Sunday, October 21, 2007



Is patriotism now in the Philippines synonymous to boxing?

Sunday here in the Philippines, October 7, Manny Pacquiao is having his “most-awaited” rematch with Marco Antonio Barrera. Why the quotes, one may ask. Well, let’s just say that I (and I know that I’m not the only one) was not really excited about the fight and did not really wait for it (for having to do more sensible things or having to watch more interesting shows than this).

Manny Pacquiao is the Philippines’ pride. I could not understand a rule of boxing but when Manny started winning and bringing home the bacon, I was proud of him. And though I didn’t like the sports, I tuned in to his every match, almost crying if he seems to be almost losing the battle, awaiting eagerly, as most Filipinos do, if he’s going to make us proud again for the nth time. And also tuning it to all television stations on his return, wanting to see how warm his welcome would be.

But those were the days.

It didn’t help that Pacquiao had the nerve to run for public office on the last election. For me, it showed that his fame had really gotten into his head. At that time, he didn’t even care to listen even to his political allies who were advising him not to run until he’s prepared to do so. And I couldn’t help but flinch whenever he was being interviewed by the media people and he couldn’t even respond professionally to the simplest question that was thrown at him – what is your plan if you’ll win.

And so he lost the battle that no one expected him to win in the first place. He entered into yet another venture – showbiz. Seeing Pacquiao on his best form in a boxing arena is a delight, but put him TV, or worse, in a film, acting, is really a sight for sore eyes. And now, he is being bombarded with all types of intrigues, like linking him to sexy star Ara Mina, saying that he has bought her a house and a luxury car.

It is not helping that his feeling-beautiful wife, Jinkee, looks like a hurting wife every time she’s being interviewed on showbiz oriented local talk shows. She should just have backed off, unless she also plans to be a showbiz personality. Oh, please!

Let us turn the focus on boxing. Mr. Manny Pacquiao should just do everything he can to improve on this craft and maybe venture out into other sports if he feels that he ought to retire from boxing. Leave showbiz to those who can act and can express themselves in a way that many people would understand them. And leave politics to those who can rule and who have the ability to make people respect them.

Pick your fights, Mr. Pacquiao, and don’t dwell on the battles that you are not supposed to be fighting, in the first place.

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