The Philippines’ People’s Champ, Pambansang Kamao, Manny Pacquiao, embodies a true sportsman. This is my experience and thoughts about Manny Pacquiao’s loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last December 8, 2012.
There are a lot of other names that Manny Pacquiao goes by. Having such a good career, it can rightfully be referred to as even legendary in the realm of Boxing. He is known worldwide as a great boxer, for his aggressive style and quick fists packed with fury. He easily and usually gets his opponents feeling the pain early on that throwing in the towel would even be a good option even before the fight starts.
Being a native of the Philippines, he has many hopes and pride riding on his shoulders whenever he goes to a fight. He is even greeted with a Grand Parade upon returning to the Philippines after a fight. He is well loved and respected not only locally but even abroad; he is also a congressman back in his home town.
Whenever he has a fight, many Filipinos would place bets and gather around the table to watch him fight, cheering. It’s almost like a tradition to gather and watch his fights while drinking beer or eating barbecue. There have even been brawls because of a Pacquiao fight’s outcome.
I took a long trip going to Carmen in Pangasinan to a rendezvous with some comrades to watch his 4th fight against Marquez. It was a good location, the bar was owned by the family of one of our comrades and there were a lot of people watching on the big TV just outside the bar.
We were eagerly waiting for the fight to begin; some of us were already sparring before the bout began. I was enjoying a nice cup of milk to calm myself among such excited people. The air was fresh and the rural setting was very peaceful, well, it was until his fight was on. People were cheering wildly from in and outside the bar, the TV was set on the maximum volume and it was like being in a noisy Movie house. We painstakingly watched through long commercials as we enjoyed and cheered on for the Pambansang Kamao.
Then came the end of the sixth round. One of my comrades was raising his hand high up in the air, yelling and slamming at the table, they were either over-reacting, or filled with too much excitement since he had placed bets on Pacquiao before the fight started. The atmosphere was filled with loud cheering.
Pacquiao was charging at Marquez until Pacquaio was knocked out cold by what seemed to be the perfect counter punch by Marquez, and there was total silence. At first we thought it was nothing or that he’d just walk it off. We turned to a low, and slowly progressing cheering tone but Pacquiao fell straight down onto the floor, and stayed down for the count. We were in awe and shocked. We were stunned throughout the duration of the count.
A heavy feeling of dismay fell upon us as we looked on in horror. The whole place seemed so silent; only the sound of cars on the road could be heard for quite some time. One of my comrades was picking his nose and seemingly forgot his finger was in his nostrils as he looked on in horror.
Then Marquez was declared the winner. Our crazy comrade took up the plate of sisig we ordered and slammed it on the table. He took the barbecue sticks and went crazy on the pancit while we were still in shock, unmindful of his actions. It felt like nothing was happening around us.
For a while, it felt like the world stopped. Luckily we realized someone was going berserk and decided to leave before any of us got hurt. Our videoke session for the evening was cancelled and many of us left with heavy feelings of shock and disbelief.
It was something we thought was impossible. I had wobbly legs and a feeling of sleepiness for some time. But then I realized, hey, sometimes you win, and when you don’t you should remember that you don’t always lose either right?
We supported Pacquiao when he’d come home a winner, we won’t look at him as a loser just because he fell this time. It takes a lot of guts to step in the ring in a fight that could be the very last or even the end of one’s life.
We still salute and admire the People’s Champ – that hasn’t changed. Win or lose we’d still be cheering for our Pambansang Kamao, Manny Pacman Pacquiao!