Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Fight of the Century

was projected on a gigantic
outdoor screen, viewed
by a stadium of
Filipinos – all classes
considered – the velvety-
soft skin of the wealthy
sweating side by side
with the dry
sagging skin of
the have-nots.

The hot, humid, heavy
air ignited
the passion of the
crowd, cheering
the Filipino boxer
with every punch
landed, thrown
with the collective force of
98 million fists.
But the dripping
salty sweat from
their brows blinded
the punches
thrown and landed
by his opponent.

But in the
month of May,
the Philippine weather
was as unpredictable as
any true fist fight.
After ten rounds,
dark clouds began to loom,
and by Round 11
the crowd sadly watched
their national hero outboxed,
with the skies growing darker
and darker, threatening
rain on a parade
that would most likely
be cancelled.

By the twelfth and final round,
the Filipino fighter’s fate
was sealed. The loss
of the biggest boxing match
in this or the next lifetime
was a loss carried
by all Filipinos everywhere.
As the time faded closer
and closer to the final bell,
the May weather manifested
itself in an unusually
strong summer rain shower,
which helped to
secretly hide the tears
of an entire country,
who cried in defeat
yet wept like winners.


*ASC, QC. 3 May 2015.