Every Manny Pacquiao fight signifies the harmony and happiness of almost all the Filipinos around the globe. This recent bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr. was significant in particular, that is why Filipinos who have never before had such a chance to watch Pacman’s fights live and those who are still recovering from the disastrous typhoon Yolanda which is internationally known as typhoon Haiyan were feeling down.
White Beach in Bantayan Island
Bantayan Island was one of the worst-hit islands in the country when super typhoon Yolanda struck the country in November 2013, claiming more than 6,000 lives. After almost two years since the destruction, the island, together with the affected provinces in the Central Visayas region, continues recovery efforts with the support of charitable organizations and Pru Life UK’s Prudence Foundation. The Foundation has provided livelihood and rehabilitation to the people of Bantayan Island for the past year; aiding almost 90 per cent of the population with their substantial needs.
Crowd Cheering for Pacman
Thankfully, Pru Life UK, a company with a heart who has vowed to support the rebuilding and recovery efforts in Central Philippines, had initiated a project to bring the world title fight live for free in 10 communities across the country as a salute to every Filipino fighter. The company even provided the iconic red headbands that were publicized in a commercial to fully unite the Philippines in preparation for the fight.
“How can we watch the fight if we don’t have electricity?” asked Santa Fe Mayor Jose Esgana. “We are delighted that Pru Life UK is bringing the fight to our island. Everyone is excited about the match, and we support Manny all the way to the end.”
In the Philippines: a remote island of fighters.
Pru Life UK worked with communities in Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Quezon, Albay, Aklan, Northern Samar and Banatayan Island in Cebu. On Bantayan Island, the match was aired in three municipalities; Santa Fe, Madridejos, and Bantayan.
Crowd enjoying the match
“Seeing the Cebuanos in Bantayan Island get back on their feet has been a truly a remarkable experience for our staff and volunteers. Helping them rebuild their homes is just the first step. We hope that watching this fight live gives them the opportunity to set aside their daily struggles as they join in this national celebration,” said Antonio Manuel de Rosas, President and CEO of Pru Life UK.
I was fortunate enough to be invited along with other bloggers and writers from Manila and Cebu to join the locals of Bantayan Island in watching the 5 years in the making bout dubbed as ‘Fight of the Century’ between our People’s Champ Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Everyone Prays for Manny
During the fight everyone cheered and shouted their lungs out to show their unswerving support to Pacman. The crowd seemed to forget that their community is still on the road to recovery when Pacquiao did a good job cutting off the ring and was able to successfully push Mayweather into the ropes. The locals were on cloud nine every time our countryman lands a blow to his opponent. The roars were thunderous, it was an unusual good hullabaloo.
Pacquiao moved forward more, he was the clear aggressor at the beginning of the 2nd round. His shots were remarkable but he found it somewhat tough to make a connection with the ever elusive Mayweather.
When the last round has ended and the announcement of the winner was made, we were unquestionably not satisfied. Everyone in the area was frustrated; frustrated because we all thought that Pacquiao will be the victor, frustrated because the hype about the fight was wasteful since Mayweather did nothing but run around.
Pacquiao – Mayweather Undercard Match
Floyd Mayweather Jr. may have outboxed Manny Pacquiao but rest assured that our Pacman was not outshined. The undefeated American boxer may have won the bout but the Filipino have won the hearts of the people including celebrities and Americans who really understand the sports.
Pacquiao Clearly made everyone united
Yes, the people of Bantayan did not agree with the fight’s decision, but truth be told, they were still happy as a clam because they know who the real victor was. Although Manny lost the fight, the crowd was still proud of him like all the other Filipinos and with that you can get a sense of what Pacman means to his compatriots.
Together we Fight, Together we Survive
The experience was really moving in a way that lets you appreciate the Filipinos’ strength of character and love. Thank you very much, Manny. Thank you for letting us feel that you reached the summit together with all of us. You will never be alone, the people of Bantayan was able to assure that.
Pru Life UK has not just helped rebuild houses and shelters in the island, the company did more than those things and more importantly they uplifted the Filipino spirit.
These words may not be enough to repay all the goodness that you have given us but thank you very much, Pru Life UK.