Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao does it again! Even my 4-year old daughter knows that he beat Morales yesterday.

Once again, the whole Philippines came to a halt as everybody (and we mean, everybody) watched the fight yesterday. Victory came swiftly (knockdown in the 2nd round, knockout in the 3rd round) but you have to hand it to both fighters -- the three rounds were very exciting. Box office talaga pag si Pacquiao and Morales.

May lagnat pa yan, ha? (Note: Manny Pacquiao had a fever and he still won!) My father and brother watched the fight in one of the malls and they said the movie crowd was very noisy all throughout the fight. When Manny won, one person who was seated beside my father remarked: "Ang daming pira niyan." (Manny will have a lot of money.)

The happiness index of the Philippines went up by several notches yesterday. I caught an interview of Manang Dionisia (Manny's mother) on AM radio this morning and other than discipline and training, I think I now know the secret of Manny's success -- his mother. Manang Dionisia prays the rosary during Manny Pacquiao's fight. She does not watch the fight live. She prays and just watches the replay or re-run when she knows that Manny has won.

Asked for advice for parents who would also like their children to succeed or to go from rags to riches, Manang Dionisia said: "Huwag niyong hadlangan ang kanilang mga pangarap." (Do not be a hindrance to your children's dreams or ambition.) She also emphasized that she always teaches her kids to pray.

"Pag gising sa umaga, magpasalamat tayo sa Panginoon na may hininga pa tayo. Bago kumain, magpasalamat. Bago matulog, magpasalamat." (When we wake up in the morning, let us thank God that we are still breathing. Before a meal, let us give thanks. Before we go to bed, let us give thanks.)

Mike Enriquez then asks her: "E pano kung mahirap ang buhay, magpasalamat pa din?" (But what if life is difficult, do we still give thanks?) Manang Dionisia says: "Kahit nung mahirap pa kami, kahit ano ang ulam, magpasalamat kami." (Even when we were still poor, whatever it is we were eating, we would give thanks.)

My former boss used to say that he liked Manny Pacquiao because in all his fights, he would always say: "Magpasalamat ako sa Panginoon..." (I give thanks to the Lord...) Well, with a mother like Manang Dionisia, how can he not learn to give thanks to the True Source of all blessings?

Asked about what she would tell Manny about entering politics, Manang Dionisia said she would dissuade Manny. She says Manny should just focus on his family and his boxing career. Mother truly knows best. But what if Manny's ambition or dream is to be a politician? Hahadlangan ba natin siya? (Should we discourage him?)

Manny Pacquiao is such a big celebrity or persona here in the Philippines and worldwide. He fights and the whole country stands still and watches. I guess he succeeds because he inspires hope in the ordinary Pinoy -- that you can make it big, even if you started out with nothing. Want to be a success? Help people dream. And while you're at it -- remind them of the Source of all good. =) Pray without ceasing and in all circumstances, give thanks.

[By Angelica Viloria | Monday, November 20, 2006]

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