Philippines – Like in the previous years during this time of year, Manny Pacquiao spent Christmas Day in the company of his loved ones but still could not restrain himself from giving holiday cheers to the destitute and the needy.
While long lines have become a familiar sight in his grand mansion in General Santos City with the poor coming from all over Mindanao asking for just about everything, Pacquiao prepared for the deluge of people who would ask him for help.
Again, Pacquiao had to dig deep into his pocket to make sure those in dire need would somehow ease the pain of a bleak Christmas morning.
“I had to give out grocery items again so people would have something during Christmas,” said Pacquiao as he was about to wrap up the day and spent the remaining hours of the most awaited day of the year with his family.
The people of General Santos City, the whole of South Cotabato and Sarangani, where he is the congressman, and the whole of Mindanao know that all roads lead to Pacquiao’s house when December comes.
In fact, Pacquiao also had a separate session with impoverished during his 36th birthday last week when grocery packs and even cash had to be given away in a far-flying area of Sarangani, a moment that was not captured by TV cameras.
Unlike many of his fellow congressmen, Pacquiao doesn’t mind spending his own money to ease a momentary feeling of hurt and pain.
Pacquiao said he has been spending his own money, taken from his ring earnings and endorsements, to help his constituents in the time of need and not totally dependent on his income and the money allotted to him by the government.
So, when the lines began to disappear, Pacquiao decided to finally chill out with wife Jinkee and kids Michael Stephen, Emmanuel Jr., Princess, Queenie and six-month old Israel in the comforts of their home.
At one point, Pacquiao even took a selfie of the entire family, looking happy and in a jovial mood even after a day spent trying to alleviate the pain and sorrow of the unfortunate ones on a day that was meant to be enjoyed and cherished.
A call was placed by the Bulletin to him just before 8 p.m. but he didn’t pick up.
Moments later, the smartphone let out a familiar cheery tone and the name “Pacman” appeared on the screen.
The writer answered, greeted the caller with holiday cheers and after the customary exchange of Hi’s and Hello’s, Pacquiao was asked about the one thing that has been bugging everyone the last few weeks.
So, when is he fighting Floyd Mayweather? Is the fight on?
From a bubbly-sounding fellow, Pacquiao’s aura changed a bit although he wasn’t upset but was more like disappointed.
“Nothing’s final yet,” Pacquiao said amid reports that the fight is on the verge of being finalized as the two most important characters of the play have signified their intention to fight each other in 2015.
With the new year about to usher in, Pacquiao admits that one of his wishes is for the Mayweather fight to finally happen next year.
“Yes, that’s one thing I’d like to happen in 2015,” said Pacquiao.
The guy from Manila then paused for about a split-second, closed his eyes and made a wish, then bade the caller goodbye and wished him the best for the new year.
Pacquiao did the same thing before deciding to hang up.
Then the phone line went dead.