Thursday, November 19, 2009

What Manny Pacquiao is to the Filipinos

DAYS AFTER THE People’s Champ Manny Pacquiao humbled Miguel Cotto in their encounter last November 15, 2009, the Philippines are still talking about the victory—how greatness the Pacman has become in ruling the 7th of world titles from different weight classes: from a midget flyweight to a fast hitting welterweight.

Truly he’s demonstrated the definition of greatness in boxing. He’s now being considered one of the elite fighters of all time, alongside Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Marvin Hagler.

Pacquiao chased the bigger guy in the late rounds while Cotto sprang backwards trying his best to elude the relentless battering. It was in the 12th round when referee Kenny Bayless decided to end the suffering of Cotto and declared Manny winner by TKO at 55 seconds left in the round.

That day was obviously a day of celebration for every Filipino-blooded human being. The mania felt by many was no different from the previous triumphs of Manny whenever he put his grand act on a theater called the boxing ring.

The entire Philippine archipelago sat silently and eyes glued to their TV sets. Movie houses became a portal for a ringside experience. Crimes went down to zero as expected. Even the anti-government forces rest their arms to watch Manny Pacquiao win.

From poor to the elite class, people from all walks of life talked and continue to speak about his victory, his rewards and his private life. Even his mother, Dionisia Pacquiao, and family came under the eyes of the observing public.

So what are they usually talking about Manny Pacquiao?

His millions of dollars share from ticket sales and pay-per-views. His loads of income from all sorts of advertisements: TV, radio, print and internet.

We usually see him make a comic act to sell to us milk, vinegar, shampoo, clothes, deodorant, food, drinks, alcohol, and many more. We get entertained and oftentimes encouraged to buy, while he gets richer and richer.

His concerts, song albums, his political inclinations, even showbiz—his rise to fame form part of the discussions a lot of people come into.

What most people often miss talking about is how Manny Pacquiao became the Pacman that he is today. He didn’t become a boxing champion overnight. For if he did, there would be millions of people like him. Would it still be exciting to watch millions of other ‘Manny Pacquiao’ clones fight everyday and getting the same results? I don’t think so!

Manny Pacquiao sweated blood and tears to reach his goals. I’m sure a lot of us know already his story, but let me restate some important events in his life. He was once a young boy of a bakery selling bread, like an ordinary Filipino. The streets he grew up were his first battleground where he began fighting for small money. And without his mother’s permission, he set off to Manila to push his plan of making it big in boxing. He took ACTION despite no guarantee of success, and pursued his plan and dreams without reservations.

In Manila, he worked odd jobs – which include a janitor, a construction worker – doing this while training in the gym. His efforts began to pay-off winning 11 straight matches until he received his first major failure – a boxer named Rustico Torrecampo floored Pacquiao and brought him his first loss. A person’s reaction - with a weak heart - would be to quit at the sight of a failure. But Pacquiao’s dream is bigger than his failure, so he shrugged off his failures, learned from them, trained harder every day, focused himself to his plans and eventually achieved his dreams.


He took ACTION despite no guarantee of success, and pursued his plan and dreams without reservations.


For some, Manny Pacquiao is fuel for inspiration. He personified an ordinary person’s journey to making it big and successful by BELIEVING his dreams and DOING everything he can – despite the failures he met along the way – to ACHIEVE his success.

The good news is, and I believe that, he is still the same ordinary man that he was – with a strong mindset and will.

I’m pretty sure not everyone has the skill and powerful left and right hands Pacquiao possesses Not everyone can do boxing – I myself wouldn’t subject my body to painful punching. But we have our own battles in life. And we can fight these battles and be successful with it as long as we DECLARE we can win it, PLAN it and EXECUTE it.

His many victories are reminders to everyone that the willingness to act on your goals and doing it will take you there. The question is, are you winning your own battles in life? Or you’ll just be one of the many who talks endlessly about his successes and remain wishing ‘I want to be like Manny’?

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