Friday, January 20, 2006

A Cinderella tale

I am not really a boxing obsessive unlike my father, who in a sluggish Sunday afternoon, stalk on branded and unbranded fight fighters on local television. My father would have his time, even if I am glued on my couch, watching DVDs I have just bought at Quiapo for 40 each. I would forego my modest weekend pleasure for him to watch boxing not only because of respect, but of fears that may trigger another argument. I may have excellent arguing skills but could not further my reasons to my father.

But come this Sunday, I would be as nuts as he is. The epic rematch of Manny Pacquiao with Erik Morales has made me realize my subliminal passion for the sport. I have never been stacked reading various articles and opinions from the Internet regarding the fight. I somehow feel deprived if I would not contribute my fearless forecast at the forum, cast my vote and even argue to several die hard Morales’ fans. And to think that I was using the resources of the office every morning for more than two weeks just to get updated of the events along the way.

I also would have wanted to watch the fight at SM cinemas but the tickets sold like hotcakes and could not get one. At 300 bucks, you can watch the fight live as shown in the US, without the infuriating five-minute commercials per round as will be shown on local TV. I was even told that the 500-peso ticket at Rockwell has also been snapped. Imagine how many diehard Pac’s fans are going to troop SM early in the morning. Well, sort of a rally in a mall, perhaps with banners, placards and color coordinated shirts, but only now, cheering on a countryman instead of indicting the government.

I could hardly wait for the time when the country and its people are in unison. Envision this - no traffic on a Sunday, crimes will be at all time low, families will be together, enemies will be at one, no political rallies and bickering and so on. At least for an hour or so. Isn’t it nice to dream a reality once in a while?

The contagious flu which became endemic to a lot of Filipinos here and abroad, has had its grounds from Pacman’s rise from a lowly kargador to a world boxing fame and legend. With hopes and dreams on his side, he boldly traveled to Manila from General Santos City to seek a better future. With hardwork and determination, he was able to knockdown the obstacles of his life round per round. He humbly kept his pacing on his achievements and continually shows appreciation of the blessings given to him. He had also shown great devotion and fear of God. These qualities earn him the veneration of every Filipinos.

As I was reading another fresh article from a boxing source, when Pac loss to Erik in their last fight, the Filipino flag flew from a crutch, not far from the ring where Pacquiao’s blood flowed from a cut above one eye and down his face like tears. Yet, Filipino faith in Pacquiao was not shaken. If anything, it appears to have grown stronger, perhaps because in Pacquiao, Filipinos see their own resilience and ability to come back from defeat. True enough.

Manny brings all these realities in a nation who badly needs hope and faith. A Cinderella man who is willing to sacrifice everything for the pride and honor of his country. A prizefighter who was able to unify a baffled nation even the head of the country could not. A typical Filipino ready to face war to protect his family and friends.

Maybe, these are some of the reasons why my father loves boxing. And I am beginning to feel the same round per round. Aside from its entertaining value, the ideals of a great prizefighter are evident in each and every round as the Pac emanates. Knockdowns are inevitable along the way, but whether these would drag you down or pull you up would depend upon your choice and faith.

This Sunday, I will not be watching DVDs nor argue with my father. I will cheer for our hopes. The next day, expect the headlines "Pac triumph over Morales: KO – 9".


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