When the country first heard of Manny Pacquiao’s plan to run for president, the country scoffed at him. What could this boxer slash absentee politician do?
His lack of education was ridiculed too and the way he speak was parodied.
But Pacman is no ordinary athlete; he’s no ordinary Filipino for that matter and for veteran Cebu sportsman Lorenzo Chao Sy, who has seen it all, that makes Pacquiao his perfect choice for the 2022 polls.
Consider this for example. We all know an elite athlete who dabbles in another sport; a PBA player perhaps who plays golf or plays billiards and is just a little above weekend warrior level in his other sport? The Pacman, as we all know, is world class in boxing and though his PBA stint may be debatable, he’s a little better than your weekend warrior.
He can beat your pool hall tambay and he taught himself a sport that defies many Pinoys–chess. Recently, he even made it to second in the list of celebrities who played against a 10-year-old version of Magnus Carlsen, lasting 41 moves. Sure, his skills with the microphone may depend on one’s sense of hearing, but you can’t help but be impressed how he taught himself to play both the guitar and the piano.
Sy points out that one can’t acquire all those skills if one has half-a-brain as some love to depict Manny. He’s a quick learner who everyone would have considered as the Philippines Renaissance Man hadn’t he entered politics.
Now politics is something else that critics say that may be too much for Manny but for Chao Sy, he understands Manny’s desire to help having grown up dirt poor.
“Pobre sad mi sa una, mao na makasabot ko ni Manny. Besides, kani imo kwarta, dili man ni madala kung mamatay na ka,” said Chao.
Generous to a fault, Manny has been known to shell out money from his own pocket. During a break in training, he once gave away hundreds of turkeys to help poor Amercians for their Thanksgiving celebration. At home, his foundation has built 1,000 houses.
“Iya na kaugilangong kwarta, dili pareha sa uban nga tabang kuno gikan nila pero gikan diay to sa gobyerno nga kwarta,” said Chao Sy, who is shelling out his own money in support of Pacquiao’s presidential bid.
Dili gyud na sila katandog sa iyang integrity. Di man na sya kurakotLorenzo Chao Sy on Manny Pacquiao
Admittedly, Pacquiao’s absences in th senate when he trained abroad is a black mark against him but for Chao Sy, that’s not the case.
“Absent lagi sya sa senate pero dili sya absent sa Pilipinas. Para niya, ang iya away, para sa mga Pilipino, iya na trabaho,” said Chao. “Besides, kana iya sweldo sa senado, kuwang ra na para itapal sa tanan niya gihatag nga tabang sa mga kababayan.”
Aside from all of that, for Chao the best reason for Manny being the best choice is his integrity.
“Dili gyud na sila katandog sa iyang integrity. Di man na sya kurakot, dili pareha sa uban diha nga against corruption kuno pero grabe’g depensa sa ma involve sa corruption investigation,” he said.