Saturday, March 6, 2010

Mama said knock you out

Before Manny Pacquiao became a national treasure of the Philippines, another Pilipino pugilist sensationalized the flyweight boxing division all across America. Before the Pac Man’s rise through the weight class championships, there was one undisputed boxer who was known as the greatest fighter of all time that heralded from the Philippines; his name was Francisco “Pancho Villa” Guilledo.

Francisco "Pancho Villa" Guilledo

These days, many Filipinos are proud to feel that they’re being represented by such world class fighters outside of the esoteric Filipino martial arts. Our people are honored as Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire, Brian Viloria and Brandon Vera enter the ring/octagon, proudly representing their Philippine heritage. However, many new-comers to subscribe to the fighting sport may never have heard of Francisco Guilledo, much like how many Filipinos may never have heard of Baybayin writing either. Francisco Guilledo, born in 1901, blazed the boxing world all across Asia before travelling to the states to compete and dominate. Having died at the age of 23, he left an incredible record of 109 fights, winning 92, and 24 of them by K.O. This short lived star resonates throughout boxing history and is a name highly regarded by boxing aficionados. I wanted to pay tribute to this Filipino fighter for this month’s Mixed Martial Arts theme to not only remember Francisco Guilledo, but to also echo my own sentiments about Baybayin; the Philippine culture is rich in history, and though some may have forgotten certain aspects of it, it’s never too late to look back and find strength through our own culture.

This piece is featured at the Baybayin Online Art Gallery, so be sure to check out the other pieces featured this month. 8x10 prints are available for $40 with frame. Email to inquire.

Stay up,


1 comment:

Word said...

Never heard of him! Thanks for bringing another aspect of Pinoy culture to the surface! Salamat!