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Manny P. could have been a priest

Did you know that Manny Pacquiao’s mother had wanted him to be a priest? You know, like my friend Msgr. Joe Tajanlangit. It never came to pass because Mommy Dionisia said she could not afford the cost.

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So the Vatican’s and the priesthood’s loss is Bob Arum’s, er, boxing’s gain. And what a gain!

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What could’ve happened if Manny had become a priest? His becoming the parish priest of GenSan is uncertain. What is certain is that Oscar de la Hoya wouldn’t have retired. And Ricky Hatton wouldn’t have tasted a bitter second round KO.

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During the lowest period in his life in GenSan, Manny sold cigarettes on the streets, pan de sal, iced water and doughnut. He also did laundry work (nag-labandero). (Which makes him now a potential endorser of any brand of laundry soap or detergent.)

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While looking for a job in Manila, Manny landed one – as jogging companion of Asi Taulava, the basketball star. He was paid P200 per jogging session around the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The money earned in Manila by Manny he sent to his mother in GenSan.

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All those menial jobs Manny Pacquiao did to help his mother earn a living for the family abandoned by their father and leaving them (Mommy Dionisia, Manny and three siblings) to fend for themselves. These sketches on Manny’s life when he was still trying to keep body and soul intact were culled from an interview Philstar’s Quinito Henson had with Mommy Dionisa (Philippine STAR, May 10/09).

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My daughter who works as medical technologist in a hospital in New Mexico is coming home for a vacation. When her co-employees in the hospital heard this, they asked my daughter to bring them just one “sinugatan” each and that is a Pacman autograph!

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Until now people are still talking about the way Martin Nievera sang the National Anthem. Jasmine Martin of Bacolod City sent me this e-mail: “I am not criticizing Martin. I don’t know anything about singing, let alone singing the National Anthem…But let this be an eye opener for those commissioned to sing the Anthem in the next Pacquiao fight. Sing the Anthem according to the rules. Don’t add or deduct anything from it.”

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A vacationing balikbayan from the US lost his expensive mobile phone to a thief in the lobby of a hotel. Barely three hours later, someone called him at the hotel he was billeted. He identified himself as the man who stole his phone.

“I’m returning your cellular phone. I’m sorry for the inconvenience I have caused,” the “thief” said in impeccable English. He said he would let a janitor of the hotel deliver the phone to him. “Just please don’t let the police know. I am not really a thief,” the caller said.

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So who was he? Even the cellphone owner did not know. And what the “repentant thief” was up to. “Makalibog,” he said. “Ing ani naba ron ang Sugbo?”

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Email: nitzjab@yahoo.com

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