By Perry Diaz
Finally, after numerous attempts, world boxing champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao returned my phone call for an interview. Our conversation went as follows:
Perry: Thank you, Congressman Pacquiao, for returning my call.
Pacman: Don’t thank me; thank God I did it.
Perry: Congressman… or should I say, Lt. Col., sir… you haven’t lost your sense of humor.
Pacman: Well, my friend, you see… every time I make one billion pesos, it humors me.
Perry: Well, in my case, just talking to you humors me!
Pacman: Hoy! Watch your mawt! What do you think I am? A clown?
Perry: No, no, no! Actually, you’re my hero, sir! Didn’t you know that our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal was like you, a boxer? He was also a martial artist, a fencing artist, and a great lover. And he’s a linguist, too.
Pacman: I’m better than Rizal.
Perry: How so?
Pacman: Well, I’m also a doctor with a PhD in Sports Science. But I’m better than Rizal cuz I received my doctor’s degree with “honors.”
Perry: You mean, “honoris causa,” which is for the sake of honor, right?
Pacman: Same thing, same thing. Now, when it comes to boxing, Rizal was just an amateur. I have eight world titles; Rizal didn’t have any.
Perry: But Rizal was a martial artist.
Pacman: That’s nothing! He’s only a martial artist; I’m a marital expert. Ask my wife, Jinkee. We have four kids and seven more to go. Hehehe…
Perry: Gee! You amaze me, sir! But how about fencing? Rizal was very good at fencing.
Pacman: Hoy! When it comes to fencing, Rizal can’t beat my record. I have installed a fence around my 500-hectare property all by myself. Did he do something like that?
Perry: I guess you’re right…
Pacman: And don’t forget, I’m also a congressman! And one more thing, I am a Lieutenant Colonel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines! And I can sing, “My Way,” better than Sinatra!
Perry: Wow! You definitely are much better than Rizal. But one thing that Rizal was and you’re not is that he’s a linguist.
Pacman: Huh? Ling… what?
Perry: I said, linguist.
Pacman: Lingo? Hoy, I’m better than Rizal. I go to church not only on Lingo but also on Lunes, Martes, Miyerkoles, Huwebes, Viernes, and Sabado. I go to church every day of the week, not just on Lingo, amigo!
Perry: And I suppose you pray the rosary every day, too.
Pacman: Huh? How did you know about Rosario? Who told you that?
Perry: Rosario? Hahaha…. Ikaw, ha! Pilyo ka pala.
Pacman: Hoy! This is confessional information, okay?
Perry: Confessional? You lost me there, sir. What do you mean?
Pacman: Well, it’s like when you confess to a priest, the priest can’t tell it to anybody.
Perry: Oh, you mean, confidential?
Pacman: That’s it! Same thing, same thing!
Perry: Okay, I’ll keep it confessional then. I’m getting to know you a lot better, Congressman Dr. Pacquiao. Hehehe…
Pacman: Don’t forget my new title, Lt. Col., okay?
Perry: Oh, yeah! Congressman Lt. Col. Dr. Pacquiao it is then, sir.
Pacman: Thank you. I just want to settle the record long.
Perry: You mean, “set the record straight,” right?
Pacman: Same thing, same thing.
Perry: By the way, lest I forget, there is one thing that Rizal was very good at — he’s a good shooter. He knows how to shoot! I understand that you don’t know how to shoot.
Pacman: How do you know I’m not a good shooter? I wouldn’t be promoted to Lt. Col. if I weren’t a good shooter. I’m the best shooter that’s why I was promoted from Master Sergeant to Lt. Col.!
Perry: And without firing a gun, ha? Can you prove that you’re the best shooter?
Pacman: Of course, I can. Just ask Rosario!
Perry: Ay naku! Maloloko ako! Good-bye, Congressman Lt. Col. Dr. Pacquiao. Don’t pray too much, okay?
Pacman: Eat your heart out, Perry. Good-bye. Hehehe….