My Sincere Prayer of Gratitude…as a simple blogger

My Sincere Prayer of Gratitude

…as a simple blogger

By Apolinario Villalobos


Thank you Lord,

…for leading me to people whose good deeds need to be exposed that they may inspire others;

…for giving me the courage to call the attention of fellowmen for their misdeeds;

…for the prayers of those who appreciate what I do, and which provide me with strength;

…for the encouragement of friends who give me inspiration;

…for the vintage laptop that has been helping me a lot;

…for the cellphone with camera that a cousin gave for quick photo shots of my subjects;

…for the strong wi-fi signal in the home of a cousin where I do my blogs;

…for the hi-tech communication system without which, my effort would be futile;

…for the tranquil nights and dawns during which I wake up to jot down prospective blogs;

…for words that come into my mind, and which I could develop into blogs;

…for the fingers that have recovered from carpal tunnel syndrome, so that I could work fast;

…for the effort of a nephew who provided me fast mobility with his motorcycle;

…for a stomach that could withstand pangs of hunger;

…for the lungs that have resisted the onset of respiratory ailments;

…for the nose that have been straining the polluted air;

…for my overall health to keep me going;

…for the strong comments of viewers who affirm my views;

…for the extras that I could spare for others;

…for making me wake up with sprite at dawn to prepare myself for the day;

…for the compassionate viewers who make donations for blogged needy people.


I pray that You continue to keep me and the rest with similar advocacy as mine, in the shadow of your protection at all times.



Praying man silhoutte

Pride and Mistakes

Pride and Mistakes

By Apolinario B Villalobos


Nobody is free from committing mistakes, be they petty or enormous.


Nobody shall ever learn how to improve his ways or do away with bad attitude unless there is an admission that a mistake has been committed, hence, the adage “learn from mistakes”.


While some are humble enough to admit their mistakes, the rest are overwhelmed by their pride… they just refuse to do it. The refusal is like a chain that holds them back from moving on.


The mistakes we made are among the steps we took towards our destiny. Refusing then, in admitting our mistakes would simply mean that we are stagnant. The arrogant cannot accept the fact that as a human being, he or she is not perfect.


Pride feeds on adoration of accumulated wealth, dizzying success, or plain appalling attitude. The arrogant filthy rich thinks, his money can buy anything, including power to hide mistakes. The success-intoxicated man thinks that he can do just anything better than anybody else, otherwise he could have not succeeded. And, there’s the simply conceited who sees himself as the only rightful- thinking creation of God, with the rest, wallowing in mistakes.


I think, the best thing to do, is evaluate what we have done and said at the end of each day as we live. It is important to know if we have done anything that could have displeased others, hence, displeased Him, too. That is the reason why He gave us brains….so that we can analyze.



An Encounter with a Quote Enthusiast

An Encounter with a Quote Enthusiast

By Apolinario Villalobos


I really do not know what to call the guy I met through another friend. He loves to quote other people and I admire his memory for he can even quote historical personages, with their sayings that I must admit are strange to me. We exchanged notes on blog subjects as he is also a blogger in his own right, though constrained by his busy schedule in their company as Operations Director. Practically, our styles do not have even a single similarity. While his blogs are full of “according to”, “as…..says”, or quotation marks, mine are simply stated and based on my own experience. However, we found out that two of our blogs tackled similar subjects.


We are both fond of history and biography. While I take note and absorb the essence of what I have read and tend to forget about the books later because of my short memory, he patiently takes note of statements of personages. While I am my own self in the course of our banter, his obsession shows no end about the personalities as he interjected quoted statements in our conversation which impressed me a lot. His memory is admirable.


He proudly told me about the “Tadhana…the story of the Filipino People”, supposedly written by Ferdinand Marcos. He also told me about the ancient books written by Greek philosophers, reprinted copies of which he found in a famous library in the United States. He even mentioned about Kahlil Gibran, and many more. I was humbled because although, I have read many books, I honestly could not recall their titles and authors, not even the history books that I was required to read as a high school and college student. I practically forgot about them. But, although, I hate Marcos, I have collected 7 books about him, especially, on his exploits as dictator, aside from those about his wife, Imelda. As regards Kahlil, I have two of his books.


