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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Baguio Stories

Currently, Manny Pacquiao is the biggest sports star on the planet. His purse is now at 20M USD per fight. His endorsements reportedly run in such numbers, too. Boxing experts rank him up there with Ali, no less.

It is said that the economy of Las Vegas gets boosted by -- is it 23%? – when Pacquiao fights there. Also, when that happens anywhere, Nike shops bump off all the merchandise they have except for those endorsed by the Pacman.


I’m not a boxing fan, but I am a Pacquiao fan. Here is a man who rose from rags to riches, literally, with true grit. His story is recorded on Biography Channel, among stories of kings, presidents, rock stars, shakers of the world. It escapes no one that that it is that same company that are ringside at a Pacquiao fight, to watch this once starving little boy take on the world, never mind that his mother doing her thing steals some of his thunder.

Bradley’s reported “voodoo” statement so amused my son, and I said to him that “Mommy Dionisia” was just a mother praying for her son. It may look funny, or strange, or whatever, but a mom praying for her son is a mom praying for her son. Name me a mother who doesn’t.

It is this same son who one day years ago tells me that Pacquiao has a special corner in the gym at Cooyeesan. How does this son know? Because he used to use that same gym. And then he goes on to say that they fixed up that little corner to look like it\s New York or something, so it photographs like so. I am amused, and he says it’s true, go check it out. Okay, okay, maybe next time that I’m shopping in Pure Gold.

Many Pacquiao rather famously at times trains in Baguio, and is spotted here, there, and everywhere when he does. People have their pictures taken with him, and he graciously obliges. He\s been called a “nice guy” off the ring and on. As a matter of fact, some experts suggest that he\s too nice on the ring, lacking the vaunted “killer instinct” of his old days, an instinct that they clearly value. Me, I value that he\s managed to stay nice despite what he does and all the trash talk that accompanies that trade. I value that his skill in boxing, though I\am not a fan of it, is now legendary. I value that the star has stayed humble and at bottom line, attributes all things to God.

On that very Filipino note, let me greet one and all a Happy Easter!

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 17, 2014.


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