Where was Philippine Congressman Manny Pacquiao when Typhoon Pablo devastated Mindanao?

The other day I came across what I thought was a pretty poignant tweet coming from one of the humour Tweetizens I follow. It went something like this: Our boys in helmets who fight our battles halfway around the world should be paid more than the boys in helmets who pass around a ball in a little field just around the corner. Something like that. That tweet was presumably in reference to American pro footballers who, like their fighting men half a world away, also walk into a “battlefield” suited up in armour.

Back in the Philippines, a similar “hero” is going to be welcomed home by cheering fans and a salivating media. Manny Pacquiao who, in the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez, was defeated in a knockout punch on the sixth round is coming “home”. Rappler.com reporter Natashya Gutierrez who as of early this morning was presumably part of the waiting throng at the airport tweeted, “Good morning! To whoever is awake at this hour, any questions for Manny Pacquiao? He’ll be taking questions upon arrival.” To which I responded:

@natashya_g Here’s one: What are the champ’s thoughts on being away while his fellow islanders were battered by #pabloph ?

I recall a few days back how some people reacted quite harshly upon learning how some lawmakers were planning trips to Las Vegas to watch the boxing match…

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Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said that they issued 16 travel authorities with the US as destination.

“All are travelling at their own expense. Several of them were still here yesterday (Wednesday) so I’m not sure all left,” he said in a text message.

Manila Representative Amado Bagatsing, chairman of the House committee on games and amusement, said that the lawmakers have scheduled to fly for the US within the week for the Saturday bout between Pacquiao and Marquez. He refused to name the lawmakers who will be watching the fight live.

And then it suddenly occurred to me: Isn’t Manny Pacquiao himself a Philippine Congressman? Now in the aftermath of his “stunning” defeat we reflect a bit and ask ourselves: Was all of that really that important in the scheme of things? No less than Conrado “Noynoy is Aragrorn” de Quiros himself lamented, “‘Plakda,’ I kept hearing all over the place from Pinoys. The state to which Pacquiao had been sent, the state to which the Pinoy had been sent. Depressed, deflated, wiped out.” Pardon my brief lapse from the real world but perhaps it was, after all, that important to Filipinos.

I don’t really know what to say to that but at least Manny was lying flat on his face in Las Vegas before a world audience and before an entire nation “mourning” his plight. Meanwhile, NBC News reported a “boatload of coffins” was on its way to the Philippines’ southern island of Mindanao where Pacquiao grew up.

[Photo courtesy NBC News.]

To reawaken Filipinos back to their reality we might refer to a recent Al Jazeera report on what is going on in Mindanao…

Death toll: 714 and counting

Missing people: 890

Fishermen missing at sea: 313

Aid sought by UN globally: $65m

People displaced: 480,000

Homes destroyed: 115,000

Highlighting the “unprecedented scale” of this humanitarian disaster unfolding, the report noted that “at least 5.4 million people desperately need food and water.”

Where was Philippine Congressman Manny Pacquiao as all this transpired?

Oh yeah. Halfway around the planet in Las Vegas fighting for “Pinoy Pride.”

40 Replies to “Where was Philippine Congressman Manny Pacquiao when Typhoon Pablo devastated Mindanao?”

  1. I dont blame Pacquaio. Its not like the fight was planned on the day of the storm. I blame the idiots that place more importance on the spectacle of the fight itself and the subsequent events than the tragedy in Mindanao.
    ONGOING i might add.

    1. Pacquiao should’ve made a choice to begin with though. Did he want to be a pro boxer? Or did he want to be a Congressman? He wanted it all. And we all know what happens to people who want to have their cake and eat it.

  2. he is starting to box like an old woman
    he is not paying any tax in philippines
    next to highest non attendee in congress
    spends little time in gensan and has lost interest in the people. half hearted platitudes.
    seems to think popularity and bribes are the basis of politics ( he may be right on that one)
    promoting his wife as vice-governor ( between the beauty parlour and botox injections, even if she had a brain, certainly wouldnt have the time.
    is chavits sidekick – alarm bells.
    switches parties as much as switches mistresses.
    wants to be binay’s vp!!!

    all in all a big disappointment, but not a surprise. a little boy who hasn’t grown up.
    too selfish by far, and too naive to be his own man and too greedy to help others, just his own bank account.
    next priority – promoting his new record. as good a singer as he is a congressman!