I was dazed by the quotations that he impressed on me. All I could contribute was the “Golden Rule”, the author of which I do not even know. In the course of one of our conversations during a party hosted by a common friend, while I meekly told him about my AB course, earned from a then, struggling parochial school “sa isang liblib na bayan (noon, ngayon lunsod na) sa malayong lalawigan ng Cotabato sa Mindanado, at halos nasa paanan na ng Mt. Dagoma”, he bragged about his Master’s Degree earned from a university in the United States.


He slipped when he confirmed the fact that some students really copy/paste paragraphs from research materials in the internet. He admitted that he committed the same when he was finishing his Political Science course in a state university in Manila. His revelation was followed by a hearty guffaw to show that he enjoyed his act of plagiarizing materials from the books which made me shudder. In response to what he told me, I told him that I blogged about plagiarism a year ago, under the title “Plagiarism” a subject which also included plagiarized photographs and paintings. My revelation made him quiet suddenly and left me alone with my mug of coffee.


My encounter with the guy, made me ask questions such as, why some people have to quote others, even on simple subjects such as love, kindness loyalty, life, corruption, etc. when all they need to do is bring out their own experience or look around them for the needed input that can be shared. Why must they go to the extent, for instance, of quoting Mother Theresa or the new pope about compassion, love and charity when they can write about it based on the relationships that prevail among the members of their family or community? I cannot understand why they have to quote famous names when they write about corruption when all they need to do is open their eyes to what are happening around them. And, I cannot understand, too, why they must quote philanthropists when they write about poverty and other deprivations in life, when all they need to do is throw a glance at families living on sidewalks, and whose sustenance come from garbage dumps which is what poverty is all about-plain and simple.


On the other hand, if these “quoters” cannot help it, they should also try to absorb what they quote and put them into practice. I presume that the reason why the quotes caught their attention is that they are relevant, hence, worth remembering. But if they persist on just mumbling them to impress others, they become hollow “amplifier” of others or they are just acting like parrots. They cease to act as intelligent creatures who are supposed to use to the fullest what God gave them, by bringing out what are in their own mind, or better, act them out.


Finally, I am not saying that quoting others is wrong. What I am trying to imply is that, it should be done only when necessary, especially, when one is trying his best to emphasize his point, as quotes, especially, of reputable historical personages can help in the confirmation of ideas being presented.

Pope Francis of the Vatican and Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines



By Apolinario Villalobos


In the August 2015 issue of the National Geographic, I found an item that details how the bombs of the USA and her allies devastated Laos during the controversial Vietnam War that rendered the laid back country into a crater-filled wasteland after the war. Laos is the venue of the ASEAN summit 2016 being attended by Duterte where he was supposed to meet Obama on the sidelines but unfortunately, did not materialize due to the impertinent question from a Reuter reporter which incited the Philippine president to “explode”.


The same issue of the magazine features the cover story about Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio) which I did not give much thought at first. But after a nonchalant perusal, I was struck by several information on the pope that appear to be in synch with those about president Duterte’s.


Pope Francis was elected to the papacy just when the Vatican was at its darkest period due to piling up scandals that rocked the Catholic Church. The Philippines was in the same helpless situation in view of criminalities and political scandals, forcing the Filipinos to take the “risk” of voting for Duterte after realizing that the country needs a change that only one with a steely resolve can initiate.


The pope being from Argentina, broke the tradition of papal racial origin which should be either an Italian or at least a European. Duterte who claims to have a Muslim blood, is from Davao, a city in the southern island of Mindanao, broke the political tradition of the Philippines whose past Catholic presidents were from Luzon.


The pope, even while still in Argentina, was espousing the welfare of the have-nots. Duterte can cry unabashedly at the sight of an exploited, especially, raped and murdered innocents.


The pope considers himself a “street guy” or “callejero”, just like Duterte who shows his true humble color without hesitance if only to let those in the lower rung of the society know that he belongs with them.


The pope lives in a simple apartment, Casa Santa Marta, instead of the Vatican palace. Duterte’s staying at the guest house of Malacaἧan is just a compromise as given the choice he prefers to stay in a much austere accommodation. Both prefer the simple food that they used to partake.


The pope, while as archbishop in Argentina took the subway and had the habit of strolling along streets of unlikely nooks of Argentina. Duterte drove a taxi at nighttime to personally check on his constituents as best as he could, aside from using a simple pick-up type of car as his official vehicle as mayor of Davao City.


On the day of his proclamation as the new pope, Francis took the bus used to ferry the cardinals instead of the officially assigned limousine. Given the choice, Duterte preferred the old car that he used in Davao, instead of the luxurious one assigned to the president of the country.


Both Francis and Duterte are spontaneous…always, not afraid to blurt out what are in their mind…a feat that earned them enemies, albeit, during rare moments showed their down-to-earth person.


The pope has no plans of changing existing doctrines. The Filipinos are assured by Duterte of due process and fair justice system despite slight deviations that according to him are necessary  to help him in his cleansing efforts…and that, definitely, he will not resort to the Martial Law.


Francis has been telling friends that he needed to “start making changes right now”, since the day of his proclamation. Duterte is being propelled toward “changes” by his desire to have a transformation, hence, assuring the Filipinos that “change is coming”, thereby, seemingly in a hurry to cleanse the country of the drug menace and other forms of criminality first, to be followed by the rest of the cleansing that he promised to undertake.


Both are immensely misunderstood, though, unmistakably charismatic.



Firm, Austere, Fair, Humble and Daring are what the Duterte Administration is all about



By Apolinario Villalobos


The audacity of the Duterte administration is such that it did what the past administrations failed to do – challenge the drug lords by naming names. The firmness is shown in how it is doing all possible legal means to fulfill the promise that something significant can be done about the illegal drugs that spawns criminality in practically all sectors of the society, within six months. Its aura of fairness reaches out to the drug users and runners who are victims of the tenacity of the drug lords by inviting them back to the fold of the law.


On the other hand, the austerity shows in how Duterte took away all the frivolities from the national government affairs, foremost of which is the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by not allowing the egoistic officials to use them as fashion runways to show off expensive trappings, and by letting them have a taste of the poor man’s fare – mongo soup, alugbate soup, fried banana, and balut-based sauce, etc. And, to cap all the changes that Duterte is laying out, he did away with, “His/Your Excellency” as a reference to him as president.


If all those are not enough for one to discern the sincerity of the new president from the south, I do not know what else can satisfy his detractors. He does not have a trace of arrogance in his bearing as he shows that a Philippine president need not wear an expensive barong tagalog to be able to meld with the sophisticated ambience in and around Malacaἧan palace. What he used to be wearing as mayor of Davao, are what people see – barong tagalog or ordinary printed shirts with the long sleeves rolled up, on top of curdoruy or denims that go with a pair of casual boat shoes. The simplicity of Duterte has made the ordinary Filipinos identify themselves with him.


Duterte is a big lesson to all Filipinos. We should be true to ourselves as people of a third world country and not of a high-end nation whose people and their ways we try to mimic. However, it does not mean that we cannot be at par with them, because in so many fields and instances, we have shown our excellent traits. We should not be what we are not….we should not be hypocrites as to talk, think and act like westerners…partaking of their tongue-twisting named dishes during special occasions, copying their cocktails, and walking on a red carpet which is part of the royalty culture that the Filipino culture does not have. We must change if we want to metamorphose into the new Filipino!


Si “Mang Asyong” o “Mang Ace” (Ignacio Cabrera) ng PAL

Si “Mang Asyong” o “Mang Ace” (Ignacio Cabrera) ng PAL

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Unang na-touch ni Mang Asyong ang buhay ko noong unang araw nang pagpakita ko sa Philippine Airlines  “AOB” (Administrative Offices Building). Kasama ko ang ilang mga taga-Mindanao na mga bagong recruit para mag-training sa PAL. Inatasan siyang ihanap kami ng matitirhan o “boarding house” na malapit lang sa pagdadausan ng training, kaya ang ginawa niya ay dinala kami sa Airport Road, Baclaran. Dineretso niya kami sa isang “typical” na boarding house – ang mga kuwarto ay pinagkasyahan ng dalawa hanggang tatlong double deck na kamang bakal. Kilala siya ng may-ari kaya kahit wala kaming pinang-down payment ay tinanggap kami….ibig sabihin siya ang guarantor namin.


