-By Jannelle So
The Champ Bows and Cries
He is an 8-division world champion; has ended the careers of boxing greats such as Oscar dela Hoya and Shane Mosley; is feared for his speed and punching power. Philippine boxing champion Manny Pacquiao is idol to many; but the Philippine Congressman also admits to crying, actually, bawling like a baby.
“Grabe ang luha ko, tumulo talaga. Naiyak talaga ako,” shared Pacquiao as he talked about attending that Sunday’s bible class.“Tungkol kay Joseph.” (I cried so hard. My tears just flowed. It was about Joseph.)
Since December 2011, Pacquiao, who’s no stranger to controversy, has been “cleaning up” his life and people around him have observed the changes and growth in his personal life, even his wife, Jinkee Pacquiao.
“Mas happy kami ngayon na may Lord,” she said in an interview earlier this year, when asked about their journey in faith. “Dait, panandalian lang ‘yung saya. Pero ngayon, mas ok na.” (We are happier these days. Before, happiness was temporary, now, it’s better.)
“Malaki din paghihirap ng asawa ko sa akin. Hindi na ngayon,” Manny said. (My wife really had a time with me. But not anymore.)
Here’s the rest of the conversation I had with him regarding his walk with the Lord:
JS: How has your life improved since you found God?
MP: “Mas happy ako ngayon, kesa noon. At yung faith at belief ko kay God, nag-grow up yun, nag-grow up. Tinanim dito ang seeds [points to his heart] at lumaki, tumubo, at naging matatag, matibay.”
JS: But you’re Manny Pacquiao. You have money; can get/buy anything you want. You’re very well-known. You have fame. You claimed to be happy before. How different is your happiness now?
MP: “Masaya naman ako dahil I found God. Sumusunod ako sa Kanyang commandments… sa Kanyang mga utos. Hindi nila alam kung gaano kasaya ang pagsunod kapag nandoon ka na. Yung life mo nasa spiritual realm na.”
JS: What would you consider as your biggest blessing this year?
MP: “Yung life ko ngayon, kung nasaan man ako. Yung malusog na pangangatawan para sa araw-araw. At siempre, yung binigyan ako ng puso na mapagmahal at marunong magpakumbaba.”
JS: What would you consider the highlight of your 2012?
MP: “Basa ako palagi ng Bible. Study the Bible and… pagsunod sa Kanya.”
JS: Any advice for viewers who may be going through hard times right now?
MP: “Alam mo ang Word of God is active and alive… powerful. Kung magbasa lang sila, malaki ang maitulong ng Word of God kasi, the Word of God will give you hope. Nasa Bible lang lahat ng gusto nating kailangan. If you want, yung blessings, nasa Bible. Kung gusto mong gumaling sa sakit mo, nasa Bible. Kung anong hilingin mo, nandiyan lahat sa Bible.
JS: Any Bible message for viewers and its interpretation?
MP: “Rid yourself of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit for I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live. Ezekiel 18: 31-32.
“Kailangan iwasan mo na yung mga detestable things na ginagawa mo in the eyes of God. Yung mga kasamaan na ginagawa mo, deliberately, paulit-ulit mong ginagawa. Yung pagsusugal, pagiinom… pangbababae… commit sexual immorality… anything. Iiwas mo na yung sarili mo diyan. At siyempre, baguhin mo na yung puso mo. Get a new heart and a new spirit. Dahil hindi Siya natutuwa na… because if we don’t have God in our life, you’re considered dead in the sight of God. So sabi nga niya, ‘…for I take no pleasure in the death of anyone. Repent and live, declares the Sovereign Lord.'”
JS: What, if any, is the impact of reading the Bible on your career as a boxer?
MP: “Not only my boxing career, but it’s helped a lot in my life, especially… when you memorize the verses, you can meditate it because the Bible says, “Keep this book of the law always on your lips, meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you become prosperous and successful.” So how can you meditate if you don’t memorize the verses. So, it’s a good thing you memorize the verses so you can meditate wherever you go. Because not all the time you can carry the Bible. So if you have the verses, you can meditate anytime.”
JS: Describe the new Manny Pacquiao:
MP: “The old Manny Pacquiao has gone, and the new one has come. When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, the old will gone and the new has come.”
Catch the highlights and sidelights of Pacquiao-Marquez 4, including stories and features leading up to the 4th match up; and the post-fight special on “Kababayan LA,” weekdays at 4:30p.m. on LA18. Catch previously aired segments and interviews at www.youtube.com/kababayanla18.
Jannelle So is Host/Producer of “Kababayan LA” that airs daily at 4:30pm on KSCITV-LA18. Catch previous programs at www.youtube.com/kababayanla18. Like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/JannelleSoOFFICIAL. Follow her on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JannelleSo.