and abroad expected to attend.

Yaokasin said that it was good thing that the Pope chose to meet with ordinary survivors and not with politicians like himself. “It would be better if politicians like me should stay only on the sideline, do the groundwork and stay behind the scene,” he said. For Noel Saldan, a resident of this city, the visit of Pope Francis will surely give comforts to the survivors of Yolanda. His coming is an indication that the Pope cares and sympathizes with the survivors, thousands still lives in tents and bunkhouses.
Saldan, who is engaged in selling images of saints and other religious items, said that he is eager to see the Francis, the first ever Pope to visit Eastern Visayas. (REYNALYN BRUSES,LNU Intern)