The man is unstoppable. And the man is Filipino. We really NEED someone like Manny Pacquiao to help remind us of our potential as a nation. We’ve become so cynical and self-deprecating about being Pinoy that it’s refreshing for a change to have that immense feeling of national pride washing over our collective jadedness, and all because of a boxer, one, many now call the greatest EVER. Obviously it has mostly to do with the superhuman physical feats he achieved as an athlete. But other than that, Manny unites us as a nation, even if just for a few minutes, to root for and cheer on a countryman punching away at his opponent.
I don’t know a lot about boxing, but I am nonetheless awed by the magnitude of this man’s personality whose herculean achievements boggle the mind. Even if he weren’t a Filipino, you’d be agog at how he did what he did; him being Filipino makes it twice as sweet. Even if down the road, should he falter on the pedestal we’ve put him on as our untarnished hero, no one can ever take away what he already gave us. Maybe he’ll enter politics, maybe some scandal will smear his unsoiled record, maybe he’ll go down the sad road many former famous boxers went, in case the story ends anything less than happily ever after, that will have to be weighed and judged separate from what he’s done up until now.
We love to poke fun at him, but it’s never to disrespect him; it’s always in a fond way, the way we’d needle a member of the barkada, for instance. So in this vein, because I’ve emptied my bag of superlatives talking about this greatest boxer and greatest Filipino athlete ever (there goes my last two), I just need to end this orgy of praise on a lighter note. One of the best “Pacquiao Art” I’ve seen in a long time marries two cultural juggernauts. Nuff said: