At ground level

A column about LIFE

Manny Pacquiao, you are my idol!

I have not been writing as often as I planned, even if there has been much to write about and so many thoughts running through my mind. There haven’t been enough hours in the day lately. Now that I have some time this weekend, let’s start with this one …

What’s this? Me, discussing sports again? And boxing, of all sports? I hate boxing. I think it’s a cruel sport. I think you have to have a certain psyche to take on such a sport, and I don’t like that type of psyche at all. Yet, I watched Manny Pacquiao’s latest fight.

Actually, the first fight I watched was his fight against Ricky Hatton in May of last year. I “forced” myself to watch it during a reunion with classmates. It was fun to cheer him on, and then, the suspense and shock of the second round knockout – I thought he killed the man. It left me in awe of this champ.

I never had a chance to watch the other fights, and no real interest after. All I heard about Pacquiao was his English (which made me squirm), his singing (which made me squirm even more), and then his run for Philippine Congress (which made me gasp). Then I watched him sing on Jimmy Kimmel twice (okay, cute, but not sensational). It made me squirm too.

At a friend’s house on Saturday, I watched Pacquiao fight Antonio Margarito. I learned then why this fight meant so much to the Filipinos – they were upset about Margarito’s reputation of being a cheater and his making fun of Freddie Roach’s Parkinson’s disease. Uh, not classy. So, I, too, wanted Pacquiao to knockout Margarito.

Watching the fight was an eye opener for me. Unlike in the Hatton fight, Manny didn’t knockout Margarito on Round 2, as I had hoped. In fact, they went the whole 12 rounds. I squirmed when Manny got caught in the ropes and was punched several times. I squirmed even more when Margarito’s face became practically unrecognizable.

This fight made me pause and changed my view of Pacquiao and boxing altogether.

I not only saw a world champ boxer, but I saw the true character of Manny Pacquiao. All of a sudden, my respect for the fighter and the man soared, as I watched Pacquiao show his concern over Margarito’s swollen eye. By the 11th and especially on the 12th round, it seemed like he had eased up on his opponent. He admitted later that he knew he had won and there was no point in further beating up the guy. “That’s not what boxing is all about,” Pacquiao told the commentator

Like my dad did with baseball, many have written about boxing as a metaphor of life. Boxing, they say, knocks off your arrogance and teaches you humility. You realize you are not infallible. You roll with the punches, and when you get hit, you get up again and try not to get knocked out. Sometimes, you get hit hard, but you need to get back up on your feet and bounce back again. Just like life …

I don’t think I will ever like boxing like I now like baseball, but I am getting to like Manny Pacquiao more and more. The man is truly noble, a gentleman. He not only has valor, he has heart, humility and kindness. He may be regarded as the “master” of his game, but as he has demonstrated by making the sign of the cross and reciting a prayer before and after each fight, he has another Master, a higher power, whom he acknowledges, and this is all right by me.

Manny Pacquiao wins!

I am starting to think that, perhaps, we do indeed need this simple, virtuous man in the Philippine Congress. He may stand among the very few politicians that have true concern for the plight of their countrymen and the future of the country. He is an example of a person coming from rags to riches who still remains humble and caring.

And sing? Heck, as far as I’m concerned, Manny can sing to the top of his lungs and as often as he would like.

I won’t even squirm anymore when Pacquiao gives interviews, because Manny Pacquiao, you are now my idol!

November 25, 2010 - Posted by | Life, Philippines, Religion | ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: