Expect traffic-free streets in Cebu City today as residents will stay glued to their TV sets or in some other place to watch the live broadcast of the match between Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama will host a live telecast of the fight at the Rama compound in barangay Basak, San Nicolas in keeping with tradition.
Nanette “Inday Nets” Garong, program handler of Rep. Tomas Osmeña’s radio show, said there won’t be any live telecast in some barangays similar to what they did last year.
Osmeña, former mayor and now representative of Cebu City’s south district, said he will just let supporters watch the free live showing in different barangays.
Some barangays will also hold raffle draws during commercial breaks in the telecast.
Rama ally and Apas barangay captain Ramil Ayuman said his barangay will have two venues for the free live showing — the barangay gym and an open basketball court in sitio Upper Panabang.
Since the boxing event also coincided with his birthday today, Ayuman said viewers in the barangay gym will be given raffle coupons in which they will have a chance to win a sack of rice and a 21-inch television set.
Busay barangay captain Eliodoro “Yodie” Sanchez, also a Rama ally, said their barangay hall and an open space in front of a store in the barangay will host live telecasts of the Pacquiao-Marquez fight. Kilos of rice will also be raffled off, he said. “This is just a public service,” Sanchez said.
When told that they might be accused of electioneering, Rama retorted that there were a lot of tarpaulins bearing the “Type O” slogan of Osmeña’s Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) camp in the city’s streets. Hotels, restaurants and malls have offered pay-per view telecasts for today’s fight. SM Cebu will open its Cinema 8 for P500. But a female staffer observed that only 50 percent of the tickets were sold as of yesterday afternoon.
In Ayala Center Cebu, the mall will open its Cinema 2 for the fight with a P400 admission for the orchestra portion and P500 for the balcony. Park Lane Hotel will have a pay per view (PPV) telecast for P650 with buffet and bottomless drinks. Golden Peak Hotel will also host a PPV worth P499 with buffet lunch and morning snacks. Pagcor-Casino at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel will have a PPV at P50 with a raffle ticket. But only those with casino cards will be allowed entry.
Skycable also offered PPV for their subscribers at P1,000, which is lower than the P1,500 in the previous Pacquiao fight.
Cebu City police will be on patrol for the fight. Senior Supt. Melvin Ramon Buenafe, Cebu City police chief, said police personnel will man the desks to receive complaints while others will patrol the streets for any incidence of crimes. /Jhunnex Napallacan, Correspondent with Correspondent Chito Aragon