Doctor Manny Pacquiao

I once taught the basics of a philosophy not offered in most of the country’s schools to selected farmers. Topics included dialectical and historical materialism and political economy. The syllabus was simplified, the medium of instruction Cebuano, or the one spoken in the locality.

Learning is a process. Elementary-level farmers are not expected to become as articulate in verbalizing philosophical terms as those in the academe but they can learn. What they lack in the aspect of abstraction they make up for in the practical aspect. Eventually, many of the farmers I knew who were taught philosophy went on to become good users of the theories that they learned.

I was reminded of this experience after Southwestern University conferred on Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao last Wednesday a doctorate degree in humanities (honoris causa).

Pacquiao, hounded by poverty in his younger years, did not excel in the academe. The Department of Education accelerated his graduation in high school when he was already in his mid-20s and a world champion. He is struggling to finish a course in college. He is not articulate in English. But he is neither ignorant nor dumb.

I watched on Youtube his last press conference with international sportswriters in the run-up to his fight against Oscar de la Hoya last December. Grammatical and pronunciation errors dotted his answers, but there was no denying the sharpness of his mind.

I don’t buy the argument that conferring on Pacquiao an honorary doctorate degree would diminish the luster of that ritual. Many politicians, articulate and well-educated, have been conferred honorary doctorate degrees, and most of them are corrupt. I don’t think they deserve a humanities honor more than Pacquiao.

(I wrote this for my February 20, 2009 “Candid Thoughts” column in Sun.Star Cebu)


21 Responses to Doctor Manny Pacquiao

  1. Renato Pacifico says:

    Manny Pacquiao and the Philippines will land in the Guiness Book of Record for making a doctorate out of boxing phenomena!!!!!

    … and these are from the Academe!!!!

    Even the gung-gong Senators cannot even know how to conduct ZTE invistigation!!! And ding-dung columnistas bashing GMA!!!

    YES GMA must have stolen. We could have brought down GMA but WITH THE HELP OF GUNG-GONG SENATE BUNGLING THE INVISTIGATION GMA got away!!!!


    If GMA steps down Pilifinas will be left with idiot SENATORS!!!!

    If bright-intelligent-columnistas attack the Senate they would have hit two birds with one stone!!!! THE SENATE AND GMA!!!!

  2. panchovilla says:

    Why in the Guiness Book of Record ? Pacquiao deserves the doctorate degree. The Philippines and SWU are not the first to grant an honorary degree to a boxer or to an undergraduate. There were many boxers and leaders with no proper education given many honorary doctorates. It is just that Filipinos are mostly ignorant about what an honorary doctorate is all about. Leave this matter to academicians ( who are not elitist) who are in the right position to interpret and to comment.

    Honorary degrees are often considered not to be of the same standing as substantive or earned degrees. This is an international practice in all universities. The first recorded honorary degree was awarded to Lionel Woodville in the late 1470s by the University of Oxford. He later became Bishop of Salisbury. In the latter part of the sixteenth century, the granting of honorary degrees became quite common, especially on the occasion of royal visits to Oxford or Cambridge.
    Commission on Higher Education Memo # 56 series of 2006 states that : the honorary doctorate shall be conferred upon persons who have attained exeptionally meritorious achievements in the arts, the sciences , the humanities and /or public service with tangible and relevant accomplishments. Other guidelines are stated as to qulifications of universities to grant the degree and procedures. It cannot be found in the guidelines that the honoree must be a degree holder or college or masters degree.
    The term is HONORARY doctorate degree not doctorate degree. It is given for the sake of honor. This honorary degree cannot be be used as a qualifcation or as prerequisite for a teaching position.
    Conferment of an honorary degree does not require a college degree on the part of the honoree, nor facility in the English Language because even a deaf-mute can be given such award if he/she has achieved something exemplary. That is why it is called honoris causa ( for the sake of honor) because it cannot be equated to an earned degree. It is good as an award.

    In the case of Pacquiao, the honorary doctorate in Human Kinetics could have been more appropriate, obviously because of his unmatched records and the honor he brought to the Filipinos and the Asians. The honorary doctorate degree conferred on Manny Pacquiao cannot qualify him to be a professor. This is a recognition for his outstanding achievement in his field of boxing that no other Filipino athlete can match in this lifetime not to mention his substantial humanitarian activities. Please read his bio data and review that he received so many awards compared to those given honorary degree by virtue of their being public officials without giving honor to our country.

    It can be recalled that Princeton University awarded honorary degree to Muhammad Ali on June 5, 2007 . Honorary degree recipients are elected by Princeton’s Board of Trustees. A trustee committee, which includes faculty and students, solicits nominations from the entire University.

    The following is Muhammad Ali’s official citation for the Doctor of Humanities:

    Acclaimed throughout the world as the most gifted, most imaginative, most audacious and most courageous of heavyweight boxing champions, he has long been revered as one of the great athletes of all time. Unwavering in his moral commitments, he has fought tenaciously outside the ring for freedom of conscience, for equality and justice, and for the dignity and emancipation of all people. An Olympian of global reach and Herculean determination, he inspires even the least athletic among us to float like the butterfly, sting like the bee and aim for nothing less than the gold.

    Mike Tyson a High School dropout is a recepient of Doctorate Degree in Humane letters in 1989 obviously for his outstanding exploits in the field of boxing and humanitarian activities . Again , no other Filipino in this lifetime can surpass the honor and achievements Manny Pacquiao has brought to the Philippines and the Filipinos.

    Joel, Billy – famous artist, whose worldwide sales top the 100 million unit mark, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from The Long Island University – Southampton College in 2000. He now holds FOUR honorary doctorates. Like Pacquaio, he has never finished High School. It is no big deal for the Americans if the honoree is not even a high school graduate. Those who violently reacted to the conferred doctorate degree have just exposed their ignorance about what honorary doctorate is all about.

    Pacquiao has brought honor and pride to our country. Manny Pacquiao is a recipient of the Ten Outstanding Young Men in the Philippines. He has received numerous awards from different organizations not only in Sports but from business organizations and civil societies as well.

    Joschka Fischer was German Foreign Minister was conferred by the University of Haifa, Israel, May 25, 2002 the degree Doctor of Philosophy. Like Pacquiao , Fischer does not hold any earned degree, never finished High School.

    A lot of our politicians were conferred degrees but are very corrupt and proud. They use money of the people to advance their political career and amass their wealth and they have more than 5 doctorate degrees. Pacquiao deserves the doctorate degree.

  3. James says:

    lamlam lang na inyong baba da!

  4. tagaato says:

    Hi James,

    LUDABI gayod nang imong binisaya. Lamlam is lawom nga binisaya, lisod ipasabot ang kahulogan.

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  6. Behind Pacquiao, the fight for his favor

    By GREG BISHOP, New York Times News Service
    November 14, 2009, 6:51pm

    Manny Pacquiao throws a T-shirt to spectators after Saturday’s official weigh-in for his fight with WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto today at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. (AP)

    LOS ANGELES — The condominium looks like a fraternity house, not the resting place for boxing royalty.
    Stained carpets cover the floor. Dartboards hang from the wall. Bowls of food, half-eaten leftovers, line the kitchen.
    Manny Pacquiao, one of the best boxers in the world, sleeps here. But he does not sleep alone.
    Pacquiao, who faces Miguel Cotto in a welterweight title fight this Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, does not do anything alone.

    His entourage — swollen, dysfunctional and, in his mind, necessary — makes sure of that. On a recent visit, while Pacquiao slept upstairs, one member did the laundry.
    Another surfed the Internet. Yet another sprawled on the couch, his booming snores interrupting another otherwise peaceful morning for Team Pacquiao.
    “They’re all competing to be golden boy for the day,” said Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer. “Clean his pool. Take his shoes off. They will do anything for Manny Pacquiao.”
    Roach paused, unable to suppress his laughter.
    “I’m telling you,” he continued, “the funniest thing is, whoever is on the best terms with Manny at that moment sleeps closest to him, at the foot of his bed.”
    More than anything, they wait. They wait for Pacquiao to wake up, to eat, to spar, to sing, sign autographs, do interviews, act, shop.
    Before one sparring session last month, members of the entourage arrived early, fetched towels, cleared the gym, and debated what type of Gatorade their employer would prefer, finally settling on orange. When word came that Pacquiao was sleeping, that he might not practice, they waited, dozens of lives affected by the whimsical decisions of one man.
    Team Pacquiao has perfected the art of functional dysfunction. The entourage consists of trainers, assistants to the trainers, advisers, assistants to the advisers, cooks, dishwashers, car washers, drivers, publicists, gofers, and security.
    Its size varies, as do assignments and sleeping arrangements, members shuffling from bunk beds to twin beds to the foot of the most important bed. Usually, at least 20 aid in Pacquiao’s routines.
    “I see new guys every day,” said Joe Ramos, an assistant. “Guys who I don’t even know who they are, or what they do.”
    Pacquiao craves companionship, seeking comfort in numbers. He said he likes good company, which explains why he sleeps in the condo while the sprawling house he owns nearby sits mostly empty, leaves in the pool, ants in the kitchen.
    Confidants believe this stems from his childhood, when he grew up so poor in the Philippines that his younger brother, Bobby, described each day as “survival mode.” The path to reclaimed youth includes all of the activities Pacquiao missed, like darts, billiards, basketball and marathon karaoke sessions.
    Pacquiao tolerates little disrespect based on placement in his hierarchy, another policy produced by his upbringing.
    He once sold doughnuts on the street. So when Ramos suggested they find less expensive alternatives for washing his car, noting that Pacquiao paid a man at Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, where he trains, $200 three times a week, Pacquiao warned Ramos never to eliminate the job of someone trying to earn a living.
    This leads to tasks that overlap, filled by people who perform the same function.
    Or people who perform essentially no function.
    “There’s a lot going on,” said Rob Peters, the head of the security detail. “You have to know who everybody is, what they do. It’s almost like I need a chart.”
    The entourage compares itself to a large family, but the daily competition for Pacquiao’s affection and power makes this brood competitive and intense. Winners receive perks, like riding in the car with Pacquiao, or sitting next to him while he eats.

    They say they must fight to prove themselves, and while they do not mean this literally, sometimes fisticuffs occur. Recently in the Philippines, two members of Team Pacquiao, the adviser Michael Koncz and the conditioning coach Alex Ariza, came to blows over the coveted corner slots for Saturday’s bout.

    Koncz said the fight was overblown and that he always operates with Pacquiao’s best interests at the forefront. Ariza said Koncz remains at the center of the team’s conflicts, whether attempting to have Roach fired, or failing to give credit to others, two charges Koncz dismissed.

    During training, an unidentified culprit hung a sign inside the gym. It read: The meeting for the Mike Koncz Fan Club has been canceled.

    Roach claimed no knowledge of the sign’s source. But he was in no hurry to remove it.

  7. Congratulations to Manny! You’re the best!

  8. karudansetsu says:

    pacquiao will then make more money which could mean additional funds for pleasing shortys… 🙂 better to say buying smokin hot chix…way to go brother d man!!!!!

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