Saturday, October 3, 2009
BAGUIO CITY , Philippines – Ignoring the advice of his team, Manny Pacquiao braved super typhoon Pepeng in this mountaintop and motored yesterday for Manila to personally help in relief efforts in Metro Manila.
Pacquiao had just finished his sparring sessions when he decided to leave this city where Storm Signal No. 2 has been raised and strong northeasterly winds forced residents to the safety of their homes as temperature dropped.
As of 4 p.m. yesterday, Pacquiao was in Tarlac on board his black Hummer in a convoy of SUVs and police motorcycle escorts, when he sent The STAR a text message that he and his party had a smooth ride through the storm.
“Ang galing ng driver ko. Siguradong hindi kami madi-disgrasya (My driver is good. We’ll surely be safe),” said Pacquiao.
Pacquiao wanted to be in Manila today to personally help distribute relief goods to the countless victims of last week’s tropical storm “Ondoy.”
Pacquiao had donated P1 million to the “Ondoy” victims through the GMA Kapuso Project, and said the relief goods he was planning to distribute today are all aside from his earlier donation.
“We’ll probably go to Marikina and Pasig. We will take a bus to those areas and distribute the relief goods. I don’t need to get off the bus. That should keep us safe,” said Pacquiao.
Mike Koncz, Pacquiao’s adviser, earlier said it would be safer if the prized fighter stayed in Baguio. Unfortunately, he can only do so much in trying to stop Pacquiao.
“You know it’s dangerous, boss,” Koncz told Pacquiao inside the dressing room of the Shape Up Gym.
“Don’t worry, Mike. I’m with God,” Pacquiao answered back, and Koncz replied, “But I’m riding with you in the car.”
Even Freddie Roach was against the trip.
“It’s his day-off and he wants to go to Manila to help out and see his daughter for her birthday which was yesterday. The weather is starting to get bad right now so I tried to talk him out of it but he’s a grown man he can think for himself,” said Roach.
“I didn’t want him to go because of the safety issue. The big part of the storm didn’t hit us but who knows it might come back. You can’t really predict the typhoon. I advised him to stay here and get some rest. He might get stranded in some place and that could be a problem.”
Like Koncz, Roach can only do so much. If Pacquiao says it’s a go, then it’s a go.