Wake Up, Philippines!

‘The greatest boxer that ever lived’

Posted in Pinoy's Pride by Erineus on May 4, 2009
May 3, 2009, 7:05pm
Manny Pacquiao

They claimed he beat an old, washed-up Oscar de la Hoya.

They said David Diaz was not in the elite class that would have convinced the world of his worth as the pound-for-pound best boxer of the world.

They believed Erick Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera were already vulnerable at the time he defeated them.

”They” would be hard put to find a reason to put Manny Pacquiao down now.

The systematic and absolute demolition of Ricky Hatton in all of two rounds Saturday night in Las Vegas has all but cemented Pacquiao’s reputation that Bob Arum unabashedly proclaims as “the greatest boxer that ever lived.”

Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao- Filipino- is the biggest and shiniest star in the boxing constellation today. The swift job he did on Hatton has thoroughly convinced even the most vociferous Pacquiao critic of the authenticity of the image he has built over the last few years as a giant-killer.

In the run-up to the much-anticipated fight, the hype was so that some die-hard Pacquiao followers started to believe the Mancunian camps’ pronouncements of invincibility at 140 lbs. (Hatton had neretofore been unbeaten in the Jr. Welterweight limit).

Despite the fact that the Filipino sensation was the odds on favourite, there were many factors that planted seeds of doubt and apprehension on some of Manny’s staunchest fans. The size factor was continuously mentioned as the main reason why Hatton would breeze through the Pacquiao parade.

The fact that Hatton had performed well against bigger and supposedly stronger opposition on his way to light welterweight superstardom, gave the impression that a challenger who started in the diminutive 108 lb. limit could not possibly prevail.

Never mind that many boxing experts found difficulty in finding the right words to describe the kind of mayhem Pacquiao creates in the ring that befuddle his opponents.

Never mind that his list of victims kept getting longer and more star-studded.

The Filipino was just too small and lacking in the finer points of the craft to be able to keep it up.

But Saturday night at the MGM Grand left many a non-believing mouth agape. The action that lasted a shade under 6 minutes was the result of long years of preparation involving buckets of blood, sweat and tears.

Again, the sage words delivered by promoter and Harvard law graduate Arum immediately after the fight come to mind: “let this be a lesson to all…no matter how much you have achieved, you have to continue to learn. This young man (Pacquiao) does not stop learning.”

Indeed the Manny Pacquiao that now attracts even the most ardent anti-boxing activist to watch every time he fights, is nowhere near the Manny Pacquiao who campaigned in the 1990’s as a flyweight in the defunct TV series “Blow by Blow”, produced by Vintage Enterprises.

The brash young man of the 90’s was already a power puncher but was mostly just that-all power.

There was one other thing he had then that he still has now-charisma. Everywhere he fought, people would flock to watch Manny Pacquiao and he invariably entertained them with his dazzling power and folksy ways.

There is a mantra he often recites every time people ask him about his fighting style, “I always enter the ring to fight and throw as many punches as I can. After all, the game is boxing. That’s what the fans come to watch-that’s what I give them.”

And to this date, it has worked like a charm.

Add to that his avowed faith in God and it’s easy to figure out where his inner strength comes from. Pacquiao truly believes in the power of prayer and that has given him the ability to believe in himself and not get intimidated by anyone or anything in the ring.

Ricky Hatton, he with the big words and even bigger muscles, did not scare the Pacman. The Gensan native came prepared by his excellent training team, work ethic as well as the hard life that he went through in his early years.

When Hatton typically lunged forward and exposed his noggin, the right hook came swiftly out of nowhere to cause Ricky to kiss the canvass twice in the first round.

Weary of and bewildered by that right hand, Hatton braced for it in the second round only to be bushwhacked by the vaunted left that has felled so many of the Pacman’s previous victims.

Ricky went the same way but was already in dreamland even before he hit the canvass and lay prostate for a few fearful minutes.

To everyone’s relief, he woke up and was able to flash a sheepish grin in time to hear the announcement of his defeat.

