MANILA, Philippines – Despite Manny Pacquiao's shocking sixth-round loss to Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez, the city government of Manila will still prepare a hero's welcome for the Filipino boxing icon.
Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim said the respect of Manileños for Pacquiao remains the same even after the latter was knocked out by his Mexican arch-rival in their fourth meeting.
"Pero kami ah, maghahanda kami ng pang-welcome for Pacquiao. Maglalagay kami ng mga streamer, ilalagay namin: 'Manny Pacquiao, ikaw pa rin ang aming idolo at kampyon, mabuhay ka!'" Lim told dzMM.
"Sobra-sobrang karangalan ang naibigay niya sa ating bansa eh. Kaya we should treasure that honor given to us by Manny. Tayo naman, we have to reciprocate the esteem and respect sa kanya," he added.
Pacquiao is set to arrive in the Philippines on Wednesday. He and his wife, Jinkee, will first leave Las Vegas for Los Angeles, California before finally flying to the Philippines on Monday (US time).
The Pacquiao couple will be in the Philippines just in time for the birthday of their son, Michael, on December 12.
The boxing champion will then celebrate his birthday on December 17. – with a report from Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News