By Leilani S. Junio
MANILA, 18Jan2015 — Tens of thousands of people have lined up outside the University of Santo Tomas (UST) hours before a scheduled meeting of Pope Francis with 24,000 youth representatives on Sunday, to see and feel the inspiring smile and presence of the Vicar of Christ.
As early as 10 p.m. Saturday, hundreds of people have started lining up at UST gates along Dapitan street, entry point designated for the general public.
Crowd started to swell at about 3 a.m. at all gates along España Boulevard and the streets of P. Noval, Dapitan, and Lacson.
The UST Office of Public Affairs earlier announced that the gates would be opened at 4 a.m.
At 4:00 am, congestion further intensified as parking along nearby streets becomes difficult as people continue to flock towards the designated gates to UST and seek the best place where they can see Pope Francis.
Some of the people who can no longer move closer to UST just opted to take their packed breakfast or buy from ambulant vendors along the streets.
A crew of Jollibee food chain was also selling breakfast meals.
Visibly seen everywhere were vendors selling souvenir items bearing images of the Pope like t-shirts, caps, handkerchief, calendars, key chains, among many more.
Those really determined to see the Pope even from afar climbed the overpass as they await for the Pope to pass by despite of constant reminders from Manila Metropolitan Development Authority designated officers to refrain from doing such risks.
In UST Pope Francis was expected to meet religious leaders and have a close encounter with the youth.(PNA)