    will he attend congress today for rh vote. mmmm

  3. Prima Donna Pinoy politicians like to get their hands dirty. But not in the context of typhoon ravaged constituents.

    On a rare personal note. Really horrible to know somebody who lost four family memebers to Pablo in the blink of an eye. I think she got married in the same community about 6 weeks earlier then flew back abroad. Then this happens. I love sports but because I know sports well enough, I hope I put it in perspective that it’s entertainment with a score. No comparison to life and death. Manny got punched and fell to the canvas. That is what he signed up for. I can not begin to contextualize the Pablo tragedy. Yet for pinoys and the media that feeds the KSP of the pinoys, one event takes more priority than the other.

    Many posts here in GRP question values, perpspective and priorities of pinoys. Are we really proud of what we show the world what is dear to us?

    1. Yep. We’re all proud of everything that we shouldn’t be proud of. And we are shameful of the things we should not be ashamed of.

  4. He had/has a responsibility to the people to serve as an elected official. He had/has duties to perform, yet he gave/gives more importance to his boxing career.
    He should have chosen one, boxing (selfish) or being a public servant (relatively selfless).
    He chose the less important one, and thus was punished for it. Not once, but twice.

  5. I heard that the pacquaio camp have asked the media to address him as congressman in interviews.
    It makes it even more surreal.

    Does he know where congress is.

  6. Pacquiao’s defeat was humiliating. He lost to an elder statesman named Marquez. But I really don’t give a damn except to curse the heavy barrage of advertisements more frequent than the punches thrown by both by our greedy TV stations. To me its just another bad day in the office for Pacquiao. For me I got mentally drunk watching those scandalous alcoholic drink commercials after every round.

  7. Pride comes before a fall.
    The plonker turns planker.
    A donation will no doubt be his answer. Or he could give them all watches

  8. You Filipino monkeys are the new “ROMA” of this world. The Filipino scourge generate more trash than anybody else on this earth.

    “Basura”…Viva Mexico!!!

    1. LA,

      Triple confirmation that you’re just an idiot chronic troll.

      Your mother must be very proud of you by letting you grow-up the way you are.

      Keep it up!

      There’s a shortage of idiots in this blog.

      I can just imagine you’re an overweight person who just rises from your bed late afternoon everyday.

      Eating breakfast at lunch time while trolling. I’m certain your everyday breakfast is what your mama leaves you before she goes to work.

      A stale pan de sal and you would even make a coffee for yourself.


      Lunch and dinner are taken at the same time. Whatever in the fridge plus the cold stale steamed rice.

      (An idiot chronic troll like you would not know what is stale and what is not. Just by reading your posted comments, it’s very obvious.)

      Then sleep late in the evening on the same bed that was made up a couple of months ago…

      To wake up the next day trolling again.

      You’re shameless idiot chronic troll!

  9. I might be veering away from the real topic here, but I’d like to say something about the whole “athletes’ salary vs everybody else’s salary” talk

    “Our boys in helmets who fight our battles halfway around the world should be paid more than the boys in helmets who pass around a ball in a little field just around the corner. Something like that. That tweet was presumably in reference to American pro footballers who, like their fighting men half a world away, also walk into a “battlefield” suited up in armour.”

    Not to diss people in other fields, but I don’t think anybody would pay 60 bucks to watch you do your job on pay-per-view.

    It’s not the athlete’s fault that people want to watch them.

  10. I don’t see the point at all of this question, benigno. Pacquaio is a professional boxer so he honored his commitment to fight marquez (Pablo or no Pablo). I respect Pacquiao’s talent and determination to improve his lot in life but I don’t think he was fighting for pinoy pride there. He was trying to prove who the better fighter was. He is btw congressman of Sarangani, not Compostela which was directly hit by Pablo.

    1. Indeed he is a professional boxer — which raises the question on whether he should’ve become a Congressman to begin with while continuing to be a pro boxer.

    2. Great post, my feelings exactly. I don’t get all these Pacquaio bashing on the blog, especially since Pablo is no fault of his.

      He’s obviously a well-meaning person.. probably the only non-corrupt politician around. The only problem is that there are a lot of hangers on around him, dragging him down.

  11. Some staff would say he left orders in case he was away. He should have orders left on handling calamities while he was away on his boxing trip. But still, it would be a lot more credible if he were there. He should make a personal visit to the disaster sites after he recovers.

