Pacquiao's liquor ad in NY draws mixed reactions

by Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Apr 12 2012 03:00 PM | Updated as of Apr 13 2012 11:29 AM

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Manny Pacquiao’s fight billboards have often been seen in the middle of a sea of billboards and gigantic widescreen TVs in Times Square, but none of them became as controversial as his latest billboard endorsing Hennessy, an expensive Cognac brand.

The ad quotes Pacquiao, “Fighting the fights that really matters: That’s my wild rabbit.”

Pacquiao said it’s not about Hennessy. It’s more of an inspiring ad on how to follow your dreams and be successful.

But Filipinos in the East Coast who have seen the ad had mixed reactions.

Bernard Guerzon of Rockland, New York said, “When you’re in an alcohol ad, you’re not being the best role model for everyone that looks up to him.”

While East Brunswick, New Jersey resident Nora Sagad said, “Napatunayan naman natin na he’s a changed man, part lang yan ng trabaho, advertisement lang naman yun.”

“Well it’s just an advertisement, since he says he’s a changed man, he’s probably not drinking that thing, that liquor,” said Issalina Sagad.

Another East Brunswick fan, Ruth Uchida said, “Hindi mo mapi-please ang lahat so as long as his personal life, pina-practice niya yung napag-aaralan niya sa Bible then that’s what matters.”

The ad came out just weeks after Pacquiao confessed on national TV that he is a changed man. He said he’s done with gambling, women and alcohol.

But Ron Vicencio of Torrence, California said, “Hindi ako naniniwala diyan, hindi ako naniniwala diyan, you have more money, there are more temptations, right? I don’t know, it depends on the guy.”

Long Island City, New York resident Gerald Fernando said, “That’s the one thing about celebrities, if they’re going to change, it should be more in their actions, they don’t have to be walking around with the bible to reflect that they are a changed person.”

Critics believe Pacquaio’s presidential ambitions could be the real motive for his new clean lifestyle– one reason why his decision to endorse alcohol is being seen as questionable.