Pestaño: Manny Pacquiao, a man of many talents

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Friday, May 24, 2013


ACCORDING to Wikipedia ,Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao is the first eight-division world champion in boxing. He is also one of the richest men in the Philippines and the second highest paid athlete in the world with earnings of $63 million in 2012.

He was named “Fighter of the Decade” by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO).

Aside from boxing, Pacquiao has participated in acting, music recording and various sports such as darts, bowling, basketball, billiards and chess.

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Last May 13 Pacquiao was re-elected as congressman representing the province of Sarangani.

Pacquiao was a devout Roman Catholic, frequently making the sign of the cross before the start of every round but became a born-again bible-preaching Christian.

Pacquiao is also a military reservist with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Philippine Army. In 2009, Pacquiao was conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humanities (Honoris Causa) by Southwestern University in recognition of his boxing achievements and humanitarian work. He is a known philanthropist that is why he was re-elected.

As an actor, his movies are Wapakman, Lisensyadong Kamao and Anak ng Kumander.

He has also appeared in various TV shows with Ara Mina.

He is also a singer with recordings such as Laban Nating Lahat Ito (2006) – under Star Records and Pac-Man Punch (2007) – under MCA Records.

Pacquiao also became the first Filipino athlete to appear on a postage stamp.

I have known for a long time that Manny is an avid chess player. On-going right now is one of the biggest tournaments ever based prize money thanks to Pacman, the $100,000-rich Pacquiao Cup.

The Manny Pacquiao Cup Asian Continental Chess Championship for men and women featuring leading chess players is being held at the Midas Hotel and Casino in Pasay City. The format is nine rounds Swiss.

The top five players qualify to the 2013 World Cup on Aug. 10 to Sept. 5 in Tromso, Norway. Pinoy GMs Wesley So and Oliver Barbosa are the early qualifiers. The Asian Women’s champion advances to the 2014 Women’s World Championship tournament.

According to the National Chess Federation ( NCFP) website, “The Philippine bid is spearheaded by GMs Oliver Barbosa, Julio Sadorra, Mark