Mommy D’s magic
You’ve got to love Dionisia Pacquiao!
Reports have it that the Pacman’s mother—the PacMom herself—garnered as much attention in the social media as her son during the televised coverage of Manny Pacquiao’s domination of Timothy Bradley in their championship fight.
I didn’t get to see the video footage, but there were plenty of pictures showing Mommy D at ringside reacting with a bewildering array of gestures as her son and Bradley pounded at each other in the ring. Some tweeted that Mommy D was casting a “Hogwarts spell” at Bradley, as she pointed an angry finger at the ring while clutching a stampita and rosary in the other hand.
She was, in fact, she told an interviewer, directing prayers toward her son, while invoking the “power” of the Santo Niño to protect his “kuya” or older brother, referring to the persona of the Child Jesus.
After Manny’s victory, she proved a gracious ambassador, whispering to Bradley that she was “sorry” for the beating her son’s opponent had undergone, even if Bradley replied that there was “no prob.”
For this alone, I suggest we field the indomitable Mommy D as part of the Philippine delegation if and when we start negotiating with China over our disputed waters. At the very least, her prayers can’t hurt!
Apparently, mother and son have reconciled their religious differences. In his last fight, Mommy D was scathing in her denunciation of the “Born Again” ministers surrounding Manny whom she blamed for causing Heaven’s wrath to fall upon her son. Well, the ministers are still around Manny (even Freddie Roach had to beg them to stay away as they were dropping in on the Pacman at all hours, causing him to lose sleep). But so is Mommy D, armed with her Santo Niño stampita and rosary, oblivious apparently to the aversion that evangelicals hold toward such religious items.
Well, if the PacMom’s “batya’t palu-palo” spirituality works for her—and for Manny—who are we, fans and preachers alike, to deny her the comfort and solace of such a belief? And given her son’s triumph, who are we to rain on her parade, to doubt the blessings that single finger aimed at the ring was able to bestow?
During this Holy Week, let the spirit of tolerance and generosity reign in the Pacquiao camp, and among those who watch and follow them as well.
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STILL, I do think Pacquiao should likewise give serious consideration to his wife Jinkee’s plea that he make this bout his last.
Many fights ago, after he won his eighth title, I think, I wrote that Pacquiao had nothing left to prove and that he should retire from the ring while he was at the crest of his popularity and skill. But the Pacman went on to fight other opponents, suffering grievous defeats that seemed to take the wind out of him, and even more seriously, out of the Filipino people.
Now that he has won back the title that Bradley snatched from him, I hope Pacquiao listens to Jinkee this time. Jinkee, who is pregnant with their fifth child, asked plaintively of her husband how much more money he needed to make, and of what use money was to them if it meant her husband had to be away from his family for long stretches of time.
There is, of course the “ghost” of Floyd Mayweather Jr. hovering in the background. So far Mayweather has been all bluff and bluster even as he seemed to back away every time arrangements for a match with the Pacman came closer to reality. But Manny has not much more to prove, not even against the trash-talking Mayweather. Walk away, Manny, at least while the going is good.
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BUT the question is: Where is Pacman going?
He’s already in Congress representing Sarangani, and Jinkee is the province’s vice governor. There is talk of a run for the Senate, and so far Pacquiao has not discouraged the scuttlebutt. In truth, he could very well join the “august” body, even if it has been tarnished somewhat by the “three little pigs” of the pork barrel scandal. This is especially so since with elections just a little over a year away, Bradley’s drubbing would still be a fresh, pleasant and proud memory for Pinoy voters. Pacquiao could feast on the good feelings for many years to come.
Would the feelings last long enough, and remain powerful enough to sweep Pacquiao all the way to Malacañang? That is another story altogether. Filipino voters don’t seem to have any aversion to electing comedians and two-bit actors even to a national body like the Senate, but they seem to balk at the prospect of putting them in Malacañang. With the exception, of course, of Erap, even if by the time he made a run for the Palace, Erap was already vice president and had put his show biz past behind him.
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STILL, Pacquiao shouldn’t think the road to the presidency is paved with just warm feelings from his victories in the ring. So far, his record in Congress hasn’t exactly been stellar. And if I’m not mistaken, he has the worst attendance record of any member of the House.
If he is serious about his aspirations for the Senate and maybe, just maybe, Malacañang, he should hang up his gloves right now and buckle down to the nitty-gritty of legislative work. Or he could aspire for governor of Sarangani and get his hands dirty with the mess and muck of local politics. He just needs to prove himself outside the ring, and in the political arena into which he and Jinkee have already dived headlong.
Or, they could stay home and enjoy the billions that his boxing career has brought him, raising their growing family. There’s no shame in that.
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