IT is virtually criminal of possibly a few Filipinos to not join the jingoistic celebration of Manny Pacquiao’s victory this week over the American boxer Chris Algieri.
For them to do so risks lynching by the madding crowd of hangers-on, opportunists, politicians and other ill-meaning characters who just want to bask in the glory of yet another triumph by the PacMan and still take pride in not knowing the difference between a knockout and a knockdown.
Of course these supposedly proud Pinoys are only living vicariously through Pacquiao, with them having nothing to crow about their personal achievements, if any at all, and much less about what they have done for the motherland.
They also conspire in deadening what is more important in the life and times of the nation, with the Filipino icon’s win coinciding with the fifth anniversary of the still unresolved Maguindanao Massacre of 52 Filipinos, 32 of them journalists.
A few days before the big bout in Macau, a young mother and her 10-year-old son were beaten to death in Pampanga, her other son–just 10 months old–miraculously surviving the violent rampage of the killer.
But, drum roll, please, after Pacquiao delivered another one for a country lacking in heroes, the Philippine National Police (PNP) shamelessly reported that crime was down across the Philippines because criminals and others who are not were very busy watching Manny beat the hell out of Algieri.
So, the suggestion is for the PacMan to fight more often so that the PNP will have nothing else to do?
The politicians? They just have to say something nice, inane but mostly self-serving paeans to the poor boy from General Santos City who made good–not only for himself and his family but also for 100 million of us–in order for voters to remember them in the 2016 elections.
Why, Manny should charge them a hefty fee for taking advantage of his popularity for a song!
Well, these politicians are tightwads, actually, not wanting to spend a centavo if they will not reap political dividends from it.
But Pacquiao is also a politician, a congressman representing Sarangani province, but unlike his colleagues in the House of Representatives, he worked and has been working for his money, with his health and well-being (okay, even his life) on the line each time he climbs up the ring.
Many, if not most of us, are using Pacquiao various agendas.
Malacanang points to him as a role model (as if he has not been one in more than a decade).
Hello, its occupants must be living under a rock all these years.
Political parties are salivating, ready to offer him the moon if he joins them in their quest for power.
Detractors have run out of vitriol to throw at him.
Real admirers have also run out of kind words for the man.
The fact that everybody loves a winner will test the faith in Pacquiao of legions of Filipinos and Hollywood types.
What if he loses to Floyd Mayweather Jr.?
The hangers-on, opportunists and politicians will desert him but ordinary Filipinos will still embrace him because this international icon/celebrity/newsmaker, like them, once slept at Luneta, as have many of them presumably and, probably, still do.
Leave Manny alone and find other opiates to make you forget that this country stinks without the PacMan.