Filipino Pride Surges Anew: The Fire is Back, Pacquiao Fans Say

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MANILA, Philippines–For nearly an hour, survivors of Super Typhoon “Yolanda” in Tacloban City forgot their problems as Filipino pride surged anew across the nation and the world.

In the Astrodome, a facility that served as their temporary shelter, some 2,000 people broke into cheers when Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao retained his World Boxing Organization welterweight crown on Sunday.

Pacquiao dropped American Chris Algieri to the canvas six times during the 12-round contest at the Cotai Arena in Macau to win an overwhelming unanimous decision, 119-103, 119-103, 120-102 on the judges’ cards.

“He failed to score a knockout victory against Algieri but it was still a stunning victory for Manny, our boxing champ,” said Augusto Daaño, 45, who still lives in a bunkhouse in Barangay (village) Caibaan.

Daaño, whose house in San Jose District was washed out during the typhoon, said he was a Pacquiao fan who watched all his fights, including last year’s bout with Brandon Rios.

After his fight last year, Pacquiao visited the Astrodome where more than 3,000 people took shelter during the typhoon.

While the center was not filled up to the rafters as in the past, at least 2,000 people cheered for their idol every time his jab hit his American opponent.

Across the country, cinemas, hotels, public parks and even army bases erupted in celebration as Pacquiao, the only boxer to win world titles in eight weight divisions, dominated the inexperienced New York-based former kickboxer.

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