If you’re a Filipino you’re probably already seen this, and you may not be that surprised because you understand Manny Pacquiao, and the tears he sheds in this interview are easily understoo. But I truly wish the rest of the world would watch this and contemplate it. Can you see Floyd Mayweather, or Kobe Bryant, or David Beckham taking on the responsibility for the happiness of their countrymen to the degree that Manny Paquiao does?
Non-Filipinos, watch it, please.
You don’t have to speak Tagalog to get it . . . but there’s a translation after the video. And watch it all the way through, because this video encapsulates many things about Manny Pacquiao, and the Philippines. The interaction between the news anchors, and Manny and Jinkee, and Pacquiao’s kids — is so familial. As an American it makes me jealous because nothing like this kinship could exist in America. I don’t mean that as disparaging of America — it’s just that we’ve grown too large,and I suppose there is too much success, too many superstars — no one could occupy the position in our culture that Manny Pacquiao occupies in the Philippines. Pardon me, please, if as an American I feel a yearning for the kinship that is expressed naturally and repeatedly throughout this interview, on many different levels.
And if you’re a Filipino and are cynical about what you see here . . . well, hopefully no one is cynical about it. But there will be some who are. To be cynical about this is to miss the point about what is so special and distinctive about Filipino culture.
And please, before I get beat up — I don’t presume to know so much about Filipino culture that I can make wise statements to Filipinos about your culture. I can just point out to you that as an American, I want some of what I see here. And thankfully I have some of it, because I have a Filipino wife and a Fil-Am daughter who grew up in the Philippines until she was ten, and who because of that knows where she came from.
I speak “broken Tagalog” and so here is my possibly inaccurate translation (please correct me if I’m wrong):
Manny says: “The low spirit, the sadness, I have to I accept it. It’s my job … But when I saw the reaction of the Filipinos, especially my family, were crying — it really hurts me,”
Even the warmth and empathy of the GMA anchors is quintessentially Filipino, and could never happen in America.