OpinionsEcon 1012011 nat'l budget and Manny Pacquiao

2011 nat’l budget and Manny Pacquiao

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whelmayap@yahoo.com

The 2011 National Budget was passed by Congress in record time so people started talking that there has to be a catch!

Many surmised that the reason was the Pacquiao-Margarito fight; many congressmen were given free tickets to the ringside; a reported 58 of them attended the fight in Arlington, Texas.

That’s the easiest reason digestible and understandable to a nation of Manny fanatics. The story of how Manny Pacquiao is able to mesmerize his colleagues in Congress is a tale in itself, and one cannot help but become a hopeless optimist because of his continuing saga.

The story of Manny speaks deeply to the psyche of Filipinos, and though, we gloss over the details of Manny’s story itself, we tend to remember the vicarious feeling of triumph over adversities, every time he wins a fight. We savor every punch, every circumstance in which we saw, live on television, his punches landing on the opponent, staggering to defeat.

His defeated adversary, Antonio Margarito, exclaimed: “Manny, the best boxer in the world!”

Manny showed mercy according to commentators and analysts when he signaled the referee to stop the fight in the 11th round. He knew the injuries of Margarito required major medical attention. He has undergone surgery to repair his eyesockets.

Mommy Dionisia lectured: “Huwag ninyo sigaw-sigawan si Margarito may kasing-kasing din yan, iiyak yan!”

And we do agree it was a good fight but like Manny, we should be magnanimous in victory.

The power of his boxing talent is that his punching ability can actually affect and color our own experience in a given moment.

Indeed, watching Manny performing as a professional boxer, transports us to the ringside, and we feel every punch, experience vicarious exhilaration, sharing reactions with many significant others who are likewise so preoccupied with their own reactions. It gives us a feeling of community — being one as a people with the same hopes and dreams.

When as a nation Filipinos share the unifying experience of a Manny Pacquiao fight, we are linked with a thread of connection from the mountains of northern Luzon to the beaches of Jolo. If we are to move forward, we have to have an experience of unity as a people who care about the common good.

Manny made his journey many years ago from his humble beginnings in the province of Sarangani to reach where he is now. He has allowed Filipinos, by television, to share his journey.

While there should have been more debate on the 2011 National Budget, in view of its “copying” from the previous budget of the Arroyo era, most people agree that the problem was in the implementation — where corruption sets in.

Maybe Manny will set another example in Congress: to be as astute and morally upright, acting with integrity and precision, just like what he did in boxing.

May the story of Manny forge links among us all, and his boxing saga transport us to greater heights as a people, and in so doing, broaden the horizons of our leaders in Congress — to include the highest ideals of public service as a public trust, as we say to them: “Be inspired to be the champions of the people! I”

To Manny, we say: “With great power comes great responsibility!”

See related story: Starting Bloke

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