I received an e-mail from a friend in Spain asking me, among other things, what I thought of the recent Pacquiao-Bradley fiasco. It had been over a week since the shocker, and I was less emotional.
View from the bleachers
I am not into boxing, never have been. I have seen my share of bouts, often sitting in the bleacher section because we couldn’t afford ringside. It was uncomfortable watching from there, but I was very young. It was fun! Also, I thought it was better than seeing blood and spit (and perhaps other things?) up close from the more expensive seats.
I was perfectly happy among the rabble-rousers eating boiled peanuts and sipping Cosmos sarsaparilla, which together, back in the day, cost less than 50 centavos.
Back to Pacman. After the initial shock of the defeat, I tried telling myself that perhaps this was the state of professional boxing today. I heard people speculating about a fix; about someone rigging the fight. Possible? I suppose so.
I had to factor in the fact that it was held in the gambling capital of the world and that the stakes must have been sky-high. I hear that even in Pacman’s corner there may have been more to gain, for some, from a defeat than from a victory. Whatever the scenario, I concluded, “it is what it is.”
I watched the fight live on my laptop and with my limited knowledge of boxing and how it is scored, I had no doubt that Manny had retained his title.
Just like the millions of Pinoys around the world, I was very upset. But Pacquiao’s peaceful demeanor somehow assuaged the pain. His tone at ringside and in later interviews was incredibly noble, his words akin to those of a gentleman “to the manner born.” I marveled at the way he appeased the furious, disgruntled, booing crowd at the MGM that night. “Let us respect the decision of the judges,” he called out. The man was actually smiling!
I was almost ashamed of the expletives that I had allowed out of my mouth earlier when I heard them announce a “new” title-holder.
I was impressed by the comportment of Mrs. Pacquiao (she was the “knockout” of the night) standing at ringside with her two sons, holding hands, in staunch and loving support of their champion. Elated one minute and crushed the next, they kept their composure like troupers.
On the opposite side of the ring, a lady I assumed was Mrs. Bradley looked sad and forlorn after the final bell, looking resigned that the challenger had fought hard but failed. When the announcement came, it seemed to me that she was not sure she had heard it right.
A week later and still licking my wounds, I came across “When Losing is more like Winning,” an article written by our friend Cito Beltran. (Bravo!) Reading it finally put to rest the misgivings I held in my heart.
My reply to the e-mail from Spain was very brief. I found myself quoting what Manny had told reporters: “God has better plans.”
A few days ago, the World Boxing Organization came out of a five-man review session with the verdict that Pacquiao really won the fight. They cannot, however, reverse the results. What they will do is approve a rematch if requested, or order one if it isn’t. I hear a return bout is planned for November.
Personally, I wish the Pacman would hang up his gloves. Maybe it’s time to focus full-time on his job in Congress. He may not have all the know-how right now, but he certainly has the heart. Some say one needs to have the stomach for it and they are probably right. Whatever.
Every time he returns to his hometown after a fight, Manny Pacquiao receives a hero’s welcome. This time, there was not much fanfare. No, it was not because he lost, although that was a sure damper.
I am told that the champ wanted to get to the business at hand, immediately. With his own funds (and he must have the deepest pockets in the sports world today), he bought and distributed rice and other relief goods, including cash, to the people of his province who had just been hit by torrential rain and killer floods. Pacquiao hit the ground running. Mabuhay ka, Manny.
Perhaps the representative from GenSan can knock some sense into a party list lawmaker who wants to ban religious rites and symbols within the premises of government offices.
Although I have seen how some can go overboard with statues and other artifacts at home and in the work place, the thought of this measure becoming law gives me the chills.
Is this a prelude to the removal of anything that suggests religion or God from our public places? Could this happen in the Philippines?
In the United States, several decades ago, the US Supreme Court banned prayer and the reading of the Bible in public schools. This was the result of a court case sponsored by Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the founder of American Atheists Inc., which promoted atheism and the continued separation of church and the public school system.
Many feel that these squabbles about God and religion and the subsequent Supreme Court decisions, have taken their toll on American society. Something vital was tragically lost.
Many traditions have been sidelined to accommodate the era of political correctness. Today, they have almost succeeded in marginalizing the Christ in Christmas. There was a state governor who was stumped when faced with the dilemma of finding a politically correct name for Christmas tree.
A shout of protest was raised not too long ago and debates are still hot and heavy over an attempt to remove the phrase “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.
I just checked on the dollar bill. It still says “In God We Trust”; so do the dime and the penny, and every piece of legal tender in America. No, God has not been removed; at least not from the money. I wonder if this is why they call it the “almighty dollar?”
Why is it so important and imperative to be politically correct? Today, before we use certain words, we must check if they might label someone and therefore be offensive, perhaps even unconstitutional, in terms of race, color, creed, gender, etc. It’s absurd!
I think it is a sad and stupid exercise. Charlton Heston called it “tyranny with a happy face.”
Writer George MacDonald was right on the button when he wrote: “The two pillars of political correctness are willful ignorance and a steadfast refusal to face the truth.”
It brings to mind “Newspeak” from George Orwell’s novel “1984.” Newspeak was the manipulation of the English language in order to make sure that dissenting or opposing thoughts were not ever expressed.
Today they would call it political correctness. I call it scary.
Can this happen in our country? Yes, it can. Will we allow it? I pray not.