Filipino Pride: The Pacman

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The man did it again: faced an opponent who seemingly had the advantage in terms of height and reach, but lacked the lightning speed that the Pacman is known for.  He emerged from the fight victorious, humbled from his 13th consecutive win which earned him his 8th championship belt.  More importantly, if there are doubters left out there, Manny has just silenced them with his outstanding performance last Saturday night in Dallas.


The Pacman is already an icon in the eyes of his countrymen as his success story is a testament to the values of hard work and dedication.  Born into extreme poverty, he dropped out of high school and lived for a time in the streets of Manila.  A snippet of his biography reads:

In 1995, the death of a young aspiring boxer and close friend Eugene Barutag spurred the young Pacquiao to pursue a professional boxing carreer.  Pacquiao started his professional boxing career when he was just 16 years of age, stood 4’11”, and weighed 98 pounds (7 pounds under the minimumweight division).

With his God-given talent and uncanny sense of determination, Pacman rose from the ranks to get to where he is today.  Aside from his undeniable talent and charisma, his down to earth nature has endeared him to many.  In fact, everything comes to a standstill in the Philippines when Manny has a fight.  In 1998, for instance, when Manny wrestled the World Boxing Council superfeatherweight title from Juan Miguel Marquez of Mexico, the military declared a ceasefire against the New People’s Army which lasted until the end of the match.  A news report read:

The military will briefly put on hold its battle against insurgents while political squabbling is also suspended as the country prepares to cheer on boxer Manny Pacquiao in a world title fight this weekend.

A Pacman fight also means no traffic congestion and deserted streets and malls. (Once when we were in one of the busiest malls in Cebu City, we wondered where the “mallers” had gone to it looked like we had the mall all to ourselves.  When the match ended, the movie houses’ doors flew open and out came the throng of Pacquiao supporters.  The peace and quiet we found earlier was quickly replaced by a loud discussion of the match, its outcome, and the greatness of Pacquiao.)

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A few days after Pacquiao cemented his legend, the world awaits for his next move.  Who’s next for the Pacman?  Will the much anticipated Mayweather fight finally happen, or will he pick up where he left off with Marquez? 

While his future opponent does not have a face yet, Manny will go back to his people to celebrate this achievement and to perform his responsibilities as a duly elected congressman of his province.  The world can wait and there’s plenty of space for another fallen fighter. 

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First published on Blogger on 11/15/10 at 7:23 AM PDT

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