Archive for Pacquiao

Cloak Of Shame

Posted in Current Affairs, Politics, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2010 by hangingbridge

Even Ms.Universe Fourth Runner-Up Venus Raj’s triumph or Charice Pempengco’s role in Glee or Pacquiao’s world title will not be able to redeem the country’s honor from what former police officer Rolando Mendoza has done to tourists visiting our country and from what our incompetent government officials has failed to do on that ill-fated 23rd day of August, 2010.

The dust of the hostage aftermath has not yet completely settled down but the bits and pieces of facts are beginning to paint a clearer picture of what transpired that day. It was all premeditated by Mendoza.

The now infamous Mendoza travelled early morning that day from Tanauan, Batangas to Manila which was around 3 hours ride. Carrying with him were weapons, blank placards and pen. The drama started 9 ‘o’ clock in the morning when the hostage-taker boarded his pre-selected ride to Libingan ng mga Bayani (but opted to hold his mission in Quirino Grandstand). He chose a tourist bus to take him where he intended to go. And as the world now knows, the tragedy ended nine lives, including that of Mendoza’s and probably also ended Filipinos’ relations with Hong Kong nationals.

The underdog has no good excuse for what he has done especially now that everyone knows it was all in his plan. Mendoza has been alluded to be someone who was honourable to his work and has been a victim of injustice in our social system when he was mistakenly charged for something that he claims he has nothing to do with. As Filipinos try to analyze what has led this upstanding citizen to commit drastic measures to gain back his lost compensation, I am still not convinced that he was that good of a citizen, much more a former man of law.

Some of those directly involved in the hostage-taking states that Mendoza was asking around a million Pesos to finally compensate his lost pension. Was it all about money? Was it his aspiration all along? I’m quite certain it wasn’t to clear up his name because to take a number of lives hostage wouldn’t do him any good on that aspect.

How many times have people, not only Filipinos, taken lives in their own hands just for money? Countless of times. In this country alone, crime rates are mostly because of financial reasons to be able to provide the needs that most of our fellowmen lacks – even the basic ones. My problem with Mendoza was that he had caused all this tragedy because of pride and probably, money. It was not because he was already dying of hunger.

If he wanted to get a message across, he could have surrendered and not taken any life at all. After surrendering, media will do its job to peel everything on its way to get to the core of things – a review of his misjudged case. I think he already sensed it when he saw the crowd and media coverage he was getting. He already knew he got our full attention. He was being interviewed until almost at the end of his shift as a hostage-taker.

Why did he chosoe a group of tourist to vent out his anger over the government? The tourists can do nothing about his problems. They probably didn’t understand even when he explained himself to them. The twenty-five passengers of that bus was looking forward to a relaxing day travelling all over Manila. It was very unfortunate for them that they were chosen to sacrifice their lives for something they don’t understand. It has been an unspoken rule throughout the world that tourists are not to be harmed in the country they are visiting. In return, they are not supposed cause mischief in the country they are visiting.

When real tourists take interest to visit the Philippines, it is a big deal. For the past decades, “tourists” are mostly military men, men who condone prostitution in the country, foreigners who have business interest in the country, international social workers and so on. It is only recently when people come here to enjoy themselves with what the country has to offer without the need to damage our self-respect.

I am personally fond of visiting Hong Kong and has been there thrice or four times now. I have enjoyed all of those trips even if the bus tours they offer go to almost the same places each time. Even if Filipinos work there as housemaids or equally undignified (for some), it is rare that citizens of Hong Kong will treat tourists badly.

After the tragedy in the Hong Thai Travel bus transpired, I’m in no disposition to travel anywhere in Asia. There is both shame and fear that once they knew I was Filipino, they would probably give me a hard time. How can a Filipino go around Hong Kong or China when we have clearly done harm in a number of their citizens? We can all sense their loathing over Filipinos after what happened. Hopefully, they would come to know that we, ourselves, are embarrassed by what happened. And even if the people directly involved in the hostage-taking last August 23, 2010 are trying not to own up to their mistakes, the nation feels truly sorry for what has happened.


Pacquiao KOs Cotto

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2009 by hangingbridge

The Top Rank boxing game happened today November 15, 2009 (and November 14, 2009 in the States).  This is the first time I was going to watch a Pacquiao fight after all these years he was building his reputation.  But now that he was making history, I’m not going to let it pass.  Besides, we’d like to make most of my grandfather’s visit here in Manila to be the best quality time he could get out of us.  Every weekend, there should be an activity for Tatay (grampa).

Araneta Coliseum at 9am

The time indicated in our tickets was 8am and a few minutes after 8am.  We were wrong to think that we are just a few minutes late because we were almost 4 hours early for the Pacquiao game.  We knew we were too early when the MGM Garden Stadium was almost empty while Filipino boxer Evan S. won an undercard fight.

After an hour finishing of our Taco Bell nachos per Tatay’s request to have something to munch on, the three supporting fights were about to start.  I was computing the minutes or hours left for us to wait before the actual fight.  Since there were 3 minutes in every round x 12/10 rounds x 3 fights, we have to endure another 2 hours before the main event.

