LIKE everywhere else in the country and maybe even worldwide, people knew Manny Pacquiao had won the fight against Brandon Rios on Sunday several rounds before it was officially announced.
At the celebrity press screening held inside the Grand Ballroom of Solaire Resort & Casino on Nov. 24, TV5 talent Eula Caballero pointed out that more than the triumph, Pacquiao showing the world the stuff Pinoys are made of is priceless.
“I’m proud na naipakita niyang we don’t take advantage, that we still care for others no matter what is happening to us. Tayong mga Pilipino, mababaw talaga ang kaligayahan but this one, it’s big time happiness. Nagkakataon talagang pag may pinagdadaanan tayo, nasusundan ng victory. There is always hope,” she said.
Singer Pops Fernandez echoed the sentiment, adding, “We needed this, we all needed this lalo na when times are down. Sa lahat ng rounds, ang ganda ng delivery niya. Kinabahan lang ako in the beginning pero kayang-kaya naman niya. Congrats!”
TV host-model Marc Nelson who has watched Pacquiao’s fights in Las Vegas several times in the past, thinks Manny is “fitter, more focused, definitely in better shape” this time.
“I’m a big Pacquiao fan ever since. And even though he’s always dedicated his fights to the Filipino people, this time he gave even more effort knowing that we’re in the middle of heartache,” he said, referring to the back-to-back calamities in the Philippines in recent weeks namely the “Yolanda” super typhoon and Bohol earthquake.
Businessman, host and occasional actor RJ Ledesma, who once stormed out of a Pacquiao fight when he lost, summed up his feelings in two words: “Finally, redemption.”
“I couldn’t sit down throughout the fight. My nervousness came from the fact that he had ‘Yolanda’ in his mind, which could serve both as distraction and inspiration. But he won and as always, the nation stopped for Manny Pacquiao.”
He noted the seeming advantage Rios has over Pacquiao, including age difference, height, resistance and arms’ reach.
“Pero kita nyo naman, di ba? Iba ang Pinoy.”
The screening at Solaire Resort & Casino had actual boxing ring set up, high-def stadium cube screens, live commentators, live ring girls, live barkers, live performers and food and drinks. (Jojo Panaligan/mb.com.ph)