Hey, today is the rematch of Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley. Anyone who is excited here? Yeah me either. Excitement is nonexistent from the inception of the “PacBrad III”. And it says a lot that the most excited people are from establishments who are giving a preview, like bars and cinemas.
Normally, matches from Manny Pacquiao tend to be a national event, where people skip the malls and stay tuned at their homes to watch the match. However, it seems unlikely to replicate that tradition today. I do not know. Probably it is because of repercussion from last year’s lackluster match with Floyd “Money” Mayweather. Or it is more probably because of Pacquiao’s run for the senatorial slate this coming elections. Or it is most probably because of the People’s Champ’s most infamous statement about same-sex marriage that it prompted most of the public to disown him.
It is not of Pacquiao’s doing that his match was not that much anticipated as it should be. You could tell it is wrong timing. But it is more than that. It could be traced on the fact that Filipino pride has been strongly tampered by Filipinos themselves for one good reason: idolization.
The inception of the common Pinoy pride roots from the successes of our fellow Filipinos abroad. As an effect, the average Filipino praises for their successes and aims to follow on their successes. Personally, I respond in that way as well. But I know when to draw the line between looking forward for a model and following with the model. What it means is I look up to Filipino success stories as assurance that Filipinos can be world achievers, not that there are Filipinos out there who we can look forward for achievements. Because here is the thing. The common detriment for Filipinos is to stick idolizing Filipino achievers that their successes is what we count as our own personal and national pride. And for that case, these world achieves are put in the pedestal that they have a huge weight to carry, filled with Filipinos. That is the effect that Manny Pacquiao is facing with in terms of his public image. Now, he is a divisive figure but still a revered athlete. As an effect, most Filipinos grow skeptical of Pacquiao as his reputation is starting to get tampered. Yet it is easy for Pacquiao to rise up from the ashes. But it is not Pacquiao the problem. It is us.
We place achievers like Pacquiao in a higher altar that they become idols. Frthermore, every success they attain should be celebrated, every failure they fell into should be sympathized and every mistake or misstep should be condemned. If we put ourselves under their “influence”, we face the same cases. To put it effectively, here is a common philosophical syllogism I found from a blog post in getrealphilippines.com that also reference international performers like Arnel Pineda, Charice Pempengco and Lea Salonga:
“Charice/Manny/Arnel/Lea are talented and celebrated.
Charice/Manny/Arnel/Lea are Filipino.
Ergo Filipinos are all talented and should be celebrated.
I’m a Filipino, so I am talented and should be celebrated.”
That is when we say that basis of our national pride should solely come from Filipino’s world achievements. As an effect, we only resort on getting a glance of their achievements and receiving a blow from their downfalls. If someone idolizes Pacquiao, then condemns him because of his infamous remark, then I can affirm that person is a hypocrite.
But here is a skepticism I see: the death of Filipino pride. Like I said in my first ever blog post, I refer to Filipino pride as being proud to “being born, raised, educated and lifted up as a Filipino”. And it worries me that most Filipinos don’t see this way. It can be said that in the day and age when Filipino poverty is commonplace and change remains an old wives’ tale. Thus, the “it is hard being a Filipino” expression is apparent. And whatever downfall that we sought on our kababayans abroad, it is also our downfall. Nothing wrong with that but it should not always put us down.
Filipino pride takes more than idolizing our fellow Filipinos. It takes on living out the best as a Filipino. And from there manifests our true values as a Filipino. Do not let Pacquiao be the core model of our national pride. He will always be fine, whether he wins or not. But don’t let his life journey coincide with our personal journeys. Let his success instead be a proof that underdogs can come from anywhere.
I know Filipino pride is already a national problem and it is about to take its toll to the public. So, as an encouregement, I leave you out this phrase: “hindi lahat ng payong ay pwedeng masilungan“.