Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Congressman Manny Pacquiao?

The biggest story in this mid-term Philippine elections could perhaps be the sudden entry of Manny Pacquiao, the world's most exciting boxer, into the political ring.
Manny Pacquiao has announced he will run for a seat in congress in the first district of South Cotabato.
He will run against the petite re-electionist Darlene Custodio, a staunch opposition figure in the House of Representatives.
Not a few are dismayed over the decision of Manny Pacquiao to prematurely enter politics.
And rightly so.
These disappointed Filipinos, are the same Filipinos who have backed, cheered, routed for Pacquiao in all his most difficult boxing bouts abroad, specially against the legendary Mexican puglists.
These Filipinos mean well for Manny.
In their opposition to Manny's decision to join politics, they do not intend to belittle his capabilities, although there is suffiicent reason to do so considering his educational background and lack of preparation to be a maker of laws.
On the other hand, Manny means well, too.
I myself can see genuiness in his desire to help his people who, like him not long ago, are wallowing in poverty.
There are those who prophesy that Manny's entry into Philippine politics will spell his doom in boxing.
But Manny is unfazed over this.
He has indicated that he is willing to hang his gloves in the name of public service to his poor countrymen.
I can understand why Manny wants to shift careers.
Boxing is a brutally dangerous and deadly profession.
Try to imagine yourself having your face exposed to the killer punches of the likes of Erik Morales.
Who can endure having a risky career which requires facing physicial pain and destruction, even death?
Manny feels he has earned enough.
I don't see greed in him, even as he is aware he is still in his prime as a boxer which could enable him to even double his present financial worth.
At the end of the day, Manny is a Filipino who has every right to be given that opportunity to enter politics.
My one and only problem with Manny, is timing.
If I have a message for our hero, it is this: There is a time for everything.
If I were to give him an unsolicited advice, I will tell him that he has every right to run for public office. But it should be at the right time.
Now, he is still at the prime of his boxing career.
There are still many battles to be won in the ring.
It is better that he seize these golden, yet fleeting opportunities.
For these opportunities will never pass his way again.
It is true that he can use his boxing achievements as his springboard for political prominence.
Many have done this.
BIll Bradley a former New York Knicks superstar in the 1970's became a U.S. Senator.
Even our own basketball "living legend" Sonny Jaworski also became a Philippine senator.
But there is a proper time for everything.
For Manny, I believe strongly that this is the time for him to continue his reign as the world's most exciting boxer.
This is his contribution not only to this country, but to the entire boxing world.
Then, when the dusk sets in, and his body tires, as every body does, Manny can move on to other things like running for public office.
I hope that before the day of the elections, he will come to his senses and realize that politics can wait.

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