PH Olympian meets PH boxing champ

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Mar. 17, 2014

LOS ANGELES – Boxing champ Manny Pacquiao and the Philippines’ lone representative to the Winter Olympics, skater Michael Martinez met for the first time at a star-studded surprise birthday party for the Pacman’s nephew Kevin Lao Samejon.

“He congratulated me and said I was pretty good,” said Martinez after the quick encounter.

The Pacman sat with his nephew and aunt. He even sang a few verses with Patricia Javier, one of several Philippine celebrities attending the birthday bash and led the happy birthday song.

It was all a surprise for the 21-year old celebrant who just arrived from the Philippines last January. “I wish you all the best and may God bless you,” Pacquiao said to his nephew.

“It was really overwhelming because I didn’t expect this surprise. I really thank my grandma and of course, Manny,” Samejon said.

Since Martinez’ historic Olympic appearance last month, Pacquiao has said praises for the 17-year-old from Muntinlupa. He has even filed a resolution in Philippine Congress to honor Martinez.

Both global athletes are in training in Southern California.

“I’m glad we both give honor to the Philippines,” Pacquiao said.

Martinez said he was star struck by their brief chat. “I feel very happy and excited and very nervous when I met him because he’s my hero,” he concluded.

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