i've never really idolized manny pacquiao.
i have seen him up close a couple of times, both of us were guests in a town fiesta. never mind that he's the honored guest and his bust was set up in front of the gym after the motorcade where people lined up the streets and chanted his name. it bears noting that his father comes from pinamungahan in cebu, that explains the horde of pacquiao's that came down from the mountain barangays to meet their famous kinsman.
i really don't care.
my friends demanded that i take their pictures with the pacman, and this was before he won his sixth world title. it was a different story with pokwang though. i had to elbow, box, jab and shove people out of the way so i can grab a pose beside her.
there must be a reason why i am not so "lady gaga" over the pacman. let's just say that familiarity does breed some form of contempt, specially when one hear (alleged?) stories about the pacman's activities outside the ring.
then again he's only human.
and that's what probably made me a convert.
unlike the horde that trooped to viewing venues for the fight, i spent my sunday morning touring some out of town colleagues to a few spots in cebu. by the time i settled down in my fave coffee shop, the fight was over and i already know the results.
trust youtube.com to give me access to the fight, sans the advertisement and endless commentaries that sounded the same at one point. i mean, you tend to run out of words when describing a massacre that ended in a bloody mess for margarito.
i cringed during the fourth round when pacman gave margarito a nasty cut and it was downhill from that point. by this time i am sure that everyone said it all before and i don't fancy myself as a boxing expert so i won't even go into the technicalities of the fight.
what caught my attention though was round eleven and twelve.
pacman is truly what makes a pilipino. compassion.
i counted around five times in round eleven where he looked at the referee, pleading for laurence cole to stop the fight. i felt that pacman purposely hugged margarito and took some body blows just so he doesn't have to throw punches. he shook his head when cole split them apart so cole can check on margarito. i felt his compassion for his fellow boxer. i felt his heart.
could he have beaten margarito down and knocked him out? yes, no doubt about it. you could see he was pushing margarito out of the way in the twelfth round. he was throwing sissy punches. he didn't want to complicate the injuries he has caused.
never mind that this cost some idiot money who betted that manny will knockout margarito. manny understood what boxing is all about, it is a bloody war. fortunately, manny is also human who makes human errors and his compassionate heart is what made me muse to myself that i should have taken that opportunty to have my picture taken with him.
mabuhay ka manny! mabuhay ang pilipino!