As I write this, it’s been a few hours after the loss of Manny Pacquiao to Floyd Mayweather. I’m outside in our porch where I do most of my writing. It’s quiet out. It seems a more serene Sunday than usual.
I try to picture what it would be like if Manny won. Would I hear cheering people? Would I be compelled to walk outside? Would there be a celebration? Maybe people offering shots of beer as I walked by? Maybe even fireworks?
I’ll never know.
Manny may have lost, but he has won the hearts of people all over the world, not just Filipinos. With his humble honest demeanor, he has inspired many to his side. Always calm and with a big smile on his face, it seemed like he knew what this moment was for him. To revel in the fact that he is one of the best at his craft, he was going against someone else who was equally as good as him. Mayweather was better today, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Manny won in his own way too.
I am by no means an expert at boxing. If there’s something a notch below a casual fan, that’s me. The only reason I watch any boxing is because Manny is in it. The strategy and the chess match between the two fighters are beyond my comprehension. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the fight. It sucks that we didn’t win, but it was great to feel a kinship with everyone in the Philippines. It’s rare to find yourself in a situation where millions of people are rallying behind one person. Even for just a few hours, I’m happy to be part of it.
How many people can unite a nation? It’s difficult not to love Manny’s story. From humble beginnings to fighting the very best in the world, Manny symbolized the dreams of a nation. Hopefully inspiring many of us that despite the dire circumstances of our nation, our home, our work or our life, we can claw our way out of it through good old fashioned hard work and perseverance. Manny did all that.
He’s not perfect. We definitely don’t agree with everything he does; this talk of him running for president is (I hope) nonsense and his player/coach PBA stint was ridiculous. But he has undoubtedly inspired millions of people all over the world. We are proud to be called Filipinos in lieu of Manny’s achievements.
The fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather showed plenty. Manny fought the good fight. He did not waver. Did not crumble. He lost the best way he knew how – swinging and swinging some more.
For a few hours today, Manny gave us the gift to forget the rest of our troubles and our responsibilities. He may not have won the fight, but we gave us an example to follow.
Today is quiet.