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The morning everybody wore ?Pacquiao?
AT WHITE SPACE IN PASONG Tamo, Makati, last Nov. 15, the tension was palpable as the audience watched via satellite Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto exchanging blows.
When the referee stopped the fight some 50 minutes into the last round and declared Pacquiao the winner by TKO, the elation was genuine and infectious.
The Philippines had won again. Manny had won his seventh world title.
It was wonderful to see many familiar faces in the crowd that Sunday morning, standing shoulder to shoulder in a united show of support for the Philippines? pride in his bid for a place in boxing history.
Celebrities, athletes, and sports aficionados converged at the White Space where Nike Philippines was sponsoring a free viewing of the Pacquiao-Cotto square-off.
Team Pacquiao shirts were de riguer that morning. They stood out in the white interiors of the place: from the 2007 shirt showing a blood-stained ?Pacman? to the more recent foil-printed 2009 MP Team Pacquiao Eagle Tee?each a testament to defining moments in Pacquiao?s career.
The large turnout at White Space was only one among what I imagine was a multitude of gatherings across the globe, packed with supporters cheering the People?s Champ on. And such is the power that Pacquiao wields.
What Nike has proudly labeled his ?Just Do It!? spirit, marked by his passion and determination to succeed, has brought him seven world titles in seven different weight classes, proving that the Filipino can excel in the international sporting arena. And the pride that his success brings our nation is an invisible ribbon linking Filipinos together wherever they are found across the globe.
?More than the inspiration that he is to athletes everywhere to aspire for athletic greatness, he is a symbol to us Filipinos that we can succeed in our passions,? said Nike Philippines marketing manager Mae Dichupa.
We?re proud of you, Manny! This is your seventh unprecedented win. And you have made the lucky number the mark of a true champion.
Follow me on twitter.com/ jeniepperson or visit www.jenniepperson.com.