Mention the names of Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods and Manny Pacquiao in the same article. What crosses your mind?
But this piece is not about how the three are on the top of their respective sports discipline. It is about the price they had to pay and the ‘trophies’ they buy for being sports celebrities.
Tiger Woods, the world’s number one golfer and maybe the best that golf has ever seen, recently emerged from hiatus after making himself disappear from the limelight on account of his well-documented extra-marital affairs.
Not too long ago, Kobe Bryant was subjected to public scorn after he was accused of raping a spa attendant in Denver, Colorado.
So where do these two controversies place our very own Manny Pacquiao?
Not too long ago, a woman who reportedly bore a son courtesy of Manny’s alleged many trysts came out in the open asking for support for her child.
Now, you are getting the drift of this piece. Right?
Athletes, by their physical make-up and training regimen are oozing with hormones, in the case of men, and estrogen for women. These chemicals that our body produces also increase our libido and sexual drives.
We are like other members of the animal kingdom in that we attract members of the opposite sex, even of the same sex, once in heat. What differentiates us from other animal species is that we can control our sexual urge while animals normally do not.
When you are at the apex of your popularity, men or women tend to gravitate towards you and that is when temptations and libidos feed to each other.
Why are Woods and Bryant held to public scorn while Manny, whose latest conquest is said to be the starlet daughter of an actor who often plays Jesus Christ in Lenten plays, spared from the same level of scrutiny?
Manny’s alleged ‘lotharic’ adventures, if true, will certainly make Tiger and Kobe look teenage prom boys. But Manny has so far deflected public ire and ridicule the two other super athletes suffered when their respective trysting scandals broke out. So far.
Because Manny keeps winning big. Because Manny feeds on the Filipino people’s yearning for one moment of greatness which this country has failed to deliver.
For now, the Filipino people are more than willing to turn blind eye even if Manny represents all but an embodiment of an ideal Filipino family man. For as long as Manny provides for his wife and kids and his friends, he can have all the women he wants and nobody will care.
After all, this country even elected presidents in the past who are unabashed adulterers and certified Lotharios.
Asian societies have long history of polygamous relationships.
Chinese feudal lords are known to maintain harems as the bigger their families are, the broader the extent of their dynasties and influence are.
Among Muslims in Asia, royalties and datus are allowed to marry up to four women and can divorce any of their wives.
Among Filipinos, at least the Roman Catholics and other Christian denomination, maintaining paramours is no longer going against the grain of their faith. It has become a status symbol and Manny is no different.
No matter how Manny denies it, the truth is public perception may not be just about it. It has become a matter of public knowledge.
That it is why even if Manny has committed the same sexual indiscretions as Tiger and Kobe did, he will not be pilloried as the others were because the Filipino psyche has been permissive when it comes to matters involving extra-marital affairs. After all, the company that Manny keeps are themselves known womanizers.
Author: Edwin Espejo