Friday, November 20, 2009

Manny Pacquiao - Philippine's Boxing Legend

Filipino athletes have been known to be very determined even against all odds. We have Manny Pacquiao, Gabriel "Flash" Elorde, Jerry Penalosa, Luisito Espinosa, Onyok Velasco, Efren "Bata" Reyes, Django Bustamante, Paeng Nepomuceno, Caloy Loyzaga, Robert Jaworski, Ramon Fernandez, Benjie Paras, Eric Buhain, Akiko Thomson, Tony Leviste, Lydia de Vega, Elma Muros and so many others. Even with limited resources and minimal support from the national government, these athletes have contributed pride and glory to our nation. The Philippines, though has not won a single gold medal at the Olympics, have continued to defy odds and challenge other athletes from different parts of the world.

Manny Pacquiao may be considered the country's greatest boxer. No other boxer, even abroad has won 7 different weight divisions. Even the Golden Boy Oscar dela Hoya or Floyd Mayweather has not earned this feat. Both have won only 6 weight division belts. Don't underestimate that, winning 6 different weight divisions is amazing, winning 7 is crazy. No matter how you put it, Pacquiao's achievement has never been done before, and not only that, his past 4 fights, Diaz, Dela Hoya, Hatton and Cotto are all very convincing wins, 3 were knockouts and 1 by submission. These 4 boxers were all heavier, taller and are said to be more powerful than him in terms of punches. His only clear advantage was his speed. But in the end, his speed was only one of his skills. He has matured into an intelligent boxer, thanks to his coach and trainer, Freddie Roach.

Filipinos should be very proud of Manny Pacquiao. We may not have another boxer of his stature in probably 10-20 years. All the news about his extra marital affairs are all being blown out of proportion by the media. People who judge him are being unfair. If all the gossips about him are true, who are we to judge the guy? Are we no different? Haven't we done anything wrong in our lives that we were ashamed to admit? People say that it is unfair to his wife and children, which is true, but we should not exploit the issue by showing their emotions on national television and talking about their lives at showbiz talk shows. Manny Pacquiao is a public figure who should be responsible since he is idolized by many, but he is still a normal human being who commits mistakes. Nobody is perfect, it is just very poor judgment that the media is exploiting his weaknesses, all just for earning more and more millions for their media corporation.

Manny Pacquiao is a gift to us Filipinos and we should thank God and him for bringing pride and glory to Filipinos all over the world. Let us try to be decent human beings and give what is due to Manny. Not only did he brought pride to us but he has helped thousands of Filipinos by donating funds to typhoon victims and provided jobs to his people in General Santos through his businesses. He will try for the second time to run for public office because he believes he can help more if he is elected. All of these are from his fists which once were hitting coconut trees when he was just a young boy dreaming to be a good boxer one day.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Applying for US Visa

Ask any Filipino you know and most probably they have a relative or a friend living in the States. We are a nation of people who treats the US as our second nation ever since they set foot on our nation during the Spanish regime. Our parents, uncles, aunts and just about anybody in their generation tried to go to the states either by looking for work or just want to have a vacation. It was generally known that if one goes to the states, life is better there, easier and you earn more. If you pass by the US Embassy, chances are you will see a lot of people applying for a visa or are scheduled for an interview. Is the grass really greener there?

I have known a few people who tried to apply for a visa. An adult who had a scholarship to the states was denied. Another who has no plans of working there, who owns a small business here was granted a visa, a couple who planned to have their honeymoon there - the husband was granted but the wife denied and another person who plans to accompany her father to see their relatives there was denied twice. People say that consuls at the embassy do not have a clear criteria on granting a visa or denying one. They say that one must have a fat bank account, travel experiences abroad and good credit standing will help. Basing on a friend's story, it does not work that way. They say that consuls just rely on their gut feelings. Do you think that is fair?
As for me, i hope that i will not be required to get a US Visa in the future. I have no plans in going there. I heard that life there is more difficult than here. It makes twice as difficult because you will miss your family here. The only logical reason for applying for a US Visa is work there pays better compared here, far much better. Vacation? There are other places better to visit. How about Europe? Other Asian countries are also worthwhile to have a vacation.

I really hope that the time will come that Filipinos will not be so restricted in going abroad, not just to the US but other first world countries as well. Filipinos are known to be very hardworking and family-oriented. Since the government here can not provide enough and decent jobs that can pay well, Filipinos should be given a fair chance to work abroad. As we all know, the government very much rely on remittances sent by OFWs to their families here, so it is logical that we need more opportunities.