Friday, May 6, 2011

A Repost From PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal)

Phil Younghusband admits "exclusively dating" Angel Locsin

Inamin ng sikat na football player na si Phil Younghusband na "exclusively dating" na sila ni Angel Locsin

Ginawa ng Azkals heartthrob ang pag-amin sa panayam sa kanya ni Boy Abunda para sa showbiz talk show ng ABS-CBN na Showbiz News Ngayon.

Sa naturang panayam ay idinetalye rin ni Phil kung paano nagsimula ang lumalalim na nilang relasyon ni Angel.

Kuwento niya, “The first meeting of me and Angel, I met the family. I came to my own and it was nice.

"I got to meet her dad, her brothers and sisters, and her friends and family.

"It was good. They made it easy for me.” he said.

Inamin ni Phil na kinabahan siya sa una nilang pagkikita ng aktres.

"Yes, yes. I didnt know what to do. Hindi ko alam anong gagawin," sabi niya.

Matatandaang idinaan ni Phil sa social networking site na Twitter ang pagpapahayag niya ng damdamin para kay Angel.

Noong February 10, 2011 ay kinilig ang buong Twitter world nang imbitahan ng Azkals player ang Kapamilya actress para sa isang date noong Valentine's day. (CLICK HERE to read related story.)

Hindi man natuloy nung mismong araw na yun ang pagde-date nila ay nagkaroon ito ng katuparan pagkatapos ng ilang araw. (CLICK HERE to read related story.)

Sinabi rin ni Phil sa interview sa kanya na sinamahan niya si Angel sa isa sa mga charity event nito.

“I wanted to be with Angel in the day and she’s of the kindest people, nicest people you ever meet.

"What she does for charity is amazing and I wanted to be with her on that day,” sabi niya.

May balita namang lumabas na binigyan daw ni Phil ng isang mamahaling Givenchy Pandora messenger bag si Angel bilang regalo sa aktres para sa kaarawan nito noong April 23.

Nagkakahalaga diumano ng P100,000 ang naturang bag.

Ayon kay Phil, hindi siya eksperto pagdating sa pagpili ng mga regalo kaya kinuha niya ang payo ng kanyang pamilya at mga kaibigan.

“Gusto ko yung material. Siyempre kailangan ko ng advice, hindi ako experienced sa picking presents," aniya.

Noong nakaraang Holy Week naman ay sumunod si Phil kay Angel sa Hong Kong, kung saan nagdiwang ng kanyang kaarawan ang aktres.

Reposted From PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal)

A Repost From SPOT

Top 10 Pinoy Political Mother-and-Son Tandems

Filipinos love their moms and they love politics. Sure, it's not the same kind of love—but who's to complain when they can emulate their moms and run for office while they're at it? To mark Mother's Day, thought of coming up with a list with a slight twist—one featuring politician moms and their sons. In most cases, the dads introduced politics into the family and the mom and son just followed suit. In other instances, the moms are political icons in their own right. Do mothers still know best when it comes to politics? Or do the sons have the edge?


"Remembering Cory Through the Eyes of Her Only Son" from

Mom-and-son stats: Corazon Aquino became the country's first female president when she was swept into power in 1986 via the EDSA I Revolution. In 2010, her son Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III became the country's first never-been-married male president.

Political verdict: The mom was a reluctant politician-by-accident who was embraced by the world and tagged the "icon of democracy." Arguably, the son was elected president because of his mom's "magic." Right now, though, he is besieged by so many problems and hit by so many critics that he may just as well be known as "the nation's whipping boy."


Saksi report: COMELEC allows Mikey Arroyo to join Ang Galing Pinoy party-list

Mom-and-son stats: Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was the country's president for nine years and is now a congresswoman of Pampanga. Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo is currently a congressman as well, representing security guards and tricycle drivers.

Political verdict: Though they're both equally controversial, the mom handles political complications better than the son. She got through several much-publicized controversies such as "Hello, Garci" and the NBN-ZTE fiasco without embarrassing herself on national TV. Meanwhile, the son's infamous interview with Winnie Monsod became a viral hit—but for all the wrong reasons. The mom is perceived as a crafty strategist, while the son often seems to be considered er, a joke.


Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s oath taking on June 29, 2010

Mom-and-son stats: Imelda Marcos' most memorable pseudo-political position was as First Lady to former President Ferdinand Marcos from 1965 to 1986. She is now an Ilocos Norte congresswoman. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. is a senator.

