People United in Pacquiao

The Uniting Power of Sports

What makes a Pacquiao boxing day noticeable in the Philippines is that there is absolutely no traffic congestion in the streets of Manila. Hours before the fight, people gather in different places waiting for the time to feel the heat and the beat when watching the fight. After all, watching alone at home is a very boring activity even if one is watching a boxing match.

In a way, a day when Pacquiao has a boxing match serves the country well through the uniting power of sports. Some news articles online even claim that there is practically zero crimes committed in some areas during a Pacquiao bout. Today, people are even said to set aside their fears of an erupting volcano and forget the conflict in Mindanao all for the love of this boxer who has brought pride to the Philippines.

One thing I dislike with this day, though, is the fact that people also refuse to work because it is the day of a Pacquiao match. While these people arguably deserve the rest they are currently taking, it could have been better if they did think of what leaving their work does to a group of people the next working day.

Nevertheless, I believe I can let that pass. I can let people refusing to work even when it is needed pass for the sake of national unity behind a boxing champ. I can choose not to care if people dining in a restaurant in a hotel act as if they are in a boxing arena or a coliseum. I can choose to ignore the money spent wastefully to be in some place watching the very same match that could be watched albeit delayed in our own television sets. All of these I can set aside, all for the wondrous feeling that the Philippines had acted as one country, at least for a couple of hours, if not for a day.

Such is the uniting power of sports.

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