Manny in comic book

SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - March 8, 2013 - 12:00am

There are at least five books on Manny Pacquiao out in the market but I didn’t know a comic version was produced on his life until I saw and bought a copy (P480) at Fully Booked in Global City the other day.

The 94-page comic book is entitled “Pacquiao: Winning In and Out of the Ring” by illustrator Jose Gamboa who calls it an unauthorized biography. Although the book isn’t endorsed by Pacquiao, the list of acknowledgments includes the fighter’s congressional staff. The bibliography cites two articles published in The Philippine Star – “The Making of Manny Superstar” on March 13, 2004 and “The Difference is Manny’s Heart” on March 18, 2006.

The book stops short of Pacquiao capturing his eighth world title in an eighth division. It tracks his ring history up to the win over Joshua Clottey in March 2010. Pacquiao claimed the vacant WBC lightmiddleweight title – his eighth crown in an eighth division – via a unanimous 12-round decision over Antonio Margarito in November that year. Gamboa starts the book off with “Pacquiao’s Lessons of Success,” 11 things (including “Pray” “Find a ‘why’ bigger than yourself” and “Have a plan”) that he says were inspired by his win over Oscar de la Hoya in 2008.

The last page shows a collage of photographs where Gamboa is snapped with Pacquiao and Freddie Roach, Fr. Marlon Beof is blessing Pacquiao in a hotel room with family, friends and fans and Pacquiao is in the ring before a fight in Thailand. It’s an interesting story of Pacquiao’s rise to stardom from his humble beginnings to his early fights in General Santos City as an amateur to his boat ride to Manila to witnessing a friend Eugene Barutag die from injuries inflicted during a bout to his first outing on TV’s “Blow By Blow” to losing to Rustico Torrecampo on an upset knockout to tapping boyhood friend Buboy Fernandez as his trainer to winning the WBC flyweight crown from Chatchai Sasakul to meeting Jinkee at a mall and later getting married to yielding his WBC belt on the scales in Thailand to son Jimuel’s birth to his flight to the US to his introduction to Roach at the Wild Card Gym to stopping Lehlo Ledwaba for the IBF superbantamweight crown to his wins over Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, David Diaz, De la Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto and Clottey to becoming a family man with four children and a Congressman. Although a comic book, it has more detail than some other Pacquiao history books and that’s a big credit to Gamboa for his research.

For boxing fans, there is a brief description of the WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO and the Ring Magazine which recognizes “lineal” championships like the featherweight title that Pacquiao won by halting Barrera in 2003. There’s also a list of Pacquiao’s first seven titles in seven divisions.

While the book chronicles Pacquiao’s life as accurately as facts are available, some mistakes crop up. For instance, the lightflyweight minimum weight is mentioned to be 107 pounds (the range is 106 to 108), Torrecampo is sketched landing a right to knock out Pacquiao (when it was a left), the GAB is called the Gaming and Amusement Board instead of the Games and Amusements Board, the fighter whom Pacquiao replaced to challenge Ledwaba was Enrique Sanchez (not Carlo Sanchez as the book mentions) and De la Hoya battled Javier Castillejo (not Hector Velazquez whom he never fought – it was Pacquiao who halted Velazquez in 2005) in the main event on the night of the Ledwaba fight.  

The illustrations are in black and white. If they were in color, the book would’ve been a lot more attractive. But as it is, it’s a nice buy and a good read. I’m a collector of ‘60s comic books with photo covers and I enjoy going through the details of every sketch in each panel. My collection isn’t large, less than 100 issues of varied titles including take-offs from TV series like “Tombstone Territory” “The Gallant Men” “Garrison’s Gorillas” “Rat Patrol” “Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers” “Rawhide” “The Restless Gun” “The Gray Ghost” “The Swamp Fox” “Laramie” “The Rifleman” “Wyatt Earp” “Bat Masterson” “Maverick” and “Cheyenne.” I still don’t tire of admiring the drawings that were done in the ‘60s without the aid of computers. Gamboa’s Pacquiao comic book doesn’t belong to the genre of my collection but it’s still a valuable addition to the library. 

* * * *

After a 14-year absence from the art scene, former PBA assistant coach Dayong Mendoza reemerged to mount his third one-man show at the Blue Gray Gallery, Serendra, in Global City last Saturday. The exhibit was called “Dyip! Dyip! Dyip!,” Mendoza’s bold attempt at depicting the quaint qualities of the nation’s No. 1 mode of transportation. His latest works in oil capture urban life at its most telling and sensitive aspect.

“Pinoy ka kung nakasakay ka na ng dyip,” said Mendoza, a Master of Fine Arts graduate from the University of the Philippines-Diliman. “Kahit PBA coach na ako, sumasakay pa rin ako ng dyip papunta sa praktis at laro.” 

Mendoza sold out his first exhibit called “Basketbol Siris” about Philippine hoops at the Makati Shangri-La in 1996. He also sold out his second exhibit called “Ugat” about his father Al’s Mangatarem, Pangasinan, hometown at the SM Megamall in 1999. 

Mendoza held coaching jobs with Shark Energy Drink in the PBL, Ateneo and Adamson in the UAAP and Letran in the NCAA before working in the PBA with Shell and San Miguel Beer from 2004 to 2012.  He taught Multi Media Arts at the College of St. Benilde and his “Camp & Play” art-and-sports workshop is now on its 16th consecutive year. For inquiries about Mendoza’s works and workshop, please call 0942-2736962.

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