As of writing, news of Manny Pacquiao's win against Marco Antonio Barrera has crawled the Internet and the Pinoy Blogosphere. This is something I expected, so I'm not surprised. I wonder now what Pacman will do next. And I'm not pertaining to his boxing career, but to his extra-curricular activities. Aside from movies, music, a host of endorsements under his belt would he be thinking of an advocacy to pursue in the future?
The late great Gabriel "Flash" Elorde put up a training center for aspiring young boxers though news of its success or failure has not caught the attention of media. Would Pacquiao venture into something like this? Or would he seriously think of trying his luck in politics (again). Heaven forbid.
So, I'm writing the "Pambansang Kamao" an open letter. I'm not really expecting anything from this but, who knows? Hope springs eternal.
Congratulations sayo, aking kababayan!
Your win against Barrerra sealed your future as the boxing great of this generation. Your ascent to boxing supremacy is a product of hard work and perseverance from many trials. Truly, you have earned it - the belt, the rewards, the fame and the fans. At the height of your boxing career, I will not be surprised if you move up and continue sweeping crowns and coins (lots of it!). What's good about all these fortune coming your way is your desire to give back, to help others.
Your political bid as representative for the city of Genaral Santos is proof of your willingness to make a much bigger and deeper impact in the lives of your countrymen. Of course, others have thought differently, but to me, I take it as your way of making a difference. You have proven that in the boxing arena. You just can't wait to try your hands at public service.
But you see, you can help your "kababayans" as you are.
I don't really know what help you're thinking of right now so you can give back to your fellow Filipinos, but I am hoping it is something that will empower and inspire them to better their lives. Perhaps a boxing gym for boxing aspirants. Maybe a scholarship for those who want to finish their education. Or maybe put up a business for the unemployed. And because I'm a librarian, I suggest that you support a community library that will help in the literacy develoment of people in General Santos.
It is really all up to you, Manny. I only hope that whatever charity or advocacy you intend to pursue in the future, it would be for the benefit of the masses - for them to discover their own power and potentials; for them to realize their dreams no matter how simple.
All the best for you, Manny!
Zarah C. Gagatiga
School Librarian & Literacy Advocate