Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Brutal Sport of Boxing - Or why I am not thrilled by Pacquiao's Victory


I watched a replay of the Pacquiao-Diaz match this evening. I only watched up to the fifth round, I found it too brutal, especially after seeing the bloodied face of Diaz. I didn't stay around and watch Manny knock Diaz down in the 9th round.

I know millions of Filipinos are filled with joy and pride after seeing Manny Pacquiao win the WBC flyweight championship. Many hail him as a national hero. Many claim that he is the only one that can unite the Filipino people. The President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo congratulated him and called his victory a masterpiece. "Once again he showed the sterling quality of excellence of a Filipino at his best," she said after watching the fight on TV while awaiting her flight back to Manila.The President said the whole country is rejoicing over the Filipino icon’s new feat.

I am probably one of the few who is not rejoicing over Pacquiao's victory. I am appalled at the sight of two boxers trying to hurt each other and knock each other down. I cannot stomach nor can I glorify violence. I am never impress by anyone who proves to be a better or more butal fighter in the ring.

Boxing is the modern day equivalent of the gladiatorial combat in ancient Rome. These fights among slaves were organized by the Emperors to entertain the masses so that they can forget their problems. Of course, boxers don't try to kill each other, but many have been maimed or have even died.

I believe that brutal sports such boxing has no place in civilized society. We should stop considering boxers as heroes. If the only thing we can be proud of is our boxers like Manny Pacquiao - shame on us. The kind of heroes we are looking for are the ones who are capable of fighting corruption, injustice, environmental destruction and poverty in our land. We do not want violent or blood-thirsty heroes, but those capable of working for peace.

There is more to national unity than Filipinos watching at the same time Manny Pacquiao fight his opponents on TV.

28 comments:

xzellenz said...

shame on you, instead, for being a cynic...in a time when we, Filipinos, have very little to rejoice about, such small victories by our countrymen, whether in boxing or in other fields should be celebrated without cynicism or even criticism..

comparing boxing to gladiatorial combat is, to say the least, baseless, misinformed, and unjust (stupid, if i may add).. boxing is a sport, a test of skills, wills, and talent.. is it brutal? sometimes, it is.. but it is part and parcel of the sport..no one forces boxers to to what they do..boxers choose to do what they do, and we should respect them for doing so, not castigate them

obviously, boxing would benefit from more stricter regulations and safety nets to protect fighters, and that's the reason why boxing experts are constantly trying to implement stricter measures and regulations..

I love the fact that you are voicing out your opinions, but here is what i think--i think before you criticize the sport of boxing, you should first clean your own backyard..the "sins" of boxing are far less than the sins of the catholic church.. why not blog about those things, eh?

why not blog about the corruption of the church, or the sexual abuse cases that plague priests, or the questions on the intergrity of priests? those are the issues you should first address; boxing should be the least of your concerns, father picardal.

Arnie said...

FYI, the catholic church is going down. it is based on false teachings 2000 years ago and no longer applicable. get out while you still can...

rag said...

comments like yours are really uncalled for. and coming from a priest.. geesh! yeah I know it's a free world but sometimes we have to be responsible on what we post.

crab mentatility talaga. KSP amp!

Gener said...

father, kulang lang kayo sa pansin, kaya marami nang katolikong hindi bilib sa mga pari. tsk. tsk. tsk.

kenshinflyer said...

Father, may I ask you a question: Were you bullied before as a kid?

If yes, well, there's no doubt why you weren't thrilled by Pacquiao's victory.

Okay, okay: you want heroes capable of peacemaking. Simulan mo na, susunod ako. Talk is cheap. Manny has done just that many times. When Manny fights, there's no crime--all eyes glued to TV sets. Can you do that?

laruku said...

