Most Reverend Antonio Tobias confirmed on Monday, October 17, that comedienne Ai-Ai delas Alas and master composer Ryan Cayabyab received a Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (For the Church and Pope) medal from the church as led by Pope Francis.
“Be it known that this is considered as the highest medal awarded to the laity by the Pope," said Tobias in a report by GMA News Online.
"Hindi ko alam kung anong mararamdaman ko kasi sa dami ng nilalang sa mundo, bakit ako? Worthy ba ako? Pero siyempre, susunod lang ako. Kung ano 'yung plano ni Lord for me. Doon tayo," said delas Alas.
Tobias also explained that the award was “given by the Roman Catholic Church to exemplary lay persons as a recognition for their distinguished service to the church.”
As a Papal awardee delas Alas and Cayabyab are now part of the “Papal Household” and the church can invite them to special occasions held at the Vatican.
Delas Alas is a Marian devotee who spearheaded a charity concert in 2015 in order to fund the building of the Kristong Hari Church in Quezon City as well as the Anawim Lay Missions Foundation, Inc. in Rizal.