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Friday, July 10, 2015

'D-Day' Diary

[caption id="attachment_5755" align="alignnone" width="3264"]D-Day Early fans queue at the historic Araneta Coliseum green entrance[/caption]

After four years of writing (or if you like me to call it blogging, so be it) about the sport of boxing, I have been given the opportunity to cover live boxing event. As a boxing fan, as all of you guys knew, I've been covering the sport through TV and live streaming since 2011. And I posts fight recaps, preview and predictions on every fight I've cover on this blog.

I went for a vacation to the Philippines last March 12. The "D-day" boxing event, ALA's "Pinoy Pride" 30th edition, featuring longest reigning Filipino boxing champion Donnie "Ahas" Nietes, who will be defending his title against Francisco Rodriquez this Saturday,  and co-featured Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire vs. William Prado. The date of this spectacular boxing card coincided with the date of my vacation.

The fight happened last March 18 and my flight to Philippines was on March 12. I've got media accreditation with the guidance of respected Philippine Star journalist Abac Cordero. Since this is my first time, I wrote a diary of this wonderful experience. First time experience is memorable and unforgettable. Although this card, of course not the biggest fight that happened in the Philippines, but I have this card third in my list; next to "Thrila in Manila" and Pacquiao-Mira. It's still good to be well-documented.  So here’s it is, my diary of "D-day" boxing card in Manila.

The smooth travel to the venue

March 17 @ 5:00 a.m. - It was a cold Friday morning. The sun did not shine yet. But I expect another humid Philippine hot summer as soon as the sun shines. My DSLR camera, laptop, phone, pocket WiFi were all packed inside a small backpack.

I'm all set to catch my 7:55 a.m. domestic flight from Ozamiz City to Manila. For those who don't know yet, yours truly is residing in Baroy, Lanao del Norte, in Mindanao. So I need to travel for 45 minutes via plane to reach Manila.

7:00 a.m. - I reach Ozamiz airport just in time. Cebu Pacific Air flight from Manila just touchdown when I've got my backpack checked. It's the same plane that will take me to Manila. Although Cebu Pac is notorious for their delayed flights. Many complained their flights were delayed for hours and at times flights were completely cancelled without proper passenger guidance. But in fairness to Cebu Pac, all my flying experience with them were on time -- including international flights. My experience with Cebu Pac's international and local flights can be read here.

When I got inside the boarding lounge, most of the passengers were all in. Few minutes later, passengers from Manila have disembarked from the plane. After another 45 minutes, the airline announce for boarding. Since I arrived late, I did not bother to compete with other fellow passengers rushing to the queue to board the plane. I'm the last passenger who entered the plane.

7:55 a.m. - "All flight crew prepare for take off", says the pilot. I fastened my set belt and closed my eyes. I need to catch some sleep because it's gonna be a long day ahead in Manila for "D-Day" weigh-in that will takes place at 11:00 a.m. at the Araneta Coliseum green entrance and that will be on my next post that can be found here -

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