In this time we see how naive filipinos can be... i agree with your opinion father picardal.. i am not a fan of boxing neither do i want it not to be part of society. But in reality we need heroes but not the likes of pacquiao. We need heroes who can make a change in our country. People who are taking the argument on "The church have done more sins than pacquiao" just have little or no known understanding of reality. What can pacquiao do for this country? When everyone wants to live and work abroad? Where there are hungry people on the streets, rebellion in our own soil, graft and corruption in our government. And for the record boxing or other forms of contact sport are all brutal and can be and will always be compared to gladiatorial combat.How? First of all gladitorial combat is a sport in the roman time with a different set of rules. Second, Well people will never get out of that reality because it is in our genes. We are all genetically born with the innate thirst to kill. That is why we are on top of the food chain. We are not herbivores or carnivores, we are omnivores. Just a little science 101 before people reading this blog gets again on the argument "why compare gladiatorial combat to boxing". We are all entitled to have our own opinion, and Father picardal's opinion is something we can praise not criticize. At least We can say that there are still filipinos who are aware on what is happening in this country. Those are the filipinos that are worth calling heroes. Why call Father Picardal "papansin, stupid, KSP, crab mentality and those stuffs", havent your parents teach you how to show respect, and for God's sake it is a priest that you people are talking to. If Father Picardal's opinion is not aligned with what you see on pacquiao's win. At least show some respect, you can still voice out your criticism in a very constructive way. Havent you guys even thought that all this publicity all falls down to profit and popularity. Ratings and Politics. Call this pathetic patriotism or whatever you may call it. But please read between the lines and show some respect.

Vincent Adam said...

I respect your views, Fr. Picardal, but I don't think it's nice to denigrate a person's accomplishments just because you don't like the field he accomplished it in. (Unless that field happens to be mass-murder or the like)

@laruku:

Pacquiao is not a hero because he wins in boxing.

Your definition of what a hero is is very narrow. A hero is not just someone who brings peace. A hero can also be someone who brings HOPE. Pacquao has done just that. He has shown people that, even with limited credentials, a person can still rise above his limitations, conquer adversity, and succeed in life.

That's what Pacquiao has given to the world - especially filipinos. Hope. And in that context, he is a hero to many.

onald said...

What is you problem FATHER! Are you so damn absorbed in your self righteousness that you can not even be happy for a fellow Filipino's achievement.. in that case why do you still remain a priest when you are looking for heroes who fight corruption. look no further FATHER, its in your backyard. THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH is part of the corruption you despise. For centuries the church grew in actrocties.. the INQUISITION! the HOLOCOUST! the church turn a deaf ear and blind eye on these! and plese FATHER dont even deny you get a BONER once in a while or MASTURBATE even!

bermuda grass said...

indeed, how could something as brutal and as bloody as boxing be called a "sport"? when does it become enough? i read somewhere that even Roach (the coach of Pacquiao, who's an ex-boxer) already has the parkinson's disease (same as Ali's). so does he intend for manny to have the same fate? boxing has become all about money and gambling. how about our Filipino athletes in track and field and other sports who continue to train hard despite a tight budget, and try their best to win the medals despite formidable opponents? i think they are the real heroes in sports.

Jairus said...

Father, you are not alone. hindi rin po ako ganung kamangha sa pagkapanalo ni pacquiao.

sa lhat ng nagagalit kay father, bahala na nga kayo sana mapagisip isip niyo kung ano ipinopost niyo.

Fallen Scholar said...

Father, i will pray for you. I know you can endure all those negative comments. Many have suffered because they told the truth. May the Mother of Perpetual Help bless you. Go Father!

Ok, there's no crime DURING the fight, but have you noticed fans are killing one another AFTER the fight? And during the fight, it is noticeable that many have disrespected the Filipino flag. Isn't that a crime?


I dont admire Manny. I admire those disabled persons striving hard to give honor to our country. I admire Father Picardal.

Istik said...

I respect your opinion but don't put down the opinions of others by not posting their comments. You should be manly enough to accept all the criticism that would be the result of this posting of yours.

It is kind of unfair that you censor some of the comments but you use freedom of expression by posting what you have in mind.

