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MOVIE THEATERS. WATCHING the fight in a movie cinema is the closest thing to being there for us Pinoys. With the fight live on an enormous screen, I?ve seen strangers scream their lungs out, high-five and hug each other in a near fiesta atmosphere, making the experience enormous fun. Tickets are both hard to come by and don?t come cheap. SM Cinema and Robinson?s Movieworld sell theirs for P550, and don?t expect any left on fight day, so buy yours early.
BARS AND RESTAURANTS . A pricier but more comfortable option are bars and restaurants with large LCDs placed at strategic areas. You can freely chat with friends during pre-fights and the long lulls in between, and your girlfriend or otherwise fairly disinterested companions can roam around and come back any time they like. The disadvantage: all that waiting equals constant ordering. You?d need a steel butt to keep from aching and eating so much, not to mention a fat wallet.
PLDT DSL?S WATCHPAD. PLDT myDSL subscribers get to watch via the innovative live streaming ?Watchpad? service, though the verdict is mixed on this service. The first time this was launched, a friend?s household swore by it. They attached a DSL-connected laptop to an LCD TV, called the neighbors and had an instant party. The second time they subscribed?not so good. Images were reportedly choppy, server errors were a pain, and news sites were reporting results before they could see any action. However, subscription via the Internet is the future of media delivery, and this service is a taste of things to come.
PAY PER VIEW. Skycable isn?t offering pay per view to residential customers, while Destiny offers a P700 pay per view rate exclusively to satellite subscribers. Since these two companies are the major providers in Manila, the service seems like a thing of the past. However, if you?re serviced by one of those small regional cable companies, they might be able to offer something.
Online streaming sites. Free online streaming sites such as Justin.tv, Ustream and about a hundred others are an option?but only if you?re lucky. Lucky that someone with a good upstream is uploading the fight from a reliable source, and lucky that hundreds of other Pacquiao-hungry sports fans haven?t found it before you. If either situation occurs, you?re left with a slow connection that?ll make you wish you went the movie theater option instead.
LIVE BLOGGING AND SOCIAL NETWORKING. I ?watched? the Marquez-Pacquiao fight this way, with a guy from ESPN sports typing the action and how he scored it live, and me watching the text roll up a screen as in a chatroom. It seems pathetic when I describe it, but that was the only option I had in those pre-cinema, pre-streaming early days of not so long ago. If you hook up with the right people on Twitter and Facebook, you can get instantaneous updates as well. Regardless of how I got the news, however, I hit the roof just as hard when Manny won.
TV AND RADIO. Bringing up the rear are the old-school options??free tv? and radio?which is, to be honest, truly scraping the bottom of the barrel. Unless you enjoy 10 minutes of commercials in between a minute of actual fight time, you?re better off waiting for tomorrow?s papers. Sadly, this is how most of the country will ?enjoy? the fight, which makes Pacquiao?s victories even more special. Imagine enduring all that for a loss. The public would probably revolt.