These days, professional boxers at the top of their game earn big money. As many of these athletes come from humble backgrounds and in some cases even the streets, they often don’t quite know how best to handle all that cash, not to mention all the responsibility.
Manny had always been a good street fighter when he needed to be. Years later, and he was thrilled to make his fellow countrymen proud by becoming the most successful boxer his country had ever seen. Then, it was time to give back…
Featured photo credit: www.scmp.com
Manny was born in the winter of 1978 to parents living in a small village called Kibawe in the Philippines. With six siblings to contend with, life at Manny’s place was always interesting. When his parents split up when he was in the sixth grade he and his siblings were upset, but life went on.
Life for Manny and his mom and siblings was hard. After his mother found her husband cheating on her with another woman, she felt she had no choice but the leave the marriage. However, as is so often the case, this meant that she plunged herself and her children into financial difficulties and life was tough for the whole family…
Manny was always a highly motivated and passionate person. At the age of 22, Manny met the love of his life, a woman called Jinkee, and the couple had five children, one of whom they named ‘Queen Elizabeth.” He may not have been a rich man at that time, but he was happy and he loved his family.
While Manny was raised as a devout Catholic, later in life he became an Evangelical Protestant. The reason for this conversion, he claims, is due to a dream he had many moons ago where he saw a pair of angels and heard the voice of God. For whatever reason, that dream cause Manny to convert to be a Protestant…
While the Philippines isn’t a country that produces many boxers traditionally, Manny was very much the exception to that rule. Having trained hard and shown serious talent, Manny eventually became a world-class boxer, putting his country on the map in a way that had never happened before.
Having knocked out many a poor opponent, Manny soon became extremely famous, both in his home country and worldwide. In 2016, he was ranked number 2 on ESPN’s list of top pound-for-pound boxers of the past 25 years. Having won 11 major world titles, as well as fighting in five different weight classes, Manny soon became a very, very wealthy man…
Fighter Of The Decade
“Fighter of the Decade” is one of the most prestigious honors a boxer can attain during their career. Manny was given that esteemed honor for the 2000s by the Boxing Writers Association of America, as well as by WBC, and WBO. He is also Ring magazine’s fighter of the year many times over and was the second highest paid athlete in the world in 2015.
It doesn’t just stop at boxing for Manny Pacquiao who is a man with unprecedented motivation and drive. He also takes a keen interest in basketball, has many business ventures running simultaneously, is an actor, a TV host and even a politician. In fact, in 2010, Manny was elected to the House of Representatives in the 15th Congress of the Philippines, representing the province of Sarangani…
With all that fame, money and political clout, Manny knew in his heart that he wanted to help those less fortunate than himself. Manny decided to become a Philanthropist and to help the homeless in the Philippines. It all started with a Facebook post – one that would change the lives of more than 1000 families.
“I’m so happy giving these houses free to my constituents in Sarangani Province from my own pocket, more than a thousand families are the beneficiaries.” He wrote on his personal Facebook page, drawing the attention of thousands of people as well as the world media…
Manny earned $100 million that year and decided it was high time to move that money forward. As he said to reporters at the time, “I will never forget where I came from. I thank god for allowing me to help other people.” His help was vital and honest, and it paved the way for a complex of 1000 homes to be built for the very poorest people in society.
One thing’s for sure, Manny is a humble and generous person. He was shy when he got credit and was showered with thanks and gifts for the project he undertook to house homeless families. He never took a moment’s credit, always attributing his success to god, and never to himself…
Not content with housing more than 3,000 people, Manny decided it was time to give of himself again. When a video emerged on Facebook of Manny talking with an ice cream vendor called Manong, no one was surprised. But what happened next shocked everyone, especially Manong.
While most politicians, no matter which side of the aisle or in which continent, lie on a daily basis to their constituents, Manny just isn’t that kind of guy, even if he is a Senator. In that video, Manny is seen offering the ice cream vendor a new house, a new job and a bunch of cash…
One good turn deserves another and that’s what happened here. “I bought 10 pieces of ice cream and gave one to Manny Pacquiao,” Manong told reporters, “Pacquiao suddenly said ‘Call him’. The vendor was surprised when I told him I’ll introduce him to someone and then saw Manny Pacquiao.” He said.
But why did Manny hand the ice cream vendor cash and offer to buy him a house? It’s true that Manong had given Manny a sob story about his life, but he wasn’t expecting to get anything from it. After he told Manny that he had suffered a stroke and that none of his kids were even in school, Manny felt sympathy for him and handed him 30,000 PHP, the equivalent of nearly $600!
For Manong and others who Manny has helped, he is a good man in their eyes. While so many wealthy athletes opt to keep their fortune for themselves, Manny is a whole different ball game in that regard. “Manny is a good man. He has truly changed after studying & obeying the holy bible. We need more good men in our country.” Said one man who saw the video of Manny and Manong.
Manny Pacquiao is acutely aware of the deep financial hardships that many of his fellow countrymen face, “I want to provide opportunities for my fellow countrymen that will improve their situations. As a politician, I want to help create jobs so that I can bring them out of their poverty,” he said. Manny relates well to people in tough situations as he himself was a high school dropout due to his poor family situation…
Manny is a man who likes to give others hope, “I want to give them hope,” he said, adding, “Boxing has been my passion, but public service is my calling. I love my boxing, but I realize now that is not what my life is all about.” It’s that sentiment which has made this boxer a lot more than simply a heavy hitter in the ring.
As Manny Pacquiao’s career as a boxed is past its apex, he has some serious plans for the future, but mainly surrounding his philanthropy work which he loves the most. Having made the kind of money he has, and achieved levels of fame and acclaim which is unprecedented, there’s no doubt that this man will go on to bigger and better things, to help people and to make the world a better place.