The blinding speed, the fancy footwork, the right hook and the left straight came from the countless hours Manny spent in the gym and on the road with his great boxing team led by Freddie Roach.

But the calm and inner peace before the fight and the chaos he wreaks during it must come from some mystical world that he is able to visit and draw from each time he bows and kneels to commune with it.

If it didn’t cause so much joy and revelry, it could be downright creepy.


What you need to know about swine flu

Posted in Epidemic/Pandemic by Erineus on May 4, 2009
May 3, 2009, 5:44pm

WASHINGTON — As the new swine flu spreads, people have lots of questions about how it affects their day-to-day life. Here are some answers.

QUESTION: How easy is it to catch this virus?
ANSWER: It’s spreading as easily as regular winter flu, which infects millions each year. Early estimates are that 25 percent to 30 percent of family members are getting sick once a relative brings it home.

Q: How dangerous is it?
A: Nobody knows yet. Genetically, it doesn’t share the same traits that made the infamous 1918 pandemic so deadly, nor does it seem as virulent as the bird flu that scientists have tracked for several years. While Mexico reported many deaths, the virus is causing less severe illness in the U.S. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most cases so far haven’t needed medical attention.

Q: Could I have some immunity?
A: Since it’s a never-before-seen mix of mostly pig but also human and bird viruses, the CDC has cautioned that’s unlikely. But it is a member of the H1N1 family of flu viruses, which circulate widely. Flu specialist John Treanor at the University of Rochester says people born before 1957 spent their childhood repeatedly exposed to H1 viruses. So experts are withholding final judgment on that question.

Q: Is it treatable?
A: Yes, with the standard anti-flu drugs Tamiflu and Relenza. They lessen symptoms if taken within 48 hours of the first symptoms.

Q: Is there a vaccine?
A: No. The government is working to develop one and the earliest shots could roll out would be in the fall, if authorities decide the virus remains enough of a threat to offer those shots. Manufacturers are preparing regular flu shots for the fall, when routine influenza strains will start circulating regardless of swine flu.

Q: Why does CDC stress hand-washing?
A: Flu viruses do spread through the air, so cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or by sneezing into your elbow rather than your hand. But flu also can spread by touching your mouth or nose with unwashed hands. The viruses can live on surfaces such as doorknobs or handrails for a few hours, or be passed by a handshake.

Q: Do hand gels work better?
A: No, they’re just an alternative, says Dr. Richard Besser, the CDC’s acting chief. He keeps a bottle in his pocket. The bigger issue is to wash hands well enough to get rid of germs. Sing “Happy Birthday” or “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” to know you’ve scrubbed long enough, he advises.

Q: How long do I have to worry if I just got back from Mexico?
A: The incubation period is two days to seven days, regardless of where you were exposed.

Q: How long should I stay home if I get the flu?
A: Certainly call your doctor about bad symptoms or if you’re at all worried, especially if you have any chronic condition, such as asthma, that makes you more susceptible to any kind of flu. But other than going out for medical care, stay home for seven days or for one day after symptoms end. The CDC also says family members should consider staying home or decreasing their contact with others in case they’re incubating the infections.

Q: Why are so many schools closing?
A: It’s not clear just how much good school closings do in slowing flu’s spread. It doesn’t help much if kids then gather at the mall or a friend’s house or day care. But because children spread all kinds of viruses easily — they don’t wash as well, have close contact in crowded classes, and sometimes are contagious for a few days longer than adults — the CDC has advised schools with cases to consider closing for at least 14 days.

Q: Can pets get sick?
A: Besser says there’s no evidence that this flu affects anyone other than humans.

Q: Can flu spread on imported fruits and vegetables from Mexico?
A: No. It doesn’t spread through any food, including pork.

Q: Is it safe to fly? How about the subway?
A: Yes, the CDC says. Just don’t travel if you’re sick — stay home.

Q: Do I need a mask in crowded areas?
A: The CDC hasn’t yet recommended that anyone other than health workers use masks.

Q: Why hasn’t the US closed the border with Mexico?
A: By the time authorities detected the new virus, it already had spread here. That makes closing the border moot, the Obama administration says.