Everyone wants a chunk of Manny Pacquiao. The minute the WBC Super Featherweight Champion landed on Philippine soil he was immediately surrounded by politicians, government officials, the media and just plain folks who wanted to bask in the triumphant aura of the homecoming warrior dubbed as the Pambansang Kamao (the National Fist). Imagine being the Fist of the Nation. This is a heavy burden for even for a seasoned slugger such as Pacquiao.
No wonder he looked pale and harried, per radio reports. The mob followed him around like a school of friendly piranha. To be sure, even before boarding the plane at LAX, he was already being crowded by a motley crew of hangers-on and various other colorful characters, famous and obscure. Gov. Chavit Singson was with him in the ring after the fight and on the plane back to Manila. Manila Mayor Lito Atienza was at the head of the welcoming party. Congressman Miles Roces was the designated driver. President Arroyo was waiting like an eager schoolgirl in Malacanang. And so on.