Political verdict: At the peak of her political power, the mom was in charge of "beautifying" the country. For her, that included having a lot of huge buildings such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines. In any case, the mom's reputation as a rabid haute couture and shoe addict has prevented her from being taken seriously as a politician. The son may have the academic credentials to be a politician—but he does not have his mother's maddening charisma.


Senator Jinggoy Estrada in Piddig with his mom Loi Estrada

Mom-and-son stats: Jinggoy Estrada became a politician before Luisa "Loi" Ejercito got into the game. At one point, they were both senators. Now, Jinggoy is still a senator while Loi, a
doctor, quit politics in 2007.

Political verdict: The son eclipses the mom in terms of masa appeal. She may be a physician, but he's played Panday. Plus, the son has gone through a makeover, while the public still remembers the mom's interesting hairstyle.


Babae sa Likod ng Trono Documentary by Sandra Aguinaldo

Mom-and-son stats: As part of former President Joseph Estrada's "extended family," Guia Gomez was, for a time, the informal First Lady of San Juan when Estrada served as the city's mayor. Now, Guia is the mayor of San Juan while her son Jose Victor "JV" Ejercito is its congressman.

Political verdict: The mom's patience and low-key style has served her well. She's no longer just the woman behind the man. Now, she calls the shots in her very own political turf. The son seems to be just as low-key—or maybe he just isn't getting as much publicity as his larger-than- life or stranger-than-fiction father.


Oath taking of Vice President Jejomar Binay as HUDCC Chairman

Mom-and-son stats: Dr. Elenita Binay served as the mayor of Makati from 1998 to 2001. Her
son Jejomar "Junjun" Binay, Jr. now holds the position. Though Elenita's term was repotedly
marred by controversy, that didn't stop people from voting for Junjun.

Political verdict: The real political stalwart in the Binay family is really Vice President Jejomar
Binay. The mom and son have just followed suit. If there's any lesson that the son can learn from
the mom it's this: Listen to daddy.


TV 5's Dokumentado feature on Jolo Revilla on his first day of office as Barangay Captain

Mom-and-son stats: Actress-politician Lani Mercado serves as a Cavite congresswoman, while
Jolo Revilla is a barangay captain in Bacoor, Cavite. They both still dabble in acting every now
and then.

Political verdict: "Charm" seems to be the mom's most effective political tool. Although the
son may not necessarily have it, the mom's sweet vibe may be enough for both of them. Besides,
there's always daddy Bong Revilla, who's a senator. In any case, we commend the son for not
being too ambitious in his first political post.


Documentary of Hon. Gwendolyn Ecleo, Mayor of Dinagat

Mom-and-son stats: Glenda Ecleo served as the congresswoman of Dinagat Islands, now her controversial son Ruben Ecleo, Jr. is its representative. The Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA)—a "spiritual" organization founded by the late Ruben Ecleo, Sr.—strengthens their political hold over Dinagat Islands. However, Ruben, Jr. is facing expulsion from Congress for graft cases.

Political verdict: Mom and son don't have to try so hard to win elections. The PBMA members
are so loyal to them. Enough said.


Nikki Coseteng exclusive interview posted by YouTube user jhase21

Mom-and-son stats: Anna Dominique "Nikki" Coseteng served as a senator and a congresswoman. Julian is now a Quezon City councilor. It is not clear if Nikki is just taking a break from politics or if she has kissed it goodbye.

Political verdict: The mom and son are pretty tight. In fact, the son recently tried to have his
birth name changed in favor of the mom's last name. As for political clout, these two still have
some—just not in Cory-Noynoy magnitude.


Pangasinan 6th District Board Member Ranjit Ramos-Shahani on jueteng issues. Video by The Observer

Mom-and-son stats: Letty Ramos Shahani, sister of former President Fidel Ramos, was a
senator from 1992 to 1998. Ranjit Shahani served as congressman of Pangasinan. Both are no
longer active in politics, but we thought they're a nice blast-from-the-past pair.

Political verdict: Perhaps, both mom and son realized that life in politics was more trouble than
it's worth?

Artwork by Warren Espejo

Reposted From SPOT

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Repost From GMA News

Miriam wants Gibo to be the next Ombudsman

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Wednesday said defeated presidential candidate Gilberto Teodoro Jr. would be the best bet to replace Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, who resigned last week.

