The Pacman phenomenon-A A +A
By Roman Ordoña
Sunday, November 13, 2011
FILIPINOS all over the world rejoice every time Manny Pacquiao fights and eventually brings down an opponent. Suffice to evidently say that every time he enters the squared circle, most of his countrymen watch as the society seems to be in a standstill. A sense of camaraderie and tranquility seems to engulf the whole nation – lesser to no traffic on the streets, united shouts of glee from neighbors bunched together while watching the fight, lessened or no crime rates and many more what-have-you’s.
Now, if only everyday was a fight day, then everyone would be happy!
We all seemingly encounter that reality every time Pacquiao fights, a community filled with harmony. Pacquiao has become a renewed symbol of Filipino pride. Pacquiao himself has become an emblem of our Filipino concepts such as national pride, love of country and even our sense of identity. It is an unbelievable phenomenon. Wow! If only he would fight every day, then our community might seem so ideal.
So what is so continuously fascinating about our ‘pambansang kamao’? Manny Pacquiao is a Filipino boxer who, originally from a state of insignificance and poverty [that most fighters come from], fought his way into world and sport history as the “greatest pound-for-pound fighter”. His knack to go for eight different weight classes yet never losing quickness, flexibility, and strength has been said to have never been done before or since.
As an athlete, Pacquiao embodies the epitome of discipline. He maintains a vigorous training routine that keeps him fit, and to his credit, his hard work has paid off.
He has beaten many Mexican fighters, thus earning him the moniker “The Mexicutioner”. As a play upon his name, and because of his successive victories against fighters of many nations, he has been likened to the power-packed enemy-chomping video game character “Pacman”.
He offers each fight, each victory, to the nation. We see him drop to his knees to thank God after each fight; he indulges his family with the best things money can buy; despite his wealth standing in sport and politics, he also is as average as any man can be, prone to temptations of beautiful women.
Perhaps this is what keeps us glued, not only because of his fights but also due to our unending fascination towards the life he leads now – a rags to riches story. At one point in time, we have all thought or have been green with envy with the life of luxury, which he lives nowadays.
These are just some of the attributes deeply embedded in Philippine culture, therefore, making him the Pinoy “everyman” that majority of us Filipinos relate to, and his successes have made him a symbol for the Philippines and Filipinos, his efforts a matter of national pride.
No matter how he, or his fights, or even his life might affect all of us personally or the nation as a whole [or even the world]; one thing is for certain… just like most Filipinos, you still inescapably watched and was interested in yesterday’s fight. That, I guess, is the “Pacquiao” Phenomenon.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on November 14, 2011.