Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao is undoubtedly one of the best and most popular boxers today not only in the Philippines, but also in the whole world. Since he entered professional boxing at the age of 17, he immediately made an impact, dominating his opponents until he won his first major title two years later. Since then, Pacquiao rose to boxing’s elite ranks, beating legendary boxers like Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, and Oscar Dela Hoya. However, he has been losing his fights as of late, with his recent defeat coming from the hands of undefeated American pug list Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Despite the loss to the cocky American, Pacquiao remains as a Filipino icon, a national hero, and a good samaritan. Pinoys would always have a lot of reasons to love him, as a boxer and as a person. Either way, it would be a really difficult task to find something to hate about Manny Pacquiao.
So what are the most common reasons of Filipinos to love the global idol that is Manny Pacquiao? The answers to that question are not really surprising. We have compiled ten reasons of Filipinos for continuously loving and supporting our very own Pambansang Kamao.
Pinoys love Manny Pacquiao because…
There’s no bigger reason than this. Even before Pacquiao, Filipinos are already known to be natural boxing fans. But when Pacquiao came, even non-boxing fans started to love and appreciate the sport. Pacquiao dominated almost every opponent he crossed fists with, from Barrera to Marquez; from Hatton to Dela Hoya, no one able to stop Manny Pacquiao, even Mayweather (who won) had to run away from Pacquiao. He punched his way, knocked out some people in the process, on his way to eight division world titles.
Pacquiao knows what it feels like to be poor, so when he started earning millions of dollars (and billions of pesos), he started to help the less fortunate people, especially in his hometown in General Santos City. He used his hard earned money to build schools and hospitals. He is also supporting the studies of around 300 children. He’s also never shy of helping the victims of natural calamities like typhoons. Pacquiao generosity led to people claiming him to be a modern day saint.
From a boy who sells donuts in the streets of Cebu, to a world champion in boxing, Pacquiao’s success story is one of the greatest ‘rags to riches’ stories you’ll ever hear. It inspires people to strive harder in life, no matter how hard and how many the obstacles are. It also gives people hope that maybe someday, all their miseries in life would be gone and they’ll just live happily. Lastly, Pacquiao’s story gives Pinoys the positivity that they desperately need, especially in a country that’s surrounded by problems.
One of the biggest turning points in Manny Pacquiao’s life is when he chose to give up all of his vices and became a ‘servant of God’. You’ll often see Pacquiao holding a Bible and preaching the word of the Lord to people. Filipinos deeply appreciated Pacquiao’s change of heart. However, it was also a center for heated debates as many boxing fans believed that religion was the reason why Manny Pacquiao lost his killer instinct, and they make a good point, as Pacquiao has never won by knock out since becoming a changed man. Nevertheless, this is one of Pinoys’ big reasons to love Pacquiao.
One of Pacquiao’s admirable character traits is his humility. Despite the ton of success and fame that he received throughout his entire boxing career, Pacquiao remained a very down to earth individual, thanking God and the Filipinos who keep on supporting him after his every fight. Also, he never fails to acknowledge the talent of his opponents. He never mocked or insulted any of his previous rivals. Even when Pacquiao issued a statement a couple of weeks ago about Mayweather being an ‘ex-convict’, he still sounded very polite.
We all know that aside from boxing, Pacquiao is also a politician, actor, singer, and basketball player slash coach. However, unlike boxing, Pacquiao’s other ‘careers’ somehow became laughingstocks. Pacquiao is a terrible singer, an often-absent politician, an inexperienced actor, and a trying hard PBA-er. You’ll often hear people say “Just stick to boxing Manny” because truth be told, he’s good at it and bad at the rest. However, are still anticipating the next career move of our beloved champion, especially now that he is close to retirement. Do you want him to be the Philippine president someday? Because he might attempt do just that, in the near future.
Travelling during a Pacquiao fight is perfect, especially if you’re heading somewhere that’s quite far from your place. Whenever Pacquiao is in the ring, Philippines immediately transforms into a ghost town because everyone is watching the Pinoy boxing legend. Some people would take advantage of this, knowing that only a few cars would be out in the street during these times. People who often do this are contented to listen to the live updates on the radio or watch the replay of the fight later that day.
When there’s a Pacquiao fight, Philippines turns into one of the safest places in the world, even for a couple of hours, because even the bad guys are diehard fans of the future hall of famer. Even the military forces and rebels would call for a cease fire just to be able to watch Manny make another boxer kiss the ground. This is how big Pacquiao’s influence is. If Manny could only fight all day everyday, Philippines would be heaven on earth.
Pacquiao has always dedicated his fights to the Filipino nation, hoping that he would make a difference in a country that’s full of problems. With the amount of money he’s earning right now, he could have left the Philippines for the US or other better countries, but he didn’t. He continues to be proud about the Philippines and himself being a Filipino. All the things that he’s doing in his life, whether as a boxer, singer, or politician, he dedicates it to the entire nation. Pacquiao continues to fight for the possibility that the Philippines would be a better place for Filipinos.
One of the reasons why Filipinos hate Floyd Mayweather so much is because he’s the complete opposite of Manny. Arrogant, coward, disrespectful, selfish, stubborn, and insensitive; these are the words that we often use to describe the attitude of the undefeated American boxer. In fact, even most of his fellow countrymen aren’t a fan of his and watch Manny Pacquiao instead. One big difference between Mayweather and Pacquiao is that Mayweather loves to talk a lot of nonsense, while Pacquiao would rather let his fists do the talking.
Mayweather is no Pacquiao, not even close. Pacquiao is the greater boxer and better person, no doubt.