"I will very strongly recommend Teodoro. His integrity is beyond question and his allegiance to the rule of law has been proved to me many times by his comments on certain legal issues. He would make the best candidate," Santiago told reporters in an interview.

She said Teodoro's ties with former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is a known political nemesis of President Benigno Aquino III, should not disqualify him from the Ombudsman race. Teodoro served as Defense secretary during the Arroyo administration.

"I was a professor when he was a student and I have always marked him out for great things," Santiago said of Teodoro.

Santiago said she made the recommendation as factions in the Palace feud over who will be Gutierrez's replacement.

Santiago said she knows of at least two groups, each affiliated with a potential presidential candidate in 2016, that are pushing for their own bets for the position. She
refused to identify the two groups and its members, but hinted that Supreme Court Justice Conchita Carpio Morales is one of the candidates being backed by one of the groups.

"That's for me to know and (for) you to find out," she told reporters, adding that the matter is "public knowledge."

It has been repeatedly rumored that there are factions in the Palace separately supporting Vice President Jejomar Binay and defeated vice presidential bet Mar Roxas, who are being seen as possible contenders in the 2016 presidential race.

"I perceive that there is an ongoing power struggle among the various squabbling groups within the Aquino administration. Some of these political groupings think that if they control the Ombudsman, they will control the presidential elections in 2016," Santiago said.

She explained that all the next Ombudsman has to do is file anti-graft cases against the rivals of a group's bet, which she said would "handicap" the competition.

With Gutierrez’s resignation, the Judicial and Bar Council is now tasked to screen and recommend her replacement, who will be appointed by the President for a fresh seven-year term.

Overall Deputy Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro will serve as acting Ombudsman until Gutierrez’s replacement is appointed. - KBK, GMA News

Reposted From GMA News

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Repost From Chuck Smith of OMG! Philippine News Blog

omg! Philippines News Blog

MTRCB suspends ‘Willing Willie’ for one month

Willie Revillame (Photo by Jerome Ascano /NPPA Images)

Willie Revillame (Photo by Jerome Ascano /NPPA Images)

(UPDATE) The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) suspended TV5's primetime variety show "Willing Willie" for 30 days, inclusive of the program's three-week voluntary suspension.

This was the decision given by the MTRCB's Hearing and Adjudication Committee, headed by Noel del Prado with members Milo Sogueco and Carmen Musngi.

By crediting the program's self-suspension, the penalty began right after “Willing Willie” aired their last episode, Jonathan Presquito, chief of MTRCB's legal affairs division said. The Willie Revillame-led game show's last episode was aired April 9, Saturday, a day after the host announced the hiatus of the program. As such, the suspension will last until May 9.

The Willie Revillame-led game show was penalized for allow six-year-old Jan-Jan Suan to perform an allegedly erotic dance routine on air during their March 12 episode.

According to the decision, the voluntary suspension of “Willing Willie” played a part in the MTRCB's decision to credit the number of days it was off the air in their suspension. Other reasons for their decision include the self-regulatory measures of TV5, including the implementation of their Guidelines on the Treatment of Children nas Viewers, Subjects, Talents, or Participants and their plan to release a “Rules of Ethics” for their talents and production crew.

The MTRCB also considered the formal apology of TV5 Executive Vice President Roberto Barreiro and their Admission of Responsibility.

The decision also took note that “Willing Willie” is a first time offender.

Presquito said the deliberation will be on a case to case basis for future offenses and that the suspension is limited to the program. Penalizing a television talent is not within the jurisdiction of the MTRCB, Del Prado said.
MTRCB Chairwoman Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares (Photo by Bernard Testa/NPPA Images)

MTRCB Chairwoman Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares (Photo by Bernard Testa/NPPA Images)

Del Prado also clarified that whether there was a crime in the broadcast of the March 12 episode is beyond their concern, adding that their concern is whether “Willing Willie” violated Section 3 (c) of Presidential Decree No. 1986.

MTRCB chairperson Grace Poe-Llamanzares, however, urged other agencies such the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of Labor and Employment to coordinate with the MTRCB in order to create tighter policies regarding the issue.

Probationary status

The show is also on probation or on a per-episode permit status until the MTRCB is convinced that the network and the show will implement the self-regulatory measures promised. Poe-Llamanzares said the probation of the show is open ended and the adjudication committee will determine when to lift the per episode permit status.

“Kung sa tingin nila ay di na kailangan yung probation, magpapadala sila ng sulat na hindi na per episode ang submission ng permit,” she said.

