Mood festive yet tense as Filipinos gather to cheer for Pacquiao in 'Fight of Century'
An MRT station is almost empty in the hours before the fight. Dante Peralta

THE mood was festive yet tense as Filipinos everywhere gather in their homes, movie theaters and public gymnasiums to cheer for the country's beloved hero, Manny Pacquiao, in his career-defining fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in Las Vegas on Sunday.

Like in past Pacquiao fights, traffic in Metro Manila was light and the crime rare is down as Filipinos mostly stayed indoors to tune in to the biggest fight of the Pacman's career. 

But the eager anticipation is mixed with tension for most Pacquiao supporters, mostly aware that the unbeaten Mayweather represents the biggest challenge in the Filipino ring hero's career.

Nervous or not, Filipinos are out in full force.

At the Rizal High School in Pasig City, gates were opened as early as 7 a.m. for the fight. Still, people began entering what is considered the biggest public school in the country two hours before the public telecast went live.

Some Filipinos started their Sunday duties very early as churches were full so that they can watch the Pacquiao fight later in the morning.

Restaurants and bars have mostly decided to air only the fight instead of Game Seven of the NBA Playoffs matchup between the San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers.

A visit by of a few of the sports bars in Metro Manila saw them airing only the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. 
Sports bars offered various packages meals to encourage people to watch the bout.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports