MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - Filipino boxing icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao arrived in the Philippines Wednesday morning following his heartbreaking loss to Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez.
"Babangon tayo ulit! Like what I said, we will rise again," said Pacquiao in a brief press conference shortly after his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport past 6 a.m.
Also in his arrival speech, Pacquiao thanked his fans for their continued support despite his defeat.
"Nais kong pasalamatan ang pinakitang suporta ng ating mga kababayang Pilipino. Doon sa nakaraang laban ko, ginawa nating lahat ng ating makakaya, 'di naman tayo nabugbog o kung ano. In fact, lamang pa nga tayo, pero talagang ganon ang boxing - may disgrasya talaga. Natyempuhan tayo," he said.
"Anyway, pasalamat din ako sa Lord na walang nangyari sa akin," he added.
Pacquiao, accompanied by his wife, Jinkee, was welcomed by well-wishers, including politicians such as Vice President Jejomar Binay, Ilocos Sur Governor Luis "Chavit" Singson, Sen. Gringo Honasan and Sen. Bong Revilla.
The Filipino boxing champion was recently defeated by Marquez via knockout in the 6th round of their fourth bout in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was his second straight loss after being beaten by American Timothy Bradley via split decision.
In a separate press conference in Pasay City's Midas Hotel, Pacquiao admitted he thought victory was already in his hands until he was knocked out by his Mexican nemesis.
"Ni-replay ko yung fight ko, pati ako, satisfied ako sa naging galaw ko…mula pa umpisa pa lang, first round hanggang sixth round, ang galaw ko, napakaganda, maliksi ako walang pagbabago," he said.
"'Yung time lang talaga na yun na-lucky punch tayo na last ten seconds lang natira… Ang iniisip ko kasi, matapos ang round na ito, mga isa o dalawang rounds pa, matatapos ko na siya… Sa kanya 'yung gabing iyon," he added.
Despite the loss and calls from his friends and family, Pacquiao said he is not yet hanging up his gloves for good.
He, however, said he has yet to discuss his next fight with his promoter, Top Rank's Bob Arum.
Pacquiao returned to the Philippines just in time for the birthday of his son, Michael.
He will also celebrate his birthday on December 17. – with reports from Jerome Lantin, ABS-CBN News; and dzMM