Day after the fight, the papers had everybody who was anybody with a quote. Sen. Chiz Escudero hoped the boxer “inspires” those “easily disheartened by difficult challenges and setbacks.” Sen. Manny Villar credited Pacquiao as “reason to celebrate and stand proud of the Filipino race.” Sen. Dick Gordon lauded Pacquiao’s traits of “honest hard work, heart, experience, drive, pride an heroic elements” as “elements of a leader.” And from the diminutive Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio, who defeated Pacquiao in his first bid for Congress in 2007: “Thank you, Manny, for making us happy and proud once again.”
Most everyone expressed admiration for Mommy Dionisia’s son, and not only politicians. So did the MILF, perhaps the most realistic of all, for soon after recognizing Pacquiao’s skill, it said through a spokesman: “Boxing is a sport. But time will come and someone stronger will fight him and he will definitely lose.” The religious, with the Bishop of Cotabato claiming the victory as “answered prayers,” and Jesus is Lord leader Eddie Villanueva joining the praise.
And big business, through effusive statements from the likes of Aurelio Montinolla III, president of the Bank of Philippine Islands; Francis Lim, president of the Philippine Stock Exchange; Ramon Ang, president of San Miguel Corp.
Not to forget the one moving heaven and earth that she not be forgotten, wanting to run as congressman in next year’s elections. Gloria Arroyo, in Singapore for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum saying: “I hope we can all learn from his example so that, together, we can also move forward as a nation.”
Arroyo conveniently kept silence on who held us back from progress, as did her House Speaker who went to watch the fight live in Vegas, and later on innocently stated, “At least for one brief shining moment, we in the Philippines forgot all our problems, troubles and political back-biting and fighting each other.” A big fat hello, to the both of them, for playing dedma to their horrible misdeeds that caused our problems to begin with.
And it gets worse, and dreadfully so, when former activist and currently Arroyo spokesman Gary Olivar enters the picture, with “We have exhausted all possible honors and awards that could possibly be heaped on Manny because of his many victories. So if the administration party would want to include him in its senatorial slate, that’s the decision of the ruling party.”
I clarify I’m just as proud as every other Filipino to have a kababayan declared as the “greatest fighter of the era.” This one’s clearly no ordinary champion pugilist, he has seven weight-class titles to his name — flyweight, super bantamweight, featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight and light welterweight — the first fighter ever to do so. His wins have been decisive, the one with Cotto had to be stopped in the 11th round by the referee out of mercy for the Puerto Rican who was so clearly outclassed by his opponent on the boxing arena, spouting blood — sa madaling sabi, magaling talaga si Pacquiao, sobrang galing niya.
But must we have him as senator, too?
It’s bad enough that when we applaud him for his boxing skills, we also almost insist he’s the greatest Filipino barring none, and by such fulsome approbation practically tell our young boys to stop going to school and consider boxing and nothing else but, we have to have him as legislator?
We professed paghanga to the OFWs and called them our “bagong bayani” for keeping our economy afloat with their remittances. The OFWs children wanted to be OFWs as well, it’s not a big percentage out there who want to be doctors, lawyers or teachers, most just wanted to earn dollars, period, and this has been so for years on end.
Similarly, what will our next generations want to be, the way we go overboard and salivate at the feet of a Manny Pacquiao? And on another (side) issue, hey. It’s good to praise the worthy, but how truly worthy is worthy when Pambansang Kamao and Pambansang Kulasisi go hand in hand?
pacquiao says he’s interested in running for office because he wants to continue helping the filipino people after he hangs up the boxing gloves. but he has no experience or preparation or training of any kind for government office or politics, so why go there? why not stay with sports instead, take on the cause of the philippine sports, raise funds for sports development nationwide, prepare our athletes for international competitions para hindi naman tayo parati na lang kulelat sa rankings. national sports is where he can continue to make a major difference.
manny pacquiao for congressman, for senator, for president, mananalo kasi, is a bad joke. plain idiocy. ilagay naman natin sa lugar ang pagmamahal natin kay pacquiao. he is an absolutely stunning athlete who wows the world with his physical prowess and we’re very proud of him but but but but but but but he should not be allowed to think na okay lang na pumasok siya sa pulitika when all he’s got going for him is popularity. he should not be allowed to think na okay lang na pumasok siya sa showbiz bilang singer at movie superhero just because he wants to, never mind na pang-karaoke lang ang singing niya at pang-commercial lang ang acting niya.
it’s like, how ironic, and pathetic, that after raising the bar for athletes he proceeds to lower the bar, as if it weren’t low enough, for elective officials and showbiz artists. what a drag.