Manny Pacquiao was born Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao in 1978 in the Philippines. He was the fourth among six children. When he was in the sixth grade, his parents split up. By age 14, Manny dropped out of high school and was forced by poverty to live on the streets of Manila. But his life history exemplifies a man who never stopped fighting.
Pacquiao began boxing in the amateur leagues at the age of 13. He made the jump to the ranks of professional at the age of 16 despite being 4-feet-11-inches tall and weighing a mere 98 pounds. Pacquiao hid weights in his pockets to make the 105-pound minimum in order to fight. Most would think it was beyond a long shot for this tiny fighter to win one fight, much less go on to fight in eight boxing divisions, win 54 of his 59 career fights, 38 by knockout and win 18 total titles. Six of those titles were major World titles.
Despite his boxing success and life as a husband and father of four, Pacquiao wanted more. Choosing a career didn’t work for Pacquiao, so he chose several. In 2005, Pacquiao began working as an actor. He first landed roles locally as an extra in movies and made guest appearances on a major Filipino network. It wasn’t long before he began starring in Filipino movies and television shows. In 2011, Pacquiao appeared on United States television on the Comedy Central show “Tosh.0.” Pacquiao website states there was also interest from actors such as Mark Wahlberg, as well as several Hollywood producers.
In 2007, when he was at the height of his boxing stardom and was getting steady acting jobs, Pacquiao took a high school equivalency exam and received a high school diploma. His plan was to attend college. An X-ray technician school may have been a good choice as Pacquiao continued to send opponents to the hospital. Maybe a degree in drama would have been more expected. Pacquiao chose business management.
His attempt at a business management degree was soon put on hold because Pacquiao decided to run for the congress in the Philippines. He enrolled in a certificate course to prepare him to be a legislator. Pacquiao lost the election in 2007, but ran again in the 2010 election to represent the Sarangani Province, which is the hometown of his wife, Jinkee. Pacquiao won by a landslide.
Whether it is as a politician, actor or boxer, Manny Pacquiao continues to fight for his country. His is a true success story.