Emmanuel Dapigran Pacquiao is an accidental champion. He was actually a replacement opponent of Lehlohonolo Ledwaba who was the IBF Super Bantamweight champion in 2001 whom he eventually knocked out. Manny Pacquiao would lose once after that fight but from there, it will be a steady climb to stardom for him. His ticket to fame came at the expense of 3 Mexican boxing icons: Marco Antonio Barrera whom he TKOed in the 11th round, Juan Manuel Marquez whom he fought to a contoversial draw, and Erik Morales who decisioned him once before getting TKOed in the next 2 grudge matches. In his 48 professionbal fights, Manny Pacquiao lost only three times to Filipino Rustico Torrecampo, Thai Medgoen “3K Battery” Singsurat, and Mexican Erik Morales.
There is no doubt that Manny Pacquiao is among the greatest Filipino boxers of all time, if not the best. He is also the most popular: a movie was made on his life (it flopped in the box office), his Visayan-accented Tagalog song became a hit, and he seem to be able to sell anything from beer to vinegar to Magic Sing. But he is so everywhere so much (he even want to become a congressman) that he is in danger of being over exposed and over sold. Somebody should tell him to hold his horses and focus on what made him great. For God’s sake, he should first get a belt and be a legitimate champion.
Many years before Manny Pacquiao was Kid Buntal who, with his copycat Lo-waist Gang, ruled the mean streets of Sta. Ana with their fists. It was said that if only he got the breaks, Kid Buntal could have reached the heights of Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, Rolando Navarrete, and even Manny Pacquiao. But as it was, Kid Buntal never had ring experience, chalking his wins and losses in the talahiban of what is now present day Luneta. With his fists doing the talking, Kid Buntal’s foes never had a chance. Abet have only 2 memories of him in the losing side: when a beer bottle was smashed on his head in Uncle Doming’s beerhouse, and when he challenged Almaguer’s local boxing hero when he was already past his prime.
He tried to rub boxing to his two sons. He taught them the basic boxing arts of the “jab jab jab straight”, the uppercut and the cross during close fights, and defensive dancing in the ring. He toughened their fists with a sack of sand hanged in a coconut tree, and their jaws and body with a daily three rounds of boxing. One day during a sibling brawl, Kid Buntal took out the gloves and made his sons let their steam off in boxing. The taller Abet easily dominated the shorter Eric who, in his frustration, finally lunged at his brother and bit him in the stomach. And Mike Tyson was not yet around.
Eventually, it was Eric who inherited Kid Buntal’s mantle of boxing. But like his father, boxing became a tool of survival and not just a mere sport. His fists also talked too much that he had to run away from a university before eventually getting expelled in the next one. But he bested his father by having a real ring experience. During the Munoz town fiesta, his tropa entered him in an amateur boxing match where he handily beat his opponent and was given a bag of grocery for his prize.
Profiles: The Churches of Bayambang and Malasiqui
Bayambang’s parochial buildings were already in existence in 1804. These were replaced with stronger structures in 1869 after suffering severe damages in the earthquake of 1863. From 1813 to 1840, Fr. Manuel Sucias (OP), Fr. Juan Alvarez del Manzano (OP), Fr. Joaquin Flores (OP), Fr. Benito Foncuberta (OP), and Fr. Jose Ibanez (OP) successively supervised the construction of a new church. This might be the present church (ABOVE) that is dedicated to San Vicente Ferrer. Thirteen kilometers away is the town of Malasiqui whose Spanish colonial era Church of San Ildefonso was totally destroyed during the 1990 earthquake. The church’s lineage goes back to 1677 with the building of the first structure that was rebuilt and/or rennovated in 1746, 1780, 1823, 1885, and 1897. The new church (BELOW) was started to be constructed in 1993 over the ruins of the old church and blessed in 2002.
CREDIT: Manny Pacquiao photo and info were sourced from Wikipedia.