The MTRCB chairperson also said the probation was put in place to give TV5 and Wil Productions the opportunity to prove they are serious in implementing their self-regulatory measures regarding the issue.

“They have to be able to demonstrate na seryoso sila sa kanilang mga prinopose na pagbabago. Kaya naman ginagawang per episode basis ang permit para naman makita natin kung nagagampan nga ang mga pangakong ito at saka para maiwasan rin kung sakaling magkaroon ng repetisyon,” she said.

The probation and the crediting of the self-probation of “Willing Willie,” Poe-Llamanzares said, is their way of commending the network's constructive resolution and self-regulation.

“Gusto natin na ang mga producer at ang industry players ang maging responsble sa kanilang mga shows,” she said.

Poe-Llamanzares added: “Ayaw naman namin sila dagdagan pa ng parusa kaya binibilang na natin yung kanilang suspension. Dahil kung saka-sakali, may ibang network, tapos sila ay gumawa ng sarili nilang hakbang at tinanggal nila sa ere ang kanilang programa, syempre mawawalan naman sila ng insentibo kung sasabihin nila, 'ay, ang MTRCB, hindi naman kinikilala ang aming suspension.' So para sa amin, mas mabuti na bigyan na natin sila ng autonomiya sa pagdesisyon kung ano talaga ang hindi karapat-dapat ipalabas. “

Changes in TV rating system mulled

In case the production decides to overhaul the show and move it to a different timeslot, the MTRCB chairperson said the Board will study the new program.

“Sa tingin ko naman, kahit may bagong show kasi, pinagaaralan namin ng mabuti kung ano yung timeslot saka kung anong klase yung format ng show. Kung nakita naman namin na masyadong pareho, iniiwasan naman natin na magkaroon ng circumvention. So binigyan na natin sila ng palugit na hanggang dito at tingin ko naman susundin nila yun. Kami ay umaasa, dahil kung sila ay nagpalabas ng maaga kahit iba ang timeslot, syempre naiintindihan naman ng publiko kung ano yung ginagawa,” she said.

The “Willing Willie” case has prompted MTRCB to study other means to regulate television content, Poe-Llamanzares said.

“Meron talagang kinakailangan nating gawin para dyan. Kasi kung ang kabataan na ang kasama, tayong mga nakakatanda ang dapat magsiguro ng kanilang kalagayan. Pero ang MTRCB ay hindi lamang ang ahensya na dapat tumingin dito,” she said.

One of the proposed changes, she added, is to improve the current television content rating system. There are currently two ratings for television programs: G for General Patronage and PG for Parental Guidance.

Poe-Llamanzares said the MTRCB is considering the addition of new ratings, such as an M for Mature. In their proposed new system, a program that gets an M rating can only air after a certain timeslot. Programs that were found to be showing objectionable content will not automatically be suspended; rather, it will first be given an M rating. She said the MTRCB will study this proposal this Thursday and will invite industry leaders next week for a meeting regarding this matter.

Reposted From Chuck Smith of OMG! Philippine News Blog

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Repost From Stephen Collison of AFP News

Bin Laden dead, Obama says justice is done

Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden was killed Sunday in a firefight with US forces deep inside Pakistan, President Barack Obama said, declaring "justice has been done" a decade after the September 11 attacks.

The death of the reviled US enemy sparked jubilation across the United States, with a huge crowd gathering outside the White House just before midnight, chanting "USA, USA" as Obama made a dramatic nationwide address to Americans.

"Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al-Qaeda, and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children," Obama said.

Obama said in the historic address from the White House that he had directed the US armed forces to launch an attack against a compound in Pakistan on Sunday acting on a lead that first emerged last August.

"A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties.

"After a firefight, they killed Osama bin laden and took custody of his body."

"Justice has been done."

Pakistani intelligence officials also confirmed bin Laden's death.

"Yes I can confirm that he was killed in a highly sensitive intelligence operation," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The official said he was unable to immediately confirm where, how or when bin Laden was killed.

Asked whether Pakistani intelligence participated in the operation he said only: "It was a highly sensitive intelligence operation."

US armed forces have been hunting the Saudi terror kingpin for years, an effort that was redoubled following the attacks by hijacked airliners on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon which killed 3,000 people in 2001.

But bin Laden always managed to evade US armed forces and a massive manhunt, and was most often thought to be hiding out in Pakistan and Afghanistan border areas.