Pagkatapos ng training ay hindi ko na siya nakita dahil na-assign ako sa Romblon. Nagkrus uli ang aming landas nang ibinalik ako sa Manila upang ma-assign sa Tours and Promotions Division na ang opisina ay sa lumang domestic airport. Noon ko nalaman na kilalang kilala pala si Mang Asyong sa buong airport. Nakakautang siya kahit saang restaurant o karinderya. At, madalas pa niya akong nililibre ng tanghalian sa isang karinderya sa likod ng AOB. Dahil kulang ang kaalaman ko sa iba’t ibang trabaho sa PAL, akala ko noon, manager si Mang Asyong at malaki ang suweldo dahil maraming natutulungan, kasama na ako. Bandang huli ko nang malaman na ang puwesto pala ni Mang Asyong ay mataas lang ng kaunti sa puwesto ng janitor at messenger.


Ang hindi alam ng mga kasama ko sa PAL, kung hindi dahil kay Mang Asyong ay hindi ko narating ang Luneta, sa kabila ng kung ilang buwan na akong dumating sa Manila mula sa Romblon. Noong araw na samahan ako ni Mang Asyong sa Luneta, animo ay tour guide siya sa pagpaliwanag tungkol sa mga landmarks kaya lalo akong bumilib sa kanya. Nang magkapalagayan kami ng loob, madalas na kaming magpang-abot sa maliit na karinderya sa likod ng AOB, kaya animo ay pinag-usapan namin ang pagkikita. Habang nag-aalmusal, marami kaming napag-usapan tungkol sa buhay niya….mga gastos at ginagastusan. Nagkuwento rin ako sa kanya ng buhay ko kaya siguro naawa dahil nalaman niyang bata pa ay naging ulilang lubos na ako…sa madaling salita parang naging tatay ko siya. Noon ko rin nalaman ang tungkol sa mga pagkakawanggawang ginagawa ni Mang Asyong. Mula noon ay naging inspirasyon ko siya.


Dahil kay Mang Asyong ay marami akong nakilalang porter at janitor sa domestic airport na madalas kapusin ng pera kaya tulad niya, ay napasabak na rin ako sa “pag-abot” ng extrang barya para pamasahe o pambili nila ng pagkain. Kung hindi rin lang siya nauutusan sa ibang opisina upang maghatid ng mga dispatch envelop, magkasama kaming nanananghalian sa karinderya kasama ang mga porter at janitor kaya napasabak na rin ako sa pagkain ng kaning sinabawan lang o di kaya ay tinaktakan ng toyo o patis upang magkalasa, mapagkasya lang ang pera namin. Tuwing uuwi ako mula sa mga istasyong binibisita ko upang mangalap ng mga impormasyon para sa TOPIC magasin na pinahawakan sa akin, ang palagi kong dalang pasalubong ay “tuyong dilis” at “daing” para paghatian ng mga kaibigan naming porter at janitor. Madalas magpaubaya si Mang Asyong dahil ang kanyang share ay binibigay palagi sa isang taga-Novaliches na janitor.


Nang mag-retire si Mang Asyong ay nagkita kami nang mag-follow up siya ng retirement pay niya…payat at halatang may sakit. Inabutan ko siya ng kaunting pera na mabuti na lang ay tinanggap naman. Pinagbilinan ko siyang pasyalan niya ako palagi. Ang huling pagkikita namin ay sa ground floor ng Vernida building isang Disyembre (hindi ko matandaan ang taon), kasama ang kanyang apo. Tiyempo namang hindi ko pa nagalaw ang bonus ko kaya maluwag akong nakapag-abot ng pamasko sa bata at kay Mang Asyong…regalong katiting lamang kung ihambing sa mga naitulong niya sa akin at mga aral na napulot ko sa pakikisama ko sa kanya….mga aral na malaking tulong sa mga ginagawa ko ngayon.


