FLOYD Mayweather Jr. and the victims of the flash floods in Sarangani province were among those whom Manny Pacquiao prayed for when he attended a morning Mass at Quipo church Saturday, hours after arriving here from the U.S.
The boxing sensation admitted including the brash-talking Mayweather in his prayer, asking God to guide and enlighten the 33-year-old American as he serves time in a Las Vegas county jail after being found guilty of domestic violence.
He also implored the welfare of his constituents in the province, which Pacquiao represents in Congress, especially those badly-affected by the deadly flood that hit Sarangani last week.
“Pinag-dasal natin si Mayweather na sana malagpasan niya lahat ng pinag-dadaanan niya,” said Pacquiao of his long-time rival, whose many issues with the Filipino kept them from making possible what many foresee as perhaps the biggest and richest fight in boxing history.
“Siyempre pinag-dasal din natin na aayos na at bubuti ang lagay ng mga taong nasalanta ng baha sa Sarangani,” he added.
The calamity forced the boxing star to make a quick, return trip to the country a week after losing to Tim Bradley his world welterweight title in a 12-round split decision, a highly-questionable outcome that sparked outrage around the world.
Pacquiao is flying to Sarangani early Sunday to personally assess the damage caused by the flash floods. He refused to have a hero’s welcome in the province and said he’d rather concentrate on the well-being of the affected families.
But he’s expected to return to the U.S. after five days to join wife Jinkee and his four children in their vacation. The eight-time world champion is also scheduled to shoot his first Hollywood movie, Brass Knuckles, starring Fil-Am actor Rob Schneider, upon arriving in Los Angeles.
Asked meanwhile, what was his personal prayer after the hour-long service, Pacquiao refused to reveal it, saying, “it’s between me and God.”
The officiating priest during the concelebrated Mass said in his homily that in the hearts of the Filipinos, Pacquiao remains the champion despite his stunning loss to Bradley, drawing loud cheers from churchgoers that included former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza, a long-time Pacquiao supporter, and the boxer's personal advicer Michael Konz.
But when it was his time to speak on the pulpit, the humble ring superstar preached about love and forgiveness, saying he has long accepted the judges’ decision.
“Ginabayan ako ng Holy Spirit na tanggapin ang desisyon ng mga judges ng buong puso,” Pacquiao added.
From Quiapo church, Pacquiao shared lunch with his staff at the Midas hotel, and then took rest in the afternoon. Just before evening, he was off to the San Juan Arena to host live his weekly game show Manny Many Prizes.