Jan 202015

Pope Francis chose regular raincoat instead of special one in Tacloban, says stage designer

Amid heavy rain upon his arrival in Tacloban last Saturday, Pope Francis chose to use the regular raincoats worn by the pilgrims during his Mass.

This was revealed by architect Dan Lichauco, who designed the stage for the Mass at Tacloban airport, in an interview that aired on “24 Oras” on Tuesday.

“‘Yung raincoat, ‘yan ‘yung pinamigay sa mga tao, noong nakita niya, sabi niya ayaw niya gamitiin ‘yung raincoat niya. Ginamit niya yung raincoat ng mga tao,” said Lichauco. 

Despite the heavy rain, Pope Francis still pushed through with his activities in Leyte, which was placed under Signal No. 2 because of Tropical Storm Amang last Saturday, even though he was forced to shorten his trip. 

In a news conference following the trip, Cardinal Tagle said that the Leyte visit was full of many firsts for the pope. It was his first time to experience a typhoon and to celebrate Mass wearing a raincoat.  

Pinoy-inspired design

Lichauco said his design for the stage was inspired by the bahay kubo. 

“We wanted the pope to know that he is in the Philippines that’s why bahay kubo ‘yung design… Dapat iconic siya kasi it’s a first,” he said. 

To keep with the Filipino theme, sawali or bamboo mats bought in Tacloban were used to create the stage. 

Lichauco, who also designed a stage for St. John Paul II’s papal visit to the Philippines in 1995, said that the stage design meant to catch sun rays to highlight them. But this part of his creation was not emphasized because of the storm. 

He said the strong winds of Amang was also something they did not expect.

“The stage was only designed for 100 kph the wind was blowing around 100-130, we were worried… We had to reinforce the backstage where the cross was… We had to move the pope dun sa area na lower ‘yung roof,” he said. Trisha Macas/JST, GMA News

 Leave a Reply