(CNN) -- He is the Philippines' most famous sportsman who was moved to tears by the devastation wreaked on his homeland by Super Typhoon Haiyan.
The typhoon hit the country earlier this month and has so far claimed over 5,000 lives, with boxing star Manny Pacquiao ensconced in his Philippines training camp for this weekend's fight with Brandon Rios.
"I was crying," the 35-year-old told CNN when asked about his first reaction to the typhoon.
"I feel so bad ... what happened. I want to visit them personally but I can't because I'm in training. I sent my people there to help them, what I did is focus on my training and pray to God."
Boxing's first and only eight division world champion left his training camp in Genereal Santos City earlier this week to head to Macau, China, where his WBO International Welterweight title bout with Rios will take place.
Pacquiao is attempting to help his compatriots by sending aid to those affected by the typhoon.
"Right now we've sent them food, food is the most important thing," said Pacquiao, who is an elected official in the Philippine House of Representatives, serving Sarangani's Lone District.
"After that I have to help give them a fresh start in their lives."
Saturday's fight with Rios is Pacquiao's first since he was knocked out for just the third time in his career by Juan Manuel Marquez in December 2012, only his fifth loss in 61 professional fights.
Pacquiao dismissed suggestions that defeat to Rios, the American who has lost just one of his 33 professional bouts, could see him call time on his 18-year career.
"I learned a lot," Pacquiao said of his loss to Marquez. "It's part of boxing, sometimes you lose sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose and you have to accept it.
"I decided to continue my boxing career because I think I can still fight ... I'm not thinking negative, I'm always thinking positive."