I write better when I smoke. Don’t ask me to reduce it to a science.

In the aftermath

In the aftermath of Manny’s victory, people marvel at how crime rates went down during the fight (others – like me – were amazed at how the numbers of people in malls suddenly swelled once the news of dela Hoya’s defeat leaked, well in advance of the advert orgy that was free teevee coverage). This fact they credit to Manny’s magnificence and his unifying influence on the Filipino people.


While there is no doubting that Manny is a superstar, we would do well to remember two things: first, it was our own hunger for dramatic heroics that drove us indoors during the fight; and second, it is not something to be happy about because it only highlights our inability to solve our problems without the aid of superheroes.

We’re like Metropolis without Superman – weak, ineffectual, and ultimately victimized with startling regularity; like Gotham without the Batman – corrupt, decadent, and debilitatingly self-absorbed; like the Republic without the Jedi – unable to protect itself from itself.

Manny is a hero. Of that there can be no doubt. But his heroism’s greatest worth is the challenge it poses to each and everyone of us: to struggle towards that day when we don’t need heroes like him because each of us have become heroic in our own right.



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