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Pope Francis in PH: Social media frenzy continues

/ 05:30 AM January 18, 2015

No sooner had Pope Francis tweeted his first Filipino sentence on Friday than thousands of followers returned the favor by tweeting it back with enthusiasm.

In three hours, the tweet of Pope Francis (who is @Pontifex in Twittersphere)—“Ang Pilipinas ay patunay ng kabataan at kasiglahan ng Simbahan (The Philippines bear witness to the youthfulness and vitality of the Church),”—recorded over 33,000 retweets. It was also a “favorite” by nearly 35,000

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netizens.

The English version of the tweet, which was posted at the same time, also registered 15,000 retweets and 19,000 favorites.

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Early Friday evening, Pope Francis posted another tweet in Filipino. By Saturday noon, 45,000 netizens had already retweeted it, and nearly 50,000 “favorited” the same tweet.

The Pope’s official Twitter account has a following of more than 5 million. His tweets are translated into seven languages, for a total of more than 7 million followers.

Pope Francis’ arrival on Thursday has sent the social media into a frenzy, with Filipino netizens pouring their respect and adoration for the Pope using the hashtags #PopeinPH,#DearPopeFrancis, #BlessedbythePope,#PopeFrancisTYSM, #PopeFrancisPh and the surprise hashtag—

#LoloKiko—which became a consistent worldwide trending topic until the third day

 

Simple gestures

The Pope’s simple gestures such as his waving a hand, kissing a child or flashing his winning smiling were enough to trigger an avalanche of tweets.

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“Ganda talaga ng ngiti (He has a lovely smile),” netizen @iloveseika posted on Twitter.

“Pag nakita ko talaga si Pope Francis kukurutin ko cheeks nya (If I see Pope Francis I’m going to pinch his cheeks),” another netizen said.

For several hours on Friday, netizens were distracted by the “good looks” of a responsorial psalmist who sang “Forever, I will sing of the goodness of the Lord,” during the Mass at the Manila Cathedral.

“Responsorial psalm dude is all over my timeline. He really that cute? Lol,” a netizen said.

“Sorry po Lord, nakikinig talaga ko sa Misa … kaso ang cute ng kumakanta sa Responsorial Psalm (Sorry Lord, I was really listening during the Mass … but the singer in the Responsorial Psalm was so cute). Hihi,” another netizen said.

Netizens have identified the psalmist as seminarian Kenneth Rey Parsad, a theologian from the Diocese of Bangued, according to a story on the Inquirer website.

Even stars and celebrities were awed by the presence of Pope Francis, posting their comments on Instagram and Twitter.

“It was just so thrilling to see the Pope smile so warmly when I held up the rosary that my sons and I treasure,” TV host Kris Aquino said in a caption of a photo of herself sharing a light moment with the Pope in Malacañang.

The sister of President Aquino was among the invited guests at Malacañang during the Pope’s courtesy call on Friday.

“Blessed by seeing smiling happy Filipinos showing so much love and gratitude to Pope Francis. I hope we’ve put a smile in his heart too,” singer Gary Valenciano posted on Twitter. With reports from Dan Paurom, Anthony Esguerra, Ramon Royandoyan and Paul Balois.

TOPICS: Catholic Church, papal visit, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic
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