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Nonito Donaire Jr. opens up about his dad and former trainer on Fathers Day

In this edition of "Keeping up with the Donaires", Nonito blogs about his situation with is father on Fathers Day. It was a very personal and intimate entry that hopefully will finally patch whatever pieces that are left between father and son. Much has been said about Manny Pacquiao's rags-to-riches story, but few people know what Nonito himself came from poverty in the Philippines. He opens up more and shared his childhood and the struggles his family had to go through. Here's Nonito's entry as he shared it on his Official website

Rachel Marcial-Donaire who coincidentally celebrated her 24th birthday on Fathers Day also shared a more light-hearted entry discussing her admiration for her father and her thoughts on joining the professional women's mixed martial arts circuit.


Good job, Son

by: Nonito Donaire Jr.

Posted on Sun, 21-Jun-2009

First of all, Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers and all the fathers-to-be.

To my brother Glenn, Happy Father’s Day!

Its kind of a late father’s day blog but I gotta write something about Father’s Day. I don’t want to make it mushy and stuff like that. Well, I want to greet my father, a very very happy Father’s Day, and wish him luck with what he’s doing, especially with his stable of fighters.

The honest truth is that my father and I haven’t spoken for months now, except for the TV show in the Philippines “Showbiz Central” and that one radio show in Cebu where he blasted me, but that’s my father and will always be my father—the one who made me who I am by the goods and the bads he’s done that I’ve learned from.

My father grew up pretty much on his own. His dad died when he was 3 so he did everything he can to survive and make things happen, that he learned from himself, and people around him. He learned how to cook, take care of kids younger than him, learn the ways around electrical, carpentry just by watching people around him. Growing up, I’ve always looked up and idolized my dad because he was super cool. He was able to make anything from making houses and putting wires together and all other cool stuff. He was the very person I wanted to be when I grew up.

I think I’m feeling mushy here because I’m getting goosebumps all over my body here.

I’m always thankful for my dad for bringing us to the USA. Helping me to grow to desire something, for giving me the confidence to be the best at what I do because he was teaching me. When I was little, I was able to see that there was life beyond poverty, beyond sadness and emptiness that I felt in the Philippines. And as a young child, my main goal was to satisfy and do everything my parents told me.

Growing up I hated boxing. There was blood, there were cuts, there were bruises; everything that I don’t want or have the possibility of having done to me. I was a very silly kid that liked to laugh, joke, and make people smile and definitely not a fighter. I got into boxing because my brother started winning trophies and my dad would smile and I wanted him and the rest of my family to be proud of me. I stayed in boxing because it was the only thing that kept my family together as the years went by. Everything became boxing. It was the only thing that got us together, everything outside of boxing was falling apart slowly, but boxing was my means of making everyone proud of me and see my dad smile meant more to me than winning nationals.

My dad was never the type to apologize or compliment anyone and so therefore when I did win and was complimented for my achievement; it was more than the trophies, the title, or the victory itself. It was more to me because it hit me directly in my heart. And it was something that I was proud of- that my family was happy, especially my dad.
There were so many times in my amateur career I wanted to quit boxing but I couldn’t say that to my dad because I could see the disappointment as it played out in my head. Instead I let him pick everything in anything I did, including classes in school…everything was dictated from my dad because I wanted to please him and I didn’t like the feeling that I was disappointing him or not living up to his standard as he kept reminding me what he wanted me to be when I grew up.

At the end of my amateur career I was offered a scholarship. As much as I wanted to go to college with that scholarship because that is what my mom would have done, it was my dad’s decision for me to turn pro. For the sake of wanting to please him, I agreed and it has brought me to who I am now for which I am grateful.

But as everyone in the family grew up and acquired their own families, everyone started pulling away from each other because their focus was their own family. Before, everyone would talk all day about having this land and everyone living in it with houses next to each other like a compound and everyone being together, and me my brother becoming the first Filipino brothers to become champions at the same time. Those were our goals and our dreams, but as every one grew apart, that dream dissipated, and slowly became blurry. As the years went on and the dreams and goals as the priorities shifted, the dreams and goals became something a child would talk about when he was little. Only I was the only one that really tried to keep the family together. Those dreams and goals were what I drew inspiration from and drove me to do everything to make them a reality.

Becoming a world champion was the answer I saw.

As my brother had his own family, me and my brother would fight because I would try to convince him that it wasn’t worth it, that our dreams and our goals were important, but none of mine or my fathers opinions or words reached him either. To him, what he wanted was more important than our life long dream for the family. He wanted to grow up and step away from my dad’s chain. And living a hard life didn’t matter, as long as he wanted what he wanted. The most important thing for him was his Abigail and his wife.

Young Nonito (Courtesy of Nonito and Rachel Donaire)

Ever since then, my brother hasn’t been the same. He isn’t the fierce fighter that taught me to fight without fear and taught me to be a warrior and to destroy everyone in front of me. He wasn’t the same after he had his baby and got married. To him the dream was just a fairytale in a book, something he liked to talk about but something he didn’t prioritize.
Ok now going back to the other one, when I became a world champion I somehow realized that dream, but really I was the only one left fighting for that dream. This time everyone had their own family. My brothers had their own family. My sister had her own family. My mom with God and my dad had his family—with a new baby on the way, and with their own set of priorities. I felt like I was left with trying to put a family together that never really heard me out and focused on what was important to them.

My dad was a new father in another family and his priority was to his little one. His focus was on his little baby, and I don’t really know exactly what day and time he stopped being my father but just became my trainer--because after some time all we talked about was boxing. Who can we fight? Who can we beat? It became all about boxing and the family aspect I worked hard for and aspired for my whole life was all but gone.

Ultimately, I dedicate this blog to my father, not my trainer, because inside me there is a little boy that has wishful thinking that someday again, just to see his father once more he will make his father proud and see him smile and maybe the father will pat him on the shoulder and say “Good job son.”

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Dennis 'dSource' Guillermo.

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