Pope Francis has finally arrived in the Philippines! Large crowds are gathering just to see a passing glimpse of the Pope of the people. Much larger crowds will be expected over this weekend at Tacloban, University of Santo Tomas, and Quirino Grandstand. For those participating in these events, there will be lots of walking, and lots of waiting. Hopefully there will also be lots of cheering. (Hey, the Pope is finally here! So let us all have a toast: Totus toast!)
Chanting has been one of the most electrifying experiences I've experienced in large gatherings with the Pope. It takes away boredom and gives a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Below are some of the popular chants that have been used in the past World Youth Day (WYD) events with the Pope.
¡Esta es, la juventud del Papa!
So what chants could we use for the gatherings with Pope Francis in the Philippines? Below are 5 suggestions.
1. Eto ang, kabataan ng Papa!
We could translate to Tagalog the Spanish chant "Esta es, la juventud del Papa!" to "Eto ang, kaba-taan ng Papa!" The Spanish chant, which means "This is the youth of the Pope!", expresses the desire of the youth to support the Pope and the church. Pope Francis is familiar with it since it was used by the pilgrims of the World Youth Day in Brazil in 2013.
2. Papa Francisco!
We could adapt the "Benedicto!" chant to "Papa Francisco!" (ka-clap-ka-clap-clap) to make it Tagalog or Spanish-sounding, or "Papa Francesco!" (pronounced "Franchesco") to make it Italian-sounding.
3. Francisco, we love you!
For those who participated in World Youth Day Manila (I will not mention the year, lest you guess my age), who could forget the chant "John Paul Two, We love you!"? This could be adapted into "Francisco, we love you!" Although the rhyme doesn't completely work out , I guess it's passable. :)
4. ¡Esta es, la juventud del Papa!
We could also just use the original Spanish: Esta es, la juventud del Papa! Afterall, Filipinos know a lot of Spanish words already like "manzanas," "cuchara," "plato," and "tenedor."
5. ¡Mi Papa Francisco, te quiere todo el mundo!
The original chant was used for John Paul II: "Juan Pablo Segundo, te quiere todo el mundo!", for which I couldn't find a sample in YouTube (How is that even possible?). It means "John Paul II, the whole world loves you!" The words could be changed to "Mi Papa Francisco, te quiere todo el mundo!", which means, "My Pope Francis, the whole world loves you!" If you know the original chant, I'm sure you can easily guess how it should go.
These chants, more that just a way to take away our boredom from waiting, express externally what we have internally: our love for the Pope (whom we see as Christ's representative on earth), our unity as a Church, and our obligations as Christians.
So start practicing! If you use these chants during the Papal gatherings, there may just be a chance that we'd see each other in a sea of five million people. く