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Pacquiao President? The Facets of the Filipino Boxer

"Pac-Man" could go from the ring to the head of state of his country, we took a tour of the different facets of the Filipino boxer.

Pacquiao in announcing his candidacy for the presidency

Manny Pacquiao could make history in his country and in the world if he becomes president, he would be the second professional athlete to achieve it only behind George Weah, a former footballer who is the current president of Liberia. Photo: TW-MannyPacquiao

LatinAmerican Post | Luis Angel Hernández Liborio

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Leer en español: ¿Pacquiao presidente? Las múltiples facetas del boxeador filipino

Manny Pacquiao could make history in his country and in the world if he becomes president, he would be the second professional athlete to achieve it only behind George Weah, a former footballer who is the current president of Liberia. On September 19, Pacquiao announced on his Twitter account his intention to run as a presidential candidate. "Pac-Man" has had a prolific and eccentric career outside the ring, in addition to politics there are other activities in which the multi-world champion has dabbled.

The leap from the ring to the presidency of the Philippines

Pacquiao's political career is not new, in 2010 he was elected a deputy and in 2016 a senator, a position he currently holds. But the boxer has not limited himself to simply occupying a seat as other athletes around the world do, Pacquiao has been a very active actor in Philippine politics, to the extent that last December he became leader of his party, the Philippine Democratic Party-People's Power, which broke with President Duterte. As is the case around the world with celebrities entering politics, Philippine public opinion has been divided between those who support him because of his popularity and charisma, and those who see it as a negative that an athlete without experience in public administration holds positions public.

To combat these criticisms, the boxer obtained his university degree in 2019, graduated in Political Science and Government Administration from the University of Makati. Despite this, he has not stopped having detractors who see him as a person who has used his popularity to climb and not as a career politician. Now, in a clear internal division with the controversial President Duterte, Pacquiao must first secure his party's candidacy in order to stand in the 2022 presidential election.

His most eccentric facets

"Pac-Man" is an eccentric billionaire, although less mediatic than Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Conor McGregor known for their strange tastes. Pacquiao is a legend in his country, at the level of a national hero, a humble young man who made a fortune through hard work, a true source of inspiration for the youth of his country. The boxer has not forgotten his origin in poverty, so he has taken action in favor of the people of his country, which has made him a philanthropist.

In his spare time "Pac-Man" is also a businessman, his fortune amounts to $ 220 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. With that financial capacity, he has had the luxury of investing in things like his own semi-professional basketball league, the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL). The Asian athlete is passionate about this sport, becoming a coach and player of a professional team in his country. The MPBL has been a success thanks to the figure of "Pac-Man", whose name has secured sponsorships, investments and earnings for television rights for the teams, even the league has managed to overcome the global pandemic and has returned to activity.

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Outside of sports Pacquiao has done such eccentric things as two studio albums as a singer: Laban Nating Lahat Ito in 2006 and Pac-Man Punch in 2007. The former was platinum for its sales, according to People magazine. In addition to that, he has recorded various singles and collaborations (some successful). However, it is difficult to define if it is due to the popularity of Pacquiao who as a "King Midas" turns everything he touches into gold. His charisma and personality has also been used for numerous advertising campaigns in the Philippines on all types of products, so much so that Forbes calculates a greater fortune than Celebrity Net Worth, the prestigious magazine claims that it could be up to $500 million dollars due to advertising.

On IMDb, Manny Pacquiao is credited as an actor in 17 film and television productions, two of them yet to be released. All of his appearances have been in the Philippines, some small and playing himself. Possibly one of the most curious is Wapakman, where the fighter plays a superhero, the film was a total failure both at the critics and at the sal. At the same time, "Pac-Man" is a spiritual man. The ormer boxer is a Christian and claims to read the Bible every day. Such is his commitment to his beliefs that he built a temple called "The Word for All" at a cost of $ 6.7 million and wishes to become a priest. His religious side has also put him on the ropes, when he came out against same-sex marriage in a derogatory way, although in the end he had to apologize.

Pacquiao also holds the rank of colonel in his country's reserve, a rank awarded by the military in 2018. However, his career in the military dates back to 2011. Lastly, the retired boxer has even had the luxury of being writer with the book: "My Story of Hope, Resilience, and Never-Say-Never Determination" in which, in an autobiographical way, he tells anecdotes and parts of his life that marked him.