I am not really a fan of smelling second-hand nicotine, especially in air-conditioned areas. However, save for today, I was able to endure around an hour of this pulmonary torture. This early afternoon, I was lucky enough to watch the Pacquiao-Clottey bout live from a casino in Bulacan with my Dad.
Joshua Clottey gained my respect even before the match. He said that he just wants to fight Manny Pacquiao, and whatever the results of the match, he will still look up to the Filipino Pride. His entry to the ring was a really cool and jolly one. For him, the opportunity to fight with his idol was something he will always hold high, whatever the results will be. And after the fight, he gave praising remarks to the Pound-for-Pound King, something I rarely hear after every Pacman war.
(Joshua Clottey looks like Akon. Hahaha!)
(And speaking of Akon, Arnel Pineda is my idol. I love his voice.)
As usual, the streets of the Philippines are dead quiet every Pacquiao battle. It’s really inspiring of him, seeing how he can unify the whole country through boxing. Today, I witnessed how this was true. The casino was loaded with people already when we arrived, such that my dad and I had difficulty parking our car and getting decent seats (even though we have reservations). Every time Pacquiao lands some deadly combination attacks, the crowd would just shout their loudest cheer in unison. At times when it was the other way around, everyone would open their mouths in worry. It was amazing how every one in the casino (even those busy with the slot machines) would all stop and just express how proud they are to be Pinoy.
In as much as I feel Nanay Dionesia’s pain when she wishes Manny to retire, I would have to disagree with her. Pacquiao remains to be one of the best nation-builders the Philippines has. It is through his efforts inside the ring that we all stop and support each other. Crime rates turns to zero, politicians stop their oral arguments on TV, members of families go home together, and so on. The very first step to nation-building, I believe, is recognizing our single identity and working towards the strengthening of that established bond. It’s something Manny Pacquiao has as his own superpower.
Yes, it’s in his boxing fame, not in politics. He can help the country through boxing, but I think politics will cloud his mind and good intentions. I really don’t think that is his core competency. He’s supposed to be inside the boxing ring, not inside the House of Representatives.
Time will come however that Manny Pacquiao will finally say his last adieu. I just hope that many people will come after him. Maybe not in the field of boxing, but other areas where Filipinos can simply bundle up in one corner of the street, squint their eyes on a tiny TV set, and shout for joy every minute or so. Something Efren “Bata” Reyes was able to do some years ago.
(The Texas Cowgirls are born hotties. Va-va-voom! is an understatement. Rarrrr.)