First fight was between Gomez and Korass.  There was an accidental bump on the head between the two which produced a gushing open wound on the lateral aspect of the right eyelid of Gomez, hence, he was looking like he just came from a murder spree with his face bloody and all.  The wound was just a one cm longitudinal laceration (from Korass spiky hair, probably) but it was producing a lot of blood.  Too bad, he was already doing very well in the first 2 or 3 rounds.  And in the next three rounds, his vision was slightly hindered by the bloody wound.  And the fight was getting messier literally.  Gloves of Korass was probably bloody as well every time he hits Gomez on the right side of the face.

Orange-Black Korass hit below Gomez’s yellow-black belt twice, I think, during the 6-round fight.  Gomez won the fight by technical occasion.

Foreman KOs Santos

And now, there’s Yuri Foreman from Israel and Daniel Santos from Puerto Rico.  I was rooting for Santos since I preferred his skin color.  Excuse my reason.  It’s just because I have this thinking about bronze-skinned people that they are the tougher ones.  But I proved that theory wrong after the 12 rounds of Foreman running around the ring away from Santos to maintain his stats.  Ulk!  He was no fighter.  He was all footwork and no punches.

Oh, I forgot that Foreman threw a punch at Santos to throw him off balance.  But it was behind his head (or ear) and came unexpectedly because I gather it wasn’t allowed to hit the back of your opponent.

To my dismay, Foreman lays a knockout punch on Santos’ face twice on the 4th and once on the 5th round.  And he gets more from Foreman.  On the 6th round, he gets 3 knockout punches from the Israelite.

On the 11th round, Yuri was running around like a headless chicken and Santos was getting frustrated wanting to throw his own KO punch at Yuri.  But since Yuri wanted to maintain his stats as best as he could, he wouldn’t go near Santos until the end of 12th round.  Lucky bastard!  Heheh!

Yuri wins by a unanimous decision as the new featherweight champion of the world.

When the 3rd supporting fight between Chavez and someone (forgot the name), I opted to go out and have my bathroom break.  It has been almost two hours and my buttocks was aching from all the seating we were doing.  We were supposed to buy Choco Banana Energy drink from a nearby fruit stand but they had no stocks left for the banana drink.  We decided to go down to Starbucks to get our first Christmas drink of the year.

We were back just in time to see Chavez win.  I cannot give details of the fight since I was busy waiting for our coffee.

It was the ladies who sang the national anthems.  The LaDivas (first time I’ve seen and heard them) sang the Philippine National Anthem.  A lady gloriously sang the Puero Rican’s national anthem as well.  And former American Idol contestant, Ramielle, sang the US anthem.  Ramielle is also Filipino by blood.

La Divas Behind Buffer Just Before Singing The Philippine National Anthem

Personally, I thought the VTR for Pacquiao was perfect.  It made him look the tough fighter that he was.  It was ruined though, by the big smile on his face as he was entering the arena.  Cotto was not smiling in contrast to the playful face and aura (if I could actually see an aura) that Pacman was exuding to everyone.  (I only saw Cotto trying to smile through the awful pain of his facial wounds and traumas when he was congratulating Pacquiao after the fight.)

I’m not sure if I could do justice on how well Pacman played in his 7th winning fight.  But I sure could try.

I tried to remember this set of numbers: 2, 4, 9 and 12.  These were the rounds Pacquiao threw those KO punches of his and these were the rounds when he got Cotto cornered or against the rope.

I tried not to get nervous when Pacquiao gets hit or somehow trapped against the rope.  Excuse my ignorance on Pacman’s abilities but this is the first fight that I watched so I don’t really have any idea on how good he is inside the ring.

During the first two rounds, Pacman was welcoming any punch coming from Cotto in order to know how powerful and how damaging the punches would be.  He took punches in the face, jaw, abs and more.

I cringed when Pacquiao received a horrible punch from below when Cotto was able to go through his forearm wall or whatever the professionals call it.  Also, Cotto gave a number of KO punches of his own towards Pacman’s way. Cotto was a suitable match.  If he wasn’t then he wouldn’t have lasted until the 12th round when his team was ready to throw the towel into Pacquiao’s 7th victory.

I do have to be fair to the Puerto Rican though.  He has given Pacquiao a good fight.  He wasn’t like that of Hatton who didn’t bother to train hard for his fight against Pacuiao.  I think Cotto didn’t underestimate Pacman’s ability unlike what Hatton did.  I could have probably loved this game better than his previous fight.  Cotto brought out the punches in Pacquiao so that everyone is reminded how powerful those fists are.

While watching Pacman’s fight today, I kind of derived a couple of principles that he applies to win.

1. Never throw the first punch.

2. Take each opening as an opportunity to throw your own punches.

3.  Don’t get caught on the edge of the ring (or a dead end for that matter) where you cannot create a distance from your opponents’ punches.

4.  Act fast.

5. Before you engage in a fight, have a plan and at best, a good strategy.

6. A good training can get you through any battle.

Well, I’m just turning something I saw from the fight to something philosophical and some truths in our lives.  Pacquiao has been looked up to in terms of success, courage and discipline.  There is so much to learn from him in how he harnessed his skill.  And despite all of the seriousness of his devotion to his work, he never forgets to smile.

It doesn’t matter if he’s still fighting for his country or solely for himself.  As long as he gives Filipinos a good name, that’s what I only care about.  It doesn’t even matter to me if he loses his fights.  As long as he remains as a good citizen of this country, he lessens the numerous problems of this country.

Today was just all in a day’s work in the life of Pacquiao.