Pope Francis trying to learn Tagalog

Thea Alberto-Masakayan
Pope Francis trying to learn Tagalog

It appears that Pope Francis is really preparing for his visit to the Philippines, even trying to learn Tagalog.

A seminarian based in Rome claims to have conversed with the pope, who have bared his intent to learn Tagalog, one of major languages in the Philippines.

In a report by CBCP News, Bro. Francis Dominic Vergara of the Congregation of the Sons of Holy Mary Immaculate said he discussed with the Pope how it was hard to learn a new language.

“We have the chance to meet him person to person so there, it was a feeling of joy…We were able to talk with him that’s why before that day, I practiced my Italian, what I would tell him…He asked me if I spoke Tagalog. He said, ‘You speak Tagalog?’ I said, ‘Yes!’ Then he said, “I’m trying Tagalog but it’s difficult,” the report quoted the priest as saying.

A student of Philosophy at the Pontifical University of Urbaniana, Vergara said the once-in-a-lifetime conversation took place at Te Deum and Vespers last Dec. 31, and lasted two minutes long.

Earlier reports have said the Pope will deliver Holy Mass in Luneta in Latin, but his speeches will be in English.

The head of the Catholic church is arriving on January 15, for a four-day pastoral and state visit. He will be going places in Metro Manila, as well as in Yolanda-hit areas in Tacloban. See here for the itinerary.