Here's what the late Pope John Paul II rode while in the Philippines for the 1995 World Youth Day celebration:
For the youngins, that's not Pope John Paul II
(Image via Gmanetwork.com)
Called the Popemobile, it was made by Francisco Motors as a rugged, fully-armored vehicle that not only served as Pope John Paul II's ride, it protected him from potential attacks as well.
With Pope Francis' visit here next week, this we ask: What will be his karwahe during his vist here from January 15 to 19?
Here it is:
Image via Inquirer.net
Looks like...a jeepney! That's because this version of the Popemobile is actually the first one converted from a jeepney. It's built on a brand-new jeepney chassis where a secure platform that the Pope will stand on is attached.
It's all-white and also has green glass crosses sculpted by renowned artist Ramon Orlina on its sides. Other than that, it's a really simple vehicle void of bling. And, unlike its predecessors, it's not even bullet-proof! Not that we're smelling a terrorist plot but we're talking about the head of the Catholic Church here—a little more protection would be nice, right?
Image via Abs-cbnnews.com
But before you say this is another result of shady government dealings and corruption, we'll have you know that it was actually Pope Francis' call to have things this way. He wants the Popemobile to be open and accesible like how he wants the Church to be like. "It is true something could happen to me but let's be realistic, at my age I do not have much to lose," he even adds.
Two jeepney-inspired popemobiles will be available for the Pope's visit. Reports also say the one who will man the wheel will be a member of his entourage. Here's to hoping that person won't be like those scary jeepney drivers who seem to have a vendetta on road safety.
However, our bros from Top Gear Philippines reported yesterday, January 10, that a second Popemobile is being constructed by "Gencars Inc., a company owned by former Ambassador Antonio Cabangon-Chua and which runs Isuzu dealerships in Makati, Batangas, and Laguna."
This Popemobile is "based on the Isuzu D-Max... Gencars had to remove the rear portion of the D-Max's double-cab passenger space in order to make the cargo bed more spacious for the Pope."
Here are some of Top Gear's exclusive photos:
Pimpin' Nice ride, right? According to Top Gear's sources, "this D-Max Popemobile will reportedly be used by the Pope in Tacloban." The jeepney-based Popemobile will be utilized for the Metro Manila leg of His Holiness' visit.