Sunday, September 26, 2010

Manny Pacquiao Training

Yesterday I got a chance to see the Pound for Pound Champion boxer Manny Pacquiao here in Metro Manila. I just read an article featuring his training with Freddie Roach in one of Elorde's boxing gym in Quezon City. The article stated that Manny trains everyday in the afternoon but will head to Baguio City starting September 26. So yesterday was his last day here in Manila and after his training in Baguio, he will proceed to the United States for his final training days. I have work during Saturdays but it was a little bit light yesterday. I was on fieldwork in the morning so I figured I could drop by the area and catch a glimpse of Manny's workout. I knew people will be allowed to watch since most of his photos and videos indicated that the public is allowed to watch while he trains.

After my fieldwork in Binondo area, I proceeded to Elorde's gym in Roosevelt Avenue. The gym is situated at the 4th floor of a new building at the corner of Roosevelt and Del Monte Avenues. I arrived at the area with a friend around 2pm expecting a lot of people in the area but to my surprise I only noticed a few media people and a Team Pacquiao pick-up truck. When we reached the 3rd floor, we were stopped by a gym personnel before going up the next floor. We told him we were going to watch Manny's training but he told us only media people were allowed to watch. I told him all excuses I could think of just to be allowed to go up but he apologized that he was instructed not to allow anyone without proper clearance. I understood him but I still hoped I could catch a glimpse of the Filipino champion. I got word that Manny is running late and he is about to arrive in a while. I then decided to stay for a while and wait for him since this will be my only chance to see him up close.

In about 30-45 minutes Manny's vehicle, together with a few security and training people arrived. His vehicle is a black Escalade and it parked in front of the building. Freddie Roach and Alex Ariza, his conditioning coach arrived earlier including Pacquiao's sparring partners. Manny alighted from his vehicle and proceeded to go up to the building to start training. I knew that he will pass by our position and will be just steps away from me. Too bad we do not have a camera to get a photo and we just tried to use a friend's cellphone. He passed by in front of me and I was surprised how short and thin he was. I expected he was a bit bulkier because of his physique but he was just like any ordinary Pinoy. You would not know he was the world's best boxer in this decade if you just pass by him in the streets. Except for his signature clothes and a few security, this guy is so simple considering he is also a congressman. I was thinking I could shake his hands but unfortunately he was talking to his cellphone. Well, at least I got a chance to see him and I could proudly say that once in my lifetime, I saw Manny Pacquiao up close. Hopefully he wins his fight with Antonio Margarito this November so he could cement his legacy as one of the world's best boxer who lived in my lifetime.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Million Hectare Challenge

Join the Million-Hectare Challenge! Haribon Foundation announces its 4th annual event, happening November 21st at McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

The Million Hectare Challenge urges all Filipinos to support the ROAD TO 2020 campaign, which aims to restore 1 million hectares of forests by year 2020 using native tree species.

Rainforests are our primary source of water. Healthy rainforests prevent soil erosion and enhance biodiversity. In the past few years, the Philippines has seen an increase in natural disasters such as killer landslides, droughts, floods, as well as water crises - all telling signs of the state of degradation of our rainforests. To date, we have 22.08% (Philippine forestry statistics, 2007) forest cover left, we need 54% to maintain ecological processes in the country.

Let’s hit the road! Help raise at least 1 million pesos towards ROAD TO 2020. Funds generated from the Million-Hectare Challenge event will be used to support tree-planting activities, promotion of environment-friendly and sustainable livelihood options for local communities, establishment and maintenance of indigenous tree nurseries, awareness-raising and capacity building– just to name a few.

- Join and accept the challenge! You can choose to walk, run at your pace or race to raise pledges (3K, 5K, 10K)
- Registration Fees: 400 pesos; and 350 pesos for Haribon members.
- Pledges are optional but help us reach our fundraising goal and get pledged!