Okay, I think I have to cave in to the much-ballyhooed win (which fight isn’t anyway?) and throw my slight disdain towards his minor bullshit-ness over the window. When you’ve got fame and power at your disposal, why not bullshit around right? To rub the already clichéd term more, Manny is really something—he’s unlike any Filipino not just in strength but in the ubiquitous charm. He’s a slap in the face to Filipino bourgeoisie. To the poor, he’s an icon of triumph; a testament to that elusive luck, which we Filipinos have grabbed onto so tight we forgot to do anything else. He’s “the great hope” as TIME magazine would put it.
I can very much recall my very first participation to the communal Filipino act (by now it should be some sort of a Filipino tradition—a kind of phenomena that depletes traffic flow in the streets and diminishes crime rate to almost nil) of watching a Pacquiao fight two years ago with complete strangers. It was in a department store and there was some exhibit of which I was a part in. It was a Sunday, as usually the case, and there was a large-enough TV with the Pacquiao fight. As long as it was on, it did not take more than five minutes for the entire vicinity to be filled with excited onlookers (I sat down on the floor for convenience), as if the TV is some kind of medium channeling a modern-day deity. During the Pacquiao-Hatton fight, I watched it with a room full of my colleagues, around 30 people. So imagine the fucking noise it created when Hatton was pummeled to an unconscious state in the second round. Everyone looked as if they won the championship themselves, a beaming smile and pair of delightfully-lit eyes.
The media is overflowing with words and the TV is replete with footage of the said communal act. For really, it does move mountains and Manny can move the nation into such state which we are so quick to call as unity—we are so damned united. We feel our brothers same excitement. We feel truly proud. We feel we are living like patriotic Filipinos rooting for their hero. Dare I say that never have we felt a sense of Filipino pride so strongly than with Manny’s bouts, especially to those whose idea of the EDSA revolution is that of the history books. This sense of unity is commendable, the sense of pride inevitable. How can you not be? I am proud.
But see, while Manny’s victories we claim as ours, while we unite as a nation and feel an overwhelming sense of pride, what of after? For what? We go to our daily goings-on, be bums, be corporate and bureaucratic slaves, be pessimists, be optimists, be friends, be enemies until the next Pacquiao fight. We wait for that glimmer of hope, that façade of victory we always wanted to have a taste of—but unlike Manny we seem to have lost the willpower, alright, the “firepower” and we go back mired in empty promises of relief from misery. If Manny so reflects our country, then it would be that, this country has always struggled but success (power) has always remained to be in the hands of the few. So, after the fight, we go back to being a country in disarray, our goals and ideals in shambles, prone to crime and corruption, wallowing in poverty, with a continuing exodus of people abroad, we go back to bitching about the traffic, until the next Pacquiao fight finds us in each other’s company again.