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PIA Press Release
2007/04/18

Commentary: Politics and boxing

By Bong Pedalino

Tacloban City (18 April) -- While drugs and sports do not mix, politics and boxing do. And with Pacman’s just-like-having-a-sparring victory over first-time defeated Jorge Solis now becoming part of boxing history, the GenSan southpaw may yet find a space in the Guinness Records as a boxer and lawmaker rolled into one.

But by then, the Pinoy’s pride may yet transform himself from the “Pambansang Kamao” title to “Pambansang Di Kamao” the moment he steps into the shoes of Honorable Representative Manny Pacquiao -- and this will be the hair-raising introduction Michael Buffer will proclaim to the world in his next fight.

The great comedian Dolphy retorted everytime somebody prodded him to run and enter politics: “Ayoko, baka manalo pa ako.” Pacquiao and his handlers in the untested political arena should have taken a leaf from that immortal, Dolphinian quotable philosophy.

***

All that is now water under the bridge with the Pacman’s serious intent to crack a taste of politics. In the post-fight interview, he called on everyone to respect his decision.

We do respect his call as well as his person, even as we are hard put to understand the sense of it all. But in the same breath we also hold on to the possibility that he may yet again change his mind and back-out from the congressional race at the last minute.

***

Pacquiao’s political opponents cheered and celebrated his win just like the rest of the country. That’s how powerful the Pacman fever infects that it transcends party lines. The Pacman mania even obscured another Pinoy boxer Bernabe Concepcion, who also won the undercard match of the “Blaze of Glory.”

Also, the same euphoria seemed to have erased the loss sustained by Brian Viloria, another promising Pinoy boxer.

Thus, if fate would have it that Pacman would win a seat in the Lower House, then he must advocate that Pinoy boxers must have government or private incentives, win or loss in internationally-sanctioned bouts -- especially so if the boxer is not so well-known, as in the case of Sisnorio who was practically on his own in a Thailand fight recently.

***

Another warm development over the weekend was the sure recovery of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo after a week of being confined in a life support system in the hospital. Reports said Doctors prevented FG to watch the fight on TV, understandably to forestall any excitement that may harm his newly-operated heart.

When President Arroyo praised Pacman’s “fighting faith”, that description can equally apply to all who prayed for fast recovery of her spouse, including the hard-core opposition and FG’s arch critics who wished him get well soon messages and stormed the Heavens with prayers.

Its now politics, boxing, and prayers that mix, but who will be blessed after May 14 is quite another story.

***

LOCAL FRONT: Flags at the capitol flew at half-mast this week in deference to the passing of Southern Leyte ’s great man, former Speaker Nicanor Yniguez, 92. His burial is scheduled on Sunday, April 22, after a requiem Mass 2:00 PM at the Maasin Cathedral. Our prayers for the eternal repose of his soul.

ODDLY YOURS: The great wall of China was built from about 221 BC to 206 BC, or a period of 15 years under the powerful Chinese ruler Qin Shi Huangdi. In all, some 1,920 kilometers of packed dirt and stone wall was constructed. This ancient wonder towers 8 to 12 meters high, about 8 meters thick at the base, and it was erected purposely to protect the empire against warring neighbors. A question at one moment arises: which is older, the roads that passed through many of the wall’s gates, or the wall itself. After much debate it was ascertained that major roads were already there before the wall was put up, implying that the road networks were older. But some still argue that while the wall was built, the ruler also opened new roads, making the construction of the wall and the roads go hand-in-hand or simultaneously. (PIA Southern Leyte) [top]

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