AS much as you and I and 91 percent of the Filipino population (in a survey) disapprove of Manny Pacquiao’s running for Congress this May 14, this we have to conclude: When the bell rings and the gloves are clasped and mouth guards are bitten, Pacman is all about one word.
Asked in an interview if the legal tussle against Oscar de la Hoya and his battle inside the not-so-square ring called politics could get in the way of boxing, he replied: “Never. I never let distractions get in the way of my training. My focus has been to train hard and concentrate.”
Thank you because, had you lost aim and succumbed to the trappings of your green dollar bills, had you shifted from “running on the road” to “running for politics” and slackened off your uppercuts, jabs, and training—we’d have lost a hero.
Let’s admit it: This nation owns just one hero and he’s not Jose Ma. Sison. He’s Pacman. Sure, we’re 90 million-strong in this 6.5-billion world and we have Lea Salonga and Bata Reyes and Tony Meloto and Paeng Nepomuceno to call our own, but, let’s face it, no Filipino compares to Manny. Among many stands only one Manny.
That’s why as we all converge at resto-bars and the SM Cinemas and at home this morning—every single Filipino with eyes who can see, will be watching—there rests a huge burden for our Robin Hood: He has to win. Not a loss. Not a draw. Not even a 12th round outing to be decided by three men is good enough. Pacman has to win. By KO.
Imagine if he loses? All Filipinos scattered around this globe will clasp both hands in despair, we’ll cover our faces, shake our heads, and weep. For weeks, the Philippines will undergo a depression. A severe depression. That’s why I say…
Thank you for the sweat that dripped off your chest at Gensan, for the kilometers you sprinted uphill in the mountains of Los Angeles, for the punches you absorbed inside the Wild Card Gym.
You see, when Pacman steps inside that square ring, he’s in unbelievable shape. You know why I know this? His weight. It’s 128.75 pounds. Unlike Solis, who weighed 130.5 and 130.125 before finally making the 130-pound limit, Pacquiao is fit. This means that while he arrived late in L.A. (didn’t we all think Manny had too many distractions on his mind), he didn’t gorge on lechon or drink eight bottles of San Mig Light. He was all about one word.
I’m now staring at his picture taken right after the final weigh-in yesterday. His shirt is off and he’s smiling, clenching his fists, posing beside Jorge Solis. Compare their bodies. Solis is taller, bigger, and yes, more handsome—but look at Pacquiao.
Stare at those abs. Gaze at that chest. Marvel at his arms. In bodybuilding lingo, look at the “definition” of his muscles. Wow. They’re well-chiseled, well-cut, so well-defined that I don’t think one percentage of fat resides inside Pacman.
Thank you for knocking-out Solis in the fourth round. Or is it the sixth? The eighth? 10th? Never mind what round, thanks for teaching this undefeated—yet underrated—Mexican a lesson in how to spell the letters “K.O.” Teach him about history.
Remind him about the name “The Alamo,” and how, back in 1836 during the Alamo Mission one, the Mexicans were annihilated and bloodied.
Annihilate Solis. Bloody him. Twist him like an enchilada. Chew him like a burrito. Crumple him like you would a crispy taco. For Manny, when you do that, you’ll retain the “Filipino Hero” medal, you’ll keep 90 million of your countrymen away from depression, and best of all, next month, you’ll assure yourself of a new championship belt bearing one name.
Congressman Manny Pacquiao.