THE yellow raincoat that Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez gave Pope Francis and his entourage, similar to those worn by the Yolanda survivors, became the pontiff’s official waterproof poncho.
The pope wore the same type of raincoat as he greeted the crowd during the Masses he officiated at the University of Sto. Tomas and Luneta amid the drizzle.
“It’s good to see and we are proud to see that our Pope is wearing our raincoat that we gave to him and members of his delegation during his pastoral visit here,” said Romualdez, one of the few local officials who welcomed the Pope in Tacloban Saturday.
Fr. Amadeo Alvero, information communications director of Palo Archdiocese, said Romualdez and his family donated raincoats to an estimated 160,000 Yolanda survivors and pilgrims that helped them survived the rains and cold weather during the 18-hour vigil that started 6 p.m. of Friday and lasted 11 a.m. Saturday despite the non-stop rains.
“Malaking tulong sa pilgrims ang donation na raincoats ng family ni Congressman Romualdez,” Alvero said.
Romualdez said one box of raincoat containing 300 pieces was given to the Pope’s party.
“We gave more to them so that they will be protected from the bad weather that reached Metro Manila (Sunday),” Romualdez said.
The pope wore the yellow raincoat while saying Mass amid the stormy weather brought about by Amang at the Daniel Romualdez International Airport in Tacloban City, when he led the motorcade from Tacloban City to Palo to meet and have lunch with some 30 survivors of the killer typhoon Yolanda and Bohol earthquake until he prematurely left for Manila last Saturday afternoon.
Manila Archbishop Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Palo Archbishop John Du and the papal entourage also wore the same yellow raincoats.
The pope continued wearing the yellow raincoat during his activities Sunday at the UST and Quirino Grandstand Sunday in Metro Manila.
Asked why the raincoat was yellow, Romualdez said it was the Vatican official color.
“We give honor to the official color of the Vatican, which is yellow,” said Romualdez.
Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz, former president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said the pope chose to use the raincoats worn by the Yolanda survivors because he was the “Pope of the people.”
“The pope wanted to prove that he was one with the people, especially with the poor and so he donned the same raincoat that the crowd had worn in Tacloban. No special treatment for him. He could have used a more expensive raincoat but no, he chose the same one used by the pilgrims. That’s how simple he can be,” Cruz explained.