PALO, Leyte, Jan. 5 (PNA) –- The Archdiocese of Palo will surely serve lechon (roasted pig) and pork adobo as dish, malunggay (moringa) as vegetables and local tropical fruits as dessert during the lunch of Pope Francis with 30 survivors of recent natural calamities that struck central Philippines.

Archbishop John F. Du asked four caterers who volunteered to prepare food to make sure that those four are in the menu, which resembles the Filipino tradition of feast.

“The Pope’s entourage is not bringing any food. The archdiocese has to decide what kind of food we will serve during the lunch,” Du told reporters.

The caterers will have to present the list of menu to the archdiocese, but Du highly recommended serving lechon, pork adobo, malunggay, and tropical fruits.

“These are all donations from four caterers based in Tacloban City and Palo. Some native delicacies will also be displayed not just for consumption, but to show to the Pope our native food products,” Du added.

Pope Francis will have lunch with 30 survivors around 12:45 p.m. on Jan. 17 in a 50 square meter dining area inside the Archbishop Residence in Arado village in Palo town.

The setting in the dining room, according to the church official, is very simple since they won’t put cover and fancy decorations on the wooden table.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and Du are the only Church officials who will eat with the Pope. Tagle will also serve as an interpreter in the pontiff’s conversation with poor survivors.

“The lunch is only about 30 minutes because the Pope wants more time to talk to survivors. He loves to hear stories of people who are suffering and comfort them,” Du said.

The Archdiocese of Palo has not yet revealed the names of 30 people who will dine with Pope Francis.

Of the 30 survivors, 5 will come from Bohol; 5 from Eastern Samar; 5 Samar province and 15 from Tacloban City and nearby towns of Palo, Tolosa and Tanauan, in Leyte.

Upon his arrival in Leyte at around 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 17, Pope Francis will lead a mass at the Tacloban airport. At 11:45, he will go on motorcade for one hour to the Archbishop’s Residence in Arado village, Palo town and will stay there until 3 p.m.

After that, he will lead the blessing of the Pope Francis Center for the Poor inside the compound.

The pontiff will then ride his mobile to the Palo Cathedral at 3:30 p.m. for a brief meeting with priests and religious. His last activity is to bless a mass grave near the church. (PNA)FFC/SQM/SSC