MANILA, Philippines – The heartbreaking loss of Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao even worsened the pain being felt by survivors of typhoon "Pablo" in New Bataan, Compostela Valley.
In an attempt to bring smiles to the faces of the affected residents in case the odds favor the Filipino boxer, a cable company in New Bataan set up a widescreen panel on Sunday for a public viewing of the fourth installment to the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez saga.
However, the lighter mood in the disaster site was not achieved when Pacquiao suffered a sixth-round knockout at the hands of his Mexican arch-rival.
"Nakakalungkot. Sinasabi ng mga tao, 'di naibsan ang kanilang depresyon. Tila parang lalo pang nalungkot ang marami sa kanila sa pagkatalo ng boxing champ," ABS-CBN News' Ron Gagalac said in a report to "Umagang Kay Ganda."
"Gayunman mahal pa rin naman daw nila si Pacquiao at magtutuloy-tuloy ang kanilang buhay," he added.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the death toll from the typhoon was already at 647, as of Monday morning.
Most of the fatalities came from New Bataan, Compostela Valley, which was surprised by a sudden gush of water from the mountains at the height of the typhoon's onslaught last week.