HomeDiocesan ReportsFilipino priest offers Pope Francis souvenir from hometown

Filipino priest offers Pope Francis souvenir from hometown

The gifts included a handwoven hat and bag made by the people of Pandan town in Antique and a “patadyong” from the town of Bugasong

A Catholic priest who met Pope Francis in the Vatican on Monday, March 22, offered the pontiff a souvenir from the Philippines — a handwoven hat and bag made of grass and a scarf.

Father Alfonso A. Alojipan Jr., who hails from the province of Antique in the central Philippines, also asked the pontiff for prayers for the people of his hometown.

The priest, who is studying in Rome, said the gifts came from people in the province who sent it to Rome as a gift to the pope.




“When I was introduced to shake hands with the pope, I said, ‘Your Holiness, I am Alfonso. These are the gifts of our people in Pandan,” the priest said.

He told the pontiff that the hand-made gifts are gifts “from the heart” of the people of the island.

The gifts included a handwoven hat and bag made by the people of Pandan town in Antique from grass that weavers braid after drying them under the sun and a “patadyong” from the town of Bugasong, Antique.

The “patadyong” is a handwoven tube skirt made by elder women in the village of Bagtason in Bugasong. The “manughabul,” or weaver, fuses different colors of threads to capture the colors of nature, reveals personal status and for trendy looks.

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Father Alojipan was part of a group of Filipino students who met with Pope Francis in private this week.

During the meeting, the pontiff encouraged students at Rome’s Pontifical Filipino College to welcome “the opportunities that the Lord gives you to follow him,” even while they are away from their beloved homeland.

Speaking in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall, the pope congratulated the college, which hosts diocesan priests from the Philippines studying at pontifical universities in Rome, on its 60th anniversary.

He also highlighted the 500th anniversary of the first Mass in the Southeast Asian country, which took place on March 31, 1521.

The pope urged the students to embrace “the opportunities that the Lord gives you to follow him and to configure you life to him, even while being away from your beloved Philippines.”

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