OMG!
FIGHTING WORDS - Kay Malilong-Isberto (The Freeman) - December 11, 2012 - 12:00am

The line to the cashiers snaked through the grocery’s narrow aisles. The Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight was going to start in less than an hour and people looked like they were rushing to do their errands so as not to miss a minute of it. I shopped leisurely. I had no plans of watching the fight. Or any boxing match. Ever. The sight of blood makes me queasy.

None of those excited to see the match must have had an inkling that Pacquiao would be knocked out. Reactions in social media showed how stunned people were that it happened. In a matter of minutes, everyone seemed to turn into a boxing expert.  There were a lot of opinions on why he lost that way: he did not train enough, his political career cost him that match, he was overconfident, etc., etc. It was his mother’s explanation, however, that I found most interesting.

Mommy Dionisia is now claiming that the Virgin Mary appeared to her while she was pregnant with Manny and that the reason for his loss is his abandonment of his Roman Catholic faith. She blames his intentional leaving of his rosary behind, his not making the sign of the cross before the fight, and his removal of saints from a grotto he had built.  She also mentioned that God was disciplining Manny and that God wanted Manny to retire from boxing. We have heard her son talking about his loss being God’s will but she brings it to a different level.

Her claims echoed that of Bishop Broderick Pabillo when he attributed the damage wreaked by Pablo to the Reproductive Health Bill (RH Bill). He claimed that when the RH Bill is discussed seriously in Congress, tragedies happen in the Philippines. For Mommy Dionisia and Bishop Pabillo, God is someone who will immediately punish human beings for disobeying him. In the case of Manny Pacquiao, the connection, though still tenuous, seems direct: if you stop being a Catholic, you lose the match. For Pablo victims, it is more indirect: your Congressmen discuss the RH Bill, God kills Filipino men, women, and children (who probably had no opinion about the bill) by burying them under tons of mud. The pro-RH Bill representatives and their families are safe.

Similarly, when a mining company’s tailings dam leaked, its officers claimed that the heavy rains that caused the leak was an act of God. That was not the normal amount of rainfall, they said. It is their argument that “normal” rainfall is the amount of rain that falls within the range of what has been recorded for a similar period over the years. Rainfall above that is an act of God. They have made no claims that God told them to mine in that site or to build a dam that could leak but the leak is still his fault. He sent too much rain and he was not supposed to. This kind of God makes mistakes and his mistakes can excuse mining companies from their liability under the law.

If God could only talk to us himself, then we would have no doubt that Pablo, Pacquiao’s loss, and mining disasters were his acts. Until then, anyone can make the claim that he or she had a conversation with God and conclude that he wanted an event to happen. It’s easy to do. He has no way of telling us that he disagrees.

***

Email me at lkemalilong@yahoo.com.

BISHOP BRODERICK PABILLO FOR MOMMY DIONISIA AND BISHOP PABILLO FOR PABLO GOD IF GOD MANNY PACQUIAO MANNY PACQUIAO-JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ MOMMY DIONISIA PACQUIAO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH BILL ROMAN CATHOLIC
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