Philippine Boxing Champion Pacquiao's KO Leads to Religious Debate

Boxing champion Pacquiao’s knockout defeat in a bout on Sunday in Las Vegas has led to high-profile speculation in the Philippine media and among many people in the Philippines that this has to do with the fact that he left the Catholic faith last year. In a surprising television interview right after this defeat, Pacquiao’s own mother spoke strongly against her son’s change of religion, which she blamed for his loss. Pacquiao has been a national hero in the Philippines. The Philippines is 85% Catholic.

I’m a born Filipino, and while I have great respect for Manny, sometimes I can’t help but think that we Filipinos are idolizing him a bit too much. Really, just say something about Pac-man that isn’t total praise and suddenly you’re a heretic destined for the fires of Hell. Just look at the whole Justin Bieber debacle: granted, one could argue that what Bieber did was a bit of a faux pas, but the reactions to it scare me more than what he did.

As for this news, I think it’s just coincidental. Yes, it’s very unfortunate that people leave the Catholic faith, but to connect this with his defeat is just, well, over the top.

Not saying I agree with the common belief (which to some, borders on superstition), but it might be worth mentioning that Filipinos (as with Catholics worldwide) do make the Sign of the Cross (to offer a task in the Name of the Triune God) and also carry the Rosary for protection (to pray for Mary’s intercession it when danger is at hand, not as some sort of talisman)–primarily for PROTECTION. A pilot does it. A soldier does it. A basketball player does it as well. This is not a recent development, but one borne from CENTURIES of faith, belief, and some say experience (others will say programmed “conditioning”).

Each time Pacquiao fought and won in the past, both elements were there: Sign of the Cross and the Rosary. The one time he fell flat and “kissed the ground” (as his mother cited), was the first time both were absent.

Again, I’m not commenting on the particular belief nor judging anyone. Just saying it’s understandable why this debate is going on, if one tries to understand the general context.

I’d want to think God is a Just God and not a vengeful god, and He won’t do something like this. But if He turned out the opposite of my expectations, I would still believe it’s His will. Ours is human wisdom. His wisdom–whether we understand it or not–is far superior.

Since Pacquiao becoming protestant, he feels he has this aura of Invincibility due to this change of religion, His pastor assured everyone that pacquiao has 10,000 angels with him, what a fraud. During the bradley fight, Pacquiao even said that he will surely win because God is with him. He was overconfident. This is very opposite to his old attitude that with God’s blessing and hard work he can achieve success. His change of religion has changed his boxing work ethic plus, it might also a coincidence that he was knocked out, cold, The most devastating loss of his career on the Feast of the Immaculate Concepcion, where he did not wear his rosary or made the sign of the cross.

A real shame. I pray that he rediscovers his true faith and returns to God. :gopray2:

The anti-Catholics that I’ve met were angry when Pacquiao was a Catholic and wanted him to lose. Now that he lost, they are still angry because he’s no longer a Catholic.

To be fair, the whole Justin Bieber thing was insulting and was not done in good taste. What he did was certainly disrespectful.

Well, you can’t please everybody. :shrug:

Especially anti-Catholics who use the internet as their soapbox.

I agree that the mini-fiasco was in bad taste. However, to be fair, I think that some of the reactions are just disproportionate. At least they leave me scratching my head.

Not exactly related, but ever since I’ve been here in Japan I can’t help but wonder why we Filipinos are so into the cult of heroism. Heck, I warrant that Pacquiao is almost up there with Jose Rizal. Sometimes I even imagine (tongue-in-cheek) what would happen if religious cults worshipping Manny as some sort of God incarnate a la the various Rizalista groups, who do the exact same thing to Rizal - a Filipino Jesus if you will - begin to crop up. (For non-Filipinos out there: yes. Jose Rizal is sometimes adored within the country - in more ways than one - even if modern generations of schoolchildren grow increasingly ignorant about who he was.)

I oddly agree with you there. But, some have used that fiasco to poke fun at Bieber. :stuck_out_tongue:
In my defense, I want to poke fun at Bieber’s fiasco just as much as I’ve been poking fun at Bieber. I’m deeply insulted when he said that Beliebers should take his side in this fiasco. I am insulted because he wants his fans to follow him blindly.

I want to point a related fact. Whenever Bieber wants to grab people’s attention recently, it always backfires. Remember when he said that he must have more views than PSY? It turned out well for PSY.

At times, I’ve seen that issue with anti-Catholics using the likes of Emilio Aguinaldo, Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio to justify their anti-Catholicism. After all, for them, Catholic =/= Filipino.
It’s a good thing to admire and emulate heroes but never to be so obsessed with them to the point of sheer recklessness.

To be honest, I never really cared for Justin Bieber or his music, and so far based on the attitude he’s shown here, I don’t think I will.

The thing about many of the people touted as Filipino heroes is that a good number of them (specifically the 19th-early 20th century ones) were Freemasons and held anticlerical views, which could somewhat segue easily into a rather subtle anti-Catholicism. (One man even went so far as to establish his own Church - read Gregorio Aglipay and the Philippine Independent Church.) Which kind of makes them the perfect poster boys for anti-Catholic sentiments.

I poke fun at him exactly for the reasons why you don’t care about Bieber, to be fair. :o

It’s true. What’s sad is that the anti-Catholics here in Manila generally like those heroes not because they did awesome things for the Fatherland but because they generally have subtle anti-Catholicism. They always try to blame the Catholic Church for every problem that befalls the Fatherland instead of looking at the real culprits and then looking for solutions. Yes, we are all sinners. But, that certainly is not an excuse for them to bash Catholics over the head with proselytizing.
And yes, I know about Aglipay. It’s sad that he along with Felix Manalo are regarded as heroes.

Jesse Romero said that he a talked to Manny for 3 hours
addressing his concerns against the church.
One of his big complaints was that he did not believe in the immaculate conception and the rosry
Ironically he was knocked out on the feast of the immaculate conception by a man who came into the ring with a rosary.

He lost. Get over it.

That’s more than irony, imo.:wink:

I stopped being a fan when I heard he left the Church.

Yeah, I think my Nike Team Pacquiao shirt just went into the rag bag. What a shame.

Not only he left the Church, he abandoned his training regimen of Alex Ariza and he became over confident.

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