The death of bin Laden will raise huge questions about the future shape of Al-Qaeda and also have steep implications for US security and foreign policy 10 years into a global anti-terror campaign.

It will also provoke fears that the United States and its allies will face retaliation from supporters of bin Laden and other Islamic extremist groups.

The death of bin Laden will also cast a new complexion on the increasingly unpopular war in Afghanistan, where 100,000 troops are still in the country battling the Taliban and Al Qaeda after a decade of war.

Former president George W. Bush first said he wanted bin Laden "dead or alive" in the weeks after the September 11 attacks.

But bin Laden frequently taunted Bush, and after he took office in 2009, Obama, with taped messages.

Bin Laden was top of America's most wanted list, and was blamed by Washington for masterminding a string of other attacks, including the attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Africa in 1998.

Chants of "USA, USA" rang out from a huge and quickly building crowd outside the White House as the news of bin Laden's death sent a electric charge through Washington.

People cheered waved the US flag and sang the US national anthem.

Despite the decade that has elapsed since the September 11 attacks, the event, one of the most traumatic in US history, still stirs raw emotions, and his demise will be celebrated across the United States.

In the Upstream restaurant in the old market area of Omaha, Nebraska, owners switched TV channels from the evening's sports games as news of Laden's death trickled in.

Patrons cheered and called friends to tell them of the news.

"We are going to be able to remember sitting here, you are going to remember where you where," said Vaughn Wickham from Spirit Lake, Iowa.

The US dollar rose against the euro and the yen when it emerged that Obama would announce the death of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, nearly 10 years after the September 11 attacks.

The dollar rose against the euro, which fetched 1.4764 dollars from 1.4864 in earlier trade. The dollar was at 81.66 yen from 81.19 earlier.

Reposted From Stephen Collison of AFP News

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Repost From Nicole Winfield and Vanessa Gera of Associated Press

Pope beatifies John Paul II before 1.5M faithful

AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, Pool

VATICAN CITY – Some 1.5 million pilgrims flooded Rome Sunday to watch Pope John Paul II move a step closer to sainthood in one of the largest Vatican Masses in history, an outpouring of adoration for a beloved and historic figure after years marred by church scandal.

The turnout for the beatification far exceeded even the most optimistic expectation of 1 million people, the number Rome city officials predicted. For Catholics filling St. Peter's Square and its surrounding streets, and for those watching around the world the beatification was a welcome hearkening back to the days when the pope was almost universally beloved.

"He was like a king to us, like a father," Marynka Ulaszewska, a 28-year-old from Ciechocinek, Poland, said, weeping. "I hope these emotions will remain with us for a long time," she said.

Pope Benedict XVI praised John Paul for turning back the seemingly "irreversible" tide of communism with faith, courage and "the strength of a titan, a strength which came to him from God."

John Paul is universally credited with helping bring down communism in his native Poland with support for the Solidarity labor movement, accelerating the fall of the Iron Curtain.

"He rightly reclaimed for Christianity that impulse of hope which had in some sense faltered before Marxism and the ideology of progress," Benedict said. "He restored to Christianity its true face as a religion of hope."

John Paul's beatification, the fastest in modern times, has however triggered a new wave of anger from sex-abuse victims because much of the criminality occurred during his 27-year watch. Critics also say John Paul's legacy is clouded by evidence of a dwindling faith: empty churches in Europe, too few priests in North and South America, priests who violate their celibacy requirement in places like Africa and a general decline of Catholicism in former Christian strongholds.

John Paul's defenders argue that an entire generation of new priests owe their vocations to John Paul, and that millions of lay Catholics found their faith during the World Youth Days, which were a hallmark of his papacy.

Vatican officials have insisted that the saint-making process isn't a judgment of how John Paul administered the church but rather whether he lived a life of Christian virtue.

Benedict put John Paul on the fast-track for possible sainthood when he dispensed with the traditional five-year waiting period and allowed the beatification process to begin weeks after his April 2, 2005, death. Benedict was responding to chants of "Santo Subito!" or "Sainthood Immediately" which erupted during John Paul's funeral.

With a sea of red and white Polish flags fluttering in the square, the beatification Sunday evoked the days after the pope's death in 2005, when some 3 million faithful held vigil under his studio window and filed past his remains for days on end.

Pilgrims from Mexico to Mali repeated the procession after the Mass Sunday, for hours filing past the simple wooden coffin that had been raised from the grottoes underneath St. Peter's Basilica to the church's center aisle, where it was surrounded by four Swiss Guards standing at attention.