  12. I would not waste my time rapping Pacquiao, to me he is just another character toy like Ken doll just like maliit, mabilis, na maligno. Besides he won’t gitz it cause he is suanoy! blame it to greedy politicians who initiated him for the love of dollars. Poor Pacquiao he dont know any better. So many Simons say in this country.

  13. With all due respect but to be fair with Cong. Pacquiao, I think it is quite not right to question what he did during those times when his constituents were suffering. Afterall, he is just a congressman. The ones mainly responsible are the local executives.

    On another note, a quite unrelated one but I will voice out anyhow. I seriously think that boxing should be abolished for the simple reason that it is too inhumane, barbaric and uncivilized. It is the same as gladiators’ games sans the killing and blood shed. If boxing is acceptable to modern society, I wonder why we don’t have “sampalan” and “sabunutan” for a sport as well.

    1. By your definition, wrestling and UFC games are considered inhumane, barbaric and uncivilized as well, but no one seems to be targeting them.

      Besides, virtually ALL sports are gladiators’ games, because they don’t have the killing and the bloodshed. By this logic you offered, they should be abolished as well.

      So now the question is: how do you define “inhumane, barbaric and uncivilized” in sports, and why should other sports NOT be lumped with boxing given your opinion?

      1. Hello MidwayHaven.

        Yes, I am of the opinion that going by the same definition, wrestling and UFC games should be abolished as well.

        Please note that I used the word sans. Not all sports are gladiators’ game. True that to many, hurting the opponent is part of the game. It is almost inevitable but it is not deliberate. Unlike in boxing, wrestling and other sports of similar import where physical attack and inflicting pain to the opponent is the game in itself. These for me constitute violence.

        1. Well roi, if you don’t like watching the sport then just don’t watch it at all. Same goes with watching a tv show, if you don’t like it then just refuse to watch it. Capiche?

        2. Trust me, these “gladiator sports” have their benefits in society. Some of these guys need to let their testosterone and aggressions loose more often than other men. These sanctioned games saved their lives from street fights and gang warfare. Rather, these sports gave them a place where they belong in this world. They all know the risks when they get in the ring or cage and they’re willing to take those risks for guts and glory.

  14. It is tragic that these Congressmen, have already hardened their hearts. They have no sympathy of the dead Filipinos, who runs into hundreds. No empathy to the typhoon victims, who have no : houses, clothing or food.
    These are the people we elected. They are more interested in their pleasures and entertainments. Than helping their fellow Filipinos. Some of them go just to pose in the area, for photo opportunities. To get elected….

    1. Yes, it is terrible.. they have no sympathies and feel superior to their fellow human beings. Foreigners are more concerned about the well-being of those affected compared to these useless local politicians.

      Which brings me back to Manny Pacquaio, I think it is very unfair of Benigno to post this question “Where was Philippine Congressman Manny Pacquiao when Typhoon Pablo devastated Mindanao?” Why not ask where this this Davao congressman or CDO congressman.. they are probably partying with NoyNoy or something. While the actions of Pacquiao are always accounted for.

  15. I have to know why it is wrong to want everything and do what you want to do in life without hurting others. I have never disagreed with Benigno but this time I will. In the first place he ran because he had the right to run according to the law. Second of all, he wanted to be a congressman and his people wanted them to be their congressman. I don’t really think a person should be blamed for big dreams and even if he fails it’s his life. From what I know he is a man who has gone the extra mile of sending children to school out of his own pocket and he has been an off season Santa Claus on many occasions for people not only in his province but also to other parts of the country. How about the President who was here? What was he doing? I don’t think it is fair to judge the boxer as if he was some cold-hearted person for being there boxing while we were hit by the typhoon. What was he supposed to do here? Row the boats for his countrymen. It seems that everything that he has done for his people in the past can just be ignored just because he was there to stick to a commitment he made to the sport that gave him everything. The Pacquiao companies that are now employing hundreds of Filipinos were all made because of his career. Being a congressman, his primary duty is legislative in nature but disasters are normally the responsibility of the offices under the president and the LGU’s.

  16. it is notthat im a pro pacman…but what is with you…..pacquiao is a congressmen of the sarangani province….the one to carry the load is the LGU of that place, congressmen of surigao del sur and so as the governor…

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