By Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
Oct. 17, 2013
LAS VEGAS – FilAm boxer Nonito Donaire Jr. looks back at his childhood memories living in Bohol, the most devastated area in the Visayas following the 7.1 magnitude quake.
The death toll has now reached 171
Donaire was born in Talibao, Bohol, one of the locations severely hit by the recent earthquake.
“That’s where I went to school from second to fourth grade,” the boxer said. “When I found out I was really worried if my relatives were okay. And they’re actually ok.”
Donaire says, Bohol is a special home to him because it is where he learned how to harvest rice patties before migrating to the United States to pursue his boxing career.
“I always saw the church in Loboc,” he said. “They always tell you how historical it is. For something to fall like that with great history behind it—you feel sad.”
Road access to the worst hit towns in Bohol remain cut.
The quake has not only destroyed buildings, but has triggered landslides that engulfed homes, and has left tens of thousands seeking refuge at government-run shelters.
Donaire says he and his wife Rachel are planning a fundraising event to help the quake victims of Bohol and Cebu.
Despite their busy training schedule for their upcoming fights, Donaire and UFC fighter Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz took time to assure earthquake victims that their thoughts are with them in this difficult time.
“My prayers to everybody and the victims in Bohol and Cebu,” Munoz said. “I’m praying a lot for you guys.”
Munoz headlines UFC Fight Night 30 on Oct. 26 against Lyoto Machida in Manchester, England. Donaire will face Vic Darchinyan for the second time in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Nov 9.