Warning: This post may offend religious feelings. Continue reading at your own risk.

THE SEARCH is over. There’s a new pope… a new old pope.

Latin American Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76 was not considered as a frontrunner for pope. In fact, in the days leading up to the conclave, he was off the radar; suddenly he’s up there. Very Bam Aquino.

Breaking: The United Nationalist Alliance is questioning the result of the balloting.

Did you hear Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s first speech as pope? CNN said the speech was “unconventional.” Some people believe it was “refreshing” and Tito Sotto was like, “Where can I get a copy?”

A Jesuit from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pope Francis is reportedly a humble man. Others say he’s also “brilliant” although for Cynthia Villar, “Hindi naman kailangang gano’n kagaling ang Pope.”

A cardinal from Argentina has been elected Pope! As winner, the new pope gets a new iPad from Jamby Madrigal.

A new pope has been elected. If things go wrong under his leadership, he can always blame the previous administration of Pope Macapagal-Arroyo.

A Latin American is the new pope. Perceived frontrunners including a Filipino were snubbed by the College of Cardinals. Malacañang smells a conspiracy.

Thousands of Catholics gathered in St. Peter’s Square to welcome the new pope. As throngs waited for the announcement, someone in the crowd shouted, “Tagle! Tagle!” And then Pope Francis appeared and said, “You don’t do that to me!”

With or without a new pope, Migz Zubiri said “we’ll make baby No. 3!”

For at least two hours on Thursday, the Top 10 trending topics on Twitter worldwide were all pope-related. No Justin Bieber, no One Direction. That was Pope Francis’ first miracle!

The Roman Catholic Church is facing daunting challenges. That’s probably the reason why they chose Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a Jesuit with a master’s degree in chemistry. He has the solutions.

Some reports say Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was the runner-up to Pope Benedict XVI in the 2005 conclave. I didn’t know Vatican adopts beauty pageant rules. “If for any reason…”

Ok, it’s done. We have a new pope. The frenzy is starting to subside. The Roman Catholic Church can now continue promoting its anti-homosexual, anti-women, and anti-choice stance. Habemus papam!
“I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays

Sound Bites
“When I approached Pope Francis to assure him of closeness and collaboration of Filipinos, he said, ‘I have high hopes for the Philippines.'”
~Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle

I am on Twitter: @HecklerForever.


THIS WEEK, the College of Cardinals is expected to vote for a new pope. The election is getting serious. In fact, some of the cardinals have been dancing to Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ just to win votes.

The rapid rise in popularity of Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle is phenomenal. He’s reportedly in the Top 12. But expect him to inch much closer to the top 5 when his life story is featured in “Maalaala Mo Kaya.”

Some 115 cardinal electors gather in Sistine Chapel to elect a new pope. Reports say the cardinals will be praying and voting four times. Yup, four times. That’s worse than some Filipinos who vote twice during elections.

According to the rules, if a new pope is not elected in two or three days it means the cardinals are probably severely divided – that, or the votes from Lanao and Maguindanao don’t tally with the actual number of voters.

Firefighters have installed the Sistine Chapel chimney that will tell the whole world when a new Pope is elected. A black smoke from the chimney means there’s no winner yet; a white smoke signifies the election of a new pope, and a red smoke means Santa Claus was trapped and got toasted.

1LANTOIn other news…
Controversial former Lanao Del Norte representative Macabangkit Lanto has declined his appointment as Comelec commissioner. BREAKING: Senator Drilon’s heart

President Aquino’s two new picks for Comelec commissioner, Macabangkit Lanto and Ma. Bernadette Sardillo both declined their appointments. The Comelec is in panic mode now since the conclave will start in less than 24 hours.

Macabangkit Lanto and Bernadette Sardillo who both declined their appointments to the Comelec were chosen by President Aquino to replace retired poll officials. The President should replace his search committee first.

Pulse Asia
The latest Pulse Asia survey is out. It’s 8 for Team PNOY, 4 for UNA and 6 for political dynasties.

Now ranked sixth, Team PNOY’s Bam Aquino is the biggest gainer. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 lbs.

According to the World Giving Index, the Philippines is the second “most giving” nation in Southeast Asia and 17th among 160 countries in the world. We are really generous. We give to charity, we give to strangers, and we give up our claim to Sabah.

Senatorial aspirant Miguel Zubiri of UNA said, “Win or lose, my wife and I are making baby No. 3.” With or without that baby No. 3, we don’t care!

Sought for comment on rumors that he’s gay, Migz Zubiri told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, “Ask my wife. She seems so satisfied.” To which Ogie Diaz said, “My wife too.”

Migz Zubiri’s’ wife Audrey said, “We have two wonderful children. I am very happy with my husband.” And Koko Pimentel was like, “Whatevs!”
“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Sound Bites
“Ako ang pinakamahirap sa mga Madrigal.”
~Jamby Madrigal /via SRO on dzMM

“Actually natatawa nga ako sa sinasabi ni Migz Zubiri, siya ‘yong tumatawag sa pansin ko eh wala na siya sa radar ko.”
~Sen. Koko Pimentel

Have a productive week!

I am on Twitter: @HecklerForever.

[Photos: Associated Press, Chairman Brillantes]