pacmanbreadAmong the news features that saw print in this paper this year, this one by UP Mass Comm intern Rachel Mae Sarmiento has got the best hook in its lead paragraph:

“MANNY Pacquiao is tough, compact and sweet. Manny Pacquiao has 6.8 percent cholesterol, 7.6 percent protein, 6.4 percent carbohydrates and 3.7 percent calcium, plus iron, niacin and vitamin E. Truly, Manny Pacquiao is good for your health.”

If that didn’t hook you to read on, you must be some kind of a scrooge who despises everything that engenders fun writing. Even if an article started with something like “Pacman is best when dipped in hot sikwate,” you would think your favorite boxing champ had been actually kidnapped by a De La Hoya fanatic and subjected to a weird form of torture called “Death by Tsokolate.” You’re that kind of person. Get a life, one that has a lot of humor in it.

Of course, Sarmiento’s story that came out last May was about the Pacman bread, the bread, named after Manny “The Pacman” Pacquiao; the bread that tastes just like any bakery item your P5 can buy, only it is shaped like a fist – not Manny’s but the baker’s. Come on. Do you really think Pacman sat down with the baker to have his fists measured for oven accuracy?

While we’re at it, how should you bake bread to make it taste like you’ve been hit by a solid left? And who cares what “niacin” is, or how much cholesterol is “6.8 percent cholesterol?” It’s Manny Pacquiao, the People’s Champ! Any bread, beer product or lip gloss named after him is always hot.

The Pacman bread got me thinking if we haven’t had enough already of this thing we have with buns and boxers. Remember Elorde the bread? Ask your parents about it. Remember Pancho the bread? Ask your great grandparents about it. Or don’t bother. It’s the same plot anyway: somebody punches ass, becomes a world champion and retires to find his name immortalized as a breakfast commodity.

No big deal, actually. Give me some delicious bread in the morning to go with my 3-in-one and I will swallow it whole even if it’s named after the world’s lousiest Kung Fu fighter. I wouldn’t have written a column about it at all had a friend not told me over the weekend that our bakers are at it again.

This time, they have given our boxers a rest and decided it is our national heroes’ time to be with us at the breakfast table. By heroes I mean the ones who really sacrificed their lives for the country without earning millions of dollars from every fight.

I’m talking about the Cory bread. I have yet to see and taste it, but I can already see its color. Boxers are not giving bakers a difficult time because they have their fists. What does a hero like Cory have? A pair of eyeglasses? That would be so Ninoy. Rosary beads, perhaps? Or can the bakers work around an image of a hero’s annoying youngest daughter? That bread wouldn’t taste good. Is color yellow enough to represent a woman’s sacrifices for her country?

But I’m not a baker, I’m a writer. And in case I have to write a news

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feature about the Cory bread, I will start it the way Sarmiento started her Pacman piece:

“CORY Aquino is tough, compact and sweet. Cory Aquino has 6.8 percent cholesterol, 7.6 percent protein, 6.4 percent carbohydrates and 3.7 percent calcium, plus iron, niacin and vitamin E. Truly, Cory Aquino is good for your health.”

By Insoy Niñal
Sun.Star, Sept. 15, 2009