MALACAÑANG on Saturday wished Pope Francis a “good health and good humor” as he celebrates his 80th birthday.

In a statement, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar acknowledged that many people have been inspired because of Pope Francis’ “humble experience, concern for the poor, and strong attention on God’s mercy.”

“The Palace greets Pope Francis a happy 80th birthday. For more than three years as head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis Has successfully inspire people around the world with his humble experience, concern for the poor, and strong attention on God’s mercy,” Andanar said.

“We wish Pope Francis good health and good humor as he continues to guide us to build a more humane world,” he added.

Andanar said the Filipino people are still elated by Pope Francis’ first visit to the Philippines in January 2015, which left “an indelible memory in the hearts of thousands” of Filipinos.

When the Pope went to the Philippines, he also went to Tacloban, Leyte to visit the victims of super typhoon Yolanda.

“The people of the Philippines, home of Asia’s largest Catholic population, remain grateful for the historic first visit of His Holiness to the country in 2015,” Andanar said. “His touching homily in Tacloban has left an indelible memory in the hearts of thousands, especially survivors of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).”

It could be recalled that President Rodrigo Duterte had drawn ire of the public after cursing the Pope over the alleged traffic congestion in Manila during his visit. (Sunnex)