Manila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – The whole world knows that Pope Francis has chosen a life of simplicity and austerity, trading the papal mansion for a small apartment at The Vatican which he shares with the clergy, and ditching the stretch limousine in favor of a used Fiat.
The Pope’s scheduled visit to the Philippines next month is no exception. The Vatican has advised the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to keep the Pope’s wishes in mind when making preparations for the papal visit.
Today, CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Buenaventura unveiled the official vehicle that Pope Francis will be riding in when he meets with government officials, church leaders, victims of last year’s devastating typhoon (Yolanda) and millions of adoring Catholic faithful.
Noting that Pope Francis has frowned on the Popemobile used by his predecessors, CBCP said that it has commissioned Sarao Motors, leading manufacturer of Philippine jeepneys, to build a local “Popemobile.” It will be a motorized tricycle, similar to the mode of public transportation used by Filipinos on side streets and within residential subdivisions.
Government and church officials as well as members of the media who were present during the unveiling were one in praising the papal tricyle, saying that it truly represents the simple but colorful life of Filipinos.
“I am sure that Pope Francis will be very pleased to ride in it,” Buenaventura said.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) however, was cautious in praising the local Popemobile because of security concerns. “It’s going to be a big challenge,” the PNP said.