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Sunday, April 12, 2009

I am Manny Pacquiao

I pick trash in the monstrous mountains of trash in smokey valley. I sell rice cakes on old rusty trains in Legaspi. I shine shoes along the busy sidewalks of Cubao. I ply my trade in the dark nights of Subic. I do construction work in the oil rich nation of Saudi Arabia. I clean houses in the luxurious brownstone buildings in Manhattan. I clean houses in the modern city of Hong-Kong. I want to be Manny Pacquiao.

I left my beloved home and work hard in the high seas of the Atlantic. I said goodbye to my own child to take care of another woman’s child in the rich city of Singapore. I am an illegal alien washing dishes in a basement restaurant in Queens. I work at day and go to school at night to get a degree in nursing. I push my fish-ball cart in the sweltering Manila sun to get my family a meal at night. I sell cigarettes on the back side of a passenger jeepney. I will be Manny Pacquiao.

Every day in his training makes me want to work harder. Every fight he takes makes me want to continue fighting. Every combination he throws makes me want to win. Every round he wins in boxing makes me want to go on to fight with my own round in life. Every punch and every blow reminds me that I can always fight back.

Every punch that he took from Marquez, I felt it. Every combination that Morales landed on his face, I cringed. Every jab that he took from De lahoya I took it. Every left hook from Diaz, my body shook. It is with his fights that brings me back to my connection to my beloved country. A Pacquiao fight gives a chance for the homeland to be united at one time. The only opportunity that a country so divided at times has found a common reason to just be one, even for a mere twelve rounds. It is just a few moments, less than an hour for most of the time, but this moments, I will gladly take. Just to get a taste of how it feels to be one and united. And maybe, just maybe these brief moments, this taste of oneness maybe enough that someday, a nation will realize how good it is to be finally united.

At this moment, there maybe a lot of buzz even controversies about the Pacman deals. Critics will always have something to say and haters will always be around. But does it really matter? In the grand scheme of things, it is a boxing match, it is a boxing career that this man turned into something more special. A boxing career that has inspired men and women, child and old men, to be what they ever wanted to be. To be like Manny Pacquiao.

On the second of May, every roundhouse that he will take from Hatton, I will feel. Every push and shove, I will be moved. Every bodyshot that Hatton will give, I will get it. By the same token, the victory that he will get will make me feel that I myself won. I will because on that day, I am Manny Pacquiao.


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