Last September 12, 2015, St. Scholastica’s College, Manila High School Unit had the privilege to watch the Philippine Stagers Foundation’s musical play entitled “#Popepular, Paano kung Pinoy si Kiko?” in St. Cecilia’s Hall. As the students entered, St. Cecilia’s Hall was jam packed with students who were full of joy and excitement, an atmosphere that prevailed throughout the whole play. “#popepular” is a musical play which was directed and written by Vince Tañada who also portrayed the character of Pope Francis and the young Jorge Bergoglio. The play showed the story of our beloved Pope Francis along with the intertwined stories of our five modern heroes who share the same Filipino qualities as the Pope.
One of them was Joey Velasco who was a talented painter diagnosed with cancer. He was known for his painting “Hapag ng Pag-asa” which depicts Jesus together with street children as his disciples. The second was Kristel Padasas who was a young volunteer who was hit by speakers during the papal mass in Tacloban. The third was Dr. Edgardo Gomez, a marine biologist who has continuously protected the coral reefs despite numerous grave threats. He was awarded National Scientist of the Philippines. The fourth was Ronald Gadayan, a NAIA janitor who became known for his great honesty when he returned a large amount of cash. Lastly, Mark Clemencio, a military soldier, was part of the Fallen 44. He died holding the holy rosary in his hand. These five modern heroes have shown that despite the struggles they experienced, what was left with them was their great faith and love for the Lord. One may be a painter, volunteer, biologist, janitor or a military soldier, but one thing is for sure and that is, we Filipinos are one in our faith.
The play ended with an outstanding ovation by the Scholastican community. All around you could hear Scholasticans praising the play and talking about it. This also trended in social media specifically twitter and facebook. Surely this play didn’t only entertain the audience but it taught us Scholasticans that we may become different people with different dreams. But as time flies, we would realize that our faith is all that matters and would be our guiding light towards our hopes and dreams. Whether you are rich or poor, tall or short, we are all the same. We are all similar because we have one faith and one God to believe in. “#popepular” was one experience never to be forgotten.
By Alyssa Ysabelle Mariño