SEEKER OF THE RIGHT said...

To say Pacquiao is a hero, is just like saying that the biblical character is a hero. A hero is one who lives in misery or even died after a heroic act, not one who lives in extravagance and gallivanting after a barbaric undertaking. Pacquiao perhaps a superstar not a hero. To claim that he is a hero would prostitute the meaning of hero is.

Matrix Resources said...

Pacquiao is an ugly pitbull!!!

petite said...

Suma-inyo ang kapayapaan!

Hindi bayani si Manny, siya'y bahagi lamang ng kasaysayan ng boxing, ng ating bayan na siya'y naging kampeon sa kasalukuyang panahon sa larangan ng isport, at nakapagbigay ng muling pagkilala sa kapilipinuhan sa saklaw na pangdaigdigan, at higit sa kasiyahan ng mamamayang Pilipino.

"Ang pagiging bayani ay hindi hinuhubog sa sandaling panahon at ninumang mamamayan, tanging kasaysayan pa rin ang magdidikta at susukat kung ang isang mamamayan ay isang bayani ng bayan - bayani sa iba't-ibang larangan, at bayaning nagsakrispisyo para sa Diyos, at para sa Bayan"

Ang mga negatibong kritisismo kay Padre Picardal, ay larawan ng kawalan ng malalimang kabatiran/kamalayan kung ano nga ba ang esensiya ng "kabayanihang para sa bayan", manapa'y ang mamamayang Pilipino nabubulagan sa komersyalisadong kabayanihan, tulad ng boxing, basketball at iba pa...

Nawa'y magkaroon ng buhay at malawak na kapanonotan ang bawat mamamayang Pilipino, sa kanyang pakikipag-kapwa-tao at pagiging Pilipino, at tunguhin ang bagong yugto sa pakikipag-ugnayan sa antas ng pangdaigdigan. Ang pangdaigdigan pakikipag-ugnayan ay isang "di lantad na kabayanihan", ito ang inakong gampanin ng 10% populasyon/ mamamayan ng Pilipinas, na kung tawagin ng kasalukuyang pamahalaan ay "mga bagong bayani ng bayan" - ang natatanging sektor ng paggawa, ang OFW. Ang bawat OFW ay nagsisilbing SUGO ng bansang Pilipinas sa iba't-ibang panig ng mundo, kapalit nito'y laksa-laksang hinagpis, kalungkutan, at pangungulilala niya at ng kanyang pamilyang naiwan sa sariling-bayan, at kung minsan at talagang nagaganap sa tunay na buhay, na ang istraktura ng kanyang pamilya'y nabubuwag.

Sa katotohanan, ang mga "di lantad na bayani" o mga OFW ang siyang nagbibigay lakas at nagsasalba sa bagsak na ekonomiya, sa kanilang bilyong USD na remitanses kada tao, subalit sa mahigit-kumulang na 3 dekada, ang pamahalaan ay di seryoso at walang nalikhang konkretong programa para sa re-integrasyon, bagkus higit nitong pinararami ang bilang ng OFW at mas hinihikayat ang mga manggagawang pilipino na mangibang-bansa at magpa-alipin sa ibayong-dagat. Imbes na produktong yamang-likas ang dapat na i-eksport, tao ang pangunahing produktong pang-eksport ng bansang Pilipinas.

Sa katotohanan, ang mga mamamayang Pilipino ay manhid na sa "tunay na diwa ng patriotismo", at nalihis ang kanilang damdamin sa katumpakan ng depinisyon ng terminolohiyang "bayani"; bagkus mas hinahangad niya na pag-usapan, talakayin at damahin ang mga kabayanihan sa showbiz, sa boxing, sa billard... at ang mundo ng pagkukunwari, makasarili't kataksilan.

Para kay Manny, mabuhay ka!

Padre, pagpalain po kayo ng Dakilang Lumikha.

Maraming salamat po.

vanillae said...

