Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pacquiao-Cotto Fight Live in the Neighborhood

You know when there's a big Pacquiao fight going on, there's absolutely no traffic in Manila, not one single car on the road.

We had breakfast early, we were anticipating the telecast of the boxing match on local TV. We had planned to lock ourselves in, turn off our mobile phones and avoid anything online that would reveal the outcome of the Pacquiao-Cotto fight. Until the delayed telecast would finally be aired.

photo from the Inquirer

But our self-imposed lock down was ruined by the sound of the live broadcast being blared into the streets of Makati. Somewhere along the stretch of our neighborhood, someone had this bright idea of turning his speakers a few earsplitting decibels higher, letting the details of the fight spill round after round. Just listening to it made us completely miserable. So we hunted down the source. 

This led the Cows right next to a construction site, a small pub called Jobsite Grill. We couldn't get in anymore, the joint was packed inside, but they weren't turning people away from their gates. In fact, they welcomed everyone who wanted a sneak peak of Pacquiao's fight.

It drew in all the men in the vicinity particularly those who had to work on a Sunday. The Filipino everyman was there - the security guard, the delivery boy, the tire mechanic, the bus boys, waiters, barkers, construction workers, street vendors, the garbage guy and the taong grasa. And yeah, some expats too.

Of course, it smelled.  It smelled of sweat, beer and cigarettes. The place ran high on adrenaline and reeked of testosterone. But it was the perfect place to be in at that very moment, the right place to be with pinoys (men and women alike) in watching one of the greatest fights in world boxing history. Naks!

It was fun. Everyone was cheering to every quick punch and jab at Cotto.

By the end of the fight, there was so much applause and people calling loved ones on their mobile phones with the news- Pacquiao won! The People's champ won! I can imagine the same thing spreading like wildfire throughout the country. People were just collectively happy, drunk on victory and some strange community spirit.

photo from the Inquirer

Now if we could only see the fight again on local TV without that much TV ads.