GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Island (MindaNews / 28 Nov) – Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao, candidate for President, is in Caraga region for a three-day swing in four of its five provinces, giving away cash gifts, shirts, and food.
The world boxing icon landed here Saturday afternoon along with his entourage from Bislig City and Tandag City, and proceeded to Siargao Sports Complex where a jampacked crowd of at least 2,000 residents waited.
“It’s my first time to visit here in Siargao,” he told MindaNews.
Pacquiao had acquired a property in General Luna town a few years ago. “I’m planning to build a place and a business in Siargao,” he said.
“I’ll try surfing. Maybe this will be one of my sports in the future. If kaya nila, kaya ko rin yan, athlete ako” (If they can do it, I can do it. I am an athlete), he said on Saturday.
He planned to go surfing on Sunday before heading to Surigao City to meet and greet his supporters but failed to do so as it was low tide.
Pacquiao handed 1,000 pesos cash, five kilos of rice, a pack of Chooks-To-Go chicken, and t-shirt to 2,000 individuals while 200 pesos cash were given to almost a 1,000 individuals who did not present a coupon.
The 1,000 peso cash gift for 2,000 persons is 2 million pesos. This does not include the amounts spent for the 200 peso cash gifts, the cost of shirts and chicken.
“It’s my personal money but it’s from God and I started giving money to poor people since 2002 and until today,” Pacquiao added.
In Surigao City on Sunday, a huge crowd waited for Pacquiao outside City Hall. “Grabe gyud kadaghan ang mga tawo. Gikakubtan ang pag-abot ni Pacquiao (It was such a huge crowd. They really waited for Pacquiao), said Mayor Ernesto Matugas, Jr.
Pacquiao told reporters at City Hall that was overwhelmed by the warm welcome of Surigaonons.
“I didn’t expect that huge number. I’m thankful sa warm welcome of Surigaonons,” he said.
Pacquiao is heading to Butuan City on Monday and will proceed to Agusan del Sur on Tuesday.
Running under PROMDI, Pacquiao vowed to eradicate corruption and provide housing to the less fortunate if elected President. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)