Spent one day with the “Pac Boys” a few days ago in General Santos City.
It was like Las Vegas all over again as we relive the days when Manny Pacquiao was on the prowl.
Though Pacquiao has only been retired for 16 months, it felt he had been away from professional boxing longer.
Last time we were huddled together, Pacquiao was facing Yordenis Ugas.
Times were different.
Unlike last year during the peak of the Delta variant of Covid-19, we were all telling stories and dining the way we used to.
At around this time last year, Covid was still threatening everyone.
Though it remains a concern to this day, the current strain is not as menacing as the ones that claimed the lives of a lot of people, some of whom are close friends and even relatives.
You see, when Pacquiao was getting ready to battle Ugas, our group had to be subjected to almost daily antigen tests.
Just days before the fight, one of us turned up a positive result and it almost ruined everything.
Many of us thought it was just a matter of time before we would hear a knock on the door and be forced to leave the hotel premises.
But miraculously, nobody got infected and we all went to cover the fight at ringside then enjoyed the remainder of our stay in America.
The conditions now are different. Vastly different, actually.
We are not just fully vaccinated and doubly-boosted.
Some of us have even gotten three boosters.
And what’s important is that the Covid type we have right now has morphed into something like the ordinary flu.
It seems we all have seen the light at the end of the tunnel.
Still, I am not taking that mask off whenever I go to enclosed spaces.
The past few years have been nothing but a nightmare.
But it was great seeing the group get together again, sharing jokes and anecdotes and talking about Pacquiao and the fight game.
The relaunching of the television show Blow-by-Blow is a sign that things are getting better.
The first card is taking place on 20 November at the Mandaluyong City College.
A big crowd is expected to show up as boxing starts to get back on its feet.
Pacquiao, who was the program’s undisputed star in the 1990s, will be there.
Admission is free.
You bet the Pac Boys are gonna be there, too.
See you there.