PACQUIAO GiVES AWAY CASH, SURVIVORS MOB THEIR HERO
“I slept [with a piece of] carton [as mat]. I did not lose hope and just continued in believing in myself and keep trusting God,” Pacquiao told the evacuees.The BIR is threatening Pacquiao with a P2.2-billion bill for unpaid taxes in 2008 and 2009, saying it may otherwise seize his assets. The boxer said he had paid the appropriate taxes in the United States, where the money was earned. Pacquiao, a former street kid, was listed last year by Forbes magazine as the 14th highest-paid athlete globally, with an estimated $34 million (P1.5 billion) in earnings.
ALSO: Pacquiao made Yolanda survivors forget misery, then back to reality
The free viewing of the Pacquiao-Rios fight at the Astrodome was courtesy of the cable company Skycable in coordination with the city government here, the owner of the Astrodome. Jaja Juares, head of the cable company here, said they decided to show the live telecast of the fight for free as their way of giving the typhoon-battered people of Tacloban a momentary relief.
Pacquiao gives away cash, Bibles in Samar
‘Yolanda’ survivors mob hero
SELFIE IN SAMAR . World boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao takes a photo with one of the survivors of the typhoon-stricken town of Mercedes in Eastern Samar. RICHARD A. REYES
SAMAR, DECEMBER 2, 2013 (INQUIRER) By Joey A. Gabieta Inquirer Visayas - Aside from what he described as the “usual stuff,” boxing star Manny Pacquiao gave away Bibles to evacuees who have taken temporary shelter in tents on the sprawling campus of Eastern Samar State University in Guiuan, Eastern Samar.
The usual stuff, in Pacquiao’s book, included a cash assistance of P1,000 to each of the 436 evacuees from Barangay 6.
To Pacquiao, however, giving away the Bibles was more important, urging each recipient to read the Holy Book. He went on to tell them in Filipino: “Please persevere. I also persevered. I did not stop asking help from God. I did not give up.”
He reminded them that at one point of his struggling life, he was homeless just like them.
“I slept [with a piece of] carton [as mat]. I did not lose hope and just continued in believing in myself and keep trusting God,” Pacquiao told the evacuees, as retold by Erlinda Sabarillo, 48, an evacuee.
Sabarillo said Pacquiao personally handed P1,000 to each of them. The cash-giving started from 11 p.m. on Saturday and ended around 3 a.m. Sunday, she said.
Linda Alharano, 48, said she could not contain her happiness seeing Pacquiao in the flesh, but she was more happy when she received the cash and a food package containing rice, noodles and tinned meat from him.
“He made us all happy. Indeed, he is generous and cares for the poor like me,” Alharano said.
Since Nov. 22, the evacuees, all residents of Barangay 6 of the town, where Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) made first landfall, have been staying at their tents donated by the International Organization for Migration.
The eight-division world champion spent the night on Saturday in the tent city.
On the early morning of Sunday, Pacquiao decided to go around town, at some point joining residents to a “budol fight” (communal meal).
Pacquiao, who arrived here on a private plane on Saturday, toured the town in a coaster that was followed by several vehicles, including a police car.
Everywhere he went, Pacquiao was mobbed by the people who shouted out his name.
He checked on by the town’s relief distribution center on San Nicolas Street before he proceeded to Tanghay View Lodge, which is owned by his friend Susan Tan.
Guiuan, a major trading center with a population of 50,000, was among the hardest-hit areas in the province. Almost all of its structures and houses were destroyed.
Yolanda left nearly 7,400 people dead or missing, mostly in Eastern Visayas, with more than 4 million others displaced, according to an official tally. Its winds of up to 315 kilometers per hour and tsunami-like storm surges tore homes to pieces.
Mercedes, other towns
From Guiuan, Pacquiao’s convoy proceeded to the next town, Mercedes, where he was met by Mayor Enrique Cabos. Pacquiao led a distribution of relief items to typhoon survivors at the municipal hall.
For Elmer Pagatpat, 29, of Barangay 1 in Mercedes, seeing Pacquiao was a “great experience.” He was ecstatic that he received goods personally from his “idol.”
From Mercedes, Pacquiao and his group proceeded to the towns of Salcedo, Quinapondan and Giporlos, all in Eastern Samar; and to Marabut and Basey in Samar where he also distributed relief items.
By 5 p.m., Pacquiao was nearing the typhoon-devastated city of Tacloban in Leyte province, where he was scheduled to hold another round of relief giving.
