I had the same topic of conversation with a former student and a cab driver earlier. You guessed it right. ‘Twas about Pacquiao. At one point my former student asked, “Cher, do you hate Pacquiao?”
First of all, I find ‘hate’ too strong a word. Let’s not use ‘hate’. I know of no religion that teaches to hate on people and persecute those who have different beliefs than others. No, I do not hate Pacquiao.
I found it very odd that he was able to get into, play, and coach in the PBA, but I do not hate Pacquiao. I do not support his or his wife’s decision to enter politics, but I do not hate Pacquiao. I do not agree with most of his views and the words he uses, but I do not hate Pacquiao.
For one thing, anyone who makes a stand and sticks by it, even if there’s a lot at stake, to some extent, is commendable. It takes a lot of courage to do so, particularly for someone like Pacquiao, who is running for a higher public office. Such an unpopular stand could actually cost him numerous support and eventual votes; he stood by his faith anyway.
Indeed, everyone is entitled to his opinion and beliefs. In the same essence, no one is spared from criticisms. Pacquiao made a stand; just like the Fil-Am guy who petitioned for Nike to remove Pacman from its roster; just like Nike eventually dropping Pacman; just like personalities like Boy Abunda and Vice Ganda, though just in reaction to Pacman’s statements, have also made a stand.
Pacquiao is a public figure. From his first win as an athlete, he has become a public figure. Public figures, more than anyone, have a greater responsibilty to choose their words, their views, and their actions. If Pacquiao chooses to go against same-sex marriage, then let him be. What he should have considered though and thought of very carefully, in my humble opinion, is how he should defend that stand, his views, in a more studied, and more respectful and responsible manner. I just expected that someone, who is seeking higher office, should have a considerable level of maturity and wisdom. Or maybe that’s just me.
I cheered for Pacquiao in most of his fights. Truly, he has brought so much joy and pride, and I am thankful for that temporary high. However, I humbly disagree that the nation owes him for that. We owe the SAF 44, yes. We owe the countless men and women who put their lives on the line, the countless men and women who dedicate their lives to service, yes. But Pacquiao or any other celebrity? No.
Pacquiao is an athlete, by profession, as a way of earning and living. He did not, and does not fight solely for the country’s pride. If anything, I feel he owes his constituents. When he became a congressman, he swore, on a Bible no less, to uphold his duties and responsibilities, and fulfill his obligations. What we, as voters, need to reflect on is if Pacquiao was able to do that, and more. His career and achievements as an athlete is separate from his accomplishments (or lack thereof) as a public servant, and therefore, should not be the sole basis to consider voting for him.
So much has been said about Pacquiao particularly on this issue/controversy he is involved in, and maybe my opinion, or another post about it would not really matter. But to answer my former student and manong cab driver’s question…
No, I do not hate Pacquiao.
Yes, I will still cheer him on if he continues to fight in the ring.
But no, I will not vote for him.