Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao is considered to be one of the greatest professional boxers of his time, winning multiple world titles in an array of different weight classes, but his strive for excellence has exceeded far beyond the ring as he currently acts as a senator of the Philippines and has announced his campaign for the presidency.
Pacquiao was born in the southern Philippines, receiving only a few years of formal education when at the age of 14 in a state of poverty he chose to abandon his education and left his family in the hopes of becoming a professional boxer.
That dream began to become reality rather quickly, when only two years later in 1995, Pacquiao would win his first-ever professional fight at the age of 16. His boxing career quickly took hold and he would go on to win the Junior Featherweight Division title in 2001.
For nearly the next two decades, Manny defended that title along with winning eight other division world titles, the only boxer to ever do so. In 2011, during the height of his boxing career, Pacquiao decided to enlist in the Philippine military reserve as an army private, very quickly advancing to lieutenant colonel.
His story of success and transition from poverty to professional has been a world-renowned motivational tale but his accomplishments are not limited to boxing — his political and charitable acts speak to the true character of Pacquiao.
In 2007, Manny began his campaign for a seat in the Philippine House of Representatives. While he didn’t win then, he would return again in 2009 and be awarded the legislative seat in the Philippine House of Representatives for the Sarangani Provence. Manny was again re-elected in 2013 for the legislative seat where he remained until 2015 when he announced he would be running for senator. He was formally elected as senator of the Philippines in 2016. Beyond his political positions Pacquiao has consistently used his success as a professional boxer to provide aid for the less fortunate in the Philippines. In May 2019, He founded the Manny Pacquiao Foundation.
Pacquiao acted as a bridge between the people and politicians, which has allowed him to gain a great following and trust between the two groups, where communication is often lost. Despite Pacquiao’s fame, he never failed to remain true to his roots of poverty, using his own money to fund development projects all over the Philippines. Some of his most notable actions in politics include being awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor from 2003-2009 as well as the Philippine Legion of Honor in 2008.
Earlier this month, Pacquiao announced his candidacy for the presidency of the Philippines.