MANILA: Boxing hero Manny Pacquiao will spend Saturday night in a tent city with victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan in the central Philippines a week after lifting the country’s spirits with his comeback victory over Brandon Rios.
Pacquiao flew in a friend’s private plane from his hometown in the south to the central town of Guiuan, which was the first part of the country to feel the wrath of Haiyan which left nearly 7,400 people dead or missing.
“I will be with the evacuees. I will sleep in a tent. I came from these circumstances so I want to be with them,” said Pacquiao, a former street kid who was listed last year by Forbes magazine as the 14th highest-paid athlete globally with an estimated $34 million in earnings.
“I want to encourage them not to lose hope. I will tell of my life,” he said over radio station DZBB from Guiuan which suffered at least 106 dead when Haiyan smashed into it on Nov. 8. Guiuan is the first stop on Pacquiao’s promised tour of areas ravaged by Haiyan, one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded.