May 3, 2009, Sunday (Philippine time), at around noon, Philippines seems to cease to spin on its axis.¬†¬† EDSA, the busiest street in Manila is almost empty of traffic, the usual sight of bystanders and vendors roaming around seems magically vanish.¬† Busses, taxis, jeepneys, tricycles, and even pedicabs that are usually scattered everywhere on the busy street anywhere in the Philippines are nowhere in sight.¬† That is the scenario here in Philippines as Manny ‚ÄúPacman‚Äù Pacquiao — Ang Pambansang Kamao ng Pilipinas‚Äîwent into the boxing ring to fight against Ricky ‚ÄúThe Hitman‚Äù Hatton.
It is precise to say that ‚Äútumigil ang ikot ng mundo sa Pilipinas‚Äù when Pacman faces the ‚ÄúEnglish Bulldog‚Äù.¬† Economic crises, recession, poverty, swine flu, politics, Jun Lozada are all forgotten.¬† For a brief moment every Filipino all around the world unites to cheer for the Philippine pride.¬† We share same cheer, same prayer as flurry of fist were thrown by both boxers.¬† Ten seconds before the end of round 2, when Hatton was lying flat on floor of boxing floor I could almost physically touch the euphoria and jubilation of people around me.¬† It seems funny but I even saw several big guys who discreetly wiping the tears of joy.¬† As it is shown on evening news, Pinoys in Middle East, America and Europe take a break from their daily routine to cheer for Manny.
The victory of Manny Pacquiao is indeed a victory of every Filipino.¬† I can‚Äôt seem to get out of my mind the lyrics of the Pacman entrance song ‚ÄúKahit saan kahit kalian. Bastat kung para sa bayan. Buhay ko ay ilalaan. Sa lupa kong sinilangan. Pilipino, Pilipino, Pilipino. Ang lahi ko! ‚Äù.¬† At that moment the pride, the esteem, of every Filipino was raised.¬† The sense of nationalism was awakened.¬† As I saw Hatton lying on the floor struggling for his breath, I felt the triumph.¬† Triumph for the Filipino race that received insults from the so-called ‚Äúsuperior‚Äù English race. Personally I should say ‚ÄúJustice has been served!‚Äù