MACAU - Manny Pacquiao's next camp will not be at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles or in his home in General Santos or in Baguio City.
It will be in Tacloban.
Two days before his comeback fight against Brandon Rios, the global boxing icon has laid down plans to spend three days in a tent in the devastated Visayan city so he can bring aid as well as succor to victims of super-typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
In a scene witnessed by Spin.ph inside his Venetian Hotel Suite in this gambling capital, Pacquiao has asked his staffers to prepare a tent for him and other necessities as he is keen to spend time with the victims in the typhoon-ravaged region.
“I-ready niyo na yung gamit ha. Bumili na kayo ng tent. Maglagay na lang tayo ng mga kailangan natin,” Pacquiao told his staff member Jake Joson.
Here's a video of Pacquiao giving instructions to his staff:
After his fight with American Rios on Sunday, Pacquiao will fly to General Santos City on Monday and then head immediately to Tacloban where he plans to spend three days living in a tent.
“Yun ang gusto ni boss eh. Gusto raw niyang maramdaman kung ano ang pinagdadaanan nung ating mga kababayan dun,” said Joson.
“Nagpa-ready siya ng tent. Mag ca-camping siya sa Tacloban. Alam niya ang kundisyon ng ating mga kababayan doon - walang kuryente, walang matutulugan - kaya gusto niyang damayan,” added the longtime Team Pacquiao member.
The 34-year old boxing icon was in fact supposed to join relief operations in Tacloban and other devastated areas right after Yolanda wreaked havoc in the Visayas last November 8.
But because of the proximity of the incident to his ring comeback, Pacquiao gave in to the request of his trainer Freddie Roach to stay put in their training camp in General Santos.
“Manny saw the incident, he was touched by children who lost their parents and so forth … He wanted to go to ground zero that Sunday," said the Hall of Fame trainer.
“We did whatever we could. This time the fight was too close … so we decided to just focus first on the fight,” said Roach while revealing how Pacquiao instructed his staff to send relief goods and assistance to the victims.
“I also told him, ‘Manny, you winning this fight is gonna do more for yours countrymen than anything in the world,'” Roach added. “Now his goal is to win this fight for them … for the people!”
The five-time Trainer of the Year also believes the calamity should pose as a warning to Team Rios as Pacquiao will definitely go all out to fulfill his promise of giving the Filipino people something to cheer about.
“I think the typhoon is actually a motivation for him,” said Roach.