Bare Eye

The boy who had nothing


GOING by stories of his hungry boyhood, Manny Pacquiao should be counted among those starless little boys in poor, dusty slum villages who never had the luck of owning a Christmas toy of their own.

These luckless urchins, needless to say, survived past Christmases on half-dreams, borrowed joys and assorted fancies just to be one with a thankful world on Christ’s birthday.

Of course, it’s also core of the Pacquiao legend how he moved up from the dirt floor to chase his boyhood dream.

Next they knew, the boy who had nothing, was now a wealthy superhero, helping the needy, providing joy and everything, including inspiration, to the hungry and homeless.

Pacquiao also became the receptacle of his people’s hopes.


Anyway, the purest Christmas hymn composed for the Filipino soul was not a carol.

It was a ballad of national longing, a kundiman that evoked the people’s hope and aspiration in the darkest night of the last war.

Payapang Daigdig, music and lyrics by National Artist Felipe de Leon, was reportedly first heard at the height of the last war, months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, while Manila lay directly in the beastly path of godless Japanese invasion.

“Ang gabi’y payapa, lahat ay tahimik/ Pati mga tala, sa bughaw na langit”

Tonight reigns God’s peace,/ Stars shine above in heavenly splendor


It was, to put it mildly, not an exact caption for the boundless fear, the immeasurable anxiety that reigned around Manila and its environs.

But instead of a cry of despair, Professor de Leon lent countrymen his gifts by providing them with a song and tune to calm their hearts in those times of devastation, death, danger and desolation.

At its purest, the De Leon Christmas masterpiece was the swoon of an angel’s flute, a nightingale’s heavenly song assuring that peace and goodwill would be back with Christ’s coming.


Back to Manny Pacquiao, there was for over half a dozen years, boundless joy out in the streets, mainly among the poor masses, each time he would score a big victory abroad.

Come Christmastime too, it hardly mattered if the daily wage-earner, the poorest of the poor, would again not have enough on the Christmas table.

There was always the gift of Pacquiao’s nobility and greatness—very tangible—that would be more than enough to assure and warm countless cold, hungry souls.


Then, all of a sudden, there was nothing.

It was unbelievable, came the cry from the streets, mainly in the wet market.

Talo, ubos, what happened, patay, knockout, rose the assorted groans, accompanied by a blank stare, grim drooping of once sure shoulders.

If, as one concerned Pacquiao admirer—the generous Fil-Chinese trader L.Y.—claimed the Pacquiao loss to Marquez ruined his day, it felt like a calamity to others, mainly the poor masa.

Not exactly doomsday, but there was the prevailing feeling Pacquiao had also led them to a dead end.

Of course, Pacquiao was quick to assure everything would be fine again, saying he would be back.


Not the end of the world, OK, but very few was willing to listen again.

Instead, there were mounting questions of what went wrong.

It was to each his own point plain boxing devotees and self-styled experts.

Where do they go from here?

No, it didn’t happen inside the ring, said one poor worker, a subdued homeless handyman who, just like Pacquiao, never had anything on Christmas day when he was a small boy.

“Si Pacman naman, nasa kanya na ang lahat, humanap pa ng ibang Kausap.”

Loosely translated, Eddie Enriquez, more known as Edi Bunga in his neighborhood in Vergara, Mandaluyong, wondered:

Why did Manny still seek a new Provider when he already had everything?

Edi Bunga fears that, going by how far Pacquiao has proudly traveled from the womb, the fallen superhero would never know where he honestly went wrong.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Marlou Wang

    Come on, guys! Per score cards, Manny Pacquiao was winning (47 vs 46) . He said he made a mistake by using his right hand. To make the story short, Marquez’ win is nothing but a “tsamba”. Manny said, he won’t beg Juan Marquez a rematch, meaning Marquez “has to really prove he’s worth winning the last game”. Many people are so negative. When Manny said “we will rise again” he said that true to his heart. He knows he is not hero for Filipinos only but around the world, and he never wanted to dissappoint them. Don’t forget, Mitt Romney even visited him before the fight. Stop thinking like it is the end of the world. 

  • captainramius

    Life is short he has to move on… and walk away from boxing. Whats there to prove ? If he beat Marquez,  if not convincingly ( and as he aged the chance of him knocking Marquez out is very slim ) will there be VI ? What for ?  His wife is correct he has done everything there is in boxing , nothing to prove anymore.

    Problem with success in sports and any other fields of endeavour , you just cant have enough of this , keep on reaching for the highest peak until you go down.

    The wise , walk away… 

  • melbourne333

    Pacquiao is the beacon of hope for masses not only in his country but all ” iskwaters” around the world. The message is clear and universal. The dragon that is called “poverty” can be slayed; the hungry,powerless,emaciated and downtrodden can unshackle the bonds that imprison and break free.

    My Cambodian neighbour the other day knocked on my door to ask if there is going  to be a fifth fight. In St Albans while we were buying food for our noche buena whispered to me-if he is going to fight next year. I told them i really dont have any idea. 

     Even in devastating defeat, people of all ages,gender and nationalities continue to follow the story like a  telenovela. Whether it ends in victory or a resounding loss doesnt matter anymore. The biggest fight has been won a long time ago.

    Maligaya at Masaganang Pasko para sa sambayanan.

  • agustin

    During his hungry boyhood that Pacman did not know that his usual dish of bone tuna boiled with malunggay has developed  the speed and power of his hand’s punches.

  • jayemdee_412

    My Sportsman of the Year is no other than … Manny Pacquiao. He humbly accepted his KO loss to Marquez without excuses.

  • Mabuhay

    He already knows the Bible and the flaws of the Catholic Church. It is time to gently tell the pastors to leave him alone…..Ingrate? I don’t think so…kumita na ng malaki ang mga pastors sa kanya….

  • Juan dela Cruz xxx

    Manny’s 5th fight with Marquez if this will happen, with mandatory random blood test to be implemented, Manny for sure will win against old Marquez.

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