Friday, February 5, 2010

Tourists raid Pacquiao stores before Clottey fight

MANILA, Philippines - If there's anything you can't miss on a trip to General Santos City, it's a visit to boxer Manny Pacquiao's clothing and accessories stores.

This is according to Manila-based and foreign tourists who were seen browsing a Team Pacquiao store for signature jackets and t-shirts that double as tourist souveniers.

General Santos City, located in the southern part of the Philippines, became famous as Pacquiao's hometown more than its booming tuna fishing industry.

The city, located in South Cotabato, is home to many of the Pacquiao family's businesses, including coffee house franchises and boutiques by his wife, Jinkee Pacquiao.

"Ok ang store. [Ang dami ng] pagpipilian. Sinadya talaga namin pumunta dito. (The store is okay. There are lots of things to choose from. We really went out of our way to come here)," said tourist Aida Timbreza.

Team Pacquiao stores, located in both Robinson's Place Mall and the JMP building along OsmeƱa street in GenSan, are stocked with complete Pacquiao merchandise.

These include new slippers printed with Pacquiao's face, clothes for men and other accessories. Pacquiao, as a brand endorser for Nike, has signature t-shirts, shoes and jackets marked with a special seal.

'Money not an issue'

Dr. Wilma Heramil, who came from a neighboring municipality in South Cotabato called Polomolok, spent more than P5,000 on t-shirts and caps alone.

Heramil told ABS-CBN News that these apparel were specially requested by her relatives in San Diego, California.

"Ipadala ko doon. Gustong gusto nila. Suotin daw nila sa gagawing party. Reason ng gathering nila si Pacman. (I will send it there. They really want it. They will wear these for as party in Pacman's honor)," she said.

Heramil added that her relatives will be wearing these merchandise in time for Pacquiao's March 13 fight against Ghanian boxer Joshua Clottey.

The Team Pacquiao's store supervisor, Rex Aniero, says tourists often flock to the shop every time Pacquiao has an impending fight.

He said items that sell the most are signature items like boxing gloves and Victorinox wristwatches that each cost P30,000--the store's most expensive item.

Aniero said money is not an issue for die-hard Pacquiao fans who come into the store, most of whom are foreigners.

The Victorinox watches have reportedly sold out.

Expecting a new surge of clients in the days leading to the Pacquiao-Clottey match in Texas, Aniero said Team Pacquiao stores will carry special Pacquiao vs. Clottey t-shirts.

He's sure that, just like with other merchandise, these shirts will click with the Filipino boxing champion's fans.


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