The way Manny Pacquiao fever continues to mount in the lead up to his fight with the much-reviled Floyd Mayweather, you’d think this seminal event is the be-all-end-all of Filipinodom. But, step back and see the true picture; that this, really, is just an event that, like the Christmas holidays we anticipate every year, will come to a close in due time. So perhaps we should anticipate the aftermath of the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight and ask the hard question: What happens next after that?
Here are some of the possibilities…
(1) The Philippines will still be a poor country.
Remember that, win or lose, Manny Pacquiao gets to laugh all the way to the bank. But will Pacquiao’s win or loss translate to tangible prosperity for the Philippine Nation? Perhaps if the Philippines’ tax office, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) succeeds in collecting its due from the champ’s winnings, some Filipinos may feel the Pacquiao Effect in their wallets somehow. But let’s not hold our breath. We all know where much of the Philippines’ public funds hard-earned by its taxpayers really goes…
(2) Filipinos will still be victims of the Bangsamoro “Peace Deal” scam.
After the fight, the issue of the illegality of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law crafted in an illicit partnership between the Philippine government and the terrorist Moro Islamic Liberation Front will still be unresolved. In the middle of this brouhaha stands the representative of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the man formerly known as Mohagher Iqbal. He used that fake name to sign the official documentation of that pact. He is likely to continue to refuse to divulge his real identity.
(3) There still won’t be a good candidate in the running for President of the Philippines in 2016.
Whether the Pacman wins or loses, Filipinos will still be faced with having to choose among the same assortment of conmen and crooks that are the only “winnable” options for the 2016 presidential elections. Despite being a 100-million-strong nation, Filipinos, it seems, have so far proven in the last several months to be incapable of producing even one good presidential candidate.
Which leads us to the next one…
(4) Filipinos will continue to face the prospect of a Manny Pacquiao presidency sometime in the future.
Maybe not in 2016, or perhaps not even after that; but it is likely the Champ will be in the queue for a chance to warm that lucrative seat in Malacanang someday. Unless Pacquiao can find himself a career outside of the ring when he goes past his use-by date as a fighter, the possibility of him running for president will remain very real.
And last but not least…
(5) Filipinos will continue doing the same things over and over while expecting different results again and again.
Perhaps Pacquiao’s biggest contribution to society is in making Filipinos “proud to be Filipino”. Proud of what exactly? It is, if we are to understand Pinoy thinking, because Manny Pacquiao is a Filipino. For now he is the Filipino masses’ most potent opiate. Emphasis on for now.
What happens after the high fizzles and the crash back to reality follows? Fear not. There are still the renowned telenovelas, noon-time variety shows, and Senate tele-inquiries that Filipinos subsist on in between Pacman fights to nourish their hollow heads.
* * *
It may be the “fight of the century”, but though the Pacman may land a few punches in Mayweather’s face over a few rounds, punching an opponent silly is certainly not the same as trying to put a dent on the Philippines’ culture of poverty. Indeed, Pacquiao possesses the power to give Filipinos that warm fuzzy feeling that everything will be alright, kahit papaano. Perhaps we may as well grant Filipinos that at least considering beyond this little square that frames this “pride” in nationhood, there is little to hang on to in a way that assures a brighter future for the Philippines in real terms.
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