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By Gerry Peñalosa

Pacquiao’s Training Camp Chronicles
Sun, 25 Oct 2009

October 22, 2009 --

Day 3

After yesterday’s full capacity attendance at the gym, my staff is getting ready for another Manny Pacquiao training session. Again, we are expecting that the place be filled to the brim because Manny is undoubtedly the biggest celebrity in the Philippines.

I was right; there were many people inside the gym waiting for the Manny to arrive. I saw Wakee Salud who drove straight to the gym after touching down at the airport from Cebu City . It’s really nice to see my former benefactor and like me he has high hopes that Manny will come home from the fight with the World Welterweight belt decorating his waist. People from the print and broadcast also came hoping to witness Manny roughing it out with his bigger spar mates. A familiar face, Dianne Castillejo of ABS-CBN, was also inside the gym.

Team Pacquiao arrived at around 3pm. After the usual kumustahan, it’s down to business. Coach Freddie gently asked the people to vacate the gym because the session will strictly be private. It was only the HBO 24/7 staff who was allowed to stay because they are tasked to cover the training camp as pre-fight feature for boxing fans. The people readily obliged maybe because they understand that the sole reason for the request is to free Manny from distractions. The bigger sparring partners, Urbano Antilon, Danny Escobar and Shawn Porter, made sure that vicious punches are thrown but Manny is really exceptionally good and landed powerful punches on his spar mates also. Manny trained hard, he’s much disciplined but he’s always hungry for the win and I think those are the reasons why he’s invincible inside the ring.

The workout ended at around 6 pm and we had a hearty dinner inside the gym serviced by the caterer. It was a fun evening… good food, good company, and lots and lots of boxing tales. Oh well it’s another exciting day tomorrow…Looking forward to another intense workout with the champ.

Day 4

Unlike yesterday, it was not a strictly Team Pacquiao day. Boxing fans were allowed to visit the champ as he did intensity training inside the gym. Broadcast and print media were lucky to be accommodated today because the workout was opened to the public.The team arrived at around 3pm and Coach Freddie laid his mean workout routine. Conditioning Master Alex Ariza also subjected Pacman to series of isometric and plyometric routine to build his speed and agility and firepower. Manny has really improved much but he trusts his trainers a lot that he’s willing to do whatever his trainers made him do.

The exercises were brutal but you can never hear him complain. He is really a true and an honorable sportsman inside and out. Wakee Salud joined us again at the gym. We watched together our friend at work. Like me he was proud with what Manny has accomplished.

The workout ended at six in the evening. Manny, me and my wife Goody had dinner inside my office. It was like old times. We had fun remembering those times when we were yet starting our boxing careers. Remembering the people who helped us get to where we are today. It was really a feel-good dinner. I surely welcome more intimate dinner with a very dear friend. Thanks for the friendship, Pre.

On another note, I would like to extend my apologies to Mr. Ernesto Yu, owner of Pagoda Philippines for the typo error on my previous article. I was unaware that I misspelled your name, Sir. Please accept my sincerest apology.

Ito po si Gerry Penalosa…para sa isa na namang panalong balitaan.. Hanggang sa muli!

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