Online communities can serve as virtual neighborhoods for immigrants who are scattered across the U.S. but are still deeply connected with their country of origin. This was particularly evident during the high-profile boxing match between Filipino “Pacman” Manny Pacquiao vs. ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley on May 7. Pacquiao capitalized on his popularity to win a seat in the Philippines Congress last year. An impressive 1,446,973 people “like” Pacquiao’s page on Facebook, and the social networking site was a hive of activity during the recent Pacquiao-Mosley bout. Reporter Elton Lugay wrote the following story about the phenomenon for TheFilAm.net, a new online magazine founded by Fi2W reporter Cristina DC Pastor for Filipino Americans in the New York area.
By Elton Lugay
Millions tuned in Saturday night to watch Manny Pacquiao beat ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley in a boxing match described by many as “boring,” “lame” and “a waste of money!”
Those in the Philippines were sure to have their own viewing parties at home, in a ‘barangay’ community center, or if that’s not big enough, the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
But in the United States of Facebook, the excitement was just as exhilarating, although there’s no loudly heckling friends to share booze and buffalo wings with.
Filipinos on Facebook were glued to their wall status like they were glued to the TV watching a Nascar race: “Mosley trips with a smile,” “Round 10 underway,” “Manny goes down.” A few minutes later, “Manny contests referee’s call,” and right before round 11, “Mosley stepped on Manny’s foot and pushed him, in what appeared to be a knockdown!”
Descriptive, detailed and up-to-the-minute, it’s as if, I had my own RingTV commentator in the comfort of my home. The humorous comments made them all worth reading.
If you’re like me who lives and breathes Facebook, you don’t need to pony up for Pay Per View or Live Stream. It’s amazing how the social networking site, initially conceptualized as a rating-and-dating website for Ivy League hotties, has transformed into a global village for all kinds of people. On Saturday night, we were all boxing fanatics, many cheering Pacquiao and betting which round Mosley would go down.
When the official announcement was made — that Pacquiao won by unanimous decision — there was a moment of silence on Facebook. I was getting kind of antsy, I wanted to know exactly what was going on.
A little later, something popped up: “Mosley’s hugging our guy too much.”
It was a unanimous decision for Pacquiao, and this third round smackdown was just the beginning. Photo by Chris Farina of Top Rank
“That’s the most corny fight I’ve ever seen! Thank God I got Kim and Pisco to mack and chill with,” wrote one. “It wasn’t a good fight, the only consolation is that he (Manny) won,” said another.
And then there’s lots more:
“Weak ass fight!”
“Pacquiao wins of course. Kind of slow fight. Lesson learned: Never throw cheap punches at a Filipino.”
“Boring! Waste of Pay Per View!”
“Manny, you suck, I want a KO!”
“That was the most boring fight I have ever seen, easy $20 million for Manny, good for him though, hindi siya nasugatan. Mabuhay ka Manny Pacquiao!”
“’Not a very good fight but a win is a win.”
“Now the excitement starts when Manny picks up the microphone!”
“There was just way too much sportsmanship in there, it was making me sick! I was expecting them to be ripping each other apart!”
A little later, something popped: “FTW, Mosley’s hugging our guy too much.”
“Mabuhay ka, Manny! Inspire others to build one’s own Filipino dream.”
“Shane Mosley is a coward and has no heart.”
“Pacman vs Mosley was a sparring session for Manny. When he got pushed, he showed he can get angry and fight. Who is going to fight Pacman! Last man to step up was Cotto. Where you at Mayweather? Stop being a punk!”
“Watch your mouth bro, or you might get knocked out! Appreciate the win!”
By this time, I realized, it was game over for Mosley and that Manny Pacquiao once again did not disappoint.
Queens resident Elton Lugay is a reporter, publicist and community events organizer. Check out more stories about Filipino New Yorkers at TheFilAm.net.