Breaking the Convention Part IX: The Filipino Pride

Let’s admit it- Manny Pacquiao is not the brightest amongst a handful of well-known personalities in society, and I think this is a known fact. To expect that Pacquiao would make the best decisions in life is such unfair for a man who was not blessed to have been educated at a young age. To add to that, it does not help that many try to manipulate him for their own personal gain.

This is the final installment in a series of nine articles that will awaken the consciousness of the Filipino Youth when it comes to what the older generation had been doing in our society for many years now. This is not an ordinary article that simply aims to provide information, but this is an avenue by which we try provoke new thoughts and ideas in order to re-energize the youth’s wanting to change our country.

After eight articles of talking or writing in the native vernacular, I’ve decided to forego with such use of Filipino because this article may hurt our countrymen more if it were said or written in Filipino rather than in English.

It is of everyone’s knowledge that Philippine Sports suffered a major setback this weekend as our “Pambansang Kamao” Manny Pacquiao was knocked out in the 6th round of his 4th encounter with Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez, his first real defeat after going on an almost 7 years winning streak and dismantling of former World Champions and worthy protagonists (this includes a generally accepted win against Tim Bradley though he lost in the scorecard of the three judges). It was such a shock to see Pacman go down that bad, considering the kind of punishment he himself has inflicted to his previous opponents.

An entire nation felt the agonizing effect of the Pacman defeat, obviously seen in the faces of many after having watched the live pay-per-view and even the replays on our local UHF channels. It didn’t feel any better that everyone saw how Jinkee Pacquiao, his wife, reacted to the sudden downfall of our People’s Champ.

There have been many speculations as to why Pacquiao lost this encounter with Marquez and why he has been said to have been on a constant decline in the last few years,  mostly attributed by to his various involvements in many fields.

This article does not wish to add to the already many speculations, but to remind everyone, especially our youth, about having the burden of being called “The Nation’s Pride” and “The People’s Champ.”

Manny Pacquiao started at an early age, and may I tell you that his teenage years have been well spent like a normal poor boy from the provinces, where he was forced to box at such a young age just for his family to get by. Pacquiao didn’t have the luxury of quality education, and while he has taken moves lately in his life to study, nothing beats studying during your natural formative years.

Let’s admit it- Manny Pacquiao is not the brightest amongst a handful of well-known personalities in society, and I think this is a known fact. To expect that Pacquiao would make the best decisions in life is such unfair for a man who was not blessed to have been educated at a young age. To add to that, it does not help that many try to manipulate him for their own personal gain.

He was thrusted into the spotlight because of his boxing prowess, and despite that, he has stayed meek and humble, which has endeared him to many people. Despite that, many have repaid him with ridicule and destructive criticism.

Contrary to what many people may think or perceive, I don’t think Congress was a choice of his own volition. He was made to believe that Congress is the best way to help people, his ulterior motive in wanting to be in political power. There were many “so-called” advisers who took it upon themselves to pollute his mind into running for an electoral post.

Let me just clarify this point- Calling Pacquiao the “Nation’s Pride” and treating him like if he were a “saint” are two different things, people. He is the Philippines’ biggest sporting draw but he will never be a “San Pedro Calungsod” or anybody close to that.

Manny Pacquiao had recently reformed his ways, has turned back from gambling, womanizing and many other ill acts. To blame his change of religion to his recent defeat is unfair and unjust. Would we rather praise him in his winning while he cheats publicly on his wife or would we rather see him lose at a time when has turned his back on his former evil ways? It seems that the people want the best of both worlds for Manny Pacquiao- to be victorious and to be immaculate as a person. This is as an expectation that is unfair and unjust as well to a man we call as our “Nation’s Pride” and not a “Filipino Saint.”

It is so convenient to point out the mistakes Pacquiao made outside of the ring that may have contributed to his loss to Juan Manuel Marquez. However, this does not give us the license to risk his life further just because we want him to restore that “Filipino Pride” that many claim to have been lost following his defeat to his Mexican rival. Pacquiao is at the crossroads of his career, and soon he will fade from the everyday national consciousness. If something happens more terrible to him than what happened to him lately, are we going to hold ourselves accountable for his loss to his family and relatives? Can we be a physical father to his growing children?

And while we languish in his defeat, how many of us Filipinos suffered this much at the same time many of our countrymen in Mindanao died because of typhoon Pablo?

The true Filipino Pride I know just doesn’t bask in the glory of victory, but rises up and extends its generosity during moments of trial and tribulation.

Filipinos are known to be helpful and compassionate to others, and this is our true national pride.

What matters more to us should be the present, and not the past. Pacquiao already lost, but there are hundreds and thousands of Filipinos in Mindanao that are still wanting of help and assistance. This is where we can show our tremendous amount of Filipino Pride, and not our concept of Filipino bitterness.

Let us not yield away from this true pride that we have and that we are truly known for, and resort to turning to personalities that we burden with so much.

Our true national pride is ourselves, and that includes our very own Manny Pacquiao.

Let us stay true to this nature and persevere to be better- to be our own Filipino Pride that we can all be proud of.

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About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
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