He was to lead the aid caravan to the island on Sunday night.
A week ago, he lifted the country’s spirits with a comeback victory over American boxer Brandon Rios in Macau, following two straight defeats that had raised speculation the 34-year-old’s boxing career was over.
Pacquiao, the only man to win world boxing titles in eight different weight divisions, made the trip to the typhoon-hit areas despite complaining on Tuesday that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) had frozen all his bank accounts, forcing him to borrow money to buy relief goods.
The BIR is threatening Pacquiao with a P2.2-billion bill for unpaid taxes in 2008 and 2009, saying it may otherwise seize his assets.
The boxer said he had paid the appropriate taxes in the United States, where the money was earned.
Pacquiao, a former street kid, was listed last year by Forbes magazine as the 14th highest-paid athlete globally, with an estimated $34 million (P1.5 billion) in earnings. With a report from AFP
Pacquiao made Yolanda survivors forget misery, then back to reality By Joey Gabieta Inquirer Visayas 4:40 pm | Sunday, November 24th, 2013 23 584
Typhoon survivors cheer following an announcement of Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao’s unanimous win over American Brandon Rios in their WBO international welterweight boxing title match in Macau, which was telecast live at a public park in Tacloban city, Leyte province in central Philippines, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. AP
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Philippines – For a moment, the ravages caused by “Supertyphoon Yolanda” (international name Haiyan) were forgotten by the people of this city as Manny Pacquiao battled his way into boxing supremacy again on Sunday.
For Rogelio Talisayon, 28, the victory of Pacquiao has somehow “lifted the burden” he and his family suffered due to Yolanda.
“I am happy that Pacquiao won his battle. Somehow, I forgot the miseries brought by Yolanda to our family,” Talisayon said.
Talisayon, his wife and three children were among the more than a thousand typhoon survivors of this city who watched the boxing fight of Pacquiao against Brandon “Bambam” Rios at the Tacloban Astrodome, one of the few structures in the city left standing after Yolanda slammed through the city on Nov. 8, packing over 200-kilometer-per-hour winds and causing a storm surge that destroyed everything on its path.
The Astrodome, now a refuge to hundreds of survivors, lost part of its ceiling but sustained only minor interior damage.
Survivors at the Astrodome roared in approval and clapped with glee when they heard Pacquiao dedicate his victory to the typhoon victims and make a promise to visit the areas affected by typhoon.
It did not matter that they watched the fight while squatting on the rain-soaked floor of the Astrodome. Some even carried Philippine flags, picked up from among the multitudes of debris that had covered the city, and waved them at various points of the staging of the fight.
The free viewing of the Pacquiao-Rios fight at the Astrodome was courtesy of the cable company Skycable in coordination with the city government here, the owner of the Astrodome.
Jaja Juares, head of the cable company here, said they decided to show the live telecast of the fight for free as their way of giving the typhoon-battered people of Tacloban a momentary relief.
“With him (Pacquiao) winning, I am sure our people here got some hope that there is a way out of the miseries they are experiencing,” Juarez said.
Skycable put up a giant white screen at the center of the Astrodome aside from two big television monitors and a small white screen placed on each corner, which enabled everyone – men, women and children – get a better view of the action-packed prized fight.
Talisayon, after watching the fight, returned to his temporary makeshift shelter within the premises of the 5,000-capacity Astrodome, which now served as home to more than 1,400 families who all lost their homes and material possessions to Yolanda.
“The fight is over and it’s back to reality,” Talisayon said, grinning.
Genaro Obera, 48, living in a makeshift home in Barangay 75, had no time to watch Pacquiao regain his prime position in the boxing world, as he was more concern with finding food.
“My wife and I have no food already. It’s been almost a week now since we received relief goods from the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development). It’s good he won but our stomachs are empty. Food should be our priority now,” Obera said.
Obera lost his house and his sole source of income, an Internet shop, to Yolanda.
For the past few days, he said, he relied on the few biscuits and coffee that he admitted he had looted from one of the business establishments in Tacloban.
If he was lucky, Obera said he might get help from some relatives in Samar and the town of Alangalang in Leyte.
“Otherwise, having a meal during this time is really a problem and a struggle for my wife and me,” he said.
Obera said their four young children were fortunately fetched by a relative and were brought to the latter’s home in Manila.
The children would have to stay away from this city until the situation in Tacloban normalizes and until he restores his livelihood, according to Obera.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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