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List of Articles by Rob Cruz

A Dream Come True - Pacquiao Welcomes Marc Pagcaliwangan

By Rob Cruz
02 May 2015

If there’s a Filipino boxer out there that has been inspired most by Manny Pacquiao to follow his footsteps into boxing, that boxer would be Marc “Gwapo” Pagcaliwangan. Back in 2006, when Manny Pacquiao knocked out Eric “El Terrible” Morales in their rubber match, that significant moment in time was inspirational and an awakening for Marc “Gwapo” Pagcaliwangan who was just in his teens. There was no turning back, Pagcaliwangan found his hero and his idol. Pagcaliwanan knew that his calling in life was to be a Professional Boxer and represent his people in the ring. Pagcaliwagan fell in love with they way Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao represented the Filipinos across the globe.

As a devoted Christian, Marc Pacaliwangan refers to himself as a simple man who has a close relationship with God and his Family. As a child, Pagcaliwangan was raised within his Parish Congregation in London, Ontario, Canada. It is unquestionable that God found a way for Marc Pagcaliwangan to finally meet the man who had inspired him to take up the sport of boxing as he looks up to Congressman Manny Pacquiao so much inside and outside the ring.

Marc Pagcaliwangan travelled from Toronto, Canada to observe the Team Pacquiao’s morning workouts in Los Angeles, California without any expectations. Pagcaliwangan was a stranger, a visitor who has never been to Los Angeles, he did not have any connections with Team Pacquiao on his own.

With just 10 fights under his belt, Pagcaliwangan is still a start up boxer who could barely afford the trip to Los Angeles. However the moment was now or never since the Fight of the Century and the most important fight in Congressman Manny Pacquiao’s career is about to take place against Floyd “Money” Mayweather.

For many years Pagcaliwangan has only seen Congressman Manny Pacquiao on the newswires and on HBO pay per views. A nervous Pacaliwangan realized that his dream was becoming a reality, his hero and idol, Pacquiao was right in front of him. Furthermore Pagcaliwangan witnessed numerous fans cheering all out for the fighting Congressman; he has never seen anything like this before.

With the assistance of Faith Franco who partakes in the morning workouts at Pan Pacific Park with Team Pacquiao, Marc Pagcaliwangan tagged along as a guest during the last 2 days of the morning workouts at the popular Team Pacquiao destination. Congressman Manny Pacquiao and his Filipino coaches Buboy Fernandez and Nonoy Neri were gracious in welcoming the undefeated Filipino Canadian prospect to their morning run and workout. The People’s Champion reached out and approached Pagcaliwangan, shook his hand and welcomed him to his workout.

Pagcaliwangan poses with Pacquiao (top photo) and participates in the morning exercises.

Working out with Team Pacquiao and witnessing the love and fan support for Pacquiao was the greatest experience Pagcaliwangan has ever seen as a boxer. Now that Pagcaliwangan seen the fan support and the admiration of the people for Pacquiao at Pan Pacific Park, he realized just how important Congressman Pacquiao meant to the Filipino People and to the sport of boxing.

During the morning run, Pagcaliwangan stated that Pacquiao varied his running speed throughout the run and left behind the pack of runners that followed the Fighting Congressman up the hills. In the last leg of the run, there were only four runners left that finished, Pagcaliwangan mentioned that his Hero was in amazing shape and that he was also able to finish the run some distance behind Pacquiao. After the run, Pacquiao approached Pagcaliwangan and asked if was able to finish the run with him, Pagcaliwangan confirmed that he was able to finish the run which challenged him.

Pagcaliwangan also participated in the morning exercises with Team Pacquiao in front of the numerous fans that gathered and cheered for Pacquiao at Pan Pacific Park. He was surprised and very flattered that some fans who must be avid readers of had recognized him as “Gwapo” since he fights exclusively in Canada.

Team Pacquiao had let Marc Pagcaliwangan shadow box with the other boxers present where he got close to Pacquiao and witnessed his blazing speed during shadow boxing. It was an experience of a lifetime to be right there beside the gracious Manny Pacquiao, his hero. The moment inspired and motivated Pagcaliwangan, it has opened up his eyes as he realized that he needs to be with his people.

Marc Pagcaliwangan’s trip to Los Angeles certainly lived up beyond his expectations; he fell in love with the City of Angels. The City has everything he needs to succeed as a full blooded Filipino Prizefighter. Everything Pagcaliwangan had seen will fuel his motivation to train and work even harder in his own quest to make a name for himself and perhaps become a Champion one day.

In closing, Marc Pagcaliwangan expressed his heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Congressman Manny Pacquiao and his Team over the phone to this writer with this message:

“Thank you for being so kind to me while I was there. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to run along beside you and shadowbox with you. I wish you all the luck, I will be praying for you and please knock him out. I will see you back in L.A. for your next camp no matter what. I would like to be around and get to know you even more……God Bless”.

Back to Rob Cruz's Articles Listing

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