People who are into Boxing, or who have some connection to the Philippines undoubtedly know who Manny Pacquiao is. Pacquiao is a World Champion boxer, and he hails from General Santos City, in Southern Mindanao. As I type this column, Manny’s latest fight is just getting started, with Manny fighting against David Diaz for the WBC Lightweight Crown. Manny Pacquiao already holds the WBC Super Featherweight Title.
As I type this, I don’t know how the battle will end, but I am certainly hoping that Pacquiao will prevail. What I wanted to write more about, though, was how it is here in Davao and throughout the Philippines when Pacquiao has a fight. Basically, the life almost goes dead here when there is a fight! The streets are certainly nearly empty, it’s like you would expect on a major holiday like Christmas. It seems that nearly everybody is in front of the TV, watching to see the outcome of the fight.
When I lived in General Santos City, this was even more pronounced. It’s as if the place turned to a ghost town during fight time. Last election, Pacquiao decided to get into politics, and he ran for Congressman in the area. He did not succeed, though. Despite his massive popularity in the area, people decided that Manny would be better as a boxer than as their Congressman. It seems, though, that there are no hard feelings, as the lady who prevailed in the race is paying to offer free viewing of the Pay-Per-View event for citizens of General Santos.
Manny Pacquiao really is a rags to riches story too. He started out in life a very poor boy, and as a child he sold lottery tickets on the streets of General Santos to help provide food for his family. Nowadays, though, Manny is a very wealthy man, having fought more than 40 times in his career, and in recent years, he gets millions of dollars for each fight.
Pacquiao just earned his millions too…. he knocked out Diaz in the 9th round! Congratulations, Manny.