To everyone out there who read the piece I wrote on Sunday morning after the Pacquiao-Margarito fight (Pacquiao-Margarito: What We Can Learn From the Empathy, Humility, and Grace of Manny Pacquiao) and shared it on FaceBook, Twitter, Boxing Forums, and other places I don’t yet know about — THANK YOU FROM THE HEART. It has been an amazing and unexpected experience to see the article get sent around like that. There are 275 comments on this blog alone and countless others on all the FB pages where it’s been linked and posted. I am humbled not just by the amount of attention — but by the nature of the comments themselves which are as touching and inspiring as anything I could aspire to write. There are 275 comments on the article on my blogsite, and hundreds (maybe even thousands) more on all the FB pages where so many people put the link. The comments themselves are as inspiring to me as Manny Pacquiao was on Saturday night. They are a gift that only Filipinos could give. I want to share some of the highlights — and there are more coming. (I just checked and in the time I’ve written this, it’s gone up to 291.) Thank you all again.
- Roque Roy Navarro wrote: During the past months, I was questioning the wisdom of hailing Manny Pacquiao as a hero of sorts. I just felt he was letting himself be used by others, entering politics where I thought he had no place to begin with. But during the 12th round, I was humbled by what I saw, Manny was a warrior but also a very compassionate and caring person. I ate all my previous perception of Manny
- Noysmakr wrote: I hope that Filipino politicians will be sensitive enough to see Manny’s greatness in humility and sincerity by using “public servant” instead of his official title. I, for one, was struck in awe, when I heard him say those words which I haven’t heard from anyone in public office. Manny’s true intention naturally showed in his choice of words – TO SERVE HIS FELLOWMEN, and not himself.
- ermie valdeavilla wrote: Thank you for being part of our journey to discover further the essence of our character as a nation. Power, popularity and wealth can bring out the worst or the best among people. It brought the best in Pacquiao because he fights and wins with the blessings of his God and a vision to make his people happy. His ability to make sound judgements, his dreams to make Filipinos happy, and his capacity to handle fortune, power and popularity with humility, level headedness, and spirituality are the best things that our public servants should learn from him.
- Fabian wrote: Pacquiao epitomizes the true Filipino deep down. But who is not, isn’t it? All human beings are like the Man Pacquiao deep down
- Jun Viray wrote: The moment Manny said that ” Boxing is not about killing each other”, I knew he was referring about the Filipino charactewr – brave but gentle, compassionate and caring. Foreigners might find us subservient and docile – but that is precisely our ay of winning over our adversaries. Remember our Filipino hospitality? We are friends to all. For those shining moments of outstanding mastery over a defeated and defanged warrior of Margarito’s caliber, Manny’s deportment as a caring boxer and a politician, and his contribution to boxing deserves an accolade of worldly proportion – ” Manny is no longer a Pambansang Kamao, but “KAMAO NG MUNDO” -FIST OF THE UNIVERSE.” Ang Pilipino ay Mabuting Tao. Masarap maging Pilipino….lagi.
- dr. abdulhadi g. garcia dmd wrote: I do hope people in power in the Philippines take it to their hearts that the wealth in their hands are not theirs. Psophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said three things will follow you to your graves.ones will remain to you and the other two will go back. 1)your love ones will go back. 2)your wealth will go back. 3)only your deeds will be your companion in the graves.
- jeff vi wrote: It makes me sad that some filipino intellectuals don’t see your interpretation of the man the same way. But rather prefer to be pessimistic. He is the best thing that happened to the country in the last 30 or more years. He’s a beacon. He may not be a university graduate but he shines brighter than most of the phd’s, suma cum laude’s,you name it.I am an avid fan, a believer and will untiringly and spiritually support him to achieve his ‘goals’. He is as pure as it can get. May he stay that way forever.
- mikepogi wrote: The Philippines had/has a lot of bright politicians. Some of them were alumni of the best schools here in US as well asin the Philippines. But look at our beloved country; it is full of dirty politicians ,sucking money that Filipinos need to alleviate our lives. We don’t need these smart ass trapos. All we need is pure heart, enough for these so called elite politicians. They are the one driving us out of the country.
- Jones T. Campo wrote: No doubt Manny epitomizes the real aspiration of Filipinos wherever they are. We all want a good and happy life – with our family and loved ones. Too bad, behavior and negative attitude get in the way. Manny, you, your article and those who believe in it – like me – will not stop spreading the word. (I remember my father Escolastico telling me: “Knowledge is power” and “You have to learn how to work hard while you are still young”. And my mother Trinidad saying: “Dogs can’t even eat money”. In school I remember having been told: “Competence, Commitment and Compassion – are values to live by (University of Santo Tomas); and “Be ‘a man for others’ for ‘God’s greater glory’ (Ad majorem dei gloriam) – Ateneo de Manila University. Maraming salamat Mr. Sellers. Mabuhay ka at si Manny Pacquiao!
- Noroden Ampatua wrote: A true warrior is not only brave by himself, but he should be a God fearing,courtious,humility”. Dito po sa Pilipinas talagang itinuturo ang Filipino Values sa mga paaralan tulad ng “Opo” or “big respect to elders” and also God fearing, Not only in the schools, but also in every home here in the Philippines… Kaya yun ang ginagawa ni Manny dahil yan ang ugali ng Filipino… Alam narin namen na ang tingin sa amin ay mababa lang dahil katulong lang naman madalas ang trabaho ng Pilipino sa ibang bansa, pero ayos lang iyan.. Dahil ang gusto ng Mahal na Panginoon ay yaong mabababang tao at hindi nakakalimot sa kanay.. sabi ni Manny sa interview sa kanya ng HBO 24/7, “Kung wala ang Panginoon, walang Manny Pacquiao”, which is tama naman talaga.
- Jerome Castaneda wrote: It made me proud to be a Filipino. I believe everyone of us can be a Pacquiao in our own endeavors. The acts of selflessness by serving others first and above all is our faith and trust in God. In essence, these are what make a true Christian; love of God and love your neighbor. Pacquiao’s passion for boxing, persevering and tenacious in all his workouts made him an all time great in boxing. Mabuhay po tayong lahat!
- Nestor Parafina wrote: I shouldn’t forget how Margarito became instrumental to all these praises! He’s another hero…not only recognizing Manny’s being “the world best fighter”…but at his own expense played game to the end and allowed new learnings such as Mr. Sellers’ pronouncement be known “from Manny” to many!
- Ann wrote: To the rest of the world, Manny Pacquiao may just be a boxer out to prove himself. But to us Filipinos, he’s a big inspiration. The love he has for our country and his fellowmen is just amazing. I don’t know Mr. Pacquiao personally but by his words and his actions, once can truly feel how sincere and genuine he is. I hope Filipinos around the world would be able to love and care for our country and our people the way he does. Manny always brings great pride and joy to the Filipinos every time he wins a fight. I can’t help but be proud to be a Filipino because of that. But I guess it would be better if each and every Filipino can or would do something that would also bring pride and joy to our motherland. Just the way Manny does.
- Jobentvice wrote: when Manny says “I want to make people happy,” what he really means, as you have written, is, “I want to lift you up.” In other words, “I want to inspire people.” And truly, he is an inspiration to 92 million Filipinos. And I hope that he becomes an inspiration for the whole world. Humility, God-fearing, generous, fearless warrior, compassionate in victory, studious in defeat and a true inspiration, these are the things that make Manny Pacquiao great and makes us Filipinos proud of him.
- Maria Datulin wrote: I don’t watch boxing nor any fights as I don’t want to see people getting hurt. This article made me teary eyed and proud to be a Filipino. Manny had shown the world the humility, empathy and grace that most Filipinos possess growing up. Kudos to Manny Pacquiao for his toughness in boxing but with amazing gentleness in his heart. He still possesses the value, customs and traditions of a real Filipino. If I may, here’s my favorite part on your article: The truth is, it’s easy for ignorant (I deleted this word though when I posted in Facebook, that’s the Filipino in me) westerners to underestimate and misinterpret the gentle, gracious nature of the Filipino character —yet somehow Manny Pacquaio is singlehandedly changing that,teaching the world and reminding the Philippine universe that humility, grace,compassion, and empathy can coexist with the heart of a warrior. Nice and well written article. If I may suggest, try not too add “ignorant and referring it to any other people or nation”. If they read the article, even though it’s a great article, they will only remember that they were called “ignorant”. [[Comment: Great point, Maria, about the word “ignorant”. The article was written in sort of one “gush” and I remember pausing at that point.
- Renjie Santos wrote: What makes Pacquiao’s demeanor in the final round more amazing is this: inasmuch as he has never found any reason to hate his opponents, there was genuine animosity between him and Margarito days leading into fight night, especially after the video of Margs and Brandon Rios poking fun at his “master’s” disease came out. He had every reason to punish Margarito, yet chose restraint and compassion over revenge. Correction: he didn’t choose, it’s his nature. My Facebook status after the fight read: “Renjie Santos thinks the 12th round was the best. Manny showed true class. True, other fighters would’ve coasted, too. But to protect the win. Manny showed restraint to protect his opponent. Take a bow, Manny. You not only earned a record-extending 8th title, but the respect of millions of people around the world.”
- Anne Ramos wrote: Manny’s actuations just proved that living up such enduring Christian values of humility, compassion and respect for the primacy of person is still possible at this time and age. He recognized and valued the dignity and personhood of his rival. I just wish that Manny keeps true to his promise of being a servant leader and veer away from tarnished influences. We hope we can replicate in our daily lives what Manny just displayed on the boxing arena
- Sam wrote: As I remember a few years back, everytime I see a filipino looking male or female at work, I always ask them if they are filipino, most of them who are born and raised here in US would simply say, my mom and dad is a filipno. They are not recognizing themselves as a filipino or filam. You cannot even hear them saying some simple tagalog words learned from their parents or even talk about any filipino things. I can sense that they are withdrawing themselves to become identified as filipinos.
Then comes Pacquiao’s mania not only in Philippines but here in US. Every Pacquiao’s fight was religiously watched and followed by every single boxing afficionado not only filipinos here in america but by every different race and nationalities. Pacquiao became word of mouth especially when hes winning every single mexican fighter as years went by.
Then these so called fil-am or “filipinong hilaw” started to talk about Pacquiao, some filipino things, even started to talk in some broken tagalog and trying to mingle to some filipino group who are talking about boxing. They are now a proud filipino that maybe if i ask them one more time if they are filipino, they would just simply say, “Yes, I am a Filipino”.
- Edwin wrote: May I add something to the ‘political knockout’ Manny got in his first crack at politics. He was clobbered no less by a woman, and ‘irony of ironies’, this woman (still a politician) is spearheading the plan to hold a huge welcome & victory celebration for Manny when he gets in town. What I’m driving at here is that generally the Filipino is ‘big-hearted’, not ’swollen-hearted’, to the point that the typical Pinoy has the natural tendency to take pity on a bad guy who gets mobbed by the crowd even when he himself was mugged & robbed by the guy a few minutes past.
That’s it — there are more but now I’m the one with tears in my eyes. Gotta stop — thank you all again. You’ve truly inspired me.