I am not a boxing fan, but I had found myself watching boxing bouts of Manny Pacquiao on TV, reading a book about his dramatic life story, and rejoicing when he won. I am not his fan, but I have learned to admire Manny, the boxer.

It wasn’t long after his last triumphant fight with Erik Morales last November 2006 when rumors about Manny engaging into politics came out. He was asked on TV if he was actually planning to run in the coming election. As far as I can recall, he said something like “It’s not yet in my mind. If I run, it would only be jogging.” Nevertheless, as the election approaches, the rumor proved true. Manny already publicly announced about his candidacy. He is running for congressman in the first district of South Cotabato.

Criticisms flooded Pacman because of his decision to run, but in his defense, pro-Congressmanny said it is not proper to judge Manny’s capabilities.

I have nothing against Manny Pacquiao as a person. I do not personally know him–which exactly would be the point of the pro-Congressmanny people who press that we should not judge what he can do. Moreover, I don’t want to talk about politics not just because it is hard to comprehend, but because it is often dirty as well. But this issue really got my attention.

Manny, as we know, did not receive higher education. But he has also shown us that education isn’t always the stepping stone to success. He is the people’s champ who united the Filipinos with every powerful punch he threw at his opponents. He is that generous man who shares his blessings to others. But does it mean that he could also be a successful politician? Will he be a uniting agent amid all the contradictions that occur in this country? Or does he even know what he has gone into?

Well, that remains to be seen. We can’t do anything but wait since Manny, now the politician, has already said, “Kailan pa ako tatakbo, pag laos na ako?”

Kristine Rose, 19, is a Masscom student of the University of the Philippines Cebu College.

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