Pope Francis to Ride in a Jeepney During His Visit to the Philippines

This is the "popemobile" that will be used by Pope Francis in Philippines 1 photo
Photo: Vatican Communication on Twitter
As opposed to his predecessors, who have been traveling with the Mercedes-Benz luxury cars, most of which are bullet proof, Pope Francis has become rather popular for his preference for simplicity. The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Social Communications has once again proved that when they posted a photo of the vehicle his sanctity will use for his Philippine visit.
South Koreans were quite impressed when they saw the Pope traveling in a Kia for his first trip to Asia, in August last year. But that was not the first time the popemobile would be a first line subject for newspapers worldwide, since it is known that Pope Francis ditched the buletproof Mercedes-Benz popemobile in favor of open-top vehicles. He believes that the glass-enclosed “sardine can” prevents him from interacting with people.

Reports are he even chose to leave out the papal vehicle completely, back in March, claiming he prefers riding in a bus with cardinals and bishops on the way to a spiritual retreat. Meanwhile, the security staff tacking care that the Pope’s trips are safe is facing some really bad nightmares, especially that Manila is renown for being a city quite dangerous for such visits.

According to Quartz, it’s the same city where the late Pope John Paul II was the target of two plots organized by al-Qaeda operations chief Khalid Sheikh Muhammad in the Philippines in 1995 and 1999. A few decades earlier, Paul VI was stabbed on the Manila airport runway by a Bolivian painter in 1970, but escaped with minor injuries.

However, we have to admit we kind of like the Pope’s auto choices

Originally made from U.S. military jeeps left over from World War II, the jeepneys have become a ubiquitous symbol of Philippine culture and art. Most of them are used for public transport, the personal vehicles have their rear doors attached with “For family use” or “Private” sign painted on them to alert commuters.

The popemobile in question is painted white, with chrome wheels and bears the papal insignia on its side. Two green glass crosses also adorn the vehicle. But that’s pretty much everything about it.
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