Tuesday, February 07, 2006


I've never been a sports fan, but I go out of my way to watch Manny Pacquiao fight. The two last fights I watched at home, the first one against Morales I watched despite the endless commercials. Learning from that experience, for the next fight I simply set the VHS to record the 6 commercial filled hours of the event, and watched it on fast forward. Got to see the best parts over and over.

But this fight i watched with a crowd gathered around a projection screen at Malcom square at the bottom of Session road in Baguio. Never mind the 2 hour commercials, or the fact that you might get mugged, or that in the 5th round of the obviously delayed telecast, the FM radio that the event organizers tuned to during the commercials broadcasted that Manny already won... It was an unforgettable experience.

Rapt with attention, everyone was hooked on every action happening. The startled gasps when Manny got hit, the cheers when he delivered those powerful blows, the roar of the crowd when Morales finally fell to the ground. You could really feel it, the excitement, the rush, the emotions of the crowd overflowing.

I guess this is what happens during any game, like the PBA (one Ginebra vs Alaska i watched at the Araneta) or the UAAP... But this time I knew it was special, because when they sang the National Anthem at the start (even if the singer slightly botched in the end), I found tears in my eyes. And i was cheering my heart out when they were waving the flag triumphantly at the end.

I realized that day that there is no greater song than that of your National Anthem; no greater sight than that of your flag being held high, when it is over a foreign land. It was great to feel a connection with everybody, that for one brief shining moment, this splintered country was cheering for the same team. You could feel it; the collective consciousness of 80 million people focused on a single man, feeling his pain, and his triumph...

Can't wait for the next fight! XD


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