The doctor is late

pacquiao-honoris-causaDr. Manny Pacquiao (with plaque) / Photo by Amper

When Manny Pacquiao delivered his prepared speech after being conferred Doctor in Humanities honoris causa, his heart was beating so fast that it could have been a speed bag he hits at practise.

He was nervous, he told a jampacked ballroom of Waterfront Cebu City Hotel at about 7 o’clock tonight.

Indeed he was because he mispronounced the name of the school that conferred on him the doctorate. He had to be corrected that it was “Southwestern University,” not “Southern Western University.” As he is wont to add “s” to words English, he referred to himself as “doctors.” For words unfamiliar to him, “kinetics” became “kinestetics” but he got “humanities” right.

Lest we forget, a boxer doesn’t declaim in the ring. And so despite his mispronunciations, Pacquiao was widely applauded at his conferment.

He was widely applauded by a crowd that had waited for three hours for him to arrive at the ceremony that was scheduled at 4:30 p.m. He came in late and apologized for his tardiness, which he attributed to a delayed flight from Manila. At about 7 p.m., a choral rendition of his signature song, “Para Sa Iyo Ang Laban Na To” began the ceremony.

The conferment rite was exclusive to Pacquiao. That he arrived very late for it doesn’t befit a man SWU looks up to as one who has “captured excellence and exemplary performance in what he does.” Pacquiao could have been advised to come on time and give importance to the event. He could have arranged for a morning flight.

The humanitarianism he showed for the victims of typhoon Frank in July 2008 earned him the honorary doctorate in humanities, SWU president Eldigardio Gonzales said. SWU originally wanted to confer on him a doctorate in human kinetics for espousing the value of physical fitness but the Commission on Education (Ched) wouldn’t allow it.

Just as well because Pacquiao would have called himself  “doctors of human kinestetics.”

So in his speech, prepared and brief, he said with a note of nervousness in his voice, “You cannot measure how smart a person is by how many books he reads. You can measure how smart a person is through his good nature, his love for the country, his love for his family and most importantly, his faith in God.”

For that, Dr. Manny Pacquiao heard a thunder of applause from SWU students, faculty and officers he had kept waiting for almost three hours.

(Many thanks to Beth B.)


4 Responses to “The doctor is late”

  1. 1 frockedfrog
    February 21, 2009 at 5:50 am

    Oh, my God. Oh, God, Lord have mercy.

  2. 2 Mike
    March 9, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    Enjoy reading your blog.Btw, this is first time I visit to your blog 🙂

    Why pay $1000’s for solar or wind power when you can build your ownprofessional system for less than $200?! (in your own backyard)

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