By Chito Yu Katangkatang
Jaro, Leyte, Philippines – “HOMELESS BUT NOT HOPELESS.” This statement reflects the character of resiliency by citizens of typhoon stricken Leyte. And that Ray of Hope was set aglow by the sensational victory of their boxing idol and hero Manny Pacquiao. In my little town of Jaro, people flocked to a local store with a portable generator. It was the only place with a TV and people took joy of still seeing their idol fight via delayed telecast on local channel GMA7.
They took break from fixing the roofs of their homes. They endured the scorching heat of the noon sun. They crowded along the streets while standing during the whole duration of the fight. They forgot the problems brought by the wrath of super typhoon Yolanda. Just like any other Pacquiao fight, it was a special day for everyone.
But for us typhoon victims, the urge for a Pacquiao win was greater. We needed good news in the midst of rising death tolls and havoc. We wanted to hear something new apart from politics and corruption in the midst of the disaster we’ve been through. We wanted a breath of fresh air.
People cheered at every punch that Pacquiao threw at Rios. They booed at Rios’ sheer display of arrogance. Everyone was an instant boxing coach shouting out what Pacquiao should do in the ring. Every one was part of the game. People fought along with Manny Pacquiao.
Pacquiao may have failed in knocking out the tough Mexican-American, but in the end, Manny kept his promise to his countrymen, to win in a sensational fashion.
Manny Pacquiao is not an ordinary athlete, he is a hero for his people. Hence, every victory is not his own, but the victory of the Filipinos. In the midst of calamity, Pacquiao’s victory was more meaningful than one ship of relief goods. It quenched not only our physical hunger. It fed us with strength and hope that pierced though our hearts and spirits. Thank you Manny!
MABUHAY KA MANNY PACQUIAO! TINDOG LEYTE!