Pacquiao Arrives in the Philippines Sans Grandiose Celebration


NAIA,May 8 (PNA) -- Boxing great Manny 'Pacman' Pacquiao and party planed in at dawn Friday minus the accompanying grandiose welcome treat befitting a sports hero.

The Philippine Airlines (PAL) plane flight PR 103 carrying the world boxing icon and his Team Pacquiao touched down at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport(NAIA) Centennial Terminal 2 at exactly 6 a.m. from Los Angeles, California following his victorious knockout match with British boxing champion Ricky 'Hitman' Hatton in second round in MGM Grand Arena, Las Vegas,Nevada last May 3.

The undisputed pound-for-pound king wearing beige color suit with matching Al Capone hat was swarmed by adoring fans, mediamen, and by his own children Jemuel and Michael who  welcomed their father and mother, Jinky.

Environmental Secretary Lito Atienza and son Ali also came to greet Pacquiao.

In a brief press conference, the amiable Pacquiao expressed his deep appreciation over the continuing support given to him by his ever loyal fans and the Filipino people in general.

He also expressed his deepest gratitude to God that no one between him and Hatton suffered serious injuries in the course of their well-attended but abbreviated match.

The boxing great, however, showed annoyance when queried over politics.

"Let us put aside politics for now and talk about boxing," the visibly irked Pacquiao said.

He also expressed no qualms over the cancellation of the festivities prepared for his behalf by no less than the Palace.

"I understand and besides the weather is bad for such a big celebration," he said.

Earlier, Malacanang deferred Friday's scheduled hero's welcome for the boxing legend and moved it to May 11 in deference to a request by the World Health Organization (WHO) through its representative Dr. Soe Nyuut-U and the Department of Health (DOH).

A packet of excited fans and government representatives accompanied the Team Pacquiao during the motorcade to Renaissance Hotel in Makati where he and his entire entourage were expected to have breakfast and take a rest for a few hours.

Pacquiao was expected to proceed to Quiapo church to attend mass as he usually does everytime he comes home from a big match, before returning to his hotel for further rest and later proceeding with the day's appointments.(PNA)

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