How big is Manny Pacquiao’s charitable heart?
There was great expectation and everybody was wary how Manny Pacquiao would respond to the horrible devastation dealt by typhoon Sendong on our unfortunate countrymen in Mindanao.
All eyes were on Pacquiao as though he was the President of the country himself.
Actually, Pacquiao had already completed plans to leave for a holiday in the United States with his family when the killer typhoon struck.
“They were booked for a Dec. 21 flight to California,” informed boxing expert Hermie Rivera.
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Nobody would be disappointed after Pacquiao, the single biggest symbol of hope hereabouts, elected to be stranded, as though he was himself a victim of the calamity.
“The vacation was canceled in order for the champ to devote more time looking after those who have been miserably marginalized by devastating floods,” Rivera reported.
Pacquiao did pay a visit to devastated areas, but there would be conflicting terms on how much he had doled out.
One report said he gave P1 million from his congressional fund.
Another report said he donated P500,000 from his pocket.
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It was both odd and unfortunate how there were those who would grumble over the size of Pacquiao’s donations.
Maybe, it was plain coincidence the typhoon struck almost at the same time Pacquiao, who turned 33 last Dec. 17, was hosting a lavish birthday bash.
In an awkward twist, it was next announced that he had given his wife and kids a Christmas gift in the form of a P25-million luxury yacht.
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There would next be critical whispers saying Pacquiao should have cough out more.
But, come to think of it, hasn’t Pacquiao become the single biggest one-man charity institution in the country?
This time out, he gave of himself, his heart and soul going all out for the victims.
With international aid flooding in, Pacquiao can only be expected to seek other ways to prevent future devastation in his
capacity as a lawmaker.
He could work for massive reforestation or see to it that the international aid doesn’t go to waste.
A big part of the foreign donations should be used to put in place strict anti-logging measures.
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By the way, there can never be a way to determine how much Pacquiao continues to donate to the poor, often anonymously.
Today alone, Pacquiao will be part of the group that will bring cheer to poor farm families in Pangao, Lipa City.
Pacquiao, without being asked, has donated P10,000 in the form of a raffle prize won by one of the gift-givers in a recent media get-together hosted by the international boxing hero.
New donors include Roger and Mechie Mabanta, who sent clothes and assorted goodies.
Mandaluyong marketplace buddies Romulo “Boy Puti” Sebreros and Pete Tanyao of Little Ongpin restaurant gave 50 pieces of balled ham; Ramon Rivero of Jackson Shoes and Nando Balahan of Jaycee Pools gave cash; old reliables Gerry Mayor and Mar Maralit of Lipa brought instant coffee and packed noodles; Bambi Rivilla and Barts Mayo donated canned goods; Go Teng Kok sent rice.
As in past years, Rene del Monte will be in charge, with Dr. Ruel Reyes coming all the way from San Pablo City to help out.
Our sincerest thanks to Manny Pacquiao who has become an inspiration in this annual affair initiated by the late three-time Olympian Narciso Bernardo, civic worker Nandy Charvet and trader-sportsman Lucio “Luchie” Yan.
Thank you to all, Merry Christmas, indeed.
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