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Pacquiao: "Out of nothing, God made me into something"

SPORTS • 22:00 PM Tue Dec 17, 2019
Manny Piñol
Sen. Manny Pacquiao as he started his boxing career and during one of his training sessions with the author.

(I wrote this article many years ago and I decided to post this again as Manny Pacquiao, the Senator, the Greatest Boxer Ever and a Servant of God celebrates his 41st birthday, Dec. 17, 2019)


Popular American TV personality Katie Couric was very straightforward in asking Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao the question: “Do you plan to become President of your country?”

It was a question easily answerable by “Yes” or “No.”

Manny Pacquiao’s answer, however, showed the depth of his religiosity and bared his true nature, a very unassuming person who gives credits to other people and God when asked about the reasons why he rose from the squalor of poverty to become one of the world’s highest-paid athletes.

“Everything that happens in my life is not something that I planned. It is all part of God’s plan. Whatever God lays before me, I will gladly follow,” said the world’s only boxer who became champion in eight weight categories.

Couric, who interviewed Manny Pacquiao in his home in Los Angeles Wednesday afternoon, had a one-on-one session with the Filipino boxing icon as part of her assignment for Yahoo! Global News.

She also made the same one-on-one interview with undefeated American champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr. who will stake his unbeaten record of 47-0 against Pacquiao in what is considered as the biggest boxing event - in terms of revenues and viewership - in the history of the bloody sport.

Pacquiao, 37, told Couric of his humble beginnings and of how in the initial stages of a successful boxing career, he was caught in a life of debauchery.

“I gambled, I womanized, I drank a lot,” he said.

“But when I found God I surrendered myself to him,” Pacquiao related as the few select people in the sala of his Los Angeles home which included his promoter, Bob Arum, listened in eerie silence.

Pacquiao told Couric that at a very young age, he survived poverty by gathering empty bottles of a cheap wine brand, Kulafu, which he sold to earn a few centavos which he used to buy food for his family.

Pacquiao and his siblings and their mother Dionisia, were abandoned by their father at a very young age. But when he became a world champion and started earning big money, he sought out his father and brought him back to the family.

“I had nothing in mind then but just to earn a little money to help feed my family. In fact, when I entered boxing, I never understood what it was except that I was paid $2 every time I won and $1 when I lost,” he told Couric.

When he entered boxing, he took the nom de guerre “Kid Kulafu” after the cheap wine brand whose empty bottles helped him survive.

Incidentally, a local film about his life is now scheduled to shown in Philippine cinemas and it is titled “Kid Kulafu.”

He said he could not ask God for anything more except that if God gave him the sign that He wanted Pacquiao to serve him, he will abide by His will.

“It is my way of thanking God for what he has given me and what he has made of me,” the Filipino boxing icon said.

“I am the perfect proof of God’s power to create something from nothing. I was nothing and he made me into something,” Pacquiao said.

Now in his second term as Congressman representing the Lone District of Saranggani Province, Pacquiao is being pushed by his constituents to run for the Senate in the 2016 elections, a political move which could make him the first ever active athlete to become a Senator.

Winning a Senate seat in 2016 would also complete Pacquiao’s unbelievable journey from a hungry and poor street kid who scavenged the garbage dumps to look for empty bottles of “Kulafu” to the halls of the country’s highest law-making body.

It will be a sensational story of “something” coming out of “nothing.”

(Note: I was present during the interview but the quotes here may not be verbatim because I did not record the interview. Manny Piñol)

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