MANILA - The priest who served as emcee before and after the papal mass at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta last Sunday has apologized for supposedly destroying the solemnity of the event.
Fr. Hans Magdurulang, who led the world-record crowd in cheering Pope Francis, has received flak online for supposedly making a "variety show" out of the event.
Speaking to radio dzMM on Tuesday, Magdurulang said it was only last night when he saw the netizens' reactions -- both positive and negative -- on his hosting style. He said he does not have accounts on Twitter and Facebook.
He admitted that he cried after reading the comments on social media, saying, "Ganito pala ma-bash."
But instead of being angry at them, he said he just reflected on his actions and asked himself what he could have done wrong to receive those negative reactions.
"Hindi daw po ako bagay na mag-emcee, masyado daw po akong maingay. Sinira ko daw po 'yung solemnity ng misa. Para daw pong ginawang show, perya, noontime show... nung sinasabi ko po na wagayway, paulit-ulit."
"Siyempre po napaisip po ako. Sabi ko mukhang mali po yata 'yung ginawa ko, baka may mali po akong nagawa, nasira ko po 'yung event. Tinanong ko po talaga 'yan sa sarili ko," Magdurulang said.
But looking back, he said he was just really doing his job and was only following the instructions given to him.
He said he was directed to lead the rosary in the morning following the scuffle at the Maria Orosa entrance, then to announce specific instructions from the people in charge of the security in the area.
"I really tried my best po na mapakalma 'yung mga tao... Tuluy-tuloy po ako sa pagbibigay ng mga instructions sa tao," he said.
"Totoo po 'yun na meron po akong mga birong binitawan po talaga. Pero sa pagkakaalam ko po wala naman po akong hangarin na mang-offend po."
The priest also stressed that he led the crowd in chanting and waving only before and after -- and not during -- Pope Francis' Mass.
He added that he was again only following the instructions given to him when he repeatedly said that no one should leave the area until the Pope and President Benigno Aquino III were able to leave.
"Let us all join in singing our final song 'Pananagutan.' Wala po munang aalis!" he had said as the Supreme Pontiff made his way to the popemobile. "Kumanta po tayong lahat, mga kapatid. Kumanta po tayo!"
"Mabuhay si Papa Francisco! Mabuhay ang Santo Papa!" he chanted. "Gagawin po natin ang Pope Francis Wave!"
In the radio dzMM interview, Magdurulang said he is sincerely sorry to those who felt that he destroyed the solemnity of the papal mass.
"Kung may mga natuwa po sa Luneta, maraming salamat po. Pero kung may mga nadismaya po sa Luneta dahil sa akin, ako po'y taos-pusong humihingi ng tawad po talaga, kung nasira ko po yung pagdiriwang po na sinasabi," he said.
"Hindi ko po ito ginawang show ko po, may instructions po sa akin," he added.
According to Magdurulang, he has already learned his lesson. "Siguro po dapat mas maging maingat po, mas i-observe ko 'yung crowd."
"Hindi talaga lahat magugustuhan ka... Parang Kristo po na pagkatapos mo ibigay 'yung sarili mo, hindi ka talaga magugustuhan ng lahat," he said.
Despite the online bashing that he received, the priest-emcee said he is just really thankful that he had the opportunity to meet and greet Pope Francis.
"Siya po 'yung lumapit po talaga at naka-smile po siya at tinuturo niya 'yung lalamunan kasi daw po 'yung lalamunan ko. Tapos hinawakan ko po 'yung kamay niya... Siya po ang nagbigay ng personal na malasakit po," Magdurulang said.