Ang Pagpapaubaya at Pagpapakumbaba

Ang Pagpapaubaya at Pagpapakumbaba

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Ang pinakamahirap gawin ng isang tao lalo na ang may masyadong bilib sa sarili ay ang magpaubaya at magpakumbaba. Hindi matanggap ng isang taong masyado ang pagkabilib sa sarili ang basta na lang yumuko sa ugali o kagustuhan ng iba, lalo na kung pareho sila ng ugali. Sa ganitong pagkakataon, ang panalo sana ay ang taong magpapaubaya at magpapakumbaba, dahil lalabas na mas malawak ang kanyang pananaw. Ang girian na nangyari dahil lamang sa tinatawag na pride o pagkabilib sa mga sarili nila ay walang katapusan, hangga’t walang yumuko. Sa mata ng ibang tao, lalo na ng Diyos,  ang gagawa nito ay nakakabilib. Sa pagkatanggal ng galit sa kanyang dibdib, para na rin siyang natanggalan ng tinik at bigat sa kanyang balikat, dahil nawala ang inaalala niyang hidwaan na para sa kanya ay tapos na. Kadalasan, ang hindi yumuko ay nakokonsiyensiya pa!


May mga pagkakataong ang girian ay sa pagitan ng mag-asawa. Dahil sa tradisyong hindi dapat sinasaktan ang babae, ang dapat na magpaubaya ay ang asawang lalaki. Umiwas na lang hanggang lumamig ang ulo ng asawa niya. Kung sa pagitan ng magulang at anak, dapat lawakan pa ng magulang ang pang-unawa at pagpasensiya. Dapat niyang isipin na kung maaga niyang dinisiplina ang anak, hindi ito magkakaroon ng ugaling barumbado. Dapat aminin ng magulang ang kapabayaang ito na pagsisihan man niya ay huli na. Ang ganyang kaisipan ang dapat magpakalma sa kanya – isang kaisipang may pagsisisi. Hindi naman bulag ang Diyos para hindi makita ang ginagawa niya – yan na lang ang konsuwelo niya.


Walang masama sa pagiging mapagpaubaya basta ang pinagbigyan nito ay hindi naman abusado. May iba kasing tao, lalo na mga magulang, na maipakita lang ang kanilang poder o kapangyarihan, ay hindi pinagbibigyan ang hiling ng anak kahit nasa ayos naman. Palagi lang sana nilang paalalahanan ang anak na bilang mga magulang, hindi sila nagkulang, upang pagdating ng panahon hindi sila masumbatan o makonsiyensiya sa pag-isip na nagkamali sila sa pagpalaki ng kanilang anak.


Madaling sabihin subali’t mahirap gawin…yan ang siguradong reaksiyon sa sinulat na ito. Subali’t sa ibabaw ng mundo, wala namang imposibleng gawin. Dapat lang alalahanin na kung ipipilit gawin ang isang bagay, may paraan palagi. Ang balakid lang dito ay ang “pride” o masyadong pagkabilib sa sarili.

Marerespeto Lamang ang Isang Bagay Kung Lubos ang Pagka-unawa Dito…ganyan ang dapat gawin sa Bibliya

Marerespeto Lamang ang Isang Bagay

Kung Lubos ang Pagka-unawa Dito

…ganyan ang dapat gawin sa Bibliya

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Matalino talaga ang Diyos. Habang maaga ay naipakita niya na hindi pala malawak ang pang-unawa ni Manny Pacquiao dahil ang isip niya ay naka-kahon lamang o limitado sa mga nakapaloob sa Bibliya na halatang hindi naman niya inunawa na mabuti. Ang Old Testament kung nasaan ang Leviticus ay patungkol sa mga  Israelista noong unang panahon. Ang mga nakapaloob na mga utos ay para sa kanila at angkop sa kapanahunan nila…ngunit may iilan naman na ang “substance” o “essence” ay maaaring gamitin sa makabagong panahon…kaya hindi dapat “literal” ang interpretasyon. Marami ang nasiraan ng isip dahil sa pagkapanatiko sa literal na pagpaniwala sa mga kautusang ito sa Old Testament. Maraming nasirang pamilya sa makabagong panahon dahil ipinagpalit ng isang ama ng tahanan ang kanyang pamilya sa isang kopya ng Bibliya kaya lumayas at “nag-pastor” sa iba’t ibang lugar. Maraming nag-resign sa trabaho at nag-astang “Moses” at nagpastor-pastoran, sumasampa sa mga jeep at bus upang mag-share kuno.


