File photo of the People’s Champ Manny Pacquiao shortly after he lost by decision to American Floyd Mayweather Jr. (Photo courtesy of The Mirror)
Well, I think we tried very hard not to be overconfident because when you get overconfident, that’s when something snaps up and bites you.
— American astronaut and first moon-walker Neil Armstrong
FOR three weeks — from February 16 to March 7 — I joined the campaign sorties of our People’s Champ Manny Pacquiao and I do realize that it’s no simple task to woo the electorate into supporting an aspirant’s candidacy, especially when he is running for the top post of the land.
In Pateros, I saw how the town’s residents warmly welcomed the standard-bearer of the Progressive Movement for the Devolution of Initiatives or Probinsya Muna Development Initiative (PROMDI) and it was really amazing seeing Pacquiao’s charisma at work.
It was then that I pushed myself to discover what made the Pac-Man tick. Yes, indeed, he was famed across the archipelago—being the only eight-division world boxing champion—but I’ve seen other boxing greats yet here was a man who did not stop from being a one-time pound-for-pound king but went on to become a member of the House of Representatives and later senator of the Republic.
Not only these, but he has also achieved prowess in Billards, has become a deadly shooter in basketball (which he showed shooting four-for-four while the three sons of Urdaneta City mayor Rammy Parayno watched flabbergasted), and a proficient chess player.
And would you believe that he is also a well-versed preacher and pastor who can make people cry by his preaching the Word of God? I witnessed this and was moved to tears when he joined a religious activity in a Christian ministry in Los Baños, Laguna.
Prior to listening to Pacquiao’s advocacies and political platform for his presidential bid in this year’s forthcoming elections on May 9, I vowed I would not vote for any of the ten aspirants. But experiencing the boxing icon’s inspirational talks, I saw his genuine desire to give to the Filipino people what is good and what they deserve.
This is the reason behind the change of heart that came over me.
Whereas before I was adamant not to vote for anyone in the presidential derby, now I am decided to support the Pac-Man.
But I also realize that my support would not be enough to ensure his residency in Malacañang. There are many of us who still go for those whose family names are well known in politics—forgetting that these are the very same names that have brought nothing to our country but poverty and divisiveness.
I look at Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Pacquiao as Andres Bonifacio, who was ‘betrayed’ and murdered on orders of a son of Cavite. I see him as a true patriot and reformist.
So I feel sad that the people handling his campaign do not have their feet on the ground and are floating away from reality.
It would be for the best if Pacquiao wins the polls but a sad day for millions of Filipinos if he lost. Like he said, “ang laban ko ay laban ng bayan” but does this ring true to those who made him believe they are doing all they can to win for him the numbers when the fateful day comes on May 9.
The truth is that from what I have witnessed in Pacquiao’s sorties, I foresee a debacle because his handlers are not playing the cards right. Still, I hope I’m wrong and what I see is the clouded sight of one who is desperately afraid that my idol would lose in his presidential bid.
Please pray that I am wrong . . .
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