Pacquiao is an intelligent man. That is what acquaintances in Congress tell me, and they say this with some earnestness.
I believe them, in part because I know them to be intellectuals of some weight and because they weren’t angling to get something from the billionaire at the time they said it.
Unfortunately, native intelligence does not exist in a vacuum. It must be nurtured and fed and sustained and prodded.
If much of what has stimulated a person in his lifetime—values, info, reflex, culture, role models in his surroundings—is flawed or wanting, then the unhappy result is that even his native and quick intelligence is not likely to produce the intelligent thought.
He may remain a good, even generous, man, but he will not have the good and brave idea that can push society onward.
He may remain a sincere, even well-meaning, fellow, but he will still not have an understanding of the world that can serve others.
In the end, that is not the right person to make laws for the rest of us.
Already, I shudder at the possibility that our senate shall be overrun by prosperity preachers and fire-and-brimstone evangelists.
The kind, like Manny, who piously believe that gays should be respected but not accepted, tolerated but not welcomed, because “nasa Bible 'yan.”
Yet, I’m very certain that in Manny's and his wife Jinkee's huge entourage there are many gays, whether announced or closeted.
The sheer number of the famous couple's hangers-on and consultants, assistants and lackeys, friends and relatives, managers and trainors, gofers, supporters, and fans leads the math only in that direction.
I wonder how these believers feel, now that they know their boss and idol sees them as nothing more than “masahol pa sa hayop.”
Scarier and sadder still is how PR crisis managers are now scrambling to wine and dine the congressman’s gay close-in circles.
And how these spin masters do so entirely because the boss was unfollowed by at least one million on Twitter, and dropped by Nike, that prized endorsement of every world athlete.
In other words, we do not have a changed Manny here.
He hasn't conferred with lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders since he dropped the bomb, has he?
He hasn't pored over books and periodicals and magazines to turn him around overnight, right?
Neither has he been heard to go into some soul-searching retreat supervised by more expansive minds recently, correct?
And I bet he hasn't bothered to watch The Imitation Game.
In other words, he can't have changed so fast and so absolutely since he very charmingly uttered his dark, dank, and damp beliefs.
A PR job can't fix this mess. Only enlightenment can.