DONAIRE ECSTATIC OVER MEETNG WITH PRESIDENT ARROYO
By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Wed, 01 Aug 2007
Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire was ecstatic over his meeting with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at Malacanang on Tuesday afternoon saying it was “an overwhelming feeling. It was indescribable. The moment I walked up the stairs and she was up there and when I looked it was a moment when I couldn’t even look at her face. It was a great honor.”
Donaire, the IBF/IBO flyweight champion who won the titles with a sensational fifth round knockout over previously undefeated Vic Darchnyan and IBF minimum weight champion Florante “The Little Manny Pacquiao” Condes were accompanied in the courtesy call at the presidential palace by Games and Amusements Board chairman Eric Buhain who told Viva Sports/Manila Standard Today that President Arroyo was “impressed with Donaire. He is such a nice young man.”
Hours after the meeting with President Arroyo, Donaire was still gushing over the experience stressing that “it was overwhelming. Words cant describe my feelings.”
He said it was something special “to be there and be recognized by the President who gave us support and recognition. I’m speechless.”
The newest ring sensation who was born in Talibon, Bohol and lived for several years with his family in General Santos City was also joined at Malacanang by Mayor Pedro Acharon. Donaire said his emotional meeting with his 96 year old grandfather was “an awesome, awesome experience. It was something that I’ll never surpass.“
Donaire said he had three motorcades in Tagbilaran City where he was hosted by popular Mayor and sportsman Dan Neri Lim, in Talibon by Mayor Item and in GenSan by Mayor Acharon. He said “each and everyone was so hospitable and their greeting was heartfelt. The people were incredible in their support and it was such a great feeling. I felt like a rock star, the way they looked at me and screamed.”
Donaire revealed that growing up he had his “share of a tough life, poverty. But it helped me out to be strong and know where I came from and be humble because I am blessed. I was able to go to the US and follow my dreams and become a world champion. I look back to all the people that supported me and all I can do is appreciate all those people who cared and supported me.”
During dinner at the Kamayan restaurant along EDSA, fans flocked to the young, smiling world champion for authographs and photos and even a few kisses on the cheek while the singing group was thrilled when Donaire sang some Visayan and modern English songs that had the diners listening intently promptlng Donaire to say, “I just like to have fun. If I can do it (sing) I’ll do it. If I cant then I wont try to do it. I felt confident. I was having fun and just the experience of it all is an incredible feeling.”
Donaire and Condes were given cash incentives by the President and they welcomed her kindness and had no complaints at all. However, a couple of boxing people questioned why two legitimate world champions were given only P100.000 each while Youth champion Bernabe Concepcion who was accompanied to the palace by Filipino ring idol Manny Pacquiao after he won the title in the US, was given P500,000.
One longtime boxing man said “it doesn’t seem fair. These are two legitimate world champions and Condes beat a veteran champion while Donaire defeated an unbeaten champion and won not one but two titles.”
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ronnie Nathanielsz.
Recent PhilBoxing.com In-House articles:
PhilBoxing.com has been created to support every aspiring
Filipino boxer and the Philippine boxing scene in general.
Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org