Despite suffering a knockout defeat at the hands of Mexican pugilist Juan Manuel Marquez during their fourth fight held in Las Vegas on December 8 (December 9 in Philippine time), eight-division champion boxer and Saranggani congressman Manny Pacquiao still received a hero’s welcome upon his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 on the morning of December 12.

According to an article on Spin.ph, Pacquiao was met by Vice-President Jejomar Binay at the airport and was later greeted by hundreds of his avid supporters during his welcome party and press conference at Midas Hotel.

Gusto ko kasi mapasaya ko lagi mga kababayan natin,” Pacquiao told members of the media at the airport. “Kaya 'nung nakita ko nag-iyakan sila, doon din ako nasakatan. Talagang ganun ang buhay natin (I always want to make our countrymen happy. That's why I also got hurt when I saw them crying. Life's really like that.). Don’t worry. We will rise again.”

Ang laki ng pasasalamat ko… mas marami pang mga tao ang sumalubong sa akin ngayon, kumpara nung mga nakaraan,” he was also quoted by PEP.ph as saying in an interview aired on the GMA morning show Unang Hirit. “Talagang ipinakita nila yung suporta sa akin at kumbaga, sa ano, hindi mo na maiisip na natalo ka sa laban, parang iniisip mo pa rin, panalo ka sa laban dahil sa dami ng taong sumalubong (I'm incredibly grateful... more people had greeted me this time as compared to the past. They really showed their support, and you wouldn't think that you lost the fight, instead, you'd think that you won because of the number of people who greeted you.).

Upon his arrival, the boxing superstar also pledged P10 million to aid in the relief efforts for the victims of typhoon Pablo, which devastated large parts of Mindanao on the first week of December.

(Photo courtesy of PEP.ph)

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