Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao’s mother Dionisia finally explained the secret behind her supposed voodoo act against American boxer Timothy Bradley.
Turns out, the welterweight champion’s mother was merely praying to the Santo. Niño – not casting a spell on her son’s opponent, as it would appear to be.
In a television interview on Monday, Mommy Dionisia said she was imploring the Sto. Niño not to let Bradley knock out her son during their fight on Sunday.
“Siya ang bida ng gabing ito (He is the star of the night),” the terno-clad Pacquiao matriarch said, pointing at the estampita or a small holy picture of the Santo Niño, who is said to be the child representation of Jesus Christ.
But it was Mommy Dionisia who became an instant hit that night, after she was shown on the live coverage of the fight holding her rosary and estampita, on one hand, and pointing a threatening finger at Bradley, on the other.
Mommy Dionisia set social media ablaze, with her trending worldwide on Twitter. Netizens joked that the Pacquiao matriarch was casting a hex on Bradley.
If it was indeed a hex, it worked, as the American boxer was defeated by Manny, who reclaimed the welterweight crown after a controversial defeat to Bradley in 2012.
But for Mommy Dionisia, it was her prayers to the Child Jesus that saved her son in the fight.
“Sabi ko, tulungan ko ang kuya mo na hindi mapabagsak ni Bradley (I prayed that he help Manny not to be knocked out by Bradley),” Mommy Dionisia said.
Asked about her reaction on the Internet frenzy over her act, Mommy Dionisia said many people “liked” her on social media.
“Okay lang, maraming nag-like. Lalo na sa HBO, ni-like nila ako (It’s okay, many people liked me. Especially on HBO, they liked me), ” Mommy Dionisia said, referring to the American cable channel which aired Manny’s pay per view broadcast of the fight.
And to end her act in a flourish, Mommy Dionisia was seen hugging Bradley after the fight – but not to lift the curse, as some netizens would like to believe.
Mommy Dionisia said she approached Bradley to say sorry for his loss.
Bradley then supposedly told Pacquiao’s mother, “No problem,” Mommy Dionisia said. “Natanggap na niya na talo siya (He has accepted defeat),” she added.