The Education of Manny Pacquiao

Because he is Manny Pacquiao, he gets privileges and honors that no ordinary Filipino can ever hope to get without a sweat.

Take the case of his education.

At 16, when he should have been in a classroom doodling, Pacquiao was in a boxing ring punching a man in the face. He had dropped out of school and found money and glory in boxing. As his fame spread overseas and his wealth expanded, he realized that to get full respect, he would need to have an education. He would distinguish himself from other top boxers. He would get a college degree.

Pacquiao would get more than a college degree.

He hurdled high school by getting an accreditation from the Department of Education for its Alternative Learning System. The ALS, whose tests cover multiple choice and composition writing, allows the passer to enrol in a college course. In 2007, at age 29 and after more than 10 years of being out of school, Pacquiao got his high school diploma.

He had jocosely said he would enrol in Ateneo, a university known for its academic excellence but which the Philippine Idol is hardly known for.  In the end, he settled for Notre Dame of Dadiangas University in General Santos City, where he lives when he is in the country and where he is considered a living patron. He’s taking up business administration, a course that he says will prepare him “to manage my finances myself.”

Because he is Manny Pacquiao, he has a special arrangement with the school that allows him one-on-one lessons with his teachers. There has been no report yet that he has flirted with one or two of his female teachers, maybe because none of them comes close to looking like the movie starlet Ara Mina.

Because he is Manny Pacquiao, his education is unorthodox like his punches. He will get a doctorate ahead of a baccalaureate.

mps-pacmanOn Feb. 18, the Cebu-based Southwestern University (SWU) will confer honoris causa a doctorate of human kinetics on Emmanuel Pacquiao for his achievement in the field of boxing.

Some people are green with envy, especially those who have been seriously working on getting a doctorate on human kinetics the orthodox way.

Some people are appalled, especially those in the academe who think that the conferment is irregular and “cheapens the degree.”

Sketch by Josua Cabrera

Going by what the Commission on Higher Education (Ched)  allows, honorary doctorates extend only to law, humanities, music, pedagogy and science. Human kinetics–the study of sports, fitness and health–is not in the list. But SWU said it has sought an exemption from Ched, explaining to the commission that Pacquiao’s achievements are unequalled by any Asian and that he deserves the honor.

It seems that Ched did not grant the exemption because as published in newspaper ads on Feb. 17, SWU will confer on Pacquiao an honorary doctorate in humanities instead of human kinetics.

Since SWU had already announced the honorary conferment, it could no longer retract its announcement. The university had to save itself and Pacquiao from embarrassment and ridicule. It settled for a doctorate in humanities,  the branch of knowledge that allows liberal interpretation of things not covered by natural science and which the school offers.

What has Pacquiao contributed to literature and philosophy that he would deserve such conferment? Maybe, just maybe, Pacquiao had uttered something like, “What you feel is not my punch but the essence of my punch” and that blew his listeners away. Still another maybe, Pacquiao’s column, which many believe is ghost-written at times, could have swayed the vote in favor of humanities, not pedagogy.

Such is the education of Manny Pacquiao, who missed out on being called “Your Honor” when he lost his congressional bid in 2007 yet will soon find “Honorary Doctor” appended to his name.


14 Responses to “The Education of Manny Pacquiao”

  1. 1 kHcwFGS
    March 12, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    I believe MANNY deserves the Honorary Doctorate degree in Human Kinetics.
    IF there is really such.
    But whether he gets it or not, He will still be special.
    I’m sure he will finish his Bachelor’s degree
    unlike other Boxing Champions and that is SPECIAL.

    When I was reviewing for UP and ATENEO college entrance tests…
    I look up to People who are proud of being Filipinos,
    and did ACTIONS to prove it unlike ALL TALK politicians.
    People like MANNY, JOSE RIZAL, FRANCISM and many more came to mind and serve as inspiration.
    Guess what, I passed both exams. (I’m into ENGINEERING, I chose ATENEO).

  2. 2 Dj_Bmx
    November 21, 2009 at 5:29 am

    Manny is the Pac-Man! Haha! xD

  3. 4 elena penaflor reformado
    June 13, 2012 at 9:15 am

    indeed, if manny pacquiao deserves the rightful term alluded to him, be it Honorable, Doctor or any other title before his name, the commission on higher education has the rightful jurisdiction over it as it is the said government agency which looks and confers such matter to concerned individuals whose qualifications meet the necessary standard..

  4. July 8, 2013 at 7:36 am

    You are so cool! I do not believe I’ve truly read something like this before. So nice to find another person with some unique thoughts on this issue. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality!streetdirectory

  5. August 17, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Greetings! This is my first visit to your blog! We are
    a collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a wonderful job!

  6. July 9, 2014 at 4:14 am

    Why people still make use of to read news papers when in this technological world all is existing on web?

  7. September 3, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    the fact that he wants to finish his studies is admirable… he doesn’t even need to.. he has tons of money that can suffice his clan for a lifetime and yet still chose to have a degree… and that’s a great example of how he value education.

  8. October 5, 2015 at 2:26 am

    What’s up, just wanted to say, I enjoyed this article.
    It was funny. Keep on posting!

  9. 10 Skye
    May 18, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    You sound like one of those “people who are green with envy.” (according to your article that is)
    I have so much to say but nvm, a person convinced by their opinions would take a lifetime to open up their minds. I dont have a lifetime to spare 😂
    But srsly dude, you need to rethink your ideas, there’s just so many loopholes on this one.
    I’m guessing you are in the academe? Or maybe surpassed that level? But anyways please do act like one. The only thing that’s giving life to this article is your way with words (credits to you for that btw) but other than that, this is trash opinion. Dont advertise your ignorance.

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