Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Money and Manny

The other day while in a taxi, the cabbie remarked about Manny Pacquiao's incredible win versus Juan Manuel Marquez: that Manny should give some of that money to the people.

Sorry but I have a pet peeve on matters like this. Why the hell should Manny give back? Where the heck was everyone when he was going through some hard times? Is it us taking it to the head and the jaw? If people want some of that money then they should go get in the ring and get bopped around silly.

Taken aback, the cabbie asked for my opinion on Manny. I said whatever Manny spends his money on is his own concern, not ours. If he gives back -- and I know he does - then let him do it how he wants it. If he doesn't, then should we care? It's his money. Of course some would say that to whom much is given they should give back. Well, yes. But tell that to the Sobrang Mangapi Malls which is so anti-Filipino worker (that is why as much as possible I don't go to their malls). We shouldn't begrudge him on his spending habits. Sorry but I find gossip the work of infertile minds (to borrow a quote from Bugs Bunny). Whether he's greedy or not that's his own lookout. If people or companies are willing to pay him that much then that's their problem.

People say it's human nature to build up a person then tear him down. If that is so, then I ask, why should that be "our" nature?

Years ago, I got a writing job for a Hong Kong-based newspaper. I was thrilled by the opportunity more so since the pay was great. My first assignment was to write about Pacman. All the guide questions I got went like this:
- Is he difficult to get an appointment with now?
- Is it true he has mistresses?
- How many billboards does he have along EDSA and what is his asking price?
- Has he changed his character?
- Is he in anyway eccentric? What are his oddities and faults?

When asked if I had any questions, I had one: what the hell does this have to do with boxing? I wrote it and didn't follow the guide questions. When it came back for a re-write, I was asked where are the meaty stuff. I replied that I am not in the habit of dissing people save for one guy. I thought it was a sports story not a gossip story. Right there and then, I killed my story and the opportunity of writing for an international paper. But not once do I regret my actions.

It's like those media agencies that place ads during his fights but all privately wish that he'd lose because Manny's swell-headed. Yes, there are some of them.

That reminds me of a similar incident of several years ago, when we ran a radio promotion for DZRH called Radyo Roleta and man, I saw literally millions of entries. Now what are the chances of the winner of a nationwide contest being in the venue? When my then-boss Joel Navoa picked out an entry and read out the name of the winner, we were all shocked when we saw a woman falling to the floor in ecstasy and throwing herself around as if possessed by Linda Blair. It turned out that the winner was a janitress for some building in Makati. And now she had a million bucks.

You wouldn't believe the number of people who lined up our offices in Makati to ask for "balato." Long-lost relatives began to show up asking for money as did her former boss to "escort her." Even some of my officemates asked for money too (the fucking crabs).

I've always wanted to track her down and find out if she was able to better her life. I do know she lent some of her money but I'm willing to bet that none of them have paid her back.

It is estimated that Manny Pacquiao should have made around a billion bucks by now (including his latest pay day for the Marquez fight). Some say he has around half of that amount left with the balance wasted away. Of course, that's not hard intel. Pure guestimates by some in the know. But I really don't care. Its his money not mine. I am no longer working with him as I'm not with Solar Sports anymore.

If there's a parting shot from me, I'd say that Manny better watch it. You're swimming in a sea of sharks.

And that includes the people around you.

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