Pacquiao Speaks To Oxford Union On His Life

Joining the likes of Winston Churchill, Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger, and many more historical figures, Manny Pacquiao would take to the Oxford Union’s lectern on Monday to speak about his journey from being a child of poverty to a world champion and senator.

“What could I talk about that could possibly interest you,” Pacquiao asked those in attendance on Monday. “What could Manny Pacquiao say that would be of any impact, much more utility, to the men and women who enjoy the highest standards of instruction at Oxford?”

The answer came fast,” he said. “I know what I should speak about, something very few among you can claim to know about: my education, certainly non-traditional, non-formal, largely unstructured. I will call it my education in the Open University of Life.”

“It is a matter of record that I only had traditional formal schooling until Secondary School, Grade 12,” Pacquiao added. “It was only recently that I reached University level through the alternative education program. We were dirt poor. I had to work since the age of five, to help my mother feed my three siblings and me. Many days, I was lucky to have one full meal.

“On days when we had no food I would drink lots of water just to fill my stomach,” the father of five with wife, former Sarangani Vice Governor Jinkee, recalled. 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. The movements of the clouds, the tint of the horizon, and the clarity of the stars taught me when morning was about to come” he continued.

“And for me, morning did come. Warm, bright, and simply amazing — a lesson in what can be achieved if you have determination … if you ignore the odds against you …and as you are taught here at this magnificent institution never, ever quit.. Think of David and Goliath. Look at me. I am not very big and I never had five smooth stones to throw at any obstacle, but determination is a power tool. I won a lot fights.”

“I am a fighter, not just because it is my profession. I was a fighter long before I first set foot in a boxing ring. All my life I have fought to live. Every single day in my youth, I fought for survival. Now, I do it and get paid for it. Then, I was lucky to get a piece of bread for it.

“I believe that I was destined to serve as an inspiration for the average Filipino to fight, to rise above adversity, to conquer and defy, and to embrace life and all its difficulties,” he relayed. “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.”

Initial Report: The Manila Times

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