There are only a few things that will get me up at a godforsaken hour in the morning: A dire emergency, the promise of world domination and the one time opportunity to meet Tony Fernandes and Manny Pacquiao. So, I dragged my half asleep self to the airport and joined other bloggers and media people to fly to General Santos City to meet the People’s Champ and Air Asia’s big boss, Tony Fernandes.
There are two things that GenSan is known for – Manny, of course and the tuna. It would seem to be a rather unforgivable crime if we were in tuna city and we didn’t sample the fare. So, for lunch at the Greenleaf Hotel, we had a plethora of tuna dishes.
I love the fact that once the food came in, the dish had immense attention from everyone! It had more attention than the pretty models. Gerry, Jinno, Yen and Rey started taking photos of the tuna kilawin and I stood there chuckling to myself and shot the whole scene instead. (But yeah, of course I took a photo of the kilawin)
The whole trip was about the launch of #PacmanViaAirAsia. Manny Pacquiao and Team Pacquiao is the latest and newest Air Asia Ambassador! His brand and his image will be on an Air Asia plane as well! It is such a huge campaign that Air Asia top honcho Tony Fernandes flew to Gen San just to present Manny with the Air Asia cutout replica of the plane that will bear his image.
After lunch, it was off to the Wild Card Gym next door. Manny has been training and to be quite frank, I didn’t know what to expect. Being a pathetic and world class klutz, sports were not one of my interests and I felt out of place. However, it must be said that it was such a surreal experience to be that close to Manny and seeing him train.
The room, though it was filled to the brim with people, would still vibrate every time Manny punched Coach Roach. The power of his punches would resonate in the room and I never realized just how fast he is. He would lay heavy and strong punches on Coach Roach and would playfully “bop” him on the chin. That takes immense power and control! I was mesmerized. I mean, I know this from all the shows I’ve watched on TV and the documentaries and interviews and such, but it’s different seeing it for yourself up close. I now understand the beauty and true relationship the boxer and the coach has. It’s impressive and very heart warming.
Chris (Everingham of the Philippine Volcanoes) was going nuts! He was like a little kid on Christmas being set loose in a toy store and have been told that he can get everything he wants. I love this kid! We struck a deal that I would take his photos with Manny if he took mine with Tony. So, when Tony arrived, I went full on fan girl. Full on. FAN GIRL. I was so tempted to record a video of him telling me that I’m fired. I controlled myself, thank goodness.
Another first for this trip is the announcement that Air Asia will now have flights to General Santos City starting December 2014! I’ll most definitely be marking my calendar for a longer stay.
After all the excitement, it was time for us to board of specially chartered Air Asia plane where we practically had one row for each of us. I lived it up and stretched my legs out across the seats. After all, when will I ever have this experience again?
Thank you so much Ms. Joy Caneba and Ms. Jen Tan for making this most amazing trip possible! We look forward to more Air Asia experiences!!