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Wish upon a scar

WRECKORDER - FGS Gujilde (The Freeman) - December 24, 2020 - 12:00am

This Christmas I wish boxing rules allowed professional boxers to slug in the Olympics. Manny Pacquiao at his peak could have given us that elusive gold thrice. Even if basketball allowed professional players to compete against amateurs in the quadrennial spectacle that paved the way for American dream team in the 1992 Barcelona Games, I do not need to wish the same for our own team.

We were the first to send our dream team, not to the Olympics but to its continental equivalent, the 1990 Asian Games where an ill-prepared all-stars professional team succumbed to China in the gold medal match. We have ceded basketball territory, and more, to a country that account for almost a quarter of world population.

 But I wish to turn back time when the Philippine basketball team was Asia’s greatest and one of world best. In the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the Filipino quintet lost only once, to the United States, and should have won us the silver. But an odd scoring system relegated us to fifth place, but still highest Filipino basketball finish to date that will never replicate.

I wish speed marvels Lydia de Vega and Elma Muros found the fountain of youth to team up in the 4x100m relay with the toast of Philippine athletics today, Kristina Marie Knott, to topple Thai relay quartet domination in the region and hold back Vietnamese invasion.

I wish we treated our chess whiz fairly, not the spread, but the one who from folly should have been spared. We lost him to a country that stole our sovereignty but now pretends to protect us from its fellow thief.

I wish we knew earlier how the crowned virus spreads, or who to watch out for. We so focused on persons with symptoms not knowing persons without caused the global breakout. Be vigilant. Silent spreaders are deadly. Just like quiet thieves in the dead of the night. Of public purse and pulse. Even in broad daylight.

Silence kills. Some kill to silence others. And, when you’re a pro who has something to say about public interest and policy, silence betrays. But shut the quacking duck up when you’re a rookie, else you either hurry to lie or turn 360-degree to cover up reality. Of inexperience. But silence of a woman scorned is the calm before a storm. Beware. No amount of disaster preparedness prepares even the aware.

But when men are silent, chill. They don’t contemplate to cheat. They simply want peace and quiet. But they have found the perfect place to savor inner peace, at the bay where squeals of excitement are downscaled. No problem, men know how to box their emotions in. Only to come out in subtle but ugly, deadly ways, including taking their own life away.

This wish list could be endless. But I have to stop and get back to reality. Wish is not a strategy. It just dwells in yesterday and flirts with fantasy. Just as hope is not. It is the vision of optimists and refuge of escapists. Prayers? I leave it to the faithful. I never argue with faith. It is a matter of acceptance. My only question is, does it make you a better person?

MANNY PACQUIAO
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