Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Salamat, Manny Pacquiao

Saturday night, we Filipinos in Guymon were complete. Medical doctors, registered nurses and their overqualified unemployed spouses, medical technologists, X-ray techs. After a repast of native dishes we gathered by the flat screen to watch and cheer Manny Pacquiao. We were totally united and throughout the fight, all our personal stories about our American journey were set aside because Pacquiao was representing us all. And he did a fine job.

It seems wherever we are, we keep together for these events. I remember being amazed at how Bacolod City ground to a halt while Pacquiao disposed of another opponent. Might be because we think of ourselves as a weak people and every demonstration to the contrary is cause for unity and celebration. Might likewise account for our sensitivity towards denigrating comments.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We Filipinos can be just as good and we can also be just as bad as everyone else. One reason why living in another country makes for a good educational experience is you get to feel the barriers that humans naturally create whenever strangers are in their midst. You get to realize that there are parties and places and societies that are off limits, at least initially. With familiarity some of these barriers might come down but there will be bound to be some permanent ones.

You become tougher, more resilient as an overseas Filipino. Slights and slurs that you encounter often enough lose their sting. And this happens when you begin to understand that you yourself are capable of this behavior when you’re on homeground, which may be a specific place or where there are many of you.

So for the respite, Salamat Manny Pacquiao.

1 comment:

Pete said...

Pacquiao is the king of the moment but he is not smart. He allows himself to be used by politicians back home and he is rumored to have an actress-mistress. If he is not careful he might very well end up like Rolando Navarette.He instead should focus on fixing his immigration status and just let either Vanguard,Fidelity or T Rowe price managed his millions so he doesnt have to throw a punch ever for the remaining part of his life to earn a living