Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao

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Paquiao makes me proud to be a Filipino

We’re in the papers almost daily as well as in Yahoo News since the proclamation of our new president. As said in my previous write up, let’s give the man a chance. He’s not been in the post a year and he obviously knows a lot more than we do anyway. A fighter, a man who knows what he wants and will move heaven and earth to make that happen.  I think he’s doing his best the way he knows how for his countrymen.  But I digress. Let me move back to the distinctive person I referred to in my first sentence.

Manny Pacquiao, like the President has also been in the news, but write-ups about him are more positive. His life story is an inspiration and the man is awesome. He may have his faults but these are outshone by what he does for his constituency and the public in general. True, he may also have been neglectful of his duties as a congressman – being one of those who have been more absent than present during sessions. He may have prioritized his boxing bouts and basketball coaching then but what he earned from those activities, he shared it with his constituency as a congressman. His salary from the government wasn’t enough to see to the needs of the locality he represented. He gave bonuses to the players of his basketball team – giving them rewards when they performed well… but obviously, a newly formed basketball team wouldn’t really make it big in the professional basketball league yet.

What really is so likeable about this guy is he doesn’t just get into something without doing what he needed to do first. Some years ago, he studied English so that he would be great at doing interviews during his boxing bouts. He also finished high school via an alternative learning program. Next, he continuously improved his craft as a boxer which was how he scaled up the ranks. Mind you though, he wasn’t always a winner. He was also defeated but he never gave up. And all through his fights and wins, he never did become an airhead.

When he became a congressman, he did his homework by learning the craft of good government, learning about the law and surrounded himself with mentors so that he would not only have an idea but would know and do the actual work of a congressman. And by this time he was being awarded Honoris Causa by universities. Beat that!

Now that he is a senator, he continues to learn – about the law, about good governance, rights and all there is to know about being a senator. He’s still in that stage though. So far when listening to his privilege speech, the man’s got substance. Here’s hoping his perspective wouldn’t become jaded.

Going back to his life story, his is one that tells of how to better one’s situation in life, a case of living out the axiom, “if there’s a will, there’s a way.” His is the example of we may not like how our life is right now but we can always turn it into something better for us if we just persevere and endure while not losing hope and faith. Most of all, his life is the best example of getting up even if he got beaten; keeping that self worth intact no matter how hurtful the words other people threw at him.

And all these is because Manny Pacquiao has a mom who raised him the best way she could – she raised him to become the decent, religious, family-oriented, and focused man that he is. Truly a role model and somebody I’m proud of to be a fellow Filipino.

Words to live by

Way back when I earned my first salary in my first job, I was so proud of myself and wanted to give all of my “hard earned money” to my mom.  I actually did that but my mom, instead of taking it said to me, “Keep it.  It isn’t even enough to buy yourself nice clothes to wear at work.  That was true.  I did not know yet how to budget my money then and so, a week after receiving my salary, there I was asking my mom if she could “lend” me some money for my fare to work.  That was my mom.  Her words actually taught me what I could do with my hard earned money.  Two options were opened to me then — I saved part of it, the rest I apportioned for my “needs”.

My second to the eldest sister was my idol.  When I was in the grades and our teacher would ask us to write about who/what we wanted to be when we grow up, I consistently wrote about this particular sister (I have three of them) as I actually wanted to be like her in every way — how easy for her to be friends with others, her fashion style, her confidence.  However, I did not end up becoming like her.  It was okay because she eventually became my number one fan.   According to her friends she talked non-stop about me being a college professor.

I married young and did not get the chance to know my husband and his family that well.  I only felt “not wanted” by his family.  After three years of living together and two children, even my husband no longer “wanted me”.  I was literally thrown out and a few months after that we found ourselves in court battling for child custody.  Not having a mom anymore to run to for help, I turned to my dad who consoled me and said to me, “One day you will get reconciled with your children.  Meanwhile, enrich yourself so that when that time comes they will find you a success instead of the failure that your husband and his family wanted you to be.”

Still another sister, the eldest in our family also gave me not words this time, but actions to live by.  We did not not really say much to each other probably because there is an 11-year gap in our ages.  She showed me how when one gets married, to put family first before everything else.  She was also the epitome, for me, of forbearance.  She had that inner strength of steel against all the odds that she endured throughout her life.  I only got to know if ever odds were against her through her children.

These four members of my family have passed away, my eldest sister being just six days ago.  What I wrote here are those which had the most lasting effect on me, on my life in general and I have been living by their words and examples as much as I can.  I hope I can also be as effective in spreading their words of wisdom and being an example like them to others as well, in my lifetime.