EVEN outside the ring, Manny Pacquiao provides great inspiration to the Filipino people.
The boxing icon, also a congressman representing the province of Sarangani, visited hard-hit areas in Samar and Leyte the last three days as his way of lifting the spirit of people affected by super-typhoon Yolanda.
The 34-year-old Pacquiao distributed relief goods, cash, and around 10,000 copies of the Bible as he saw for himself the devastation that hit Tacloban City - the capital of Leyte – and Guiuan municipality in Eastern Samar – the first province to be hit when the typhoon made landfall.
Just a week removed from his lopsided 12-round decision against American Brandon Rios in Macau, the Filipino boxing star urged the people not to lose hope as he tried to draw parallelism between their plight and his experience inside the ring.
Pacquiao reminded them how he managed to bounce back and win his comeback fight against Rios after suffering two straight stunning losses against Timothy Bradley and rival Juan Manuel Marquez.
Several times he implored the crowd by shouting `Laban!’, to which the people answered back by chanting Manny! Manny! Manny!
Pacquiao, who opted to stay in a makeshift tent his staff brought along during his stay in both Samar and Leyte, is expected to fly back to Manila by Wednesday.