Manny Pacquiao: Our Hero, Ourselves

November 18, 2010

The husband, the dun, and I were strolling around the new shops at Santa Monica Place two weekends ago, and the new Nike store had four displays full of the sun of my parents' flag. Right in the entrance, on a platform closed off by ropes, was a mannequin wearing his robe, his shorts, and boxing boots with the Filipino flag. And the storefront was emblazoned with Manny Pacquiao, the largest cardboard cutout of a Filipino I had ever seen.

Did I ever think this day would come?

Listen, I'm not really a fan of boxing, so I won't pretend I know anything about his athleticism. What I know is that Pac-Man has a lot of titles in a lot of weight classes and has beat up a lot of people.

All of that is well and good, and I acknowledge I wouldn't even be talking about him today if not for those important facts, but I am far more interested in how Pacquiao has become a demigod amongst us Filipinos.

We all know who he is and we all watch his fights, whether or not we gave a crap about boxing before he came along. We're no doubt proud because he's a great fighter and he seems to be a genuinely good guy, and more than that, he's actually interested in serving the people of the Philippines. But we're also proud that to have kababayan on the world stage. One who is important and well-known for a pretty badass sport, at that.

He is written about like a mythical creature. Some respected sports writers are placing him among greatest fighters of all time. He's gotten other sports writers to care just a little bit about Filipino politics. President Obama opened for him on 60 Minutes. I've even heard his name mentioned in at least two rap songs in the past year or so ("Thank You" by Jay-Z and Fat Joe's "(Ha Ha) Slow Down").

And still, at the core, he seems to be one of us -- an adorably corny guy who loves to sing karaoke.


Theresa Celebran Jones


Theresa Celebran Jones was born and raised in Connecticut and has moved cross-country four times. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two young daughters. She works full-time as a technical writer and is an MFA dropout. Her only other hobbies are reading, taking pictures, scrapbooking, and listening to hip hop. Clearly she has no social life.



Pacman represents what most filipinos should aspire to be.  He is very generous and humble.  A lot of filipinos have crab mentality and only look out for themselves.  They expect their corrupt government to do everything for them and yet they have no discipline themselves..they're quick to throw out racial slurs against others but cry foul when it's thrown at them. 
Eight championships in 8 different classes. No one even comes close. The seven titles in 7 divisions is even currently held by Pacquiao himself. What a conqueror of the weight classes, an Emperor of Boxing! He's a living legend, a living all-time great.
Yeah! Karaoke time!