At 42, Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao, or simply Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao to his legion of followers, has yet to announce his retirement. His last fight was with Keith Thurman, Jr. in 2019.
In September last year, Manny confirmed with Sports Illustrated a fight with Conor McGregor will happen this year. It was also reported that part of Manny’s earnings will go to the COVID-19 relief in the country.
On Jan. 25, CNN Philippines reported American boxer, Ryan Garcia, teasing a fight with Manny in his social media account. However, Manny’s camp replied that boxing is not the senator’s focus for now and that he has a bigger battle to conquer: how to better help the Filipinos from the pandemic.
While the world awaits for Manny’s next boxing match to happen, here’s an excerpt from his speech at Oxford University that still holds truth: “Manny Pacquaio is the best fairytale every Filipino can tell and retell to all generations to come. Manny Pacquiao’s story is incredible but true. Miracles do happen. Dreams do come true.”
Manny has come a long way from being an impoverished young boy in General Santos City. The same boy who stepped inside the boxing ring not knowing much about the sport but was determined to win the P50 prize money so he could buy rice for his family. Who knew many years later that he’d become one of the greatest boxers of all time?
It is quite impressive to think of what Manny has accomplished in the past 26 years as a professional boxer, as a public servant, and as a human being. That no matter how far he has gone in life, he will always look back where he came from and be grateful to the family and partners who have helped him along the way.
A quick search on the internet would show that “Manny is the first boxer to win the lineal championship in five different weight classes, the first boxer to win major world titles in four of the eight "glamour divisions" – flyweight, featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight, and is the only boxer to hold world championships across four decades.”
“In boxing, there’s a science to it. You have to thoroughly study what techniques you are going to prepare for a fight – especially a championship fight. You have to think of a solution,” said Manny in an interview.
He added, “If I want to achieve something, I dedicate myself to it, work hard, discipline, determination, I really prepare of it.”
No wonder Manny has won the world over including Hollywood celebrities and famous athletes. Even lawbreakers seem to take a break in the country whenever he has a boxing match. He has reignited the Filipino pride and that is among his most valuable victory.
Yet, with all of his riches, fame, and glory, Manny still uses his money and influence to help his less fortunate brethren.
“Akala ng iba magtatayo ako ng subdivision dahil ang dami kong pinapatayong bahay at puro concrete. Pero para talaga sa mga tao ‘yon. Ibibigay ko ng libre, walang bayad kahit piso,” he said.
Manny is also proud that with his winnings, he was able to sponsor kids who can only dream of getting an education. A cause he started way back in 2005 and have produced graduates who are now in the workforce – some even abroad.
“Nagpunta ako sa Dubai, isa sa mga waiter doon Pilipino. Sabi sa akin, ‘Sir Manny, marami pong salamat sa lahat po ng tulong ninyo. Sir, iskolar po ninyo ako from high school to college.’ Meron din sa Japan. Kumakain kami sa isang hotel nang may lumapit at nagpapasalamat. Doon na rin daw sila nagtatrabaho,” he narrated.
“Napakasaya sa pakiramdam ko na makita ‘yung mahirap na nangarap – hindi makapag-aral. Nangarap sila na umasenso, makatulong sa magulang nila. ‘Yan ang pangarap ng puso ko, na ‘yung mga mahihirap guminhawa sana,” said the boxer-turned-politician.
In his social media account (https://www.facebook.com/MannyPacquiao/videos/1311706672537110, https://www.instagram.com/p/CKVWnccJq7t/), one specific partner that Manny made mention is Alaxan FR, a pain reliever brand by United Laboratories Inc. (UNILAB). Manny wrote in his post: “I had to punch my way to victory every time. Before that, I had to train. More days than not, bugbog ako. Kaya tanong sa’kin, ‘Pano ko nagagawa ‘to?’
“My secret is speed — in my punches and my pain recovery. Most of all, it’s my family and friends, my fans, my coach and team, and my partner Ibuprofen + Paracetamol (Alaxan FR), Kasama ko sa laban since 1995. #LabanLang”
The brand’s mantra fits Manny to a T! He who never backs down from anything – not an opponent in boxing, not life’s challenges. “I will always be a fighter not just because it’s my profession. I was a fighter long before I first set foot in a boxing ring. All my life I fought to live every single day in my youth, I fought for survival, now I do it and get paid for it.”
“I believe that I was born for a purpose and destined to serve as inspiration for the average Filipino and the rest of the world. To fight, to rise above adversity, to conquer and defy, and to embrace life in all its difficulties. In fact, I consider myself not just a fighter but a warrior that has won over so many battles and emerged victorious, made possible by my family and those who have trusted me through all these years,” he concluded.