No question about that, one just need to open his eyes and he will see the truth. You may watch boxing and be entertained by the fists that pour more blood from the opponents face, but never call them heroes because being boxer alone is way beyond the qualifications.

Related topic can be found here: http://expressingmind.blogspot.com entitled Why Heroes.

donturyuk said...

Manny Pacquiao rag to riches story is common to all people whos been very succesful in their respective field,,
but what seperate Manny is he bring the whole nation into one.during the time a country is suffering government turmoil,corruption,economy meltdown,cudeta etc.one Man stand alone and bring glory to the bad image
of Philippines,....
Manny Pacquiao makes everyone in the Philippines watch everytime he enter the ring,,thus makes the result of,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
1.zero crime rate for at least 6 to 7 hours in one day.
2.almost nobody in the street.that like in the movie everybody is freeze, STOP the whole nation
3.CEASEFIRE between military and rebel during the time of his fight
BASICALLY STOP A WAR

Wilbert said...

I agree on Fr. Picardal. I'm a fan of pacman as well. I'm trilled every time he fights on the right. And i'm one of those millions of filipinos who rejoice every time he wins a fight. I can consider him to be a legend because of his great skills in boxing. But to consider him a hero? I don't think so. In USA, they have Michael Jordan. In Philippines, we have Manny Pacman. But did they ever consider Michael Jordan a hero in USA? I don't think so! But no one can argue that manny is the great boxer right now. And I'm a fan of him since his blow by blow days. =)

Danilo said...

Good morning father, I was able to glance your dairy how you work for the mission and for the formation of the priests. I thank God for your blog to let us know the picture of the mission of Christ. I also understand that there are only few sports lovers who reacted too much with your comments on the recent fight of Pacquiao and the boxing sports as it is.
While they gave negative understanding on your opinion, It came to my mind how those fans of Diaz reacted when they saw Manny hitting their idol. I remember that one mexican who hated pacquiao for destroying their boxing icons (Barrera, Morales, Marquez etc) became an instant fan of him after Manny offered a help to Diaz after the fall.
Your comments on the true concept of a hero is not just an opinion, but the true meaning of what hero is. I believe of what you said father since you are far more dedicated to your calling as a missionary priest.
Those who reacted too much might have some unresolved personal issues. They might be non-catholics or catholics in name who did not practice their faiths. Or they might be the fans of Manny so to say.
If they only knew the meaning of "Cynic, shame on u, etc" they would not have spoken those words. Why ?
1. They did not indicate who they are, their real names, etc, which is the sign of a coward. Can the unkown be credited to what he says or speaks against a living person?
2. The dead can never speak to the living. They dont have names father, therefore, they are not real, nor there commentaries are real. I challenge them to say first who they are for them to be responsible for their words. I guess, they are also educated since they used words from dictionaries, bibles, history books, etc.
The only credible statements or comments are those that are fully accounted for.
Hope that those who spoke ill words against you be judge by what they said, for them to learn that freedom of speech is not just saying anything what one likes to speak, even if the words are already hurting.
Thank you for reading this message of mind father. May you include me in your prayers too for I also need God's blessings as a government employee, and for me to continue working for the greater glory of God.

Thank you father,
Danilo Gabia

ferdie said...

I think we are all wrong in our opinion making regarding Manny Pacquiao.
1. Pacman must not be considered a hero as long as he is still alive,living person still make sin. Just like Flash Elorde, he became a hero in our heart and mind because his clean and honest living.
2. Pacman is an inspiration to all filipino,who bring honor to our country and give hopes to our poor country man the stairway to elevate thier lives from poverty.
3. Boxing is a decent way to earn a living. KFR, Holduppers, Bank robbers,terrorist and corrupt government and religous official is more brutal than the art of boxing.

Shame on all that are against boxing,you are all hypocrite!!!!!

GREAT LOSSER

eric santillan said...

The famous German poet Bertolt Brecht once said, "Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes."

This whole discussion on Manny Pacquiao, I think, really shows how desperate we have become in looking for heroes in the country.