Nakakabahala ang ginagawa ni Pacquiao na pagsangkalan sa Bibliya sa pangangampanya upang ipakita sa taong bayan na mabuti siyang tao. Ano ngayon kung naniniwala siya sa Bibliya niya?…ang dami diyang inaalmusal, tinatanghalian, at hinahapunan ang pagsambit sa pangalan ng Diyos, at tuwing araw ng pagsimba ay nasa simbahan din sila, pero magnanakaw naman pala ng pera ng taong bayan! Paano na lang kung manalo siya bilang senador? Gusto ba niyang ipilit sa mga hindi “Born Again Christians” ang nabasa niya sa kanyang Bibliya?


Ang isa sa mga totoo na sinasabi sa Bibliya ay darating ang panahon na maglalabasan ang mga hangal na taong nagkukunwaring mga “sugo” ng Diyos at pag-usbungan ng iba’t ibang grupo na nagbabalatkayong “maka-Diyos”…dahil nangyayari na…at may naghuspa pa na ang ibang tao ay masahol pa sa hayop dahil nagkakagusto sila sa isa’t isa!


Ang Bibliya ay isang sagradong bagay, ano mang uri ito na ginagamit ng iba’t ibang relihiyon. Ang mga hindi naniniwala ay dapat magpakita man lang dito ng respeto. Ang pag-abuso dito ay isang uri ng pambabastos sa Diyos.


May kasabihan sa Ingles na “respect begets respect” at sa Pilipino ay, “ang respeto ay nasusuklian ng respeto”. Dahil diyan, marerespeto pa kaya si Pacquiao dahil mismong Bibliya ay hindi niya nirespeto sa pagbigay ng ibang kahulugan sa mga nilalaman nito?






The Admirable Stewardess was an Educator…Ms. Ana Perpetua Ignacio of PAL

The Admirable Stewardess was an educator
…Ms. Ana Perpetua Ignacio of PAL
By Apolinario Villalobos

The crew that serves the passengers on board an airplane is generically called Flight Attendants, although, for gender distinction, she could be a stewardess or he could be a steward. The job of the flight attendant is no joke – demonstrating the use of different safety gear for passengers even while the plane has just made its unsteady ascent, as well as, enduring a sudden jolt due to an unexpected turbulence while serving coffee.

When I took the first flight PR1809 of PAL to Davao on June 17, one of the F/As was a look-alike of Alicia Alonzo, a 70’s Filipino actress who also had a stint as stewardess of Philippine Airlines. I first noticed her at the pre-departure area, because of her smile, although, the airline is supposed to require its F/As to always smile. But hers was different, as it forms naturally on her lips while she spoke.

Inflight, she was so professional in carrying out her duties – checking on the seat belts and putting to upright position reclining seats as necessary. I thought all the while that she was on the job for a long time, as she breezed through the routine checks with much ease, without a bit of self-consciousness. I was surprised to learn later that she had been flying for just three months! I was even more surprised that she was a former prep-school teacher. No wonder, she had a distinct almost flawless diction when she spoke either in Pilipino or English. Her story brought to my mind that of Princess Diana’s, who was also a prep-school teacher before she became a Princess of Great Britain.

When asked what prodded her to join PAL instead of other airlines that proliferate the industry, even the international ones which I was sure would be glad to hire her because of her alluring personality, she told me that she wanted to be part of the country’s flag carrier. It’s PAL for her, nothing else, she emphasized with a smile. Of course, she added that financial security was secondary and next was her love for travel. When she excused herself to do her other chores, I admired her tenacity in proving her worth as a deserving crew of the flag carrier – with her quick movements coupled with ginger sureness of her every step.

