PerryScope: By Perry Diaz
Wow! I can't believe it when I was invited to attend Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao's meeting with Sylvester "Rocky" Stallone at the latter's office in Los Angeles. Pacman greeted me, "Kumusta bro, I'm glad to see you again," and he gave me a high-five which almost knocked me down. "Okey lang, Manny," I replied. I was impressed by Pacman's expensive-looking pin-striped suit. He looked like a big-time Pinoy politician.
The amenities between Pacman and Rocky went well except for a few funny moments when Pacman greeted his host, "Hello, Rocky, you look shorter than what people were saying about you -- a movie giant." Rocky laughed and said, "Well, Manny, you seem bigger than what I thought. You're in the flyweight division, is that correct?" Pacman was taken aback. He regained his composure, shrugged his shoulders, and said. "I may be small but I can knock out a heavyweight with my bolo punch. You want me to try that on you?" "Ha ha ha… Manny, relax," Rocky laughed and said, "Just kidding, ok? Care for a drink? How about a Johnny Walker Blue?" Pacman replied, "Do you have Chavez?" Rocky said, "Chavez? Or do you mean Chivas Regal?" "Same thing, make it double and no rocks, please," Pacman asked. Rocky said, "No rocks? You mean 'no ice,' right?" "Same thing," Pacman said.
After a few sips, Rocky asked, "Okay, now, to what do I owe your visit, Manny?" Pacman quickly responded, "Excuse me but I didn't come here to collect a debt. You owe me nothing, Rocky. This is just a curiosity call." Rocky looked confused and looked at me with raised brows. I explained, "He meant 'courtesy call,' Mr. Stallone." Pacman gave me a dirty look. Whew! I told myself, "I'm not going to open my mouth again and let these two bozos handle their own communication problems."
"Well, let's get down to business then. I just had an idea, Manny," Rocky said, "Why don't we do a movie together? We'll call it 'Rocky Thrills Manila.' You'll be my trainer, okay?"
Pacman turned red and started sweating, his eyes squinting. "No way, man! You're too old to fight. Besides, you're not a real boxer. I am a real boxer so I can be a better actor than you! I bet you can't even throw a punch in real life." Rocky was flabbergasted but kept his cool and said, "Okay, okay, let's not do a boxing movie then. How about a 'Rambo' movie. Say, you're the President of the Philippines and you want to wipe out that terrorist group…" "Abu Sayyaf!" Pacman blurted out. "Yeah, yeah, that's it," Rocky said, "Let's say that you are President Pacquio and you hired me to go after these terrorists…" "Hold it!" Pacman interrupted him and said, "My name is Pacquiao. It's pronounced PAKYAW, not PAKYU. Get that straight!" Rocky was apologetic and said, "I'm so sorry. You know I have a little bit of a speech problem since I was a kid. I have a hard time pronouncing your name. Can I just call you Manny like in Money?" "I like that. I got plenty of that too, he he he…" Pacman replied with a wide grin, "Can I just call you Baloney, Mr. Stalloney? Just kidding. He he he…" Rocky was not amused and replied, "That's not funny, Mr. Pac... Forget it. Let's move on, okay?"
"Let's be serious here," Rocky said, "Now, back to our movie. How about calling it 'Rambo Rumbles in Mindanao.' Do you like that?" Pacman thought for a while and then said, "It should be 'Pacman and Rambo' since I will be the President and you'll just be my sidekick." Rocky was irked and said, "Me? Your sidekick? No way, pal! Either I get top billing or no movie."
"Well, Rocky… or Rambo, I wanna tell you something nobody knows about yet," said Pacman with his trademark grin. "Oh? Let's hear it," Rocky said, seemingly amused. "I'm going to run for President of the Philippines," Pacman deadpanned. Rocky asked, "For real or just in the movie?" "Of course it's for real," Pacman answered, "I already talked to Ate Glo -- you know, President Gloria Arroyo -- and she thought I'll win with no hands." Rocky was confused again and looked at me. I explained, "Manny meant 'with hands down,' Mr. Stallone." This time Pacman pointed his finger at me and warned me, "One more time and I'll knock you out!" I quickly said, "I'm sorry, I won't do it again… never again." Whew!
Rocky then asked, "I didn't know you're a politician, Manny?" "As I said before…" Pacman answered, "I'm not really a politician but my people love me. Actually, I ran for Congress two years ago." "Did you win?" Rocky asked. "Well, I lost," Pacman replied, "But you see, that was just a sample balloon." Rocky corrected him, "You mean 'trial balloon,' right?" "No, it was not a trial. I never committed a crime in my life. I'm a very religious person, see…" and he lifted his 4-inch wide tie to reveal a large diamond-studded gold crucifix dangling from his neck. "This is a St. Benedict medallion crucifix," he said, "It protects me from Satan and evil spirits."
"Well, do you think that you're going to win this time with the help of St. Benedict?" Rocky asked. Pacman was getting agitated. "As I said before…" Pacman said, "Ate Glo told me that I will win…" "Hands down," Rocky said. "No!" Pacman blurted, "It's 'hands up' like what I do every time I beat my opponent in the ring," raising both arms with clenched fists in a victory sign.
Rocky started laughing and then asked, "Well, tell me then -- what's kind of a platform would you sell to the people?" "Platform, huh? Ahhh…" Pacman pondered the question for a moment and then said, "As I said before… I'm not a salesman and I don't sell platforms. Actually, I'm a buyer… I buy the people's votes. He he he…" "What?" Rocky said shouting at the top of his voice, "You're going to buy votes? Look pal, that's cheating! You should be ashamed of yourself." "Hey, hey, hey!" Pacman shouted back, "Let me tell you this, Mr. Baloney: if I don't buy votes, my opponent will buy them. Politics is like boxing, if I don't punch, my opponent will punch me. I'll be the number one pound-for-pound politician in the Philippines. Get that?"
Rocky was fuming mad. He stood up and told me, "You'd better get this shorty out of my office right now or I'll throw both of you out!" Pacman stood up and said, "You want me to show you what a shorty can do to an overweight old man like you, Mr. Baloney?"
Suddenly, I realized that I was standing between Pacman and Rocky. I told myself, "Oh, no! I'd better get out of here." I was just about to run when I heard my jawbone crack. I was falling and suddenly the room was dark. I saw thousands of twinkling little stars. And before I hit the floor, the bell rang. I was saved by the bell. I sat up on the floor. Pacman and Rocky were gone. And my alarm clock was still ringing. I must have had another Pacman nightmare.