I watch Manny Pacquiao. I respect and I glory in his wins. And I for one believe that he has brought glory to the country. My Sunday stops as well when there is a Manny Pacquiao fight.

But this post by Fr. Picardal also made me think at the very least.

I think it is really just a problem of "definitions". What is hero for you?

And people will have different definitions and equally different understanding/s of that word. Now, to fight about definitions is to lose the whole point.

With respect to everyone here, and as with everything in life, we have things we are very passionate about and we’ll even kill for and there are things we just let go. Knowing (and discerning) which ones are worth dying for and which ones are not is what separates the men from the boys.

Ang Peregrino

Lexusxtreme said...

Why do we call those soldiers a hero? as one had said prior, heroes are the one's who sacrifice himself even in death for the nation and for the people? how about boxing? many have died, many had been bed ridden, they played boxing as if theyre playing with death. one dont even know if he gets hit, it'll be his last hour/minute/sec? hmmm. For Pacman? we all know that its money right? but at least prior to his fights he kept on saying that this fight is for the FILIPINO People.. and to think, it may be his last night alive... hmm.. so? you do the math.. Considered as HERO he is? i beleived so.. he may not be that typical hero like the others, thats the only thing that he knows and think that can benefit the filipino people. so Come on people.. ganun rin yun, better not critisize a man na nag bubuwis nang buhay para sa pamilya at sa buong pilino.. SABAYAN NYO NALANG, GUMAWA RIN KAU NANG SARILI NINYONG PAMAMARAAN!!!

jerky said...

People have different views. I agree with the post though that Pacquiao gives hope. With millions of our countrymen having a hard life not being able to afford anything, I think hope is the only thing that keeps them going. I agree that the ones helping to fight corruption and the like can be called a hero, question is, where are they? Are you saying that we should be calling you the hero instead? People have different ways of helping and lucky you, you were educated. Manny never had the luxury of a good education but he used his "God given talent" to find a way and make his life better including the lives of some countless people he's helped along the way.
Maybe we should just leave Manny along just like how the government leaves the church alone by not making it pay taxes.
God bless.

rufguy said...

I agree to Father Picardal, Pacquiao should not called a hero dahil maraming bahid na alanganin para syay'y isang bayani. Unang una andaming nakapaligid na mga pulitikong buwaya gaya ng narinig ko sa coverage ng laban nya and i caught " please lng manny patumbahin mna para magkabyaran na" nakakahiya pumunta cla dun para lang pumusta kay manny buti nanalo cla, kng natalo kawawa n nman ang mga pilipino kc pera ng taong bayan ang mga ginagastos nla nakakahiya kayo!!.Pangalawa, bkit indi dapat tawaging bayani c manny, ngsasakripisyo sya para lng sa knyang sarili hindi para buong bayan bakit? tingnan nyo anlaki n nman ng premyo nya, pra sa bayan b yun hindi para sa sarili lng nya. Kaya magisip isip tau mga kababayan akoy isang fan ni manny lahat ng laban nya napanood ko idol k sya sa larangan ng boxing,pero nt to the extend na sya ikonsidera nating pambansang bayani. mabuhay ka Father Picardal!!!!!

jexo said...

i respect your opinion father... kanya kanya po tayo ng pananaw... request ko lang po sana, mag open din kayo ng topic tungkol sa mga paring nambubuntis para naman malinis ang ating pong simbahan at para mawala ang mga anay sa simbahang katoliko.... pakigising na rin ang mga katolikong nagsisimba ng mi mga kasuotang di angkop sa pagsisimba... wala pa akong nakitang pari na nagsasalita laban sa malalswang kasuotan ng mga nagsisimba... walng paring matapang o bulag lamang sa ganito

Francis said...

Why can't we just be proud of our fellow Filipino's achievements?

For your information, here is HERO as defined by the Miriam-Webster dictionary:

"c: a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities"
(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hero)

Isn't Paquiao not qualified to be such?

