What Pope Francis wrote at the Malacanang guestbook

Thea Alberto-Masakayan

Pope Francis has shown humility in most of his moves and his message at the Malacanang guestbook is no exception.

The pontiff's inscription is signatured with only "Francis," deliberately removing the papal title.

In his message, Pope Francis said he has asked the Lord to bless the Philippines. In full it read: "On the President and people of this beloved land of the Philippines, I ask Almighty God's abundant blessings of wisdom, discernment, prosperity and peace. 16.1.2015. Francis."

Signing the Malacanang guestbook is a customary activity for any visiting head of state. Pope Francis is a the head of city-state Rome, thereby making his visit to the Philippines a state visit, apart from it being a pastoral visit.

Related story: Full text of Pope Francis' message

While in Malacanang, the pontiff greeted members of the Cabinet and also gave apostolic blessing to the elite crowd that included the First Family, former presidents Joseph Estrada and Fidel Ramos. He also kissed and blessed children of government employees.