By Larry Limcangco
Growing up as a Filipino immigrant and living in America I am very proud of Manny Pacquiao and all of his achievement in boxing. It is seldom seen that we have a Filipino to look up to or be proud of among the celebrities and well known people in sports and cinema.
I traveled to the Wild Card gym not too long ago, and I decided to get a few autograph items for my friends and family signed by the great Filipino idol Manny Pacquiao himself. I waited for a long time since we are not allowed past the entrance to the gym. Outside there were about 40-50 people, not many compare to what you see on HBO 24/7. When Manny was finished with training, he went directly to eat and he brushed off all of his fans and didn’t sign any gloves. At first I thought ok maybe he is hungry, he just trained hard and he didn’t have time to sign. So, Manny was eating for over an hour and I figure since he finish his food and had a full stomach he will be gracious enough to sign some autographs for the 40 or 50 fans who waited outside for hours.
As Manny was making his way outside he wasn’t even smiling he didn’t communicate with anyone and his security guard was telling people loudly “BACK AWAY!” These Filipinos and fellow Pacquiao fans were just excited to see their idol and Pacman’s security was giving orders as if we were committing a crime. Manny was walking to his brand new Ferrari and looking annoyed that people were chanting his name. He signed a few gloves and items, but when he got to me he signed my glove but gave me a mean look when I grab his arm and told him “Hoy Manny, can you sign some of my shoes for my family and some more gloves?” I cannot forget the look on his face, he clenched his jaw and you could see his muscles in his jaw flexing, he looked like he wanted to punch me and he looked down on my hand holding his wrist and I got scared and let go.
After he signed a few more autographs he went into his Ferrari and drove off. What shock me was how Manny seem different than what I seen on the media and from the stories of him being this gracious man who will signed 300 autographs after each training session. This Pacquiao seemed irritable and arrogant, he was brushing off the people and quickly avoiding them. To top it off he signed my glove but it was not even a clear signature, he sign it with like two lines like the number 4. How can I even sell this on eBay? People will not believe it is Manny Pacquiao’s real signature.
I lost a respect for Pacman. All I did was asked him nicely if he would please sign my other shoes, I had several pairs with NIKE shirts, but he only signed one item, and he gave me a angry look when I ask him with a smile if he can sign them all. I guess this is just one of those times when you put someone too high and then you meet them and they do not meet your expectations. I don’t know if the fame has gone to his head or what, but he can even buy a $225,000 Ferrari but not have the time to sign for all of his fans anymore?
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