A different type of cease fire

Maybe I’m wrong, but this could only take place in the Philippines.

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines army declared a seven-hour truce with insurgents, allowing both sides to watch Manny Pacquiao win the WBC super featherweight title today.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo led Filipinos in rejoicing over Pacquaio’s victory. The bout in Las Vegas provided a welcome distraction for Arroyo, who has grappled with widespread calls for her resignation over a corruption scandal.

“He is truly one of our nation’s heroes who can unite us even in times of divisiveness,” said Arroyo, who immediately congratulated Pacquiao by phone.

“I join the Filipino people in savoring this moment of sweet victory and national unity prompted by the courage, discipline and fighting heart of our boxing hero,” Arroyo said in a statement.

A prominent left-wing group, the Peasant Movement of the Philippines, congratulated Pacquiao but urged Arroyo not to exploit his victory to prop up her record-low popularity ratings.

Many Filipinos watched the 12-round bout for free in public gymnasiums across the poor Southeast Asian country, including more than 2,000 soldiers and their dependents who cheered for him at army headquarters in Manila.

Last fall I ordered pay per view to watch a Pacquiao title defense. It was the wife’s idea, and one I’m not likely to repeat.

At the time of the 1986 people power revolution, Philippine troops refused to fire on unarmed women who stood in front of tanks. I missed the happenings of 1986, but was stationed in the country during several coup attempts of the late 80’s and was travelling to the Philippines at the time of the Dec. 1989 attempt to topple Corazon Aquino. My plane was diverted to Seoul but my wife was in Manila at the time.

The fight is over, now things will return to normal. Crazy jeepny drivers, karaoke till all hours of the night, The typhoons and brownouts, the sound of roosters crowing, Wowowee, grown adults eating rice with their hands, and politicians who steal the Philippine public blind. I do so love this country.(No I’m not being sarcastic)

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