Bro. Erle Frayne D. Argonza
Banal, Boomboom, and Penalosa just won their respective fights in boxing stints held in Manila just last Sunday. What an impeccably impressive record!
Add these wins to the strings of victories of other boxers led by the unbeatable Manny Pacquiao, and one can see that this euphoria over boxing triumphs has been a well sustained campaign for nigh close to a decade now. The Philippines had without doubt emerged as a world-class performer in boxing’s lower weight divisions, nay as the top in fact, dethroning Mexico and shaming Thailand that used to be in this class too.
And that’s not the end of the line yet, fellows. PI’s triumph is no ‘bubble victory’ that had reached a dead end and is about to crush back to ground zero, for Christ’s sake that’s a damn faulty perception of the matter. What might emerge from this sustained campaign is that in all the lower weight divisions, from 140 lbs down, Pinoy’s would be champs for at least another decade to come. Mark this well: the world has now shifted its eye on those divisions away from the higher weight divisions.
Should that be the case, then indeed there will be enormous celebrations at the end of this decade and next’s. These victories are simultaneously happening as the economy has been sustaining victories since 2002 yet, with indications that RP might make it to the finish line of ‘developed economies’ by 2015 and ‘1st world’ by 2020 thru 2025.
For the hoi poilloi, professionals, executive and business classes, the boxing ascent of PI comes as an impeccable respite from the dirt coming from out of ceaseless political turmoil here. Just recently, the country has been going through turbulence arising from corruption-related scandals, with the ZTE deal detonating the chain reaction of events. The aggrieved civil society groups want no less than the resignation of the President Gloria Arroyo, and their concerted actions have captured the global media since Valentine’s.
Amid all the sonorous calls for upheavals, boxing triumphs come, easily tilting the balance of public perception back towards optimism from the gloom of the turmoil. And this should be so, as the end of 2007 saw, per result of the Social Weather Stations survey, that over 60% of Pinoys are optimistic about their future. Victories like what we have in boxing bring our psyche aligning back to the good vibes of optimism.
Among those we Filipinos dream optimistically is the final end to insurgency with the permanent muzzling of all guns via political settlements, and sadly, this hasn’t been happening yet. But we are optimistic this will happen. Nothing can darken the prospect of this victory for peace.
But look at the warring forces when boxing fights come, most specially those Pacquiao fights: they completely stop from shooting each other in order to watch boxing. What a spectacle to behold! Not even the United Nations can make our contending forces cease fire, but just one Pacquiao is so powerful a figure enough to make everyone watch the fight including those soldiers and rebels in the boondocks.
Filipinos thirst for victories in many fronts to. After being shamed planet-wise due to failures in the past, even at one time dubbed as ‘sick man of Asia’, we need every victory we can gain and sustain to be able to get us all out of the rut and regain our collective self-esteem as a people with a common vision.
Boxing had been the bridgehead among the competitive sports in providing those victories. Cheers to Philippine boxing!
[Writ 08 April 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]