It was bonding for People’s Champ Manny Pacquiao and family in Bohol no less, far from stress and intrigues and the mind-blowing controversies.
The first choice was Boracay, then US. The Pacquiao’s au pairs (yayas) showed up with pieces of luggage and a whole entourage not in the US but at the island province of Bohol! Manny decided to pack their things and go to Bohol, for a family vacation to the surprise of everyone. The visit became historic as he set foot on Bohol soil, his first ever visit to the place who has “it all.”
Unexpectedly, Manny had to cut short his Bohol vacation to receive the "Fighter of the Year" award from a US-based sportswriters' group on June 12. Manny and Jinkee left the kids who were staying in a resort in Panglao with the au pairs (and some close-in “bodyguards”) promising them to come back after the US visit.
True enough, the couple upon arrival at the Manila International Airport from the United States on June 16, they took the 3 p.m. connecting PAL flight to Tagbilaran, excited to see again their children to rejoin them children in their interrupted vacation. At the tarmac of the Tagbilaran City Airport, Manny was welcomed with hugs and kisses from kids, Emmanuel, Jr., 8, Michael Stephen, 7 and Mary Divine Grace, 2, who were wearing “Bohol” t-shirts.
"They arrived looking like perfect. Even though it's a long flight from the US and Manila, Pacman looked best and Jinkee was stunning from the moment she stepped off the plane," an airport employee said.
The local folks who mobbed Manny were very delighted. Bakasyonistas at the resort asked for a souvenir photo with him and he was kind enough to pose though he looked tired and sleepy. Others asked for autographs. Manny signs his autograph with his right hand shows ability with both hands.
While Manny entertained the crowd, his kids were playing in the sand on the beach… and swimming. The kids had visited the tarsier and the Chocolate Hills. While their parents were out of the country, Ms. Arlaine Karaan acted as their “surrogate” mother making sure that the kids are safe and happy.
“Masaya….nung pumunta kami sa Chocolate Hills at yung tarsier palingun-lingon siya (Enjoyable… when we went to the Chocolate Hills and the tarsier turns its head)”, while moving his head to mimic the tarsier, “Ayaw magpapicture (It doesn’t want to be pictured),” Michael Stephen narrated.
But where’s Aling Dionisia (Manny's mom)—who is also gaining fame and wide for her natural charm and character—who was nowhere to be found? The yayas made “tsismis” that Aling Dionisia was in GenSan and she didn't know of the visit. She learned the vacation late. “Nagkisikisi pagkahibaw niya nga naa mi sa Bohol. Gusto niya makaari sa Bohol (She is very excited when she learned we’re in Bohol. She loves to come here),” one of the yaya's narrated.
Manny's interrupted first visit was spent only in a resort in Panglao (they moved to another resort, VRS said that Manny wasn’t satisfied of the resort’s services). But the second visit, however, was more relaxing. “First time kong nakapunta dito sa Bohol…. Grabe ang ganda. Puwede nating ipromote ang Bohol sa iba’t ibang bansa kung saan man ako magpunta, (This is my first time to visit Bohol…Very beautiful. I can help promote Bohol wherever I go),” Manny told Bared.
While media around the world continues to speculate on who Filipino boxing icon and “Hero of Asia” Manny Pacquiao will fight next, the world’s No.1 pound-for-pound fighter said that he has not yet known of his opponent.
“Wala pay final opponents. Walang final date kung kelan ang next fight ko...October or November... By the second week of July ko pa malalaman (No final opponents yet. There is no final date yet of my next fight. It is in the second week of July that I will find out),” he said.
Is it your last fight? Asking him while he’s making a high five sign to his fans. “Baka last fight ko na ang October or November (Maybe the October or November is my last fight),” he said.
How you make win of your fights? “Una-una siguro magtiwala sa Panginoon, sipag at tiyaga, displina sa sarili. Mahirap ang narating ko, sobtrang blessd lang ako ng Panginoon...tinulungan ako ng mahal na Panginoon (First is have faith to the Lord, work hard and self-discipline. I am blessed by the Lord… He helped me),” Manny shared.
And what a long way to go for someone who in his wildest dreams could not have imagined his fortune and fame will go this stretch. That is Manny Pacquiao--- and more!
Is it true you're running in 2010? “Nagdeklara na akong na tatakbo sa Saranggani... ang nais ko lang ay para makatulong sa kanila.....Mahirap isa-isahin kung ano ang naitulong ko, mahirap sabihin. Gusto kong matupad ang ambisyon ko na makatulong sa kanila at maging champion ako pagdating sa mga bagay na ganyan. (I declared it already that I will be running in Saranggani. I just want to help. I don’t want to count how many people I have helped…I just want to help them and a champion),” he emphasized.
The family was actually enjoying a bit of peace on their vacation, according to the resort who attended the needs of the Pacquiao. In fact, Manny had a sound sleep. He would wake up late in the morning.
The Pacquiao family also enjoyed a nice walk on the beach with their children on a powdery white sand beach on Bohol Beach Club. As the group walked, onlookers just sat and stared.
When the Pacquiao family was en route to the world famous Chocolate Hills, Michael Koncz (Manny's adviser) had to control the mob... a huge crowd immediately gathered around Pacquiao and his family.
It’s Pacquiao Day in Bohol.
Will he come back for another visit? Maybe yes, maybe not. Or shall we say, “hasta la vista Manny?”
● Congratulations to Atty. Kathy Blance “Anchie” Jumao-as Borja, CPA for placing 1st place in the Real Estate Brokers Licensure Examination given on May 31. Anchie graduated Bachelor of Science in Accountancy cum laude from the San Carlos University. She also became the class president and class salutatorian of the San Carlos University College of Law in 2006.
● DILG Sec. Ronnie Puno was here in Bohol last Friday as keynote speaker for the local governance support program for local economic development (LGSP-LED) MOA Signing. He was welcomed by the DILG family headed by Dame Rustica Mascariñas and local officials headed by Gov. Erico Aumentado and Vice Mayor Toto Veloso. Puno is widely known as one of the country’s most successful and reliable political strategists, but his extensive work experience of over 35 years also encompasses the fields of business, public relations, foreign diplomacy and public administration. He also reiterated that amending the Constitution before the 2010 elections is now virtually impossible even as he dismissed opposition claims of a no-elections or No-El scenario in 2010. He is planning to seek the nomination of the administrations parties as its vice presidential best in the 2010 polls. “Yes, I am going to make myself available for the Lakas-Kampi-CMD nomination for the vice presidency of the country. I'll be presenting myself for vice president” he told Bohol mediamen. He also praised the local officials of Bohol saying, “I want to congratulate everyone for the continuous programs of the province of Bohol.