The from-rags-to-riches story of Manny Pacquiao has been a household familiarity among boxing-loving homes in the world for many years now. Conceivably there can be thousands of beings right now who are lurking in deep obscurity but are slowly toiling every minute of their days so as to achieve their own dreams because they are inspired by the once skinny poor boy from General Santos City, Philippines. Like their hero they might surface one day to tell and astound the world of their existence. Pacquiao is said to sell home-made doughnuts and other pennyworth articles of merchandise even amidst the searing heat of the tropical Philippine sun in the effort to come home with a little amount on hand that allowed him to help his mother support the family which was forsaken by his troubled father when he eloped with another woman.
Life getting more economically intricate, the young Pacquiao dropped out of school and sensing affinity for boxing, he at once became resolute to try to lace the gloves even at the vehement disapproval of his mother. With his intrinsic talent augmented with phenomenal hard work it did not take long for him to become a world champion, allowing him and his family financial comfort. Interestingly, unlike other world champions out there, Pacquiao’s passionate aim for excellence is unwavering, thus his ascension to upper weight divisions that eventually landed him on the pinnacle of his sport – the pound-for-pound throne. It can be recalled that there were not a few who were expressive of their apprehensions that Pacquiao would eventually meet his demise when he made mention of his decision to soar higher, but Pacquiao persistently believing in himself did not budge anyway. Today he is widely recognized as the pound-for-pound king, an accolade to boxers that others could only achieve in their wildest fancies. To tower all his grand procession of ring accomplishments, Manny Pacquiao is now keeping in his pocket a rare bundle of pugilism history as the first ever to win seven world titles in seven weight divisions, a feat which will likely to hang about unsurpassed for quiet a significant stretch of time, perhaps. Moreover, in recognition for his decade-long supremacy which is bound to continue for more years should he choose not to retire this year yet ,Pacquiao is chosen by the prestigious Boxing Writer’s Association of America (BWAA) as the “Fighter of the Year” and “Fighter of the Decade.” Pacquiao thus proved all doubting Thomases wrong and quickly made himself one of the pedestals of the pillars of inspiration to millions of people to pursue their own dreams – in or out of boxing.
Pacquiao, whose hard work, persistence, self-confidence, and eagerness to be of greater service to his people perceptibly transcend the confines of the colored ropes, would leak to the world his intention to ransack the Philippine political arena. In 2007 when his current boxing aristocracy was still in its infancy, Pacquiao who has been making multimillion dollar fortune out of his fights went against the prevailing opinions that ran opposed to his political aspirations. In fact, even with his scintillating conquest of the once forceful Erik Morales of Mexico, Pacquiao would often get booed in some sports gatherings because of his pushiness to pursue politics. Unfazed, he ran anyway, challenging the formidable incumbent female foe in the person of Darlene Antonino Custodio in an electoral contest that would send the winner – as the representative of the people of the 1st district of South Cotabato – to the Philippine House of Representatives. Unfortunately, Pacquiao was miserably defeated but implied he would run again come the succeeding elections, three years later.
For beings of lesser spirits and of defeatist kind, they could have lost the idea of a second try all at once after receiving such humiliating defeat. But for Pacquiao, it was just like boxing; don’t quit but be simply more prepared the next time around while employing new and winning lines of strategy. Subsequently with the 2010 elections coming, Pacquiao had been vocal anew of his intention to become a congressman and as usual people would vehemently oppose, citing the fighter’s educational deficiency as the major shortcoming. But, as if like the ill-equipped ancient sailors who braved the storms and strong currents of the seemingly endless expanse of the oceans, Pacquiao would run even so; this time for the seat in congress reserved for the solitary district of the neighboring impoverished province of Sarangani. Auspiciously, Pacquiao who was aided with innovative campaign strategies, won by landslide, toppling down Roy Chiongbian – just last May 10 – who represented the exceptionally wealthy clan who ruled the local political landscape for decades.
Indeed, his being short of educational attainment necessary to make himself comfortable with the “ins’ and ‘outs’ in Philippine Congress is evidently of primary drawback against Pacquiao so he could shape himself into becoming an exemplary statesman, which on account of his character he must be wishing for. Rather definitely Pacquiao is handicapped at engaging himself in the traditional argumentation and debate in the lower house, but he cannot be completely seen as a bench-heater altogether. He is extra willing to continue schooling himself through college aiming for a degree in law. And any time very soon, he will be attending the University of the Philippines to acquire a condensed course on the standard rules of etiquette that every congressman ought to abide by. In the meantime, he may not be a debater or a great congressman but his see-through honesty and true enthusiasm to be of service is poised to outdo a dozen of his highly schooled and eloquent colleagues in terms of service and progress that they are expected to fetch into their respective constituents.
For the time being the local inhabitants of Sarangani and the entire Filipino people would have to wait and see for three years how the most treasured citizen of the country would perform in the area of public service. But then again being a neophyte we may not be able to see Pacquiao as often on televisions sets standing on the congressional podium. What is of prime importance is for us to see him make a difference in the lives of the poverty-stricken people of Sarangani. In closure one thing more admirable in Pacquiao is his being able to achieve his other tough aspiration – to be able to place himself among the honorable elites in the field of social service – despite the strong waves of antagonism that besieged him since his pronouncement that he wound like to be counted among those who run the affairs of the state – that alone is gracious and inspirational that if applied to the diverging endeavors of our lives would certainly make us the best that we can be.