The Pacquiao Serendipity

Starstruck: Me, Marc of ExploreIloilo and Manny Pacquiao

It was nearing midnight in General Santos City. We just had some dinner and shots at Piyesta at Robinsons Place Gensan in Lagao District together with the SOX Bloggers. Avel, Marz, Marc and I were heading to Horizon Spa, just a few miles north east from the resto. While we were on our way, we passed by J Mix Bar and Pacman Sports Bar and Grill—of course owned by Gensan’s pride boxer Manny Pacquiao. At first we were like, “ah ok, kay Pacman pala yan” and carry on. However, our fellow blogger Marz noticed a black Hummer parked in front of the bar and uttered, “andyan si Manny! Andyan yung Hummer nya eh.” (Manny is there! The Hummer is there)

With those words, Avel decided to turn our car towards the parking lot and stop to see Gensan’s most elusive “tourist attraction.” “Wala nang kokontra, tara na!” (No one will oppose. Let’s go!) Avel said. And without hesitation, even though I have to gather my thoughts, we entered the bar—unprepared and…yeah starstruck.

Me, Mark and Jinkee Pacquiao

We entered the grill…and we saw an unguarded Manny speaking in Bisaya. Surprisingly, his wife Jinkee was there too, so does his brother Bobby in the billiards. He’s having a dartboard competition during those times and we saw a lot of people in the bar as well. Thanks to Avel’s natural talent of PR, we were able to get as close as to Jinkee herself.

“Ma’am, palihog me manguha og pics kuyog nimo, ok ra?”

“Sure!” Jinkee uttered.

Three shots and were done! “Salamat kayo Mam Jinkee!” we said. “You’re welcome!” the wife of Pacman told us. By that time I had enough I guess. Sent my picture to Facebook through mobile and we’re done. I’m contented seeing Pacquiao too. However, Avel is determined. We will have the man himself!

Here he comes, but wait…he’s so difficult to approach. A lot of people surrounding him. Wanting to take photos like us, saying hi to Manny or even seeking assistance from Manny (who is the congressman of Sarangani Province). And he went to the convenience store and so we wait…and wait. And because it is difficult to get closer to him, the only thing to do is to do “the media way, the paparazzi way.”

Me, Marc, Marz and Manny

At the time he got out of the store, we approach him without hesitation and said, “Congressman! Good evening, pwede mi kapalihog manguha og pix kuyog nimo?” First, he may be surprised…but being famous for all what he did in sports, he then said to the others, “dali lang kay mamicture mi.” And so we had only 2 shots. One shot with me and Marc, and the other together with Marz, photo taken by Avel using my camera. ‘Twas fast and after those moments, we thanked the boxer for the privilege we had.

We left J Mix with smiles reaching our ears. My laugh was like sinister or something…as if we have accomplished something—which was neither in the itinerary nor it was my wish to do so. It’s like an icing in the cake—seemingly completing my Gensan trip with Gensan’s “most elusive tourist attraction.” You may call it serendipity or coincidence but it was all worth it. Ah, the Pacquiao Serendipity experience in his own hometown! It has completed my day in the Tuna Capital of the Philippines.

Kulang na lang, si Mommy D!

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