Manny Pacquiao is one of the best-known athletes of this generation, both in the Philippines and across the world. But he’s living up to his moniker as the “People’s Champ” because he readily shares his blessings to lots of his less fortunate kababayans.
Born poor, Pacquiao actually became a boxer as a way to earn money. Had he not been poor, he would probably have chosen a different career path – but poverty paved the way for him to become a boxing champion.
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Now that he’s a billionaire, Pacquiao owns a lot of properties across the Philippines and even in the US. Yet he has not forgotten his roots. He even built a home for both his mother and his estranged father. And he makes sure to share his blessings to others. He even built 1,000 homes that he gave away to poor kababayans for free!
The houses are built in Sarangani where Pacquiao had served as Congressman. But the houses didn’t cost these poor folks any money – and the taxpayers didn’t even give their share because Pacquiao shouldered all the costs of building these homes.
Photo credit: Diply
“I have spent more than 100 million pesos (more than $2 million) on building houses for the less fortunate,” Pacquiao revealed.
As of June 2019, he has an estimated net worth of $26 million (Php1.3 billion) but he continues to earn praise for his generosity. Asked why he remains generous, especially to the poor, Pacquiao said it’s because he could easily relate with them.
“I feel what they're feeling because I've been there. I've slept in the street. That was my life before. So hard. That's why I feel what they're feeling right now,” he explained.
Aside from the free homes, Pacquiao regularly gives away his money to the poor. People flock to his home to ask for money and any form of financial assistance – and he doesn’t turn them down.
“He sits in front of his house giving money away to people; they go for blocks. I've seen it. Food and money. Food and money. He believes that's part of the higher purpose because once he gives it away, he believes God will replenish it,” Bob Arum told reporters.
Aside from the houses, Pacquaio also has thousands of scholars. He also gives away his money for medical assistance and other donations for the poor.