Philippine Airlines has a high standard when it comes to hiring its personnel, especially the flight crew – pilots and flight attendants. During trainings, emphasis is given on the aspect of customer service. But for the customer-contact jobs, such as ticketing, and passenger handling on board, much emphasis is on courtesy that should be enhanced with a sincere smile. High intelligence is of course, a must, as the employee is exposed to the different kinds of people with varied characters and mindset. Observing Ms. Ignacio made me conclude that PAL is back to its former high standards. As if by coincidence, Ms. Ignacio joined the airline just when the former Chairman, Lucio Tan, took over the airline from San Miguel Corporation. Both of them seem to be trying to show that the “new” PAL now boosts of fresh energetic and young crew, and is back to its former reliable service with the “Kapitan” at the helm.

I asked the permission of Ms. Ignacio to write something about my impression of the flight and their service with special mention of her name and the other crew, to which she gladly conceded, thinking perhaps that I would be doing a typical critique to improve their service. She gave me the names of the rest of the crew as: Chito Archie Sunga, Gerald Chester Perez, Myra Lorelie Villar, and Ana Francesca Arrida.

When we touched down at the international airport of Davao, as expected, it was smooth. Unfortunately, I failed to take note of the pilot’s name and his co-pilot when he introduced himself over the PA system while we were on our halfway inflight cruise toward our destination.

By the way, as added information, the delays in departure and arrival of PAL flights are due to the heavy traffic of almost simultaneous arrival and departure of aircrafts at the airport in Manila, especially, in the afternoon. They are not the fault of Philippine Airlines. The blame should be on the lone runway of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)…and perhaps, the government for not coming up with a solution about this problem until now.

Despite the Failure, Manny Pacquiao is still an inspiration…a true Christian in heart and spirit!

Despite the Failure, Manny Pacquiao
is still an inspiration…a true Christian in heart and spirit!
by Apolinario Villalobos

They say that after the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight, the luster of boxing as an exciting sport which many enthusiasts transposed into gambling will be gone. The sport could turn bloody and deadly which makes it exciting, as enthusiastic boxers exchange punches, each one hoping to land a decisive one to his opponent.

While many boxers find their way to the square platform ringed with rope for the money, Pacquiao uses nationalism and his love for the sport as his alibis. Despite those humble reasons, he clearly gained from his victories as he became a billionaire by Philippine standard. He made use of the fame from his victories to propel his way to the Philippine Congress. He was even respectfully accepted as a singer and a playing basketball coach, thanks to his eminence. And, from being a Catholic he was pulled to the fold of a Christian sect which of course became more popular. The people who are surrounding him became unquestionably rich, and undeniably, his company gave them popularity, too. In other words, Pacquiao gained but was pitifully used at the same time. After his latest fight with Mayweather, it is obvious that he is the loser all the way, a fact that not even his “humble” statements, albeit, betrayed sometimes by his defensive statements may not cover up a bit. Truth really hurts.

Pacquiao has only his too trusting own-self to blame for all that transpired in his bout with Mayweather. He was overconfident of his prowess, despite the shoulder injury that he incurred in the course of his training, and he also trusted his manager who did not declare the injury during the weigh-in. His honest admission of such injury during an interview after the fight hoping that it could justify his poor performance, cost him an immediately- filed class suit in Nevada, for a whooping damages of USD5M, with several more filed later.

Boxing fans all over the world felt cheated because Pacquiao did not deliver as expected, despite the excessively-priced tickets for the venue and pay per view on screen. They must have expected Pacquiao to maim Mayweather or turn him into a bloody pulp with his powerful right punch. And, the allegation that the information about his injury may have been leaked to the Mayweather camp, making the American boxer focus on the further weakening of his right shoulder by frequently hugging him followed by jabs to such particular part of his body, thereby, preventing him from delivering powerful right jabs… is another issue.

The enthusiastic quest of Pacquiao for fame has spelled his latest failure, for despite his physical inadequacy he went on with the fight. Many boxing enthusiasts are saying that he should have retired long time ago yet while he was perched on the pedestal of fame as the only boxer with many titles to his name, though with a few loses. He was lionized by sports magazines, admired even by Hollywood icons and equally famous boxers. He should have concentrated on his responsibilities as a Congressman to show that he is worthy of a higher post, or help budding boxers by putting up boxing gyms all over the country, or even put up chapels for his Christian congregation and pursue his spiritual advocacy.

