No Limitation

Pacquiao’s new religion and the national anguish over Marquez victory


The defeat of Pacquiao in the fight against Timothy Bradley was not really painful. Like the 80 out of 81 international boxing judges, Filipinos knew in their minds and hearts that their idol did not really lose that fight.

Either the fix was on in Vegas which was likely or the two judges who voted against Pacquiao were smoking something that day.

The fight stats showing the number of regular and power punches for both boxers clearly showed that Pacquiao should have been rightfully declared the winner.

But this fight with Juan Manuel Marquez was a shocker. In the sixth round, with one second left, Marquez smashed Pacquiao’s jaw with a solid perfectly timed short right while Pacquiao was fiercely attacking him.

Pacquiao crashed face down on the canvas completely motionless for a scary two minutes after. Referee Kenny Bayless did not bother to count. He knew Pacquiao would not be able to get up.

Filipinos all over the world who watched the fight are so deeply emotionally attached to Pacquiao and are so used to seeing him win were in a state of shock. They remained standing or sitting like frozen zombies unable or unwilling to believe what they had seen. Many cried. The mental and emotional pain lingered on long after the fight – many resorting to overdoses of alcohol to ease the anguish and maybe help to erase repeated nightmare images of Manny’s contorted face pushed backward by Marquez’s right glove followed by him falling unconscious to the canvas.

There was no shortage of comments:

“It was just a lucky punch. Arum should immediately ask for a rematch.”

“He got careless. He wanted so badly to prove he can score a knockout after his last three mediocre fights.”

“His reactions are not the same. It shows he’s now old and should quit before he becomes a vegetable like Ali.

Some, like his mother Mommy Dionisia, blamed his loss to his change of religion.

In an interview in General Santos, Pacquiao’s hometown, Mommy D said, “That’s what he gets for changing his religion….Since the ‘Protestant’ pastors came into his life, he has not focus on his boxing.”

She does not approve of Pacquiao leaving the Catholic Church. She wants him to quit and become a Catholic again.

Many have noticed that in the last two fights which ended in defeat, Pacquiao did not enter the ring with a rosary around his neck as he did before.

Like some, will Pacquiao believe that he lost the last two fights because he abandoned the Catholic Church and that God punished him?

While I am a Catholic, I hope he does not believe as such. If so, then his belief would be as shallow as those who go to church on Sundays with the thought that if they don’t they will be unlucky in business or in some other aspects of their lives. Believing like so is no different from plain superstition.

If Pacquiao is sincerely committed to loving God and his fellowmen as God commands him to, he will understand that winning or losing a boxing match, no matter what importance the world may place on it – is nothing more than just a mere incidental in his life.

He will also understand that God expresses his love for us not only in giving us successes, joys and pleasures – but also in giving us failures, pains and suffering – in order to make us humble and bring us closer to Him.

A part of the reality of Manny’s life is that as a boxer, he became a great one. But that is a very small part of the total reality of life. Another reality is that our life on earth is very temporary and everything ends sooner or later including our lives. We tend to think that the only reality is what we see with our eyes, hear with our ears and feel with our senses – and that’s all there is to it.

Life is so much more than “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.” or focusing our directions on one big continuous effort to gain wealth, power and fame per se. There is so much more to total reality than that which we commonly perceive.

I hope Manny really finds God which can only happen if God finds him first which will be if Manny is truly sincere in finding Him. His loss to Bradley and Marquez can be real blessings in a spiritual sense and from which he can emerge as a man completely trusting in God’s love, mercy and accepting His will – and be at peace with himself.

On the other hand, if like Ricky Hatton, he turns to alcohol, drugs and other destructive escape activities because his ego cannot accept this devastating loss to Marquez, he can wind up like so many pitiful old washed up boxers- ranting about their past glories with minds rotted by substance abuse.

I hate to see that happen to a really great champion who has brought so much pride, honor and great entertainment to the Filipino people and the world.

What should Manny do at this difficult time?

He should spend much time in solitude – away from everyone – and be with God alone asking Him important questions whose answers he will find from his deepest self.

Note: The California State Bar honors Atty. Ted Laguatan as one of only 29 U.S. lawyers officially certified continuously for over 20 years as Expert-Specialists in Immigration Law. He also does human rights, accident injuries, wrongful death and complex litigation cases. For communications: (San Francisco area) 455 Hickey Blvd. Ste. 516, Daly City, CA 94015. Tel 650 991-1154 Email:

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  • donsupremo

    Salavation is Jesus Christ 

    not in some wallet eating bunch of pastors

  • mulanay

    Thanks, Atty Ted, for the insightful article.

