Hero’s welcome awaits ‘Pacman’ in GenSan, Sarangani

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/24 November) — A hero’s welcome will be laid out by the local governments of this city and nearby Sarangani Province for the scheduled homecoming of boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao late Monday afternoon, a day after his convincing win over American brawler Chris Algieri in Macau, China.

Vice Mayor Shirlyn Banas-Nograles said Monday the city’s favorite son deserves a hero’s welcome for bringing anew honor and prestige to the city and the entire country with his dominating performance over the previously undefeated Algieri in their World Boxing Organization welterweight title bout on Sunday.

“Manny’s victory is a victory for the people of General Santos City, Sarangani and the rest of the country,” she said.

The vice mayor said they have prepared a grand motorcade around the city for Pacquiao and his family following their arrival from Macau aboard two chartered flights at around 4 p.m.

A float adorned with flowers and the country’s official colors will carry Pacquiao during the motorcade, which will be joined by top city officials, from the city airport to the downtown area.

After the motorcade, Pacquiao and his team will immediately proceed to the Sarangani provincial capitol in Alabel town.

Sarangani Gov. Steve Chiongbian-Solon will then lead a brief program honoring Pacquiao for his latest feat. A short press conference was also scheduled.

Aquiles Zonio, a member of Team Pacquiao, said in an interview with radio station Bombo Radyo that low-cost carrier Air Asia has arranged two Airbus A320 aircraft to bring home Pacquiao and his entourage from Macau direct to this city.

He said the first flight, which will carry Pacquiao’s friends, political allies and media workers, will leave Macau at 1 p.m.

Pacquiao, his family and members of his team will take the second flight from the southern Chinese city at around 2 p.m.

Zonio said Pacquiao’s entourage held a praise and worship as well as thanksgiving celebration on Sunday night at the Venetian Hotel in Macau.

Pacquiao personally led the celebration along with the six born-again Christian pastors who sang the Philippine national anthem prior to the fight, he added. (MindaNews)