A determined Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao landed safely in Manila via Philippine Airlines PR Flight 113 at 6:50am today and was met by three of his children whom he lovingly kissed and hugged. Team Pacquiao had been advised by no less than DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III to postpone his homecoming to ensure that he will not contribute to the H1N1 problem here.
But Pacquiao who stopped the British "Hitman" Ricky Hatton cold on May 3 (Philippine time) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, USA would not be deterred by what he believed were unfounded fears.
"I'm so happy because there's a lot of people coming here this morning to welcome me," said Manny Pacquiao at the airport.
From the airport, Team Pacquiao proceeded to the Renaissance Hotel where he was mobbed by fans. The hotel gifted Manny with a small dog which he promptly dubbed "Pacgirl." It is the same breed as that of his other dog named, "Pacman." Manny said that he asked for and got "Pacman" as a gift during his fight with Oscar Dela Hoya.
While at the Renaissance, Igan Arnold Clavio interviewed Manny and Jinkee. Before the interview, Igan showed the couple a Mother's Day presentation. The presentation started with Celebrity Mom Dionisia Pacquiao doing some boxing routines. It was said said that at one time, Mommy Pacquiao wanted Manny to become a priest.
"Mommy is nice and she takes care of us all the time," said one of the Pacquiao boys while the other one said, "We hug her and we kiss her." "I love you Mommy, Happy Mother's Day," chorused the boys.
"Saludo ako bilang asawa, saludo ako sa pagiging matatag ng asawa ko." Manny's were the last words in the presentation which was obviously a surprise to Jinkee.
By this time, Jinkee was already crying.
"Ano'ng mensahe mo kay Jinkee, Manny?" asked Igan.
"Napaiyak, napaiyak mo si Jinkee." replied Manny, smiling.
Around 10:00a.m., Manny arrived at the Quiapo Church, a spiritual tradition that has marked every recent Pacquiao fight. Here as well, Manny was mobbed by his adoring fans.
I'm watching Balitanghali as I write (12:11pm, Manila time) and they're showing how GMA 7 accompanied Team Pacquiao from L.A. to Manila. At the start of the trip, Manny was served his favorite noodle by the PAL stewardess who normally serves him on his flights to and from the U.S. At the stopover in Guam, he was served oatmeal and pandesal.