In the Philippines, a Week of Heroes

This week, here in the Philippines, we celebrated the life of a man who live in the 1500’s and a man very much alive today, both true Filipino heroes.

We are in the town of Lapu Lapu, named after an ancient king who is idolized to this day. April 27 marks Lapu Lapu Day, remembering the battle of Mactan. On this day Lapu Lapu defeated the superior arms of the Spanish forces, driving Magellan out of the country and delaying Spanish colonization.

There is an impressive monument to the king in this town, the girls were impressed with his abs, i am sure the statue is anatomically accurate haha. After the famous battle he orchestrated a coalition government with his past rival, showing his leadership on and off the battlefield.

Moving forward a few hundred years, the country is abuzz with talk of the big fight. This Sunday the long awaited, often postponed fight of fights is on! Mayweather vs Pasquiao. We are getting our tickets today to one of the pay for view venues, most are sold out. The entire country will come to a grinding stop for this early Sunday morning fight.

The Filipino’s love boxing but more so they love Manny. He is the national hero and for good reason. At 37 he is one of the oldest prize fighters on earth, his record is long and impressive. He has been called “pound pound, the greatest boxer of our time” by Sports Illustrated and ESPN. He is the first and only eight-division world champion,[8] in which he has won ten world titles, as well as the first to win the lineal championship in four different weight classes. He is boxing today and he is the Philippines.

His record is as impressive outside the ring, he has twice been elected to congress, coached and played in a basketball team, had an acting career and performs an endless list of community services. He is one of the good guys!

Along with knowing local religions, cultures and history, the local spirit of a country is told by its most loved athletes. I watched the Malaysian bad mitten player make the first real bid for Olympic Gold in fifty years. i partook in the Melbourne Cup festivities, and now the fight of fights for the Philippines. At each of the events i see the passion in the eyes of the locals, the pride and the deep affection. Coming from the US where an athlete has to be a star of the super bowl or get a sex change to be notarized, and then only for a fleeting moment, it is refreshing to see the unbridled love for the this boxer.

So it is with exploding excitement that we look to Sunday, i will join millions of Filipino’s in cheering for the national hero, GO MANNY!!!!!!