Rewind to 17 November 2003, Philippines and The World. Preceded by days and months of somber headlines and bad news, Manny Pacquiao makes the front pages of Manila's newspapers with Victory and Hope. The day before he had beaten Marco Antonio Barrera in a fight that started his unprecedented trajectory as one of today's boxing greats.
16 November 2003, Pacquiao beat Barrera via TKO.
Fast forward to last Sunday 15 November 2009. The Philippines' pride scored an historic victory versus Miguel Cotto. Pacquiao is now the one and only world boxing champion in 7 weight divisions.
Champion from 112-pound to 145-pound divisions.
A quote from boxing impresario Bob Arum: "I would go on record as saying Manny is the best fighter I have ever seen and that includes Ali, Marvin Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard." Talk about hyperbole.
But as The Guardian UK, CNN, and other news sources had reported... no one was laughing at the boxing promoter's statement, outlandish as it may seem. A broadcaster annotating the fight called Pacquiao "a freak" as he was throwing lightning fast combinations towards a battered Cotto. Another sports writer puts it this way: "He just defies the laws of physics."
Rewind again to 17 November 2003, somewhere in San Juan, Manila. Preceded by days and months of nausea, too much Ma Mom Luk siopao and anticipation, a boy aptly named for Victory was born. That was my Baby Bear. Our miracle baby. The child one doctor told me would never come. Here he is, born at 3:08 PM. A little bloody, face swollen--like Pacman post-fight...
It was as if Manila's newspapers knew he was coming on November 17, 2003. Their headlines were all about Triumph and Hope. We all know how rare that is. I have forgiven the yaya who accidentally threw the headline clippings for that day, which I had saved for Bear's scrapbook.
The analogy evokes itself 6 years later. Again, amidst Pacman fever, we celebrate another year in the life of our own Victorious Little Man. I love it when the stars align. We're all having a big slice of cake today to celebrate Victory all around.
The bike is a birthday eve gift from Pappy. Because he declares, "My dream is to be a LEGO designer and a triathlete." Mama got him more of... what else?... LEGOS.
Happy Birthday is not enough. I need more hyperboles!