TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Jan. 15 (PIA)--The five Boholanos who will get the rare privilege to dine with Pope Francis on a luncheon gathering on Saturday in Tacloban City couldn’t help but get excited and nervous about their scheduled face-to-face meeting.
The 5 earthquake survivors who will dine with the Pope are Saturnino Barace Jr. of Tagubaas-Obojan, Antequera; Shirley Bongay of Lintuan, Loon; Veneranda Gentallan of San Roque, Maribojoc; Niza Flores of Poblacion Sagbayan; and Salome Israel of Tubigon town.
Saturnino Barace’s half body was buried underground after the October 15, 2013 magnitude 7.2 quake that rocked Bohol. He was the only survivor after four members of his family died when their house collapsed. Barace entered the seminary.
Shirley Bongay lost her right hand after being trapped in wreckage for nine hours.
Veneranda Gentallan on the other hand, suffered head wound and almost died when her house crumbled. She suffered a head injury and was brought to Cebu to undergo an operation where she stayed at the hospital for a month. Her recovery was considered as a miracle.
Niza Flores lost her youngest son, Geevie, 12 yrs. old, who was covered by rubble of the collapsed internet café.
While Salome Israel lost her right arm and broke her pelvic bone when the quake struck.
All of them will leave for Tacloban City via Ormoc today at 11 a.m. onboard Weesam Express.
The Bohol delegation to Tacloban City is being coordinated by Fr. Warli Salise, head of the ministry of Christian Service of the Commission for Social Action.
Fr. Salise said that the delegation is composed of 180 Boholanos. The group will leave Tagbilaran City on Friday, Jan. 16 via Ormoc onboard Weesam Express.
Pope Francis will celebrate the Holy Mass at 10 a.m. near the Tacloban International Airport.
At 12:45 noon, he will have lunch with survivors of Typhoon Yolanda and Bohol earthquake at the Archbishop’s Residence in Palo.
At 3 p.m., he will proceed to the blessing of the Pope Francis Center for the Poor.
He will then visit the Cathedral of Our Lord’s Transfiguration or the Palo Cathedral to meet with priests, religious men and women and families of the survivors at 3:30 p.m.
Then he will take the plane back to Manila at 5 p.m. and is expected to arrive at the Villamor Air Base in Manila at 6:15 p.m. (ecb/PIA7-Bohol)