Sadness, disappointment in Philippines after Pacquiao defeat

Philippines Disappointed as Pacquiao Loses Mayweather

MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- Sadness and disappointment gripped Filipinos after Manny Pacquiao's defeat in his much-anticipated fight against American Floyd Mayweather Jr. but they still considered the boxing icon a national hero.

Gymnasiums and other public venues where the 12-round fight was shown for free on Sunday lunchtime local time were quickly vacated after it was announced Pacquiao lost by unanimous decision.

Herminio Coloma, a spokesman for President Benigno Aquino III, said "the country still holds its head high in the admirable fight of our National Fist."

He said Aquino thanked Pacquiao, who is also a congressman, for being "an inspiration to every Filipino who is struggling with life's challenges to achieve a bright future."

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Sadness, disappointment in Philippines after Pacquiao defeat
Floyd ''Money'' Mayweather (black & gold trunks) took on Manny ''Pac Man'' Pacquiao (yellow and red trunks) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 2, 2015 to battle for the World Welterweight Championship. Mayweather emerged victorious after twelve rounds with a unanimous decision from the judges.
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: Beyonce Knowles and Jay Z attend the welterweight unification championship bout on May 2, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: Floyd Mayweather Jr., Burger King and Justin Bieber walk backstage at 'Mayweather VS Pacquiao' at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jason Merritt/WireImage)
Manny Pacquiao gestures while standing on the scales for the weigh-in on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada one day before their 'Fight of the Century' on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Floyd Mayweather (2L) takes questions following the weigh-in on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada one day before their 'Fight of the Century' on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Floyd Mayweather (L) and Manny Pacquiao (R) gesture following their weigh-in on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada one day before their 'Fight of the Century' on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 01: CEO of HUBLOT Ricardo Guadalupe (L) and President of HUBLOT Latin America Rick De La Croix celebrate a knockout partnership at HUBLOT and Floyd Mayweather Jr.: The perfect combination for the fight of the century at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for HUBLOT)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 01: WBC/WBA welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. arrives at HUBLOT and Floyd Mayweather Jr.: The perfect combination for the fight of the century at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for HUBLOT)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 01: (L-R) President of WBC Mauricio Sulaiman CEO of HUBLOT Ricardo Guadalupe, WBC/WBA welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and President of HUBLOT Latin America Rick De La Croix celebrate a knockout partnership at HUBLOT and Floyd Mayweather Jr.: The perfect combination for the fight of the century at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for HUBLOT)
Floyd Mayweather (Center L) and Manny Pacquiao (Center R) face off following their weigh-in on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada one day before their 'Fight of the Century' on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Floyd Mayweather gestures while standing on the scale for his weigh-in on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada one day before their 'Fight of the Century' on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Floyd Mayweather arrives for the weigh-in on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada one day before their 'Fight of the Century' on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Fans show their support for boxers Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather at the weigh-in on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada one day before their 'Fight of the Century' on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Manny Pacquiao gestures while standing on the scale for the weigh-in on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada one day before their 'Fight of the Century' on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 01: Manny Pacquiao holds up the WBO belt during his official weigh-in on May 1, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao will face Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a welterweight unification bout on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao on stage after facing-off with one another following their weigh-in on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada one day before their 'Fight of the Century' on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao face off following their weigh-in on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada one day before their 'Fight of the Century' on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 01: Fans of boxer Manny Pacquiao cheer before the official weigh-in for Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao on May 1, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two boxers will face each other in a welterweight unification bout on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 01: Rapper Flo Rida performs before the official weigh-in for Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao on May 1, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two boxers will face each other in a welterweight unification bout on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Some fans said Pacquiao should retire from boxing while others demanded a rematch. For thousands at a plaza in Marikina city, part of metropolitan Manila, the party mood was dampened not just by his loss but also a sudden downpour.

Roland Purificacion, a 45-year-old pedicab driver who watched the fight on a huge television screen outside the Quiapo Church in central Manila, was disappointed but spoke for many of his compatriots when he said Pacquiao "is still the people's champ. He is still our hero."

Security guard Melchor Yaba, 48, said he lost 5,000 pesos ($113), a half month's salary, betting on Pacquiao.

"I can't accept that he lost. I now regret it," he said, referring to his bet. "He cannot retire yet. Let's have a rematch."

In Pacquiao's hometown of Kiamba, a fishing and farming town in southern Sarangani province, which he represents in Congress, passenger mini-buses brought villagers who have no television to watch the fight in the town's 2,500-seat gymnasium.

Vice Mayor Bogi Martinez said the municipal government roasted a calf and pig to be served to the crowd.

Winning or losing, Pacquiao's fights with the world's top boxers often lifts the spirit of Filipinos amid troubles brought by corruption scandals, a decades-long separatist insurgency in the south, and natural disasters such as the November 2013 super Typhoon Haiyan that killed more than 7,000 people a month after a killer earthquake struck the same region.

Jose Luis Nepomuceno, a 62-year-old retired congressional liaison officer, brought along his wife to watch the fight at the San Andres Sports Complex, one of nine public venues the city government set up for the public to watch the bout, partially funded by a popular department store.

"We may not be in Las Vegas, but our hearts are there for him," Nepomuceno said.

Louis Tinsley, a 25-year-old tourist from Manchester, England, and his fiancée, Jade Broadhurst, were among the early birds at San Andres eager to support Pacquiao.

"In the eyes of Filipinos he is a role model ... a very humble man, which is not usual for a boxer. That's his most endearing quality," Tinsley said.

At the Manila branch of the country's biggest mall operator, SM, the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight was shown in six of its 12 theaters.

Cinema manager Rico Ramos said ticket sales were three times bigger this time than Pacquiao's previous big U.S. fight against Juan Manuel Marquez in December 2012.

Hundreds of soldiers and civilian employees and their families watched the fight at the grandstand inside the armed forces headquarters. The fight also was shown in camps throughout the country as a morale-booster.

Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang, congratulated Pacquiao, a lieutenant colonel in the army reserve force, despite his defeat because the boxer "gave his best, and (that is) what is important to us."

"He gave us a good fight. Unfortunately his opponent kept on running around," he said.

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