MANNY Pacquiao's generosity is already legendary, and his soft spot for the poor well known.
But it never ceases to amaze when you personally witness it.
Emerging from a popular restaurant along Tomas Morato in Quezon City on Thursday evening after playing a basketball game with a new ABL team that bears his name, Pacquiao stopped under the heavy rain when he was approached by young sampaguita vendors.
“Oh? Ang lakas ng ulan ah, bakit andyan pa kayo? Basang basa na kayo,” Pacquiao told the vendors in a scene chanced upon by Spin.ph after interviewing the boxing hero.
The pregnant vendor, who looked barely out of her teens, responded: “Hinihintay po kasi namin kayo, bebentahan po namin kayo ng paninda namin.”
Even before the lady could finish what he was saying, Pacquiao was already reaching for some cash from his pocket.
The eight-division world champion, who is also the nation's first billionaire athlete, handed a crisp P1,000 bill to the pregnant vendor as his friend, comedian Long Mejia, butted in.
“Oh, hati-hati kayo ha,” said Mejia.
As his car waited and a bodyguard held up an umbrella to shield him from the rain, Pacquiao drew out an additional P2,500 which he then handed over to three kids who were with the sampaguita vendors.
And as his entourage turned to leave, Pacquiao wasn't done with his business. He called his bodyguard Jojo Ascue to ask for more money.
“Choy,” said Pacquiao signaling two with his fingers before handing over another pair of P1,000 bills to the teenager vendor, who claimed to already have two kids.
In all, Pacquiao gave away P6,000 to the five vendors, who proceeded to hand all their sampaguitas to Mejia.
But the Saranggani congressman shouted to Mejia: “Hoy, ibigay mo na sa kanila yan. Wag mo nang kunin, ano ka ba?”
Mejia responded with a joke: “Baka wala akong pang gas eh.”
The funny ending aside, this, without prejudice to the debate over mendicancy, is just another example why 'The Pacman' has become the champion of the masses.