Tuesday, May 12, 2009

PacMan is on the 2009 Time 100

Manny Pacquaio made it to the 2009 Time 100 list of influential people. He deserves it. He influences all Filipinos, from the cute one in the palace down to the lowly homeless ones, all 90 million of us. Though he deserves it, how he made it to the list where people can vote online says a lot about the Internet habits of Filipinos.

Pacquiao also topped the ESPN Champion of Champions poll in December 2008 in another online voting poll. He was pitted against a cricket god from a country with a billion people. How do PacMan fans react? With national pride and sporting pride on the line (or online), we voted for PacMan over and over again, till he gets a 9:1 margin over the Indian hero.

In Time magazine's turn to generate traffic to its website, fans are asked to vote (using a slider) for their bet, while they can also negatively vote (by sliding to the left) for others. Even if Pinoy fans voted for PacMan all the way up and unvoted for others all the way down, his recent successes and the way he carries the spirit of this wretched land merit him a spot in Time's list.

Here is the complete article on Time:

Manny Pacquiao
By Lennox Lewis

Pound for pound, Manny Pacquiao is the best boxer in the world. But even more important than holding that distinction, Manny has connected with the people of his home country, the Philippines, to the point where he's almost like a god. The people have rallied behind him and feel like they're a part of him, because they can see his talent, his dedication, his grace and his class. The grip he holds over the Philippines is similar to Nelson Mandela's influence in South Africa. I can surely see Manny becoming the Philippine President one day.

In fact, he already ran for Congress in the Philippines but lost, in part because voters thought he could do more for the country as an inspirational champion boxer. I agree with the Filipino people. Manny, 30, already has a true global reach, and his influence will only expand as he gets better. Manny is from the Muhammad Ali school. He's a boxer, a puncher and a mover — a champion in four weight divisions. He doesn't stand there and take shots. He throws that wicked jab and is so quick to dodge trouble.

Boxing needs a guy like Manny. Too often, when something positive develops, the sport takes two steps backward; you never know where the black eye is going to come from. With Manny, you don't have to worry about that. He just loves the sport and knows he's carrying the hopes of his country in the ring.

Lewis, the former world heavyweight champion, is a boxing commentator for HBO Sports

Fast Fact: Pacquiao is the first athlete the Philippine Postal Corp. has honored with his own stamp.

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