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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MANNY!


PhilBoxing.com




Emmanuel "Manny" Dapidran Pacquiao was born on December 17, 1978 in Kibawe, Bukidnon to Rosalio Pacquiao and Dionisia Dapidran-Pacquiao. Dionisia and Rogelio separated when Manny was in grade six. He is the fourth among six siblings: Liza Silvestre-Onding and Domingo Silvestre (his half-siblings) and Isidra Pacquiao-Paglinawan, Alberto "Bobby" Pacquiao and Rogelio Pacquiao.

Pacquiao is married to Maria Geraldine "Jinkee" Jamora and they have four children: Emmanuel Jr. "Jimuel", Michael, Princess, and Queen Elizabeth "Queenie." He resides in General Santos City. But following his election as Representative of the Lone District of Sarangani in the 15th Congress in May 2010, he is now officially residing in Kiamba, Sarangani, the hometown of Jinkee.

Pacquiao finished elementary at the Saavedra Saway Elementary School in General Santos City, but he dropped out of high school due to intense poverty. He left his home at age 14 because his mother, who had six children at that time, could not support their family.

In February 2007 he passed the high school equivalency exam making him qualified for college education. He was awarded a high school diploma by the Department of Education. He then enrolled a course in business management at Notre Dame of Dadiangas University (NDDU) in General Santos City.

On February 18, 2009, Pacquiao was conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humanities (Honoris Causa) by Southwestern University (SWU), Cebu City as a recognition of his boxing achievements and humanitarian work. When he was elected Congressman, Pacquiao enrolled in the Certificate Course in Development, Legislation and Governance at the Development Academy of the Philippines – Graduate School of Public and Development Management.

Pacquiao was once a devout Roman Catholic as he always made a sign of the cross and carry the rosary beads around his neck every fight. And every time he comes home from a fight overseas he never failed to offer a thanksgiving mass at the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila. His mother lambasted him for leaving his Catholic faith after his knockout defeat to archrival Juan Manuel Marquez. Pacquiao’s spiritual adviser is Pastor Jeric Soriano of the Alabang New Life Christian Center in Muntinlupa.

At the age of 14, Pacquiao migrated to Manila and lived on the streets, for a time. He began his career in boxing and joined the national amateur boxing team where his board and lodging were shouldered by the government. Pacquiao reportedly fought 64 fights with a record of 60–4.

Pacquiao started his professional boxing career at a tender age of 16 years. He was a diminutive boxer with a height of only 4'11'' and weighed 98 pounds. He was 7 pounds under the minimumweight division that he secretly put weights in his pockets to make the 105-pound weight.

His early fights were shown in Vintage Sports' Blow by Blow. His professional debut was a four-round unanimous decision win over Edmund "Enting" Ignacio on January 22, 1995. Pacquiao's weight increased from 106 to 113 pounds before losing in his 12th bout against Rustico Torrecampo by a third-round knockout. Pacquiao was overweight that he was forced to reduce and when he failed to make the weight limit he wore heavier gloves.

The rest is history. He was named "Fighter of the Decade" by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO). He is also a three-time The Ring and BWAA "Fighter of the Year," winning the award in 2006, 2008 and 2009, and the Best Fighter ESPY Award in 2009 and 2011. He was long rated as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world by prestigious magazines and websites like ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Sporting Life, Yahoo! Sports, About.com, BoxRec and The Ring.

Pacquiao is considered as the greatest Asian boxer that ever lived. His recent loss to Marquez did not diminish his marketability and his popularity. He is still the People’s Champion. As a famous beer endorsement says: “Wala Kang Katulad (You Have No Equal), Manny.”

Today, he turns 34. Happy Birthday, Manny. From my family, the people of Maasin City, Southern Leyte and the boxing world.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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