Manny Pacquiao was invited to be guest speaker at the monthly Christian Fellowship of ABS-CBN at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday.
Printed invitations had been sent out and posters announcing the fact that the eight-division world champion would address the gathering for the second time in recent months drew a large crowd.
ABS-CBN reporter Dyan Castillejo who has built a firm friendship with Manny and his wife Jinkee through the many years she has covered his fights, is a key member of the Fellowship Group and was instrumental in inviting Pacquiao.
When we arrived at around 6:15, Dyan was getting increasingly worried because of the heavy rains that created horrendous traffic jams.
When Pacquiao called at 6:30 saying he was stuck in traffic in Makati and nothing was moving and there was no way he could make it, Dyan suggested that he take the MRT. Pacquiao replied, “Take the MRT? Till what time does it operate?” Obviously he had never ridden the metro rail before.
When told that it runs until 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. Pacquiao, without any hesitation, decided to send his wife Jinkee home, stepped out of the car and promptly decided to take the MRT trip. The problem was the huge crowds lining up to take the ride from Makati. But since he was a national sports hero, the commuters made way and Pacquiao jumped aboard with a couple of people who are friends more than bodyguards for the ride to Kamuning, Quezon City.
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Dyan in the meantime instructed her driver together with an ABS-CBN cameraman to go to the MRT station, pick up Pacquiao and his group and drive them to ABS-CBN. But because of the bumper- to- bumper traffic around the area, Pacquiao arrived at the station before the car got there.
Without hesitation Pacquiao decided to brave the rains and walk to ABS-CBN which was some distance away, probably figuring it was a good workout in preparation for his November 24 showdown with Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios in Macau.
It was quite an experience for Pacquiao, this being his first MRT ride. He was driven by the fact that he didn’t wish to disappoint the people who were at the large Dolphy Theater and wanted so much to spread his message of why it is important to read the Bible daily, to repent genuinely and to live by the teachings of Jesus Christ.
He was given more than one standing ovation for what many deemed a sacrifice on his part but which was all in a day’s work to glorify God by his actions and in his own heart.
His address was touching and well received by the audience. Manny joined enthusiastically in the songs of praise even as he was extolled for accepting defeat in his last fight with dignity which made him a bigger man and a genuine example of the best in the Filipino.
When the worship was over long lines of fans waited patiently to have a photo taken with Pacquiao, who we refer to as “The Preacher Man.”
Hours later Pacquiao and his entourage, with the previous hangers-on conspicuous by their absence, left for his Forbes Park home where his wife Jinkee who had turned back when Manny decided to take the MRT, waited for him patiently.
As he travelled home Pacquiao probably pondered the passage from Ecclesiastes which says “To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness.”
Manny Pacquiao was obviously a happy man and so were the hundreds who listened to him intently and prayed to be given the wisdom to follow what God had to say through “The Preacher Man.”
Editor's note: The blogger's views do not represent Yahoo! Southeast Asia's position on the topic or issue being discussed in this post.