Pacman’s dream achieved
Flying in from Manila, the immigration officer in San Francisco asked if we were going to watch Manny Pacquiao fight. I told him yes, as he is the endorser of our new Vitwater. He was amazed and thought the tickets to be expensive. I told him that tickets may cost a lot in the black market, but we got tickets through Pacman’s team.
As we landed in Vegas the night before the fight, it seemed like every Pinoy couldn’t seem to hide the excitement. As we got in MGM Grandstand, it was like a sea of Brits. I would say that 70 to 80 percent of the crowd was composed of Brits and Americans, while only 20 to 30 percent were Pinoys who were also mostly Fil-Ams. The wealthier Brits could easily afford the tickets, while most Pinoys here had set up small gatherings among friends to watch it in pay per view. I have to say, they were so loud and a number of them were quite arrogant – maybe from drinking. But, one of my friends says that the Brits are really like that. They are used to their way of cheering and expressing which side are they on during football games. Even in the restrooms, you would think that there was a fight, with all of them shouting and vomiting from drinking too much. Many came in wearing costumes. They even converted a British Christmas song “Winter Wonderland” into a Hatton song. They definitely dominated the cheering, compared to the shy and timid Pinoys. Deep in me, I was thinking that the only way to silence the Brits is if Manny knocks out Hatton. That would send a message not to underestimate the Pinoys.
As Pacman knocked down Hatton in the first round twice, I knew that the fight was not going to last long. True enough, it was over in the second round. All the Brits in the stadium were stunned. It was truly another Susan Boyle story. This time, it was a Filipino dream that came true, ironically against another Brit. Manny Pacquiao, as one of the world’s best fighters today, is at the top together with the great fighters like Ali Frazier and Sugar Ray.
Above all, this victory has given greater pride to Pinoys back home and all over the world. It awakened once again greater nationalism from within all of us. This is Pacman’s greater achievement. He has become an instrument to unite our country through nationalism. Love for country – love for the Philippines, is by far the most important thing that brings about a change in the lives of Filipinos. It changes our attitude not only towards ourselves and others but also towards our country. It brings about greater confidence. An example is Korea’s nationalistic spirit. It made them survive the Asian crisis by selling their personal gold and converting it into Korean won. Through simple acts like that, great nations like America were able to win so many battles. It is what will make us win the battle against poverty.
This is the battle that GoNegosyo wants to win – the battle for a mindset change, an attitude change towards making more Filipinos confident about their own country, about themselves and their own future. This is a battle that cannot be won by being too fatalistic and relying solely on prayer without deed. We may not be able to create as many entrepreneurs, but we can definitely inspire more people to be enterprising. This is what Manny Pacquiao has done. It is not only a rags-to-riches story, but it is a story of an attitude change. It is the story of being tired of being poor and wanting a better life. He respects his mentor Roach and works hard by preparing for all his fights. By being passionate at what he does, he honors his Creator and his country. This is the attitude that will change our nation’s future. This is the attitude that GoNegosyo would like to see in more Filipinos. This is an attitude that we already see in many Filipinos who work abroad and who sacrifice their lives for their children and spouses.
I am happy that Manny continues to win. This is what gives pride to many of our new heroes today – the Overseas Filipino Workers. His victory becomes their source of pride and confidence as they face their employers. It gives them the strength not to be ashamed as Filipinos no matter what role they play in their work. It gives them the confidence to stand up and fight for their rights as hardworking Filipinos in foreign lands. Many of them are workers in jobs that nobody wants to take. His victory is their victory as well.
Congratulations to Manny Pacquiao for winning the fight that will bring about greater confidence to the millions of Filipinos working abroad. His victory brings a greater sense of nationalism and love for our country for the rest of the Filipinos back home. To Manny, it is an honor for the RFM group to have you as an endorser for Vitwater.