May 3 was a day of surprises! Nope, modesty aside, it wasn't the way the bout between Manny and Ricky Hatton ended that is most surprising. Hey, even winning or losing wasn't the end-all for we knew our fighter will be giving his all, to the folly of death even, not for himself but for us. You know what they say about icing on the cake ...
I've been a Twitter user for quite some time now after being introduced to it by office colleagues. I never thought much about it before but somehow it grew on me and even if it was mostly 'noise' from my end (day in a life stuff), I eventually started to contribute to 'signals' by doing my share of spreading valuable information as a means of acknowledging the info I receive from people I follow as well.
But yesterday was a revelation! For a few hours, Twitter became 'the' channel by which Filipinos everywhere were able to express how proud they are being Filipino - which is a really big statement for a nation more famous for less-admirable descriptions such as servants and mail-order brides (I could argue that there's nothing wrong with it except for the irony of leaving own kids to care for those left behind by their own - but that is another story best left for another time).
It doesn't make sense at all to find a nation of 92 million + people entranced whenever Manny 'PacMan' Pacquiao enters the ring. Nope, it doesn't. Not while there are so many Filipino unknowns fighting against corruption, injustice and crime as well as grinding poverty daily in this island nation. Or the many talented Filipinos who have contributed to science and the arts. Yet, more than anything, it must be indicative of the belief that we, with so many imperfections as a group, find that indeed, we value heart more than refined intellects. (Again, just look around - in hospitals, cruise ships and the kitchen in the White House, even. We're a people synonymous with service, or servants for the condescending.)
We've often laid our lives for others and pending catastrophe, I believe Filipinos will remain to do so. It doesn't mean that it's all because we think low of ourselves but maybe, we have really taken that guy Jesus' Gospel of Truth, hook, line and sinker. And Manny is proof with that. As he often interjects, when lavished with praise for his skills, 'glory belongs to God'!
Yet, maybe once in rare while, we're permitted to take time out from woe, high-fallutin intellectual upmanship & material impropriety to just celebrate what a simple man, of extra-ordinary skills and heart has accomplished.
Thank you, Manny!