Beatification is the last major milestone before a candidate is declared a saint. John Paul needs another miracle attributed to his intercession before he can be canonized.

Already, Vatican officials have said reports of inexplicable cures were pouring in, suggesting it is only a matter of time before John Paul is declared a saint, or even a doctor of the church — an even greater honor.

Police placed wide swaths of Rome miles (kilometers) from the Vatican off limits to private cars to ensure security for the estimated 16 heads of state, eight prime ministers and five members of European royal houses attending.

Helicopters flew overhead, police boats patrolled the nearby Tiber River and some 5,000 uniformed troops manned police barricades to ensure priests, official delegations and those with coveted VIP passes could get to their places amid the throngs of pilgrims.

Spain's Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia, wearing a black lace mantilla, mingled with Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, Poland's historic Solidarity leader and former President Lech Walesa and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who sidestepped a European Union travel ban to attend.

"He went all over the world," said Bishop Jean Zerbo of Bamako, Mali, who came to Rome for the ceremony. "Today, we're coming to him."

Many in Rome and in capitals around the world erupted in cheers, tears and applause as Benedict pronounced John Paul "Blessed" and an enormous color photo of a young, smiling John Paul was unveiled over the loggia of St. Peter's Basilica.

"John Paul is an angel, he has such charisma," said Esperanza Concilion, a 69-year-old hairdresser who traveled from Guadalajara, Mexico for the beatification.

Catholics jammed churches from Mexico to Australia to pray and watch broadcasts of the Rome Mass on television.

"He was a model and an inspiration who united the world with his extraordinary charisma," said John Paul Bustillo, a 16-year-old medical student named after the pontiff who turned out Sunday along with more than 3,000 others for a six-mile (10-kilometer) race followed by a Mass near Manila Bay in the Philippines.

In Brazil, which has more Roman Catholics than any other nation, the beatification resonated among the faithful and sparked hope that it might renew faith in the church in the South American nation which is facing stiff competition for souls from evangelical Protestant movements.

"The beatification is going to renovate the faith of those who may have lost their way and left the church," said Adimir Godoy, as he left a Sunday mass at the Santa Cecilia church in central Sao Paulo. "We were all blessed by the life of Pope John Paul and he deserves to be a saint."

In John Paul's native Poland, tens of thousands of people gathered in rain in a major sanctuary in Krakow and in Wadowice, where the pontiff was born in 1920 as Karol Wojtyla. Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his wife Malgorzata watched the ceremony together with Wadowice residents.

After the nearly three-hour Mass, Benedict prayed before John Paul's coffin, which had a copy of the Lorsch Gospels on it, an illuminated medieval book of the Gospels that is one of the most precious in the Vatican's collection.

The basilica was expected to stay open for as long as it takes to accommodate the throngs of faithful who paid their respects and took photos as loudspeakers piped in hymns and clips of some of John Paul's most memorable homilies and speeches.

The sealed coffin will ultimately be moved to a side chapel inside the basilica just next to Michelangelo's famous marble "Pieta" statue.

Police put the figure of those attending the Mass at 1.5 million; only a few hundred thousand could fit into St. Peter's Square and the surrounding streets but others watched it on some of the 14 huge TV screens set up around town or listened to it on radios in Polish or Italian.

During the Mass, Benedict received a silver reliquary holding a vial of blood taken from John Paul during his final hospitalization. The relic, a key feature of beatification ceremonies, will be available for the faithful to venerate.

It was presented to him by Sister Tobiana, the Polish nun who tended to John Paul throughout his pontificate, and Sister Marie Simone-Pierre of France, whose inexplicable recovery from Parkinson's disease was decreed to be the miracle necessary for John Paul to be beatified.

Reposted From Nicole Winfield and Vanessa Gera of Associated Press


How do you want to see your blog reviewed, evaluated and rated as I see it? It's free!!! All that I request from you is a backlink from your blog to my blog by including my blog in your blogroll or enroll my blog in your subscriber or email feed. Aren't you curious how I will rate your blog as I see it?

To All Filipino Bloggers

May I invite you to join Filipinos Unite!!!. You can do so by commenting on my post or sending me an email containing your name, address, name of blog and its url. My email address is Your name, address, name of blog and its url will be included in the official registry of members posted permanently at my blog. Please join and be counted. Thank you so much. Mabuhay and God bless you and your loved ones.