Giant billboards welcoming Pope Francis in Manila

MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – No rock star can ever compete with the popularity of the Pope in the Philippines, a country where more than two thirds of the 100 Million population are Catholic. Especially Pope Francis.

The streets of Metro Manila, the pontiff’s first leg in his four-day itinerary, are lined with giant billboards, tarpaulin signs, banners and posters with messages of welcome for Francis. It’s Pope Mania in Manila!

Some billboards became the headlines in recent days and were criticized for ‘commercializing’ the papal visit. Especially the Pepsi billboards (see photo).

The pope arrived at Villamor Airbase Friday and his motorcade wound through crowded thoroughfares enroute to Malacañang Palace for a meeting with President NoyNoy Aquino and a select group of Filipino politicians and members of the diplomatic corps.

Shouts and cries of ‘Viva il Pepsi,’ Viva il Pepsi!’ were heard from thousands of Filipinos lining the streets of the metropolis.

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