Most of the Filipino bloggers these days mention the Pacman’s victory, and were distressed at how politicians and businessmen have hitched a ride on his success. It saddens me however, that some people are irked at Manny himself, for his singing, his endorsements, his strong Visayan accent and the so-called P5 million boxing shorts.
The article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) quotes an unnamed advertiser who said “(Manny) even told us that the best buy was the space at the back of his shorts, not in front.” The article goes on to say that this same advertiser declined an invitation from the boxer to put up the alleged amount of P1.5 million pesos to feature the advertiser’s patch on the boxer’s shorts because he had already spent a huge amount for a commercial featuring the boxer.
Apparently some people think less of Manny because has succumbed to crass commercialism. But when if we open our eyes and look around, we will see that commercialism goes hand in glove with professional sports.
Watch European/English/Spanish/Italian Football and you will see that the sponsor’s logo is, more often than not, much more visible than the sports club’s logo itself. Vodafone for Manchester United, Adidas and Siemens for Real Madrid, Tamoil for Juventus, T-Mobile for Bayern Munich. Look at motor racing and the stickers and patches on the cars, helmets and jackets. Look at the banners around the court at basketball games.
So, are we to begrudge the Pacman whatever million pesos he made (if any) on the side? Let’s look at this from a more global point of view. Forbes.com lists the World’s 50 Highest-Paid Athletes for their cumulative income for the single year of 2004.
Real Madrid midfielder David Beckham (formerly of Manchester United) made US$28,000,000 in salaries and endorsements in 2004 alone. If you have your handly calculator at hand, that translates to US$77,777 a day (calc. at 30 days a month). David Beckham had been paid PHP4,079,406 a DAY EVERY DAY in 2004 (calculated with oanda.com’s exchange rates as of this date).
Real Madrid made Euro 624,000 (PHP 39,919,340) on the sale of Beckham’s Real Madrid jerseys on the day that he joined RM. And David Beckham is a mere #8 on the Forbes.com list, as you can see.
Let’s look at top earner Tiger Woods. Tiger Woods made US$80,300,000 in 2004 alone. That translates, in today’s exchange rates, to PHP 4,211,737,409 (yes, that’s four billion …). Take your handy calculator again and punch the numbers in: Tiger Woods made US$ 6,691,666 (PHP 350,978,082) a month; US$ 223,000 (PHP 11,696,357) a day, in 2004 alone.
Looking at those figures above should put the much-discussed PHP 5 million (US$ 95,328.80) boxing shorts in perspective. If we note that this was a one-time payout, not a figure that Manny earned daily while he toiled and practiced for his rematch with Morales, we will start to see the folly of saying commercialism has eaten up our boxing idol.
Doghouseboxing.com says that Manny was to have earned PHP 8.8 million per round of the fight. If indeed he did, we could multiply that number by 10 and convert to US$ you get US$ 1,677,787. A hefty sum for the average Filipino, but look again. If you divided that amount by the number of months and days Manny had to live, raise his family and train for this bout after having lost last year, that would only be US$ 5,592.62 a day.
And all this is gross computation. The man has to pay taxes too but I don’t know how to compute for that. Those of us who do pay taxes on our measly salaries know how much the government extorts from us. Imagine the taxes Manny has to pay. Ok, go on and say Manny making US$ 5,592 a day (gross, not net, mind you, if indeed he saw any of that PHP 8.8m) is a lot of money. Check the figures. David Beckham makes US$77,777 a day. Tiger Woods makes US$ 223,000 a day.
Let us not begrudge the man his hard-earned wages, his attempt at singing. Yes we are a musical people and if Manny chooses to air his videoke prowess that’s up to him and the radio stations giving him airtime. And let me not hear anyone sneer at his Visayan accent. Almost all of the famous Filipino boxers who have made names for themselves abroad are Visayan. Francisco “Pancho Villa” Guilledo (Ilog, Negros Occidental), Flash Elorde (Cebu), Gerry and Dodie Boy PeÃ±alosa (San Carlos City, Negros Occidental), Noel and Malcolm TuÃ±acao (Mandaue City, Cebu), Rolando Bohol (Bacolod Murcia, Negros), Rolando Navarrete (Dadiangas/GenSan), Onyok Velasco (Bago City, Negros Occidental), Rey ‘Boom Boom’ Bautista (Candijay, Bohol).
Most of all, let us not begrudge those who believe him to be a hero, because surely Manny does not refer to himself as such. Here is his interview with Brad Cooney of Boxingtalk.com, where Manny is, typically, himself. In a recent televsion interview he was asked what he wanted to buy for his family now that he has the wherewithal to do so, he replied that he would be buying bicycles for his kids, an ipod for his wife, a new pair of shoes for his father—prompting the more ‘sophisticated’ but flabbergasted interviewer to say “Is that all?”
Yes, that may be all the man wants, because this simple man has simple dreams and simple ways. He describes himself as an ordinary boxer who has managed to defeat a good boxer. A simple man who may have brought home not just the bacon but the whole boar, and is sadly, perhaps even without his knowing it, now the object of the Pinoy crab mentality.
addendum (Sun 29 Jan): A sports article in today’s Philippine Daily Inquirer Online says:
Pacquiao to earn P318M from PPV First posted 04:33am (Mla time) Jan 29, 2006 By Salven L. Lagumbay Inquirer Editor’s Note: Published on page A19 of the January 29, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer MANNY Pacquiao is a millionaire many times over, but this latest news will further fatten his bank account into stratospheric dimensions.
According to boxing website Boxingtalk which interviewed PPV guru Mark Taffet, the latest Pacquiao-Morales rematch generated some 350,000 pay-per-view buys, an improvement of 10,000 buys from their first encounter. At the rate of $44.95 per household who took the pay-per-view route, the amount generated by the fight should total close to $16 million, which will go to Morales, Pacquiao, the promoters and HBO. Pacquiao, according to reports, is assured of 40 percent take of the pay-per-view income, thereby putting his share at a whopping $6 million (P318 million) at today’s exchange rate.
There was no mention of how much of Pacquiao’s pay-per-view shares will go to his management team. (Bambit’s note: emphasis mine, and there is also no telling how big a slice his promoters will want, considering that his previous promoter had gypped him out of the PPV income from last year’s unsuccessful match.)
With another marquee fight looming, possibly against Marco Antonio Barrera within this year, it is likely that Pacquiao, who once sold bread for a living, will become the first-ever billionaire athlete in the history of Philippine sports.
Inspiring, as it should be. Manny deserves his fame and fortune, he is an example to all to not only dream of success but use our skills and abilities to attain it.