So the thing I want to write about this week is Manny Pacquiao. For those that don’t know who he is, he’s a professional boxer and he had a big fight this weekend… and won! He became the first boxer to win a championship in 8 different weight classes and has put him amongst the greatest boxers off all time… and the great thing about this is the fact he’s Filipino.
You have to understand why this is important to me and my whole community… He’s become the most famous Filipino ever! I mean the last time our community was getting any shine in the world media was because of Imelda Marcos and her shoe collection… that wasn’t something you can necessarily be proud of. When I came to this town of Hollywood, I would audition and casting people would ask me what ethnicity I was, and when I would tell them I was Filipino, there would be a blank expression on their face… they didn’t even know what that was. And of course there were no roles for Filipinos. My career and resume was built on playing everything from every kind of Latin to every kind of Asian. Being Filipino is made up of both the Latin and Asian culture I was able to relate to both and play both well on camera… and believe me, I’ve always been thankful for that.
But now that a Filipino has risen to true greatness in the world, I am proud. It’s no secret that growing up in America and in the American media and entertainment, were living in a white world (or more politically correct, Caucasian world). Were bombarded by white images, but also other communities have their stars, Black and Latino stars. There of course are great movie stars and athletes, and have rightfully become American heros… I’m just happy to see one of my community rise to greatness and be amongst the best that ever were. I know in my own way I’ve been pioneering in the entertainment field and hope to succeed more throughout my career, but I have to applaud the man for all he’s accomplished.
I wish my grandfathers were alive… They were both proud men… I would have really liked to watch a Pacquiao fight with them and see how they would root on their countryman…. they’re kababayan.