Manny Pacquiao gets hero’s welcome in General Santos | Inquirer Sports

Manny Pacquiao gets hero’s welcome in General Santos

By: - Correspondent / @inqmindanao
/ 08:07 PM May 15, 2015

Manny Pacquiao smiles as the crowd waves at him during a motorcade for his homecoming in General Santos City. AQUILES Z. ZONIO/INQUIRER MINDANAO

Manny Pacquiao smiles as the crowd waves at him during a motorcade for his homecoming in General Santos City. AQUILES Z. ZONIO/INQUIRER MINDANAO

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – It was as if he won the fight.

Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao’s homecoming here on Friday was every bit a hero’s welcome despite his loss to American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.


Hundreds of people from all walks of life—children included—lined up the path of Pacquiao’s motorcade from the airport here to the city hall and chanted his name as he passed.


Pacquiao, wearing a red and white checkered polo, was with Mayor Ronnel Rivera on a white government-owned Kia multicab fitted with a canopy emblazoned with his MP logo and adorned with balloons. About a dozen other vehicles trailed his float as it passed by the city’s major thoroughfares.

He was all smiles and waved his hand to the crowd, which was apparently ecstatic at welcoming him home.

At the city hall, Rivera and Vice Mayor Shirlyn Bañas-Nograles presented Pacquiao with a resolution passed by the city council, which commended him for his “courage and aggressiveness” during his fight against Mayweather.

Rivera said Pacquiao did his best despite suffering from an injured right shoulder and that was exceptional.

“It was painful for him to fight but he did not want to upset the Filipino people,” he said.

‘Unexpected loss’


The loss to Mayweather, Rivera said, was “unexpected” but it did not dampen the adulation and admiration of residents here towards the Filipino boxing icon.

“Congressman Manny is still our champion despite what happened. He remains our hero and we welcome him as usual,” he said.

Rivera thanked the people for their unwavering support to the boxing icon, among the sources of pride for this city’s over 500,000 residents.

“We know you have waited all day long on Thursday but you did tire and still showed up today,” he said.

Pacquiao was supposed to come home on Thursday but it was moved a day later, according to Glenda Narcilla, the city public information officer.

Narcilla said the Pacquiao camp had informed them that the boxer’s busy schedule in Manila made it impossible for him to return home on Thursday.

Narcilla said another event, a Bible study involving Pacquiao and city officials, had to be postponed too because of his health condition.

She also Pacquiao’s injury was the main reason why the security was tighter this time.

“We don’t want his injury to worsen if people shook his hand,” she said.

This was not the first time the city government accorded Pacquiao the hero’s welcome even if he had lost a fight.

In 2012, Pacquiao was also feted with a hero’s welcome here and in Sarangani despite his devastating loss to Mexican boxer Juan Manuel Marquez.

Marquez knocked out Pacquiao at the sixth round but then Mayor Darlene Custodio, Pacquiao’s political nemesis, said “despite what had happened (defeat), Manny Pacquiao remains our champion.”

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“He has done great sacrifices for this country and brought honor to Filipino people for several times. Let’s not forget what he has done,” Custodio, who had trashed Pacquiao in the mayoralty elections in May of that year, said.

TAGS: Boxing, Floyd Mayweather Jr., General Santos City, homecoming, Manny Pacquiao

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