MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday hailed the meeting between United States President Barack Obama and Filipino boxing sensation and Saranggani Representative Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao in Washington, saying it highlighted Filipino talent and worth.
“It (meeting) highlights the fact that we have an outstanding athlete worthy of being talked to by arguably one of the most powerful men in the world,” the President told reporters who waited for him to wind up a command conference with officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Camp Aguinaldo Wednesday.
“So there is a recognition that in the Philippines we also have talented and worthwhile individuals,” he added.
Pacquiao, who was accompanied by his wife Jinkee, met Obama at the White House’s Oval Office. They talked about boxing and basketball “along with a bit of business,” according to Pacquiao’s publicist Fred Sternburg.
Sternburg said the 8-division world champion posed with Obama for several photos, including a boxing pose, in the Oval Office.
Pacquiao invited the US president to watch his upcoming fight against Shane Mosley on May 7. Obama, however, said he would probably watch on pay-per-view.
The US president also gave Pacquiao 3 grocery bags full of light blue M&M candies and a watch, which was adorned with the US presidential seal.