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05 June 2023

Filipinos still ‘ecstatic’ over Pope’s visit

By Wam

Filipinos are still ‘ecstatic’ about the visit of Pope Francis to the UAE earlier this week, according to a report in the UAE-based ‘The Filipino Times’.

The publication quoted the Philippines Ambassador to the UAE, Hjayceelyn Quintana, as thanking the Pope for ‘reinvigorating’ the Catholic faithful, noting that his presence had been felt not only within the UAE, but across all borders. "We once again express our gratitude to the UAE for the invitation extended to Pope Francis to visit the country, and for the excellent preparations that they have done," she was quoted as saying. "Let us follow the message of peace shared by Pope Francis and help the UAE spread the values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence by being examples of these noble values in our everyday lives."

Paul Raymund Cortes, the country’s Dubai-based Consul General, added that the visit had exhibited the UAE’s sincere desire to promote the values of respect, unity, and mutual cooperation, The Filipino Times report said. "Even if the UAE is a predominantly Islamic state, the first-ever visit of the leader of the Catholic church is something that us Catholics here have always dreamed of. We’d like to thank the host government for showing the rest of the world what religious understanding truly means. Nabuhayan ang spirit, lalong tumindi ang faith and the tradition of respecting each other, despite differences in faith and culture."

Dr. Karen Remo, Managing Director of New Perspective Media, the publisher of The Filipino Times, said that the Papal Visit had highlighted the United Arab Emirates as a venue for peaceful coexistence of more than 200 nationalities as well as the role it plays in showing the world that a country can foster tolerance, respect, and harmony.

"The Filipino community in the UAE lauds this historic visit of Pope Francis that coincides with the declaration of 2019 as ‘The Year of Tolerance’ in the UAE, which clearly reflects the goals of the UAE to spread unity amidst diversity, " Remo said.

"The appreciation and love that Filipino residents feel for the UAE and its wise leadership are manifested by the way they see and call it as their home for many years, even decades," she added.