LIVING UP TO THE HYPE AND THE SONG
By Rene Bonsubre, Jr.
Mon, 07 Sep 2009
The first thing that I noticed during Marvin Sonsona’s birthday party and press conference last July 25 was a banner showing a blown up picture of him on a jet ski. It was not a real photo. He actually missed his chance to ride one. The next thing that grabbed my attention was the rap song blaring inside the restaurant.
“Who got the best team, best suited for the dream
Search no more if your hunting for raw extreme
Action, believe it this is fact not fiction
“Attention” Marvin Sonsona’s in the building"
It was a catchy tune. “You guys have a song already about Marvin? Who’s the singer?” I had to ask. The song was "LABAN PARA SA BAYAN" (Fight for the Country) and performed & produced By Sly Kane & Lil Cj. "Okay, If Pacquiao has his songs, why not Sonsona?" I said to myself.
The press conference did not start right away. My thoughts drifted back to Marvin’s last opponent, Wandee Singwancha; how we scampered into the ring after he lost consciousness courtesy of a left uppercut. There was celebration in the opposite side of the ring. Trainer Jun Agrabio lifted Marvin like a proud father showing off a new born baby. I actually checked on Singwancha in their dressing room minutes later. The Thai was okay but had a stunned look like he fell off a flight of stairs. Everyone was surprised that night that the fight only lasted two rounds.
The theme song was being played over and over at the while we waited for people to arrive.
“NAIS KONG MAKAMIT ANG TAGUMPAY
(One day - I'll fulfill my dreams )
PARA SA BAYAN KONG SINILANGAN
(for my country)
SALAMAT PANGINOON SA BINIGAY MONG LAKAS NG LOOB
(And I thank the Lord)
AT AKING KAKAYAHAN
(for the strength & courage )
So went the chorus..
My thoughts wandered again. It was May 30 when I first learned of his title shot against Jose Lopez. I was interviewing him inside a coffee shop in Cebu City. His trainer Jun Agrabio and Sammy Gell-ani were there. Marvin showed no remorse when asked how he felt when medical personnel were attending to his fallen opponent. He was delighted with his handy work. This was more than just teenage bravado. I was looking into the eyes of a young cold blooded assassin.
Sammy was all smiles when he interrupted the interview. “I am negotiating a title shot for Marvin against Jose “Carita” Lopez.” Back then, Marvin was already confident he could take Lopez. He reacted like a freshman about to play in his first varsity basketball game.
Dr. Rajan Yraola, Marvin's manager was just as excited when I saw him again during the party. The press people and party guests started to arrive. I was surprised to see Mayor Dan Neri Lim of Tagbilaran City. “I want to witness history.” He told me.
“Can Marvin handle the weight of these expectations?” I wondered. International matchmaker Sampson Lewkowicz was confident. Every one seated behind the press conference table was confident.
Team Sonsona stayed in Cebu for a couple of days for Sammy’s July 31 fight card. Two days before he officially joined the team, Nonito Donaire, Sr. was already confident that Marvin can carry his power one division higher.
“As long as he fights at the center of the ring and avoids being pinned on the ropes and corners, he will win.”
The song was played again before the bouts started in Naga. Marvin was introduced to the crowd.
"Labas pasok sa bilangguan nung syay kabataan
ganyan talaga pa astigan sa may lansasangan
kelangan may street wise mentality, real talk upang harapin ang reality, walk with ya head high sa patnubay ni Coach Jhun
hinasa ang kamao matulin like Harpoon
The media says he’s something like Pacquaio
toe to toe with any pro “di siya umaayaw”
the future looks bright for this Fresh Pinoy Fighter
a regular dude but in the ring he’s a thriller
see Faith in the Lord comes 1st above all
if you don’t believe the Holy Book for sure you will fall"
“Marvin is different.” This was Sammy Gello-ani’s frequent reassurance every time he hears people doubting Sonsona. I kept saying to myself, “I have never seen anything like this. This is a whole new level of hype for contenders.” I also got caught up in it.
The song is everywhere now. It was uploaded on youtube and accompanied Marvin during his ring walk. “This is it…the moment of truth.” I mumbled as a watched the fight on television. Marvin Sonsona lived up to the hype. He also showed me two new things: First, He can take a punch. Second, He can last twelve rounds even when hit with brutal body punches that stray south of the border.
I wonder if they will ever allow him to ride a jet ski, considering that he is now a more valuable commodity. His theme song could wind up being the next Pinoy fight anthem after Pacman's "Para Sa Yo ang Laban Na To"
The audacity of youth prevailed over the composure of experience. I also know what Marvin’s facial expression was really about. This wasn’t just a teenage assassin’s bravado. It was the look of a winner.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Rene Bonsubre, Jr..
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