MANILA, Philippines - To the disappointment of people who wanted to see a glimpse of him, Pope Francis did not ride the popemobile on his way to Malacañang on Friday.
The charismatic pope travelled from his official residence, the Papal Nunciature in Malate, Manila, riding a Volkswagen Touran to the Palace.
This was because he came to Malacañang primarily as the head of the Vatican City state.
"May porma ang state visit; pormal ang sasakyan, nakasara (The state visit follows a particular form;the vehicle should be closed)," Father Jerome Marquez explained during an interview on radio station DZMM.
As he is the head of both the Catholic Church and the Vatican City, the Pope is in the Philippine for a pastoral and state visit. People should expect to see the pope riding the "open and more accessible" popemobile or using the "close and more formal" Touran depending on the function he will be attending.
Riding the Touran, however, did not stop the Pope from rolling down his window and waving at the crowd who wanted to see him.
"Ang shifting ng sasakyan ay shifting din ng purpose (The shift in vehicles shows a shift in the purpose (of his visit))," Marquez added.
This also explained why on his way to the Manila Cathedral, the Pope was onboard the popemobile.
"May formalities, proseso, at protocol na tinging ko ginalang ng simbahan at pamahaalaan (There are formalities, processes and protocols which I think the Church and the government respected)," Marquez said.