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Don’t Die For Your Country
« on: January 18, 2017, 12:17:49 PM »
Don’t Die For Your Country, Don’t Die For Manny
Published: November 26, 2006 by The Bohol Standard
By Atty. Koykoy Lim

Some causes are worth dying. Some deaths are not worth mentioning.

In countries where there is an enormous hostility towards Christianity, certain missionaries had been killed in the name of their faith in the God of the Bible. We Christians would rather look at their deaths as glorifying, and the demise, in an eternal perspective, can never be considered a waste and loss.

The Jewish people have been in constant battle against enemies surrounding Israel, countries which for centuries have been harboring consuming hatred against them. Both Jewish men and women have answered the call to defend their land and push out those who want to erase them from the map of the earth. Death, for Jewish soldiers, is glorifying.

Last Sunday’s historical fight of Manny Pacquiao against Mexican boxing icon Erik Morales is painted with comical, if not stark, reality of the Philippine condition today.

Two Manny fans, it was reported, succumbed to death while the whole nation was still reeling from overflowing happiness.

Highly industrialized countries don’t care so much on the achievements of their citizens. Yes, they give attention in newspapers, radios, and televisions for their sports heroes, but it is almost impossible to hear of a report that an American citizen died because the U.S. Dream Team emerged champion in the Olympics.

Brazilians are crazy about football. Pandemonium is always expected to break out on Brazil’s streets either in celebration of victory or in mourning of defeat. This year’s World Cup in Germany saw the tears of many Brazilians when their national team failed to qualify for the finals but there was no report of heart attack on any Brazilians.

Brazilians’ feeling for their soccer team is quite different from what most of our Filipinos have for Manny Pacquiao. Theirs is a national sentiment as it is being poured out for a national team, who represents the very emblem of Brazil. A national team is a national effort.

But boxing cannot be categorized as a national effort. Any boxing feat is a matter of personal credit. Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson did not become heavyweight champions because the entire American nation was giving out all their cheers and screams. These two boxing legends occupy a special place in sports history because they really had worked hard for it.

Given the intensity of hard work Manny Pacquiao had gone through before he climbed to the ladder of international stardom, we can only imagine how lonely his former life was when he had to go through all the sacrifices before without an Arroyo sending him a postcard or a Manila mayor smiling at him or even a General Santos politician offering him an ice water.

Manny is not worthy to die for. And Manny should not die or fight for the country either.

To some, this statement may appear antagonistic. But let us be real here.

Manny Pacquiao had to clash with Morales because the millionaire promoters had to earn more money. Manny had to knock out Morales because for him that was the most important thing to do last Sunday, otherwise his market value in America’s gambling capital would greatly diminish.

If one died because he was overwhelmed with happiness over Manny’s monumental victory, he must have forgotten the fact that the roaring crowd, the deafening scream, the worldwide jubilation over a temporary boxing happiness couldn’t make his life any better a day after Sunday. A day after Manny’s fight, this person had to think of rice and fish that must be served on his family’s table.

We do not contest of Manny saying that he was fighting for the country. There was nothing wrong, really, for him to say that. That is his personal conviction.

But wait. Boxing is his profession. With or without him, the national budget deficit continues to soar high. With or without him, ghost projects all over the country would remain ghostly. With or without him, the country will continue to experience an exodus of workers in search of greener valleys abroad because what they can find in their homeland are patches of dead leaves left by greedy businessmen and heartless public officials.

As to why Manny’s victory had provided jobs to funeral homes, it may be due to the fact that some of us Filipinos are starving for good report.

Some are not ready for national happiness, and perhaps have shallow understanding of a balanced life.

Don’t die for your country. Don’t die for Manny. Your country or your government and Manny Pacquiao won’t die for you.

Romans 10:9-10
"If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."

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