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Value for Money in That Wicked Left

[Just before the Pambansang Kamao takes on Mosley in Las Vegas, I thought I would do a re-run of this story I wrote for Facebook on 4 May 2009. Come to think about it, this story will be just over two years to the day since Pacquiao's bout against the Mancunian Ricky Hatton. I suppose by Sunday the roads will again be practically deserted and crime rates around the country will drop to next to zero for at least a couple of hours. That, I guess, is how much of an impact that PacMan has had on this country for several years now.]

The hit office joke running today – particularly among those who paid good money to watch the satellite feeds in the malls – was that people wanted refunds for the abbreviated fight between Manny Pacquiao and Hatton in Vegas yesterday. They paid for twelve rounds – or so the joke went – but only got two!

I rather suspect that there is not just a little touch of resigned irony that was being expressed in the humor. Truth be told, while no patriotic Pinoy dare begrudge Manny this awesome victory, the principle of value-for-money had been violated, albeit inadvertently.

It is no different from buying a tumbler of Coke at Jollibee, only for the counter staff to spill a third of the soda. You will expect the staff to pour a bit more into the tumbler for the simple reason that that is what you have paid for.

Of course, Manny is now being hailed in certain quarters as probably the best fighter that ever lived. While all of us are ever so happy for him, couldn’t he have taken a bit more time – say, 5 or 6 more rounds – to soften poor Hatton up before delivering THAT killer jab?

Sort of like the Morales fight when there was even time for the ladies to plead in front of their television sets “Please, not the face!” – all the while with Manny absorbing a few of his own in the face, and not that the ladies would really have minded…

But I am being mean!!! As it happened yesterday…

There was this picture of Hatton immediately after the fight lying flat on his back on the canvass in the Sports Section of Yahoo! I would have captioned it “Out Cold!” Or, if the picture was to be published in a Batangueño tabloid, “ ‘Utoy, Gising Na! Umaga Na!”

The referee, or so the Internet news sites reported, was quoted as saying that he did not bother to count. He saw Hatton was out even before he hit the canvass.

I saw highlights of the fight at Café Le Barako today while I was having lunch. In normal motion, that lethal left looked innocuous enough. Slowed down…

Put it this way… There is no way in hell that I would want to be Hatton’s jaw this morning. That jaw took the full venom of that wicked left! Hatton’s head jolted momentarily and viciously backwards; and I am sure that there were canaries flying round and round while he laid still as a corpse on the canvass.

In Batangas, the word we use is plakdâ… This is never a flattering term, mind… Aba’y tulog na tulog…

This evening after scrimmage, I went for a meal at KFC with Chupek, Lea and Gregg. I was so tired and dehydrated that I left the ordering to Chupek and Lea. While the two were at the counter, I amused myself observing the counter crew.

One was taking his job a little too seriously and loudly greeted everyone who walked into the restaurant. “Good evening sir! Dito pô kayo!!!” His hand was even raised as he beckoned to the newcomers to approach the counter.

Ah-ah… Parang naglalakô ng bisugo sa isdaan… In fairness, it is refreshing to see such zeal among frequently jaded fast food counter crew members. Para pa ring naglalakô ng bisugo sa isdaan…

[This story was first published on Facebook on 4 May 2009.]

By the way, just to share a couple of pictures:

We were in Cebu for a Catholic Educators' Convention when, in the lobby of the Waterfront Hotel, there was a sudden commotion.  The PacMan was in one of the lounge chairs with a small party and the educators all scampered wanting to have pictures taken with him.  We were, like, wala lang, although I did sneak this picture with my old cell phone, hence the quality of the shot.  Who would have thought the whole world would eventually go gaga over the little man.

In another Educators' Convention, earlier in fact (2005), we actually went to the Notre Dame College of Dadiangas in General Santos City and I was privileged to put on the PacMan's boxing gloves at the museum the college had thoughtfully set up of Pacquiao's stuff.  The gloves were so small my hands actually could not fit inside them!

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