Article by: Maia Paterno

It is a common and interesting fact that in the Philippines, the crime rate descends to an all time low when Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao steps in to the ring. Life in the Philippines is at a standstill as everyone is home or at a sports bar witnessing our boxing hero show the rest of the world what we Filipinos are made of.

Last Sunday, November 23, Manny Pacquiao faced New-York born Chris Algieri, defending his Welterweight title in the showdown in Macau. After reaching the full 12 rounds, Pacquiao won by unanimous decision, adding another win to his already impressive boxing record. From the beginning of the fight, Pacquiao seemed to out-do Algieri in a mismatch of Pacquiao’s relentless speed and footwork, finishing with six knockdowns to cement his victory. Mr. Niall Highland, high school biology teacher and ISM’s fitness coach, said that “Algieri was overwhelmed on the big stage. It’s one thing to go into a ring in front of thousands, but it’s an entirely different thing on the big stage across from a future hall of famer.”

Pacquiao is not just a champion in the ring, but a hero to many Filipinos outside the world of boxing. Besides being a boxer, he’s a politician, and most recently, a professional basketball player as a player-coach in the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association). He is an icon for this country and its people. Mr. Highland notes that  “he’s been so successful and I think it’s great to put the Philippines on the map and something for the country to be proud of on a world stage.” So what makes Pacquiao the idol of many Filipinos and why does it seem that the nation turns its attention to the General Santos golden boy? Well, it is the story of how he rose to become an internationally recognized boxing champion, or as Mr. Highland put it, “future hall of famer.” Boxing is not everyone’s favorite sport to watch, but it seems that our country never feels more united and patriotic than it does when Pacquiao is set to fight, and everyone of different social, cultural, and economic backgrounds comes together to cheer on our Pinoy hero. Manny Pacquiao has transcended the usual category for Filipinos, and every Pinoy can’t help but feel the utmost sense of pride every time Pacquiao’s hands go up in triumph.

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