More on Pacquiao

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By Erma M. Cuizon

Sun.Star Essay

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Manny Pacquiao has a way of getting into our lives once or twice a year. I'm not quick to tell the difference between an uppercut and a jab, nor a left hook and a punch, but except for a fight or two, I was “there” almost in each fight. This is not in Las Vegas but, like everybody else, in front of the TV or over the radio during the usual live coverage.

And I always found myself fixing a day’s schedule not to miss watching a fight. Some days after Manny’s recent grand winning in the Pacquiao-Bradley 2 fight, I wondered at the way Manny wins or loses in the eyes of the Filipino.

Everybody’s talking about the fight, especially because he won.

So I looked up my old columns on Manny, even while there are the columns on him all over the country and in broadcast media. I’d look up the Internet for data on his fighting life, where and how he started in a living style of over 60 fights, 38 of the victories having been
knockouts.

It was at the age of 16 that he first entered a professional bout and won in four rounds in a unanimous decision. I don’t know much the language of boxing but I can see the pains and pleasure in the fight. The simple life of one like me still has the Pacquiao feel of the day. I even also wrote about the Pacquiao mother, Dionesia.

In the Pacquiao-Marquez 4 fight, I had an appointment. I couldn’t watch the fight “live” from the beginning, so I was set to watch over GMA between advertisements. I didn’t look up the Internet, didn’t answer phone calls, didn’t read text messages. I asked the househelper to keep her radio down while she moaned or laughed a bit within the rounds.

But a few minutes after, she knocked softly on my door looking sad and said, “Pilde si Pacquiao, ma’am.”

There were other fights when I found myself aboard a cab, listening to the live coverage on the radio, with comments from the cab driver. In still another fight, I found myself in an appointment with a friend driving along SRP coming from the south. Traffic was clear, like in a dream.

Except for a couple of cars in the other lane, where was everybody? In another time, we went up to La Tegola Cucina after an appointment and watched the city as it breathed in the middle of the fight with a tinge in the air of happy news about the Filipino fighter.

In still another fight, I found myself at the airport checking in with travelers leaving for Manila. Although there was the usual crowd, it was
hushed when I got a mobile phone call from a friend who updated me on the fight as it was covered live. Some kind of sound came into the airport when I heard the guy in the line at my back ask aloud, “Did he win, did he make it?” When I said Yes! a sigh of relief held the line. They were all strangers to me but suddenly were a Pacquiao part of me as three girls joined us, skipping.

The feel is also, of course, in the ring where hundreds or thousands of Filipinos watch. A relative would also call from the US, saying that you could tell which house belonged to Filipinos in Salinas, California because of the scream of victory on behalf of Manny. The feeling is true and artless, and very Filipino, even in Salinas City.

Stories of bad news after a Pacquiao fight in the stress during the fight were also plain and true, where two men in Argao and Consolacion killed a neighbor over an argument of whether Paquiao would win or lose. In the town of Argao, also in Cebu, two drunken men fought over the result of the fight. The guy who killed his friend was an Erik Morales fan hurting over the boxer’s loss to Pacquiao.

The Philippines ranks within the top 10 in the world in professional boxing wins, says a 2012 report. With the Pacquiao-Bradley 2 win, how’s the ranking? (ecuizon@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 20, 2014.

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