Pacquiao’s impossible dream
By Al S. Mendoza
WILL he or will he not?
In short, is Manny Pacquiao bent on running for president in 2022?
That has been the question swimming in millions of minds, including mine.
Are you taking take that for granted?
He has always dreamed about it: Capturing Malacanang.
From the day he first became a world boxing champion to the day that he has compiled an unprecedented eight world titles in eight different weight divisions, Pacquiao wanted to land in Malacanang.
And that tack got augmented by his recent back-to-back political victories.
First, as congressman, and then as senator in the May 2016 election.
His wild imagination, coupled with his rah-rah boys’ unrelenting push, is prodding him endlessly to go for the jugular.
If it were boxing, Pacquiao’s ultimate knockout punch would be aimed at becoming president of the republic.
If he could so rule the world—eight times already, mind you—why not also his own country?
He’s been boxing king for so long, the last decade of his more than two decades of ring stint catapulting him to unprecedented heights of glory.
Find me a more ambitious person than Paquiao and I could not give you one. Never.
If Pacquiao had not lived a childhood in abject poverty, he would have easily become a lawyer.
That was his dream growing up in GenSan.
But like millions of kids, Pacquiao was so poor he couldn’t even finish elementary schooling.
That did not frustrate him from pursuing other dreams—boxing being his foremost key in escaping the jaws of hunger and a life of want.
He left GenSan, boarding a Manila-bound ship as a stowaway when he was barely 14 years old.
In the Big City, he did menial jobs—from a construction worker to bakery helper to many other odd jobs just to make both ends meet.
He slept on cardboards spread on the pavement.
He had to endure mosquito bites just to save money, much of it he sent back to his mother selling rice cakes in GenSan.
But lying on cardboards under the stars at night, his dream would never go away: Become a world boxing champion someday.
In 1996, a good Samaritan from Mandaluyong named Polding Corea (may his soul rest in peace) took fancy of Pacquiao and nurtured his boxing career.
And, as we love to say, the rest is history.
Some 22 years later, Pacquiao has collected 11 world boxing titles, forged himself to international fame and, more importantly, is now a senator of the republic.
And now the question: What’s wrong with Pacquiao becoming president of the Philippines?
Nothing. The only one thing I can say is, if he attains his impossible dream—if, indeed, he seriously covets a Palace spot—democracy must have deemed it done.
Doesn’t democracy also allow for flaws, including the major ones?