Manny Pacquiao, the fighting senator from Gen. Santos City, once again apologized to the nation for falling short in his bid to reclaim his WBA welterweight crown as he arrived early Monday.
“Pasensiya na kayo, hindi tayo nagwagi, pero at least, lumaban tayo, hindi tayo sumuko,” said Pacquiao when he arrived at the Terminal 2 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The boxing’s only eighth-time world division champion was with wife, Jinkee, and son, Israel, and members of his entourage.
To his surprise, and despite his stunning loss to Cuban Yordenis Ugas in Las Vegas on August 22, Pacquiao was still given a hero’s welcome by his supporters – some of them carrying placards and tarpaulins.
Coincidentally, yesterday was the country’s National Heroes’ Day.
“Hindi ko akalain na sasalubong sila nang ganito. Sabi ko tahimik lang dahil talo naman tayo, hindi tayo nagwagi,” said Pacquiao in an interview with GMA News. “Laking pasasalamat ko dahil para na rin akong nanalo sa mainit na pagsalubong.”
Like all arriving passengers, Pacquiao and company will have to undergo the mandatory 10-day quarantine.
They are reportedly staying in a Pasay City hotel.
Even under quarantine, Pacquiao will have a tight schedule in the next few days since he’s at odds with some former allies.
After his fight with Ugas, Pacquiao said he will make major announcements before October.
Pacquiao is said to be running for President in next year’s national elections.