For a short time in the devastated Philippines city of Tacloban and other places recovering from the ravages of Typhoon Haiyan, the mood was one of joy.
The reason? The victory of Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao over his American opponent, Brandon Rios, at the World Boxing Organization championship match in Macau.
In Tacloban, a screen was rigged up so that displaced families, aid workers and soldiers could take time out from their work to watch the fight. The points victory had the crowd screaming their approval.
Some Filipinos, whose houses were severely damaged in the typhoon, said Pacquiao’s victory brought a temporary relief to them.
One said: “For a moment, I forgot the miseries around me. Pacquiao helped pull a painful thorn on our side.”
Pacquiao, who was coming from the first consecutive losses of a career in which he was world champion in eight weight divisions, also dedicated the bout to his compatriots. By doing so, the boxer gave his countrymen the simplest of message: hope.