Sure, boxing is not your thing, it isn't mine too, but to see people uniting as one because of Manny is something that will never be seen in other countries. I'd bet you there were more Filipinos who watched Manny's fights than there will be Filipinos who will be watching the 08 Beijing Olympics.

Also, doesn't it bring a smile to your face as your country's national anthem is sung before each fight in front of the world,you would hold your head high and be proud that you're a Filipino?

Like you, I am a patriot who loves this country, but I am sad to say that little do you know, this blog just tries to belittle the things most Filipinos take pride in. Unlike what you believe in, Filipinos do not look on to Manny and someday want to be a boxer as good as him... NO. They look on to Manny and see him as a sign of HOPE; that despite all the troubles plaguing our country, there is someone still willing to excel in what he does. People see that in Manny, and hence strive to be the best they can be in whatever they are doing.

I request you to please take back what you said. Thanks.

PS. If boxing as you say, is brutal and uncivilized, then maybe we should also ban American Football for its brutally of people smashing into each other and taking each other down? Or maybe even Basketball for it being just a couple of guys going back and forth shoot a ball into a basket....sounds primitive?

Also, didn't Jesus tell us not to judge other people? Go figure...

rodrigo said...

Father, if you don't like boxing. pls. ignore it. Me, I really love boxing. Why not "expanding/sharpening" your teaching or peaching like what Bro. Bo Sanchez is doing. Pls visit http://www.preacherinbluejeans.com

manlalakbay said...

Bayani Ba si Manny?

Ang una kong tanong ay bakit itinuturing na bayani sa Manny Pacquiao? Lahat ba ng magagaling na boksingero sa Pilipinas ay tinatanghal na bayani? May mga nagsasabing bayani si Manny dahil sa karangalang ibinibigay niya sa bansa. Mayroon naman na dahil daw napagbubuklod niya ang mga Filipino. Mabuting halimbawa din daw siya ng pagsusumikap dahil mula sa pagiging mahirap ay umasenso siya sa aspetong pinansyal. Kinakatawan din daw niya ang pagiging Filipino -- malakas, mapanalangin, mapagmahal sa pamilya,at masikap. Higit sa lahat, nagpapasok siya ng malaking pera sa bansa at natutulungan niya rin daw ang iba niyang mga kababayan. Maaring hindi sopistikada ang gagawin kong pagtatanong pero ito ay sinserong paghahanap ng katanggap-tanggap na sagot: Kung si Jose Rizal ang tatanungin, sang-ayon kaya siya na tanghaling bayani at huwaran ng pagiging makabayan ang mga taong ipinagmamapuri ng ating mga kababayan at gobyerno ngayon? Hindi niya kaya isasaalang-alang ang kakatwang pagkalibang natin sa panonood ng mga taong nagsusuntukan, nagbabasagan ng mukha, at nagkakabalian ng ilong, panga, at kung ano-ano pang bahagi ng katawan? Hindi kaya siya mababagabag sa makikita niyang mga bata sa lansangan na nagsusuntukan dahil ginagaya nila ang mga hinahangaang boksingero? Hindi kaya siya malulungkot na malamang ang perang panggastos na sana ng mga pamilya ay napupunta pa sa pustahan? Matutuwa kaya siyang makita na ang mayayamang tumutulong dapat sa mahihirap ay ipinangsusugal ang kayamanang ipinagkatiwala sa kanila? Maituturing niya kayang bayani ang kababayan niyang nagtatapon ng milyon-milyong piso para sa mga bahay, mga sasakyan, at mga alahas habang nananatiling milyon pa rin ang bilang ng mga Filipinong halos walang pambili ng pagkain sa araw-araw? Sa tingin ko ay mas maraming simpleng tao ang higit na dapat mabigyang karangalan at maitaas bilang huwaran ng lahat kaysa isang tao na hinahangaan lang ng mga mahilig manood ng suntukan, at pinakikinabangan lang ng gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng pera.