There was a time years ago when I practically ignored fights of Manny Pacquiao or merely gave it some attention so I won’t be left out in the conversations afterward.
Once, I slept blissfully the whole day while the rest of the country watched him fight only to later find people at the office talking about nothing else but how Pacquiao demolished an opponent I could no longer remember.
In another occasion, I went out of my way early evening during a Manila trip to look for a friend Al Cruz who was then an assistant secretary at the Presidential Management Staff (PMF). I found him at a watering hole somewhere at the Timog/Morato area waiting for the live coverage of the Pacquiao fight somewhere else in the Metro. After a few drinks, I left for another place with a band playing only to overhear young people at the other tables excitedly talking about the Pacquiao win.
Watching people get excited with each succeeding fight, I soon looked forward to actually going out for the pay-per-view drinking sessions.
Thus, even when we were at a hotel in Bacolod City last summer, Joe Canton and I went out to look for restaurants that offerer pay-per-view privileges. We ended up inside a plush but crowded and smoky room at the Pagcor complex.
Yesterday morning, we motored a short distance from the house in Carmen, Talisay City to the new roadside su-tu-kil of Jun Caoson at the Cebu South Road because he installed two television sets for customers to watch the Pacquiao-Cotto fight. Unlike the Pagcor room in Bacolod, the place was not air-conditioned. But they had adobong kanding and kinilaw nga bat that went great with a bottle of San Miguel pilsen while puffing sticks of Marlboro.
While Pacquiao at center stage proceeded to pummel Miguel Cotto into a pulp, I could not help observe how people became one with him as he stalked and rained punches from practically all angles.
Now, I’m thinking of the possible fight with the American Floyd Mayweather Jr.