‘We will rise again’
Joey Villar, Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star) - December 13, 2012 - 12:00am

Pacman assures nation of return to ring glory

MANILA, Philippines - They haven’t seen the last of Manny Pacquiao.

The 33-year-old Filipino champion, whose explosive style in the ring and humility off it made him the face of world prizefight for over a decade, arrived home a fallen icon following his devastating sixth round KO loss to Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez.

Ironically, that shocker of a knockout could fuel the second coming of Pacquiao.

“We will rise again,” he told a horde of cheering fans who met him at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport yesterday.

Accompanied by wife Jinkee, the Filipino icon arrived shortly after 6 a.m. at NAIA Terminal 2 and was greeted by well-wishers, headed by Vice President Jejomar Binay and a number of lawmakers and local government officials.

The Sarangani congressman spoke of his shocking defeat to Marquez and thanked his family, friends and millions of Filipinos for supporting and praying for his wellbeing.

He then guaranteed his return to the ring next year.

“Pahinga muna, pero hindi pa ako mag-re-retire (I will rest first, but I will not yet retire),” said Pacquiao. “Pero ‘wag tayo mawalan ng pag-asa, babangon uli tayo (But we shouldn’t lose hope, we’ll rise again).

While saying he would need a three to five-month break to recover, Pacquiao didn’t specifically say who will he fight next although foremost would be a fifth fight with his Mexican tormentor or a rematch with American Timothy Bradley, who also beat him last June.

His recent loss to Marquez, however, virtually dashed the hopes of a mega-buck duel with unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr.

What moved Pacquiao was the thought of the entire nation backing and praying for him despite his setback.

“Nais kong pasalamatan ang pinakitang suporta ng ating mga kababayang Pilipino doon sa nakaraang laban (I would like to thank our countrymen for their show of support in my last fight),” Pacquiao told GMA 7.

“Ginawa natin lahat ang ating makakaya, hindi naman tayo nabugbog o kung ano. In fact, lamang pa tayo. Pero talagang ganun ang boxing, may disgrasya talaga (We did the best that we could but we were not beaten or what. In fact, we were ahead. But that’s boxing, disaster happens),” he added.

“Ganun talaga, kasama sa boxing yan. Pag dumating yung panahon na ganitong sitwasyon, kailangan buong pusong tanggapin (Things like that happen and when it does, we should accept it whole-heartedly),” he added.

Pacquiao also said he was saddened after learning many of the Filipino fans wept after his devastating defeat.

“Naging emotional ako. Minsan napapaiyak ako dahil nakita ko yung pamilya ko na nasasaktan. Pinanood ko sa replay, maraming umiyak. Nang nakita ko nag-iyakan sila doon, naiyak na din ako (I became emotional. I cried when I saw my family get hurt. I watched it on replay, many cried. When I saw them cry, I also cried.),” said Pacquiao.

“Gusto ko mapasaya lagi ang kababayan natin, ang ating mga fans (I always want to make our countrymen happy, especially the fans),” he added.

Pacquiao admitted he wasn’t aware that he got knocked out by Marquez.

“Hindi ko alam, nalaman ko na lang nung nagkamalay ako (I didn’t know, I just learned of it when I regained my consciousness),” he said.

Another hero’s welcome awaits Pacquiao back home in General Santos City where he will celebrate his birthday on Dec. 17. On Dec. 19, Pacquiao and family are set to fly to Israel for the holidays.

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