MAY malaking pagbabago kay Manny Pacquiao.
It's not just the short haircut or the visibly trimmed physique, but there is a marked difference between the Pacquiao I saw in training last week and the Pacquiao I saw last November when he fashioned out a contentious majority decision victory against his eternal nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez.
Wala na ang kabigatan sa mukha at sa kilos ng Pambansang Kamao na sumira sa performance niya sa kanilang ikatlong paghaharap ni JMM.
Maaliwalas rin ang mukha at may liksi na muli sa kanyang mga kilos kaya naman maaga pa lamang ay papalapit na sa kanyang peak form ang eight-division world champion.
The key perhaps is that Manny has finally learned to listen to his body. He no longer trains with reckless abandon.
"So far, so good. Hindi na kami naghahabol ng kundisyon ko. Anytime puwede namin kunin ang 100% condition," Pacquiao told GMA News, looking back at the cramming they had to do in previous camps.
Ngunit ang pinakamalaking pagbabago ay ang panunumbalik ng 'killer smile' ng WBO Fighter of the Decade. It is a far cry from the forced and weary smile he wore as he made his way into the ring last November 12,2011 for his third fight with his counter-punching Mexican rival.
These days, Pacquiao looks every inch like someone who is completely at peace with himself.
"Ang Panginoon ang bahala sa lahat. Hindi ako natatakot kung ano mangyari sa buhay ko. Alam ko nasa tamang daan ako," Pacquiao said as he closed out the second week of training in Los Angeles.
Finally, there seem to be 'inner peace' in the country's most treasured sports icon.