By Alex P. Vidal/ PNS
LOS ANGELES, California – Boxing agent Michael Koncz was all but praises for the crowd of mostly typhoon victims in Iloilo City , Philippines which came in Jaro Cathedral to receive rice and canned goods from World Boxing Council (WBC) double world champion Manny Pacquiao on July 17.
“Unlike in other places that we’ve been to, I find the crown in Iloilo to be polite and well-behaved,” quipped Koncz, who accompanied the people’s champion in his two-city, one-day visit to typhoon ravaged cities of Iloilo and Bacolod .
“There was no pushing and shoving and they followed the procedure very well. They were well-organized and I was very much impressed,” added Koncz, a Canadian based in the United States . “Even the foods were packaged very well.”
Koncz said he observed that Pacquiao’s mere presence in Iloilo on invitation of the Catholic Women’s League (CWL) headed by Mrs. Lilia Recto, “was enough as it lifted the spirit of people in hard times.”
Koncz said even if Pacquiao did not bring the goods, part of the worth P1.5 million donation of the boxing icon through the Jaro Archdiocese headed by Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, “the people would still be happy.”
He described Mrs. Recto, mother of WBC ring physician Dr. Allan, as “very pleasant although she was a little bit very exhausted in organizing an event of that magnitude.”
Mrs. Recto hosted lunch for Team Pacquiao and other guests at her residence in Soriano Subdivision in Molo district.
Koncz praised the hosts’ and the people’s “attitude and behavior” saying Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee, were very much impressed and satisfied even if they gave only the hosts a short notice in deciding whether to proceed with the trip or not.
He said the politicians led by Mayor Jerry Trenas who joined the gift giving ceremony were “refreshing” even as he commended them for being “nice and hospitable, especially the vice mayor (Patrick Jed Mabilog) who set aside their political agenda and were also uplifted by Pacquiao’s presence.”
Also present among others to entertain Team Pacquiao were provincial board member Richard Garin, city councilors Armand Parcon, Jeffrey Ganzon, Julienne Baronda and former city councilor Rolando Dabao and the Layson family.
Hundreds of typhoon victims received the gifts from Pacquiao prepared by the CWL which facilitated the transfer of funds and the purchase of goods.
Pacquiao’s trip was made possible after Dr. Recto collaborated with Pacquiao’s wedding godfather Rey Golinggan who contacted Mrs. Recto. It was the son Recto who suggested that Pacquiao tap the church and distribute only goods, not cash.
Pacquiao had initially wanted to send P1.5 cash to Mrs. Recto’s bank account but the CWL head suggested that many of the typhoon victims needed materials such as G.I sheets and plywoods for their roofs, aside from rice, canned goods and noodles.
Archbishop Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), briefed Pacquiao during a meeting at the Jaro Archdiose that they could not accommodate thousands of people that might rush in to claim their share so they authorized the CWL to handle the distribution of goods and what to do with the whole amount.