On the cover:
Also in this issue:
Devotion is oftentimes more powerful than love, because it demands what is difficult, and sometimes impossible.
Devotion to duty is sublime, and puts one’s sacred task above and ahead of oneself. I believe Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign from the papacy, unprecedented in 600 years, was a humble admission. Due to failing health, he couldn’t be faithful to his mission of leading the Catholic Church.
To me, that is better than to continue being enthroned in a position whose tasks one cannot discharge, no matter how willing one might be.
Benedict’s humility has led to a new gust of fresh air blowing into the Vatican, and it comes from more than just the rustling of the cape of Pope Francis, the new pope.
Francis’ devotion to the poor is legendary, and validated by several “Exhibits A & B,” so to speak. Footage of him washing the calloused feet of people in the slums of Buenos Aires and photos of him supping with paupers now flood media. His own first acts of simplicity, tiny though they seem, resonate in a world where the trappings of power extend to even men of the cloth.
According to Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, after Cardinal Jorge Maria Bergoglio was elected Pope by the cardinals, he asked them, “You’re going to be with me a little while still, right?’
Dolan said they told him, “We will be with you for the rest of your life.”
“Okay then,” Dolan quoted Pope Francis as saying, “Let me first greet the people in Vatican Square because they have already been waiting there for hours.”
And in a simple white vestment, sans the red cape Popes normally don, Francis emerged from the balcony and waving to the multitude below, said, “Brothers and sisters, good evening.”
The telephone operator at the office of the Jesuit superior also was shocked speechless when he received a call from the Pope himself, asking to speak with Fr. Adolfo Nicolas Pacon, superior general of the Jesuit order, to which Francis belongs.
The man on the other end of the line said simply: “This is Pope Francis. May I speak to Fr. General?”
Devotion to duty, to the poor, to simplicity is difficult. It tests one’s character, one’s discipline, one’s determination to make a difference beyond lip service. (For more information on the recent upheavals in the papacy and their impact, please turn to page 88.)
Our cover is an indulgence for thousands of Marian (Rivera) devotees. On the cover of PeopleAsia for the second time in 13 years, and for the first time solo, Marian Rivera inspires a cult following. With her refreshing virginal beauty and well-proportioned frame, she is an object of worship — and certainly not just by her beau, multi-awarded actor Dingdong Dantes.
Marian was photographed for the cover of PeopleAsia by lensman Doc Marlon Pecjo at snooty Manila Polo Club. By all accounts, photographing her was a breeze.
She tells desk editor Greggy Vera Cruz her concept of love and devotion: “One cannot experience true love if there is no pain...”
Also in this issue is a bible for travellers — over 40 pages of features and photographs on the most interesting destinations — from Tarquinia, Italy to Balesin Island in Quezon.
A wise man once said, “To travel is to see God.”
I agree. To boost one’s devotion to one’s faith, one’s devotion to life, one must travel. And in the grandeur of such places as the Niagara Falls in Canada, or the rock formations in Cappadoccia, Turkey, one will truly be a witness to the hand of a great Creator.
PeopleAsia leads you to where your devotion lies…