Filipinos set aside guns, fears of calamity for Pacquiao bout

Filipinos across the country and overseas are setting aside everything — time, fears of calamity and even a decades-old armed conflict — to rally behind boxing champ Manny Pacquiao, who is set to face off with Mexican-American boxer Antonio Margarito on Sunday.

Residents who were forced to leave their homes in Sorsogon province due to Bulusan Volcano’s heightened activity are busy thinking not of a potential volcanic eruption, but of the Pacquiao-Margarito fight on Sunday, a GMA News report said on Saturday.

Iba ang puputok bukas—ang mukha ni Margarito," said Roberto Dolende, one of the almost 200 local residents brought to evacuation centers in the province after the volcano spewed ash thrice this week.

The evacuees are even looking for ways to watch the Pacquiao fight on Sunday because they had to leave their television sets in their houses, according to the report.

This page requires a higher version browser

As of 8 a.m. Saturday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has retained Alert Level 1 over Mt. Bulusan, and continued to advise residents to stay away from the four-kilometer permanent danger zone from the volcano’s summit. (See: Mt. Bulusan spews ash anew, Phivolcs says)

Pacquiao, dubbed as the world’s number one pound-for-pound boxer, will battle it out with Margarito on Sunday at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas for the World Boxing Council’s super welterweight title. (See: Pacquiao fights Margarito for eighth title)

The Filipino boxer called “Pacman" by the world’s media, who was also elected last May as a member of the Lower House representing Sarangani province, is gunning for his eighth world title and his 12th consecutive win.

Soldiers, rebels drop guns for Pacman

Even an official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) admitted that both government troops and rebels usually drop their guns on days of Pacquiao fights.

“We don’t declare a ceasefire, pero [but] usually, ganoon ang nangyayari kapag may laban si Pacquiao [that’s what happens when Pacquiao fights]," AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta told GMANews.TV in a phone interview on Saturday night.

He added that a Pacquiao fight is a rare moment when Filipinos unite regardless of ideology.

“The whole nation, regardless of ideology, unites to cheer and express support for Pacquiao," he said.

Mabanta likewise said that there will be a free screening of the Pacquiao-Margarito fight at the AFP headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

Pacquiao also holds the rank of senior master sergeant in the Philippine Army’s reserve force.

Hometown all geared up

In General Santos City, Pacquiao’s hometown in southern Mindanao, local supporters eagerly await for the Filipino boxing champ’s fight.

The city’s gymnasium, where the bout will be screened for free, is expected to be filled with 12,000 people cheering for Pacquiao, according to a separate GMA News report.

Pacquiao’s father, Rosaleo, said he is overwhelmed by the public’s support for his son. He likewise said that he believes Sunday’s fight will not be the last time Filipinos will see his son in the boxing ring.

Naisip ko na mayroon pang pangalawang laban. ‘Yung kay [Floyd] Mayweather Jr. na ang susunod diyan," he said. (I think there will be a next fight. The one with Floyd Mayweather Jr. will follow this one.)

Free and pay-per-view screenings of the Pacquiao-Margarito fight are also expected to be held across the country on Sunday, from the province of Ilocos Norte up north to Koronadal City in South Cotabato down south.—JV, GMANews.TV


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

  • Troops overrun BIFF bomb-making facility in Mamasapano
    Troops overrun BIFF bomb-making facility in Mamasapano

    Government troops captured Sunday a bomb and weapons factory of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced yesterday. Col. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesman, said the captured bomb and weapons factory is located inside an area controlled by radical Muslim cleric Ustadz Mohammad Ali Tambako at Barangay Dasikil in Mamasapano. …

  • No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors
    No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors

    Instead of filing an opposition, ombudsman prosecutors filed a manifestation yesterday expressing belief that there is no urgent need for Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. to visit his son at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center. “Based on the clinical abstract issued by the Asian Hospital on patient (Cavite) Vice-governor (Jolo) Revilla, which was submitted by accused Revilla in support of his Urgent Motion, Vice-governor Revilla is in stable condition and has stable vital signs, as of March 1, …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say
    How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say

    CAIRO (AP) — Three British schoolgirls believed to have gone to Syria to become "jihadi" brides. Three young men charged in New York with plotting to join the Islamic State group and carry out attacks on American soil. A masked, knife-wielding militant from London who is the face of terror in videos showing Western hostages beheaded. …

  • 'Jihadi John' relatives under watch in Kuwait
    'Jihadi John' relatives under watch in Kuwait

    Kuwaiti authorities are closely monitoring several relatives of "Jihadi John" who live and work in the Gulf emirate where the Islamic State executioner was born, press reports said on Sunday. A number of relatives of Mohammed Emwazi, named as the militant who has beheaded at least five Western hostages, are working in Kuwait and like him hold British citizenship, Al-Qabas newspaper reported. "Security agencies have taken the necessary measures to monitor them round the clock," the paper said, …

  • Interview: Australia says hunt for missing MH370 jet may be called off soon
    Interview: Australia says hunt for missing MH370 jet may be called off soon

    By Matt Siegel CANBERRA (Reuters) - The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 cannot go on forever, Australia's deputy prime minister said, and discussions are already under way between Australia, China and Malaysia as to whether to call off the hunt within weeks. No trace has been found of the Boeing 777 aircraft, which disappeared a year ago this week carrying 239 passengers and crew, in what has become one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history. The search of a rugged …

  • Bong wants to see son in hospital
    Bong wants to see son in hospital

    Detained Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. will ask the Sandiganbayan to allow him to visit his son, Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla, confined at the intensive care unit of the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa for a gunshot wound in the chest. Lawyer Raymond Fortun, spokesman for the Revilla family, said the senator would ask for a 24- to 48-hour furlough. Sen. Revilla’s legal counsel Ramon Esguerra said doctors removed a half liter of blood. Fortun said he was able to talk to Jolo …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options