  • His and Her Design

    Too much religion in this article. He lost because he got careless. That’s all. Not because of his belief in a god. He won the other fights not because he believes in god. He trained hard, listened to coaches, executed hi strong will and power punches. All credits to Manny for doing those.

    • litotan


  • Rosauro


    The doctrine of the Fundamentalist
    Evangelical Protestant, which is known as Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide or only
    Scripture and only faith can save us from hell, that if a word or nothing is
    found in the Scripture or in the Bible we must reject. This causes more harm
    than all other anti-Christ Church critiques combined and more than ever,
    division in the family, which is responsible for disharmony among parents, and
    their children. I pray for the unity and harmony of Pacquiao’s family
    especially he was born within the universal church. Ross

    • Hunyor

      “…only Scripture and only faith can save us from hell, that if a word or nothing is
      found in the Scripture or in the Bible we must reject…”. That is a very simplistic, perhaps misquoted or out of context assessment on bible believing Christians.  Regarding SCRIPTURE, the full gospel Christian believes “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 

      Regarding salvation through faith, it is written “For it is by grace you have been saved, through FAITH—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast”. However faith is not just any kind of faith for “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”  Here are some more scripture and faith-based salvation quotes: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to EVERYONE who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith”. Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again (from above, or through Christ as second Adam). “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that WHOEVER believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him”. Jesus answered, “I am THE way and THE truth and THE life. NO ONE comes to the Father except through me”. (2Timothy 3, Eph 2, Romans 10, Romans 1, John 3, John 14).

      You see from just a few scriptures, the honest searcher can discern that many preachers and teachers from many sects veer or have veered away from the original teachings depending on the religious baggage they are/were carrying when bringing the message.  By the way, the peace you are referring to is very different from the peace that Christ gives.  Hence, it is crucial that anyone who calls Jesus “Lord” should learn from the Scriptures the true Jesus and not the denominational Jesus brought by later tradition. Otherwise we find ourselves gnashing our teeth in the afterlife because we put blind trust in the name or dogma of our church, teacher, pastor, catechist, priest, bishop, minister, leader, etc. without verifying their teachings from the Scripture and enlightenment by Spirit.

  • Leop233

    Manny should know that the Bible is not the end all be all kind of thing…. It may be inspired but too many  so called ‘pastors’ twist it and quote from it to win people  and donations.   Hey Manny, wake up, look around you.  Too many hungry dogs

  • Against Ignorance

    it’s sad that a country’s apparent entire raison d’etre should be connected to one person. Isn’t there anything more fundamental to life amongst filipinos? “People got drunk after the fight” well that is not surprising as the fight was sponsored largely by alcohol producers as if sport if boxing can be called sport was dependent on alcohol consumption.

  • slim6744

    I agree with Atty. Ted Laguatan.  Pacquiao LOST…….because he kept CHARGING…….After Marquez….in the ring…….”The BEST DEFENSE… a good OFFENSE.”  And Marquez PROVED him wrong. 

    Let’s NOT get GOD…..involved here. As humans…..we TEND to be SUPERSTITIOUS, with a lot of HOCUS POCUS, and OUTWARD manifestations of PIETY. and RELIGIOUS SINCERITY. Boxing is Boxing…….and it’s got NOTHING to DO with all this SUPERSTITION  some people are PRONE to. 

    In life…..if some :influential person REPEATS a FALSEHOOD……..OFTEN enough……’s taken as GOSPEL truth. This is HOW Dictators RULE their people…….REPETITIOUS lies, and COERCION…with a lot of INFLUENCE…….thrown in.

    I think we are MORE INTELLIGENT……than that. 

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    Total Ignoramus.
    Are you people crazy?  Sounds like you all are trying to have two religions in a boxing match.  Religion has nothing to do with Pacquiao’s defeat.  He said sometimes you win some and you lose some, ‘nalusutan’.  Muhammad Ali switched to Islam and he win some and lose some.  Joe Frazier keep he’s belief and he won some and lost some. Mike Tyson they same story. Mayweather is a slick he choosy.

    Pacquiao is past his boxing age.  He is a congressman and collecting money from the poor Filipino people.  He is creating a political dynasty to ensure that he will continue to earn millions not from boxing but from you poor gullible Filipinos.

  • bilango71

    I just saw Doniare singing at the ASAP.  Seguro pareho ni Pacquiao kanyang magiging kaparalan.  Bakit ayaw mag-stick sa boxing?

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