Friday, December 5, 2008
De La Hoya/Pacquiao 24/7: "Filipinos, they're a very clingy people"
Well, my mom and some of my relatives are clingy. Not me. I'm a Pinoy who craves his me time. So I guess that makes me more like Manny Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, who said the above funny quote about Pac-Man's huge entourage in De La Hoya/Pacquiao 24/7.
The four-episode HBO series about the advent of De La Hoya/Pacquiao Fight Night is my current favorite docu-show. Maybe it's because I'm Filipino, but seeing Filipinos get this much non-Basco brother airtime on American TV is awesome, despite the overabundance of footage of the poorest Filipino areas, as the PinoyLife blog has noted with snarkiness ("Please... film some Pinoys in Manila that are near some offices, universities, and malls"). (During the weight challenge sequence with Pacquiao's entourage, I loved how I could overhear an entourage member saying, "Excited ko!" That's a line I don't hear everyday on HBO. The only Tagalog that's uttered on HBO is during Return of the Jedi, for Christ's sake.)
There's some terrific documentary filmmaking on display in De La Hoya/Pacquiao 24/7 too. The sequence about Pacquiao's Catholic upbringing and his charity work was masterfully shot and edited. The cutaway from Pacquiao's mother to the People's Champ finishing his prayer in the gym was beautifully done. I haven't enjoyed a boxing doc this much since When We Were Kings.
A Slate.com reviewer wrote that De La Hoya/Mayweather 24/7 lacked "what When We Were Kings had in spades: historical importance to match the spectacle... the stakes of the fight are much lower than the promotional bluster would lead you to believe."
But the stakes are incredibly high with this fight, for both the 35-year-old, over-the-hill De La Hoya and his younger, shorter and faster opponent, whom I'm rooting for and whose triumphs in the ring have uplifted "an entire anguished nation," to borrow Geologic's words from his review of the docu-show. If Pac-Man wins this fight, it will uplift us even more. Filipinos everywhere will not show up for work on Monday. If you run a hospital, you can forget about those bedpans being emptied on Monday because your nurses will be out celebrating.
"Farmer Johneric breaks down Pacquiao vs. De La Hoya" [PinoyLife]
"Thoughts on HBO's 24/7 De La Hoya – Pacquiao | Episode 1"* [PinoyLife]
"Filipino Masculinity & Infidelity Through Manny" [FOBBDeep]
* Funniest line from the PinoyLife recap: "Buboy, Buboy, Buboy. You have the wackest name in the history of Filipino athletics. I'm sure that Manny appreciates all you do being his confidant, his friend, and cornerman. To most of the Filipino Americans reading this site, you're kinda like Too Big MC with Manny being MC Hammer."