Although there are gyms in Manila that bear his name on their signboards, some people doubt if he owns all of them, and if indeed he does, it is doubted if he visits them regularly. He neglected his duties as the Representative of Sarangani, one of the poor provinces, if not the poorest in the whole Philippines, and ironically, where he is also allegedly constructing the biggest and most luxurious resort in the country. His fellow congressmen justified his absences from sessions with “nationalism” as he was supposedly fighting for his countrymen and beloved country.

Unfortunately, his ventures seemingly show him as the kind of guy who wants to have everything in life all at once, a person without gratification. He spreads himself so thinly, that could dangerously crack his person, even beyond recovery. Sadly, if more legal cases against him will be filed in the United States and prosper to his disadvantage, many fans are concerned that the painfully- earned dollars from his boxing career may just be enough for the alleged damages and legal expenses. Will his “friends” help him, especially the opportunistic politicians who hover over him, hoping to be caught on cameras every time there are fights or interviews? I hope that his story will not be like those of other champion Filipino boxers who got intoxicated by fame that caused their painful fall with a loud thud.

Pacquiao has been perceived by his users as a fighting cock or a prized breed of dog that must be groomed well for competitions because of big amounts that they wager. Pacquiao did not feel this a bit as he got numbed by adulation. He was engrossed in the thought that he was being idolized and looked up to as inspiration of aspiring boxers which are really true. But he was blinded by his success so he failed to see the unfavorable side of his victorious streak. He also failed to comprehend the laws of life that say: a cup overflows as it can take just enough …and what goes up must come down. In other words, there is an end to everything in life as willed by God.

Honestly, I had been apprehensive about an injury that he will finally endure, but in his eardrum which was damaged during an earlier fight, and which will eventually affect his vision. Though I was right about the heavy damage, it happened in another part of his body – his right shoulder. The only persons who could authoritatively tell Pacquiao to stop his boxing career, in this regard, will be the surgeons who will perform the operation, but only if they find the damage in his right shoulder to be beyond repair. Will the family of Pacquiao pray for this as they want Manny to move around with still the same swagger, both shoulders moving in rhythm with his arms? For sure, if Pacquiao is assured of a total recovery in time by the surgeons, he will vehemently and stubbornly decide for a rematch to which Mayweather has already consented this early.

The damage being suffered by Pacquiao is too much that his fans should stop egging him to go on for a rematch with Mayweather. Waiting for him are legal suits filed in America which are more than enough to cause him sleepless nights. Besides, no boxer will ever expect a victory over a shrewd and “technically wise” fighter such as Mayweather with his evasive hugs, back steps and runs, unless a knock-out punch hits him clean and squarely.

Despite his latest failure, Pacquiao should be credited for his effort in showing how to fight decently by maintaining his utmost humility and clean style. Subtly, he softened Mayweather as shown by the absence of arrogance in the latter’s statements every time he was interviewed before and after the fight. If boxing historians will be fair enough to Pacquiao, they should acknowledge his restrained insistence to maintain sportsmanship which should be the essence of boxing. He has been setting instances on how to maintain a friendly mood after the physically straining and painful competition, by inviting his opponents to his hometown for a visit, with all expenses covered by him. If that is not a friendly gesture, I do not know what it should be called.

As a countryman and avid fan, I sincerely pray for the fast recovery of Manny Pacquiao. He may have been waylaid by his overly trusting attitude, kindness, and most especially his zealous desire to rise from his humble beginning. His unwavering endurance to fight poverty should inspire us to move on and hurdle the challenges along the way. For me, he is the same Manny Pacquiao with a tiger look, an innocent smile, hearty laugh and a husky voice like any other country singer around; the same guy who struggles with English to show that he is trying his best to recoup the lost time that should have been spent in classroom, but denied him due to utter poverty; and, the same guy who prays before and after a fight. He showed us how to love unconditionally, as besides showering his mother and family with it, he extended the same to his father who abandoned them while he and his siblings were young, leaving his mother to work night and day just to keep them alive. For me, he is a true Christian in heart and spirit, selflessly compassionate, and who does not harbor hate in his heart!