Simplicity is what defines Digong

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  • OF the 12 winning senators on May 9, only three are not from Luzon.

    Frank Drilon is from the Visayas (No. 1, Iloilo), and Miguel Zubiri (No. 6, Bukidnon) and Manny Pacquiao (No. 7, South Cotabato/Sarangani) are from Mindanao.

    The Luzonians are Joel Villanueva No. 2, Tito Sotto No. 3, Ping Lacson No. 4, Dick Gordon No. 5, RisaHontiveros No. 8, KikoPangilinan No. 9, Win Gatchalian No. 10, Ralph Recto No. 11 and Leila de Lima No. 12.

    Too bad that reelectionists Serge Osmena (No. 14, Cebu) and TG Guingona (No. 17, Agusan) did not make it. They are a big loss to the nation as both are known graft-busters and fiscalizers; their integrity is beyond question.  And, if only for the record, Guingona is my neighbor in my humble village in Q.C.

    I’ve known Sotto long before Pacquiao rose to world boxing fame.  To those who may have forgotten, Sotto was a former world bowling champion.  Thus, we now have two world sporting icons in the Senate: Sotto and Pacquiao.  Surely, that’d be a boon to our athletes?

    Like Zubiri, I also have ties that bind with Sotto.  It begins and ends with us being members of the Maddogan Golf Club.  I was president when Tito joined the club.  See?

    Zubiri had arrived unannounced during the second one-man show of painter-cum-basketball-coach Dayong.  “I read it in the papers,” Zubiri has said then.

    Pacquiao and I have yet to meet in person.  No worries.  Our connection is through mutual friends.  Like Manny Pinol, Demosthenes “Bobby” Rosales, Joe Ramos, Reli de Leon and, yes, when President Duterte was still DigongDuterte.

    While at this, Drilon and De Lima are also katsokarans.  Drilon, a friend since my Bulletin days as he was then Bulletin’s legal counsel, and De Lima were my fellow wedding sponsors when the daughter of my bosom buddies, Marvin &PiaVelayo, got married last year at the Manila Cathedral.

    A couple of nights ago, poet-playwright Sol F. Juvida told me she saw Ken Angeles on TV talking about Duterte’s favorite viand at Yellow Fin Tuna Restaurant in Davao City.

    “Digong’s favorite then was munggo with pork,” Sol quoted Ken, the restaurant owner who is one of Duterte’s dearest friends, as saying.  “But now, it is munggo with dilis.”

    Simplicity, indeed, is what defines our new President.


    *   *   *   *  *  *




    RODRIGO Duterte has become a combination of NonitoDonaire Jr. and Mark Magsayo.  OK, include Manny Pacquiao.

    Like Donaire, Duterte is capable of coming up with deadly combinations that could easily floor an opponent.

    Give him an opening and, like Donaire, Duterte could whip a foe in an instant.  Lightning-quick when he does it, we love to say.

    Donaire proved that again on Saturday, April 23.

    In less than 6 minutes, Donaire stopped ZsoltBedak, the Hungarian Olympian.

    Before he got decked three times—twice in the second, once in the third that ended the fight—Bedak lost just one fight in a decent 25-1 mark.

    Bedak had the courage—and I admire him for that—to engage Donaire in a rumble right from the opening bell.

    You just can’t do that against a fighter like Donaire who, like Duterte, simply loves action-packed encounters.

    Thus, when Donaire is provoked, he, like Duterte, doesn’t simply back down.

    As in a street fight, Donaire took Bedak’s challenge with calculated aggression and quickly disposed of the challenger with devastating left hooks and right uppercuts.

    The win saw Donaire retain his WBO world super bantamweight title while improving his record to 37-3, with 24 knockouts.

    For Magsayo, he punctuated his victory over Chris “The Hitman” Avalos, the tough Californian known for his rock-hard fists, with courage and a survival instinct rarely seen from a 20-year-old upstart.

    Almost on the verge of disposing Avalos in the second round with jarring flurries to the face, Magsayo was knocked down in the third.

    But just when everybody thought his winning streak would finally end on his 14th fight, Magsayo rebounded mightily.

    After recovering his bearings with a hitch-free defense in the fourth, Magsayo was back to his pummeling ways and Avalos leaned on the round-ending bell to avoid a fifth-round knockout.

    However, Avalos stayed on borrowed time and, with just 1:55 gone in the 6th round, he was waived out as referee DanrexTapdasan saved him from further harm amid Magsayo’s unrelenting brutal blasts.

    I was right there at ringside during the fights in Cebu City’s Cebu Sports Center and both fights quickly transported me to Duterte’s world:  Dogged determination to win against all odds.

    And, yes, I said Duterte can also be a fighter a la Pacquiao:  Dramatic, passionate and always full of hope and inspiration if only to make the people happy.

    Both Pacquiao and Duterte had also encountered turbulence with their public statements that proved controversial (Pacquiao on same-sex marriage, Duterte rape joke).

    But they survived the backlash with flying colors.

    And in the May 9 polls, Duterte and Pacquiao won in smashing fashion as president and senator, respectively.

    Duterte, the tough-talking mayor of Davao City, ran away by nearly 6 million votes over the second-running Mar Roxas, with Pacquiao emerging a strong 7th among 12 winning senators.

    I’ve known both winners from way back.  They are good, straight-talking and sincere guys who can truly serve the people with all their heart, might and passion.


    I wish them well.


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