Ten minutes ahead of schedule, Pope Francis arrived in the Philippines. The crowd first caught a glimpse of him, from the plane's window. Immediately, cheers followed.
Upon his arrival, a welcoming committee was front and center, waiting to welcome the Pope to the Philippines. Everyone from soldiers, to politicians and Church leaders. But, even before that, the first thing the Pope felt was Manila's strong breeze. The wind blew off his papal hat, as he was getting ready to get off the plane.
The president of the country, Noynoy Aquino was the first person to greet him. As far as the eye could see, a crowd of youths welcomed the Pope with music and choreographed dances.
The Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle welcomed the Pope. It was a moving moment, because just a year ago, there was also an embrace, but under much different circumstances. The country had been hit by the typhoon that devastated the country, leaving thousands of victims along the way.
Afterwards, the Pope made his way to the local nunciature, where he will be staying. Along the way, for roughly five miles, thousands of people cheered him on.
This is the third time a Pope has visited the island. Pope Paul VI paid a visit back in 1970. John Paul II visited the country twice. First in 1981 and then again in 1995.