As Filipinos, we tend to see our popes as the ultimate leaders, and Pope Francis is undoubtedly awe-inspiring! But even if he comes from a foreign land miles away from ours, we can say that Lolo Kiko is Pinoy at heart!
Here are three reasons why Pope Francis is so relatable. (Read: From Pupil to Pope: Lolo Kiko During His Schoolboy Days)
He’s a happy person
With our smiles and generally positive outlook, we Pinoys are considered one of the happiest people in the world. We always find the good in everything— just like Pope Francis does. In fact, his top 10 tips for happiness include this instruction: Stop being negative! “Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy,” he says.
He was a lola’s boy
Anyone here who’s laking lola? Growing up, the Pope was neighbors with his father’s mom, his grandmother Rosa. “My strongest childhood memory is that life shared between my parents’ house and my grandparents’ house,” Lolo Kiko once said. He treasures his grandmother’s memory so much that he still keeps a letter from her, and constantly reminds his flock about the importance of the elderly.
He spent his childhood outdoors
Sun-drenched afternoons playing patintero and piko—those times were the best! Just like a lot of us, the young Jorge Bergoglio relished his free time outside of school and would hang out with his pals after class. He would even play football with his buddies at the park, where he was the glorified goalkeeper because he was a pata dura, an Argentinian term for those with “stiff legs.”