ATTENDEES of the papal youth encounter endured a sleepless night and braved long queues just to see and hear the charismatic pontiff at the University of Santo Tomas, last Jan. 18.

By Saturday evening at around 7 p.m., people had already lined up outside España and Dapitan gates to get good positions inside the University. Around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, gates were opened to the papal volunteers and general public.

Youth participants claim there was no order in the lines and that some people began pushing each other to get inside the moment officials opened the gates.

“This is a once in a lifetime experience to see the Pope so we endured the crowd, even though getting in line was so tiring and everything was out of order. People were already pushing each other and no officials were doing anything about it,” Special Education major Elaiza Bustamante said.

“Our group was placed very near the stage so we are lucky but getting inside the university was a real struggle. It was very chaotic,” Grade 10 Ryan Manalo of the De La Salle Araneta University added.

However, officials-in-charge of security, said they had no problems handling the situation, adding that the crowd had been disciplined and cooperated with the protocols that involved passing through metal detectors and personal police inspections.

Despite an upset weather, the meeting with the religious leaders and the youth encounter proceeded and ran for 2 hours. Danielle Ann F. Gabriel


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