Where you there when St. John Paul II (then Pope) visited Bacolod in February 1981? What do you remember about this historic event? The Papal visit came at a time when Bacolod and Negros Occidental needed it most. The sugar industry was in a deep crisis, militarization in the island was at its highest, farm children were starving, and then there was the Don Juan tragedy. People were excited, there were such high hopes about the visit. The place in Bacolod where the Pope would be saying mass was at the reclamation area. This place is now where SM City Bacolod, Bacolod Pavilion and Resort and the Bacolod Seaport can be found. But in 1981, this place was just a huge and vast field of cogon grass. For the Pope's visit the area was cleaned and cordoned off.
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