Here’s to Manny (and Mary)

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ROMY P. MARIÑAS

ROMY P. MARIÑAS

Music video. Lalaban Ako. Check.

Film bio. Kid Kulafu. Check.

Lesser goal. Winning against Mayweather Jr. Check.

Urgent concern. Helping save the life of Mary Jane Veloso. Check.


A heady mix of kitschy entertainment, contemplative reminiscence, driving ambition and Christian concern (even if this seemed not to be in the planned original brew), the run-up to the “Fight of the Century” between Manny and Floyd, that is.

In giving a few minutes on Monday to appeal to Indonesian President Joko Widodo to spare compatriot Veloso from the firing squad, Pacquiao must have endeared himself many times over to Filipinos and, perhaps, foreigners as well, for his brief public display of compassion.

PacMan’s goodwill gesture, which came on the eve of the supposed execution of the convicted Filipina drug smuggler, showed him rising to the occasion when others of lesser light apparently preferring to just keep their mouths shut so as not to jeopardize whatever career they may be having.

It showed, too, that the Filipino icon would not play coy and would rather chuck false modesty by taking on no less than the leader of the world’s largest Muslim country on such touchy political subject that had politicians from Australia to France scrambling to save the lives of their fellow citizens who also are facing death in Indonesia on drug charges.

Manny has come to know his place, not only in the pantheon of boxing greats but also in the hall of future (world?) leaders, much like Angelina Jolie knows hers beyond Hollywood glamor and glitz and Brad Pitt.

If you have the power to help move the world, why not do it? Good for you, Manny and Angie.

The skeptics would say Pacquiao did plead in behalf of Mary Jane only because he is so high up there that anything he says is perceived as gospel truth and that it would not hurt him a bit personally or professionally even if he said the wrong things.

They could never be more correct.

Even if PacMan loses to Floyd and even if Mary Jane loses her own fight, the record would show that a once nobody from GenSan took the cudgels for her.

Not that the Philippine government did nothing but it just took the mother of the condemned Filipina to make a direct appeal to Pacquiao to appeal in turn to President Widodo to have mercy on Mary Jane.

Manny arguably stealing the spotlight from similarly well-intentioned government figures must have stirred talks of the world eight-division title-holder running for higher office in 2016 or even the highest post in the land in 2022.

Boxing’s loss will be the Filipinos’ gain (?)

Music video. Lalaban Ako (Ulit). Check.

Film bio. Iginuhit ng Tadhana. Check.

Lesser goal. Rematch with Floyd. Check.

Urgent concern. Helping save the Mary Janes of this world. Check (but this may be much more challenging than beating Money).

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