MANILA, Philippines – Pope Francis was “very very happy” with the warmth of Filipinos during his five-day visit to the Philippines, which concluded on Monday, President Benigno Aquino III said.
“So tuwang-tuwa siya doon sa hospitality na ipinakita. Damang-dama daw niya yung warmth,” he said in an ambush interview with reporters after leading the send-off for Pope Francis at Villamor Air Base.
“May reflection siya dito sa buong biyahe niya at talagang gaano katuwa nga daw siya — gaano sila natutuwa nga dito sa mga — yung ipinakita ng ating sambayanan. So ang sabi ko: “Kaya nga ho sa aking pananaw kong pribilehiyo mag-lingkod talaga sa sambayanang Pilipino” he added.
Asked if the Pope would return to the Philippines, Aquino said: “Hindi ko na natanong kung kailan babalik. Klaro naman na napagod siya doon sa buong byaheng ito,” he said.
The Pope’s visit was one of the biggest security operations in the Philippine history with a deployment of nearly 40,000 soldiers and policemen.
Before Pope Francis went to Villamor Air Base for his flight on Monday, he met with the government organizers to thank them.
The government also declared a three-day holiday to clear traffic in Metro Manila.
Aquino, Cabinet and Church officials were part of the delegation that bade Pope Francis goodbye. The pontiff was bound for Rome after his weeklong Asian trip.
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