You're still our champ, Pinoys reassure Pacman

(Updated 9:17am) 'You're still our champ!'

This was the message of Filipino fans to boxing champ and Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao as he returned home early Wednesday following his loss to Juan Manuel Marquez.

Many Filipinos waited for Pacquiao outside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to cheer him upon his arrival, radio dzBB's Sam Nielsen reported.

Some of them even brought streamers hailing him as their "greatest champ and hero."

"Welcome back! Cong. Manny Pacman Pacquiao ... You're still our greatest champion and hero," the report quoted the message on the streamer of one group of supporters led by Pacquiao lookalike Manny Paksiw.

Pacquiao was whisked to the Midas Hotel in Pasay City shortly after giving an address at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2.

At the Midas Hotel, he was presented with a cake baked to resemble a miniature boxing ring, complete with an imitation boxing glove.

"Touched na touched ako sa reaksyon ng kababayan natin. Parang tatlong beses ako nanalo, sa pagsalubong at pagtanggap ng tao (I am very touched by the reaction of my fellow Filipinos. With the warm welcome I got, it's like I won three times over)," Pacquiao said of his reception, on an interview on dzBB radio.

"Ang pinakita ng buong sambayanang Pilipino, hindi ko makakalimutan yan [I will never forget the support you showed me today]," he added.

"Don't worry. We will rise again, babangon tayo. May mga susunod pang laban [We will rise again. There will be future fights]," Pacquiao reassured Filipinos during the interview.

For now, Pacquiao said he would rest at the Midas Hotel and attend a concert for his fans at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City in the afternoon. - KG / AMD, GMA News