This is taken from Manny's regular column in Philboxing.com. Pretty fine words from a reigning champion to his idol and mentor, from one friend to another.
Utang na loob ko ang pagkamit ng mga titulo sa mga nagdaang kampeon ng Pilipinas gaya nila Gabriel Flash Elorde at kamakailan, si Gerry Penalosa. Nanalo si Penalosa sa huli niyang laban noong Linggo at nagpasya siyang magretiro na sa edad na 38. Ang mga naunang boxer sa akin ang nagsilbing inspirasyon ko, lalung-lalo na si Pareng Gerry na naka-spar ko pa noong ako ay nagsisimula pa lang.
"I owe the achievement of my titles to the Philippine champions who came before me such as Gabriel "Flash" Elorde and, more recently, Gerry Penalosa. Penalosa won his final fight last Sunday and announced that he will retire at the age of 38. The boxers who have come before me have served as my inspiration, especially my good friend Gerry who I even had the chance to spar with when I was just starting out."
Marami akong natutunan kay Ginoong Penalosa na isa sa mga pinakamagaling na boxer ng bansa kaya naman nakuha niyang maging kampeon sa dalawang weight divisions. Bukod doon, ang kaniyang disiplina sa pangangatawan ang isa sa mga dapat nating tularan. Alaga niya lagi ang kaniyang kalusugan kaya naman kahit na umabot siya sa edad na 38, isa pa rin siya sa mga kinatatakutan at nirerespetong boxer.
"I learned a lot from Mr. Penalosa who is one of the best boxers in the country, which is why he became a champion in two weight divisions. Apart from this, his discipline over his body is something that we should all seek to emulate. He's always taken care of his health which why, even as he reached the age of 38, he was one of those most feared and respected boxers."
Mahigit na 55 na panalo ang record ni Penalosa maliban sa ilang talo at masasabi kong matagumpay ang naging boxing career niya. Good luck sa iyo, pare, sa mga proyektong iyong plano ngayong retired ka na. Alam kong marami ka pang maibibigay at maipapamahaging magagandang tulong sa mga boxer na susunod sa iyong yapak habang ako naman ay magsusumikap din na dagdagan at itaguyod ang sinimulan ninyong lahat—ang bigyan karangalan ang bansang minamahal natin.
"Penalosa has over 55 wins on his record, and despite some losses, I can say that he has had a successful career. Good luck to you, my friend, in all the projects you have planned now that you are retired. I know that you still have a lot to offer in the way of helping the boxers who will be following in your footsteps, while I am still trying to add to and advance that which you all have started-- to give honor to our beloved country."