Manny Pacquiao is a world-renowned athlete and a controversial political figure at home. He’s become a very controversial political figure due to his, one, being an athlete-turned-politician; and secondly, for his mouth (he’s earned flak from around the globe for uttering ‘homophobic’ slurs as he sheds his religious views on a matter of public policy). He’s said to be often “misunderstood” and “judged”. Maybe, maybe not. But how much do we know about the Pac-Man?
1. Manny Pacquiao was born Emmanuel “Manny” Dapidran Pacquiao in a poor and isolated town of Kibawe in Bukidnon, Philippines, on 17th December 1978. He is the fourth among his six siblings, two siblings from the first husband of his mother and four siblings from his parents. His parents Dionesia Dapidran-Pacquiao and Rosalio Pacquiao were separated when Manny was in sixth grade of junior school. After the separation, Pacquiao’s father started living with another woman. He was raised in the Roman Catholic faith and is reported to be a currently practicing Evangelical Protestant. Manny Pacquiao married Maria Geraldine Jamora, nicknamed “Jinkee”, on May 10, 2000, and the couple together has five children. The Pacquiao family currently resides in General Santos City, South Cotabato, Philippines.
2. Manny Pacquiao grew up in poverty. As a child, his greatest dream was to have “tables of bowls of overflowing food” and to see his family “smiling as they are having their fill, and their stomachs were content for an entire day”. Poverty also taught Manny to persevere and endure. At his young age of six or seven, he became an assistant to an old fisherfolk in their town. He was paid in kind – a share in the catch. Young Manny would keep two pieces (of fish) for his family and would sell the rest for 50 pesos per piece.
3. Manny Pacquiao has been called many names – Pac-Man, The Destroyer, The Mexicutioner, The Filipino Slugger, and Pambansang Kamao (The Nation’s Fist). Of all these nicknames, Pac-Man is the most popular one. Where do you think Pac-Man came from? Contrary to popular belief, his monicker, Pac-Man, did not originate from the famous Japanese arcade game. It is, in fact, the combination of the first syllables of his first and last names (Pacquiao – “PAC”; Manny – “MAN”).
4. Manny Pacquiao is a Reserve Army officer. He first joined the Philippines Army’s reserve force as a Sergeant Officer on April 27, 2006. He then promoted to the post of Technical Sergeant on 1st December of the same year. Pacquiao eventually became a Master Sergeant which is the highest rank in the enlisted personnel in Philippines on October 7, 2007. He, after two years of his service as the Master Sergeant, then received the special rank of Senior Master Sergeant on May 4, 2009. Pacquiao also held the position of Command Sergeant Major of the 15th Ready Reserve Division besides his post of Senior Master Sergeant. Manny Pacquiao now serves his duty as a military reservist in the Reserve Force of the Philippine Army with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
5. Manny Pacquiao was featured in a fiction-comedy film called “Wapakman” (released on December 25, 2009). It was an entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival in 2009. He then signed as an actor with GMA Network in September 2007, and filmed his first episode of the networks infotainment show Pinoy Records on December 17, 2007. It was also rumored in 2012 that the legendary Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone was in talking term with Pacquiao for co-starring in one of Stallone’s future films which is still in the planning stages. It was reported on May 18, 2012, that he will shoot his first Hollywood film after his June 9 fight against Tim Bradley. The Hollywood film is rumored to feature several fighters and martial artists including Lyoto Machida, Anderson Silva and Hector Echavarria.