Savagery, civilization, decay; Obesa cantavi


THE police should stop crowing about how Manny Pacquiao makes us crime-free when he fights. Some naughty types may unkindly suggest that it is cuz the cops are all watching, not sinning.

On March 10, 1978, when I was editing the Malayang Pilipinas during that LABAN poll period, Ronnie Nathanielzs made Ninoy Aquino shine on TV. He was assisted by Pocholo Romualdez, Manny Salak and Teddy Owen. I know that Metro Manila stood still and perhaps so did the rest of the nation. We should forever be grateful to Ronnie for not repressing the irrepressible SuperBoy. Not that it was possible.

When Ninoy and I met for the first and only time in October 1982 in Boston, Cambridge and Newton, he spoke for 9 hours and 45 minutes. I spoke for 15 minutes, from time to time, just to remind him I was not part of the furniture. He was that charming, riveting, edifying, magnetic and charismatic as a conversationalist.

When Ronnie claims Manny won, I am reminded that mothers should not umpire their son’s softball game. We may think we are thinking when we merely rearrange our prejudices. William James.

Evander Holyfield, whose ear was once chewed by Mike Tyson in that June 28, 1997 Bite Fight, said Manny had beaten Floyd Mayweather, contrary to the unanimous official ruling. I guess pag nilaplap ang tenga mo ni Mike, ganyan po yata ang maaring epekto. But, Holyfield is Kano, and therefore arguably more credible than Ronnie N, et al. Pinoys would sound like mothers umpiring their sons in Little League baseball. But, not all (e.g., Recah Trinidad).

I could not judge a fight I had studiously avoided but prayed that neither boxer would get killed or maimed in the unChristian Manly Art of Modified Murder. I long ago refrained from watching the deadly activity. Some weeks ago, a Pinoy pug, John Vincent Ceralde, killed a boxing foe in Australia, law senior Braydon Smith. There are kinder ways of dispatching men of the law to the Promised Land.

Now Manny says he had a hurt shoulder. Huh? Sounds disingenuous. Has he shot himself in the foot? He should not have fought then and should have asked for a resetting. Poor Floyd, if defeated by a multi-tasking walking wounded, a Cong, PBA playing coach, preacher, commercial endorser, TV host, concert singer, Mary Jane Veloso supporter – her plight would affect one’s focus – who Manny said he would visit this week. Sana naman. Focused Floyd said he also had injuries. Manny said: “I’m a smart fighter, I outboxed him.” Floyd said: “I’m just the smarter fighter,” who outfoxed Manny.

If there would be a rematch, Manny should be asked to try to have it held here, for another Ali-Frazier classic, and finally Manny would work for the BIR and benefit our people, not the IRS which does not need the dough as badly. I am not aware of any law exempting title fights here from taxes.

Gracefully, Manny early on said Floyd “won.” PDI, May 4, 2015, p. A29, col. 1, p. A30, col. 4. Way to go. But, he now sings conspiracy to dump him. Huh? Sounds disingenuous. Face the music, Manny.

Again, it is only Bulletin columnist Mon Abrea I see reminding us that Manny “will now have to face his P3.9 billion alleged tax liability . . .”, Manila Bulletin, May 4, 2015, p. C4, col. 3, making him our champion tax evader, if true, by a long shot. (Bobby Ongpin and Rene Corona are also in the Top Ten.)

Yup, if Manny must continue to fight, let him invite Floyd to Manila, so BIR chief Kim Henares can earn for our people. Why should the US IRS have all the fun and fund?

Claire Danes, in Las Vegas, should come and see the INC Philippine Arena or MOA. In the past, she was harshly critical of Manila as full of roaches, etc. She probably rooted for Floyd against the Pinoy cucaracha, a song linked to the Mexican revolution. “La Cucaracha, la cucaracha, ya no puede caminar.” Pero Manny puede caminar. Yup, he can move around, bad shoulder and all – to Jakarta for Mary Jane, as he vowed, and then the House at the Batasan, where he chairs a panel on overseas workers.

Yes, embarrassingly, Manny reportedly now asserts belatedly that there was a plot to defeat him. Huh? Then, he must be a principal plotter. Fighting despite an injury so as not to delay pay day by a year? A jurassic rematch between two ageing ancients is not to look forward to.

Manny has been sued by two ticket buyers. No telling what a runaway jury would do. Can he charm jurors in that his camp did not commit Syndicated Estafa in a plot not to disclose to officials and the public the ailment – to get $100M immediately?

Knowing when to leave is as important as knowing when to arrive. The time has come to heed his mother, quit boxing. Aling Dionesia hit Floyd’s running, hugging but winning style. But she’s the mother. She can say anything. Free pass. But, as Joe Louis said in June 1946 of Billy Conn, “he can run but he can’t hide.” Small ring.

As for Nathanielzs, all I can say is thanks Ronnie, for interviewing Ninoy on March 10, 1978, in Face the Nation, when the whole nation stood still to watch. I did watch intently. Which I never do now as part of a hooting throng in the Roman Colosseum, watching gladiators chanting and telling the Emperor – “Ave Imperatur, morituri te salutem! We who are about to die, salute you!”?

Any “sport” whose intent is to hurt a fellow human being is not legit to this Failed Trying-Hard Christian. So during the fight I studiously avoided, my wish and prayer was for neither to get killed or seriously hurt. Boxing was outlawed when the Kanos first came under Act No. 557. It is now allowed. The cycle is supposed to be savagery, civilization and decay.

Manny, grow up. Obesa cantavi. The Fat Lady has sung. Have you complied with Sec. 7 of R.A. No. 3019 requiring you to have filed last month a statement of the amounts and sources of income, amount of personal and family expenses and the amount of income taxes paid for 2014? Speaking of the alleged Top Ten Tax Evaders, it is widely reported that the new PCGG head is “a bar topnotcher.” When? No need to embellish Andy Bautista’s sterling many-splendored credentials. I hear nothing about his being Kamandag with the ladies. No need to wink at me, Andy.

I told him what Uncle Jovy Salonga once told me, that crooks among the underlings in the PCGG made people wonder whether it meant Puro Chicks Gabi-Gabi.

Good luck Andy! Ateneo Law valedictorian ‘90 and Harvard Law alum,’93. Not to worry about your supposed psycho test. I lost my own sanity long, long ago.

Reasonable men adjust themselves to the world. The unreasonable adjust the world to themselves. Therefore, per Shaw, all progress depends on unreasonable people.


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  1. Justaskingseriously on

    “Ave, Imperatur, morituri te salutem!” Quit adjusting Latin to your world already. Only old dogs cannot learn new tricks. Can dogs be reasonable? You seem to take pride in being one of the unreasonables. As much as you shun the pugilistic art, you certainly are quick to join the ranks of boxing artists by openly admitting having lost your sanity — not unlike Manny shooting himself on the foot by admitting “something wrong with my right shoulder” while the whole world was watching and listening. Exhibitionism in deed and in word. “Out out, brief candle! …A poor player frets and struts his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing.” William Shakespeare does not need the credit. Some egos are simply too big to share.