Boxing  > General Boxing  > When the Philippines Stood Still
December 9, 2008, 09:19 PM
WHEN THE PHILIPPINES STOOD STILL

It was a Sunday, around lunchtime, when the Philippines stood still. It was when Manny Pacquiao carried the weight of the entire nation on his shoulders and fought bravely with the legendary Oscar dela Hoya. The fight was declared a historic win for Manny Pacquiao, but few knew it was a historic day for the Philippines. No event in the history of the Philippines that made 80 million Filipinos shared a common vision, a common sense of pride, than during that fight of Manny Pacquiao with the highly favored Oscar dela Hoya. Not even the death of its martyrs, from Rizal to Bonifacio to Ninoy. It was a day when the skeptics became less skeptical, the optimists became more optimistic, the religious became more religious. It was also a day when the hungry felt less hungry, the poor felt less poor, and the rich became less pretentious, less self-absorbed, and almost happy. It was a day when taxi drivers became kinder and nicer, the police less brutal, and the congressmen less corrupt. It was a day when OFWs felt less lonely and employers felt less cruel. It was a day when the President became less concerned of her popularity rating. It was also the day when the vying candidates stopped contemplating on how to manipulate the 2010 elections. It was the day when the stock market was less volatile and inflation less painful. It was also the day when the budget deficit seemed to reach a halt. It was the day when economists felt less theoretical and priests felt less divine.

Bill Gates may have all the money in the world, but he could not unite a nation. Manny did. Barack Obama may have inspired the world, but Manny gave a shred of hope to a child so consumed with hopelessness. Oprah Winfrey may just turn out to be the most influential entertainer, but Manny Pacquiao made us believe in a kinder God.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Armed Forces of the Philippines virtually declared a ceasefire during that day. The Philippine National Police declared that crime rate plummeted to zero percent in urban centers in that same day and traffic was nonexistent. If this is the impact of someone who never had a degree, what kind of education are we getting?

The day when Oscar dela Hoya surrendered to Manny Pacquiao in a boxing match was also the day when Filipinos had won in their daily battles. Thanks to Manny Pacquiao for the few moments when we, Filipinos, breathed somehow a lit bit easier.

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