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The Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao Confessions: Notes About An Old Interview On The Lawmaker In Action!

By Reylan Loberternos
Thu, 08 Nov 2018


Boracay Island, Philippines – In our previous article, we dissected a lengthy Pacquiao interview where he declared some personal confessions that I’m sure a lot of us haven’t heard nor read before. If you haven’t read the piece I wrote regarding that particular interview, you may want to read it first and follow this link: The Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao Confessions: Things You Might Not Have Heard Nor Read Before! Just as I thought I’ve heard or read just about everything I need to know about the man, I would once again stumble and watch in awe, as this generation’s finest boxer inside and outside the ring spoke his mind with Freddy Abando for an hour in the latter’s TV show “Congress In Action” shown some eight years ago on the local NBN channel. I bet a lot of you weren’t fortunate to catch the interview, but worry not and count yourselves lucky because we are going to discuss hereunder what Pacquiao had to say.


In his first term as representative of his congressional district, Pacquiao spoke about his program of governance that focuses on livelihood, health care, and education. “I’ve been to many places and have talked to my colleagues in congress… I found out that Sarangani is probably the only province in the Philippines without a provincial hospital, so I asked our beloved President Noynoy Aquino (then Philippine president) for financial assistance and he was kind enough to allocate that budget for the project,” Pacquiao said in Filipino. The construction of a provincial hospital with an estimated budget of PhP 200M for Saranggani Province, which he said will commence early next year is his first major project. He also mentioned that he is expecting seven ambulances to be provided for each of the seven municipalities in his province in exchange or as talent fee for endorsing the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). Pacquiao also mentioned his plan to build more classrooms for the public schools in Saranggani province. He then spoke about the harsh reality about the schools in their place. Teachers, he said, would just bring a small blackboard with them under a tree and do her class under the tree’s shade.


There was always an amazing aura of fulfillment, joy, and pride every time Pacquiao spoke about his childhood… this despite the difficulties and struggles he and his family had to face and endure. He spoke about days when they had nothing to eat, which basically prompted him and his brother to look for ways to earn some money to buy a few kilos of rice. Twelve was the age Pacquiao said he started boxing as an amateur. Since they knew their mother would not allow them to join boxing, they kept it secret, just reassuring her that the money they gave her did not come from evil means. “I did not enter boxing because I like it… I boxed so that we can buy rice,” he said. At that time, as an amateur fighter, the winning purse was a measly PhP 100 (roughly $2) and PhP 50 for the loser. When asked whether their mother ever noticed any bruises to his face that would have made her think that he was into boxing, he said “We were using head gear so she didn’t notice anything.”


Pacquiao also expressed how much he respects, admires, and loves his mother Dionesia. According to him, she would rise at early dawn and by 5am, she would wake them all up (3 boys and 1 girl) so that they could pray the rosary together. Afterwards, she would do laundry (by hand) for their neighbors and later on work at the fish cracker factory. This was her daily routine back in the day. She had to work extra hours to be able to feed and provide for her four children alone, noting that her husband, Manny’s father, has left them. Pacquiao is also proud of the fact that fame and fortune did not influence her mother to change, particularly on the spiritual aspect. He said that he would purposely test her with money and material blessing, only to realize that her faith and usual prayers never wavered.


Freddie Abando, the interviewer, then mentioned how people would line up outside his office to seek assistance. Pacquiao would then say that although he’s always willing to help, he could not possibly help everybody. “I am not Superman. I am only Manny Pacquiao and I’m only human,” he added. Jinky, Manny’s better half, was said to be helping him in organizing several livelihood programs for their constituents. Pacquiao would then mention that it is not right to always provide money as direct assistance for the people, except perhaps for emergency situations like someone in the family needs to undergo surgery and the like. According to him, a better and long-term solution to poverty is to provide means for people to earn a living… give them sources of income so that they can take care of their own families. He said that building of learning institutions like TESDA, where people could undergo specialized training in several blue-collar skill-oriented jobs is in the works. Not being able to finish his studies, Pacquiao knows the importance of education and was said to be supporting about a thousand scholars and paying for the basic needs in their basic education. These are kids from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.


When asked of the possibility of one of his two sons getting into boxing, he politely answered that he doesn’t want his kids to ever take up boxing. He then said that in their house, there are no boxing paraphernalia of any kind so that his kids would not find any inclination to take up boxing, a field that Pacquiao considers so hard and difficult. He would then say that he just wants his kids to finish their studies, something he wasn’t able to achieve due to several limitations.


When the topic shifted to the people around him, which could include some would most refer to as leeches who might just want to prey on his fortunes, Pacquiao said with gusto “I don’t choose my friends. I have all sorts and kinds of friends. I have friends who are bad people and slightly bad ones… I have friends who are good people and some who are slightly good ones.” He would then add that he would even prefer to befriend bad people so that he could have an opportunity to be a good influence and guide them towards the right path.


Pacquiao’s position on the controversial reproductive health bill was also discussed. He made it clear that he was against it for the following reasons; first and foremost, it is against God’s laws, quoting a verse from the Bible “Go to the world and multiply.” He said that if that law will be amended, people will no longer have freedom and added that personal sacrifice and abstinence is the best way. He then said that increasing population is not the root cause of poverty… corruption is! He said that every fiscal year, the government allocates a national budget that is based on population. The thing is, this money doesn’t go where it's supposed to because of greed and corruption among those in power.  Pacquiao also emphasized that change cannot and will not happen overnight. It should start somewhere… it should start from each and every person.


In closing, Abando asked Pacquiao who his political idol is. Pacquiao, without hesitation mentioned national hero Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, husband of the late former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino and father to then president Noynoy Aquino. He said he admires Ninoy’s candidness and sincerity. According to Pacquiao, Ninoy spoke without any mixture of politics and what he said, he did. It may not be denied, however, that Pacquiao has now sided with fellow Mindanaoan, fellow Bisdak, and current president Rodrigo Roa Duterte. What does the future hold for Pacquiao, the boxer and politician? Only time can tell…


Juanito Forinas Lingo (person in red T-shirt) is a retired Registered Nurse, who has been in the US since 1993. An avid boxing and tennis fan, he regularly attends boxing events featuring Pinoy protagonists. He is presently the president of Maribojoc Association of America and Canada for six years now and is also the vice president of the Loma Tennis Club. He is happily married to Nimfa Corpuz Lingo. The couple have two sons, Jaytee and Jericho, and a daughter named Jaymee.

Comments are highly appreciated. You may write them below or send them to me on twitter reylan_l

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