Excellence – One’s unending thirst for knowledge and self improvement

Excellence – One’s unending thirst for knowledge and self improvement

Leaving a Legacy by C. de los Angeles

On the fifth of November in the year 2018, a Filipino born “dirt poor” who used to sleep in the streets of General Santos City in the southern island of Mindanao and would be lucky to have even a meal to eat stood where greats such as Sir Winston Churchill, American Presidents Reagan, Nixon and Carter, Mother Teresa and Dalai Lama had delivered rousing speeches in the past;  Oxford University. 

Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao, 8 division world champion, former congressman and now Senator of the Republic of the Philippines was invited to give a speech at the Oxford Union in Oxford University.

Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao

“Manny Pacquiao is the best fairy tale every Filipino could tell and re-tell to all generations yet to come. Manny Pacquiao’s story is incredible but true.”

His life is that of a fairy tale and maybe far richer than ever conceived by any writer. 

How a boy, born dirt poor, without a proper education, struggled to even have a single meal a day conquered all this to become a global icon as well as a billionaire.

Thirst for Knowledge and Self Improvement

Majority know Manny Pacquiao the boxer, he is the only one who has become a world champion across 8 divisions. This fact is a testament to his constant drive for self improvement and excellence but unknown to many he has applied this to all facets of his life.

Just listening to him speak you will have noticed how much he has improved. Any adult who has tried to learn a new language will tell you it’s incredibly more difficult to learn a language as an adult than as a child. In fact, even national artist F. Sionel Jose noted the great improvement of the good senator.

But as I listened in awe to his speech at the Oxford University, the line that caught my attention the most and which shows early on he was destined for greater things was this:

“But my mind and spirit were never hungry. I read anything I could get my hands on. I even read the newspaper that my lunch or dinner came wrapped in. I read signs everywhere, even on moving vehicles. I learned measurements and weights by constantly reading the rates and tariffs at the warehouses where I worked as a stevedore, a docker in your parlance. At night when I could not sleep because of the cold, I would read the labels on the carton boxes that served as my bed on the street pavement.”

His thirst for knowledge and constantly trying to find ways to improve even reading the newspaper that came wrapped in his lunch or dinner. This determination and drive for excellence is what separates good from great.

Rags to Greatness

When people speak of Manny Pacquiao they often speak of a rags to riches story which we have many examples. We have SM’s Henry Sy or even Mayor Isko Moreno who are rags to riches stories however, I disagree that Manny Pacquiao is a rags to riches story.

His story is Rags to Greatness. HIs life is from the lowest of the low to the pinnacles of greatness – intentional fame. He was not only able to achieve financial wealth, billionaire status, but he achieved international stardom. This is his unique story – his real story. A tangible and real blue print in life that proves that dreams do come true, miracles do happen. 

AB Political Science Major in Local Government Administration

Despite all his success – wealth and fame, he went back to university to complete his college degree.

Any lesser person would not bother going back to university. You have wealth and international fame, why bother to go back to school? 

Yet, Manny Pacquiao, is no ordinary person. This is was makes him great. This is what separates him from everyone else, his constant drive for self improvement.

On December 2019, he gained another achievement, he received his diploma from the University of Makati with a degree of AB Political Science major in Local Government Administration.

The Best is Yet to Come

There is nothing stopping the Senator Manny Pacquiao. Who knows what lies ahead of him? The Presidency? Why not?

Never count him out! He may be the UNDERDOG, a role he has played throughout his life but as shown in his life he overcame it all.

To all Filipinos remember this: 

“Manny Pacquiao is the best fairy tale every Filipino could tell and re-tell to all generations yet to come.

Manny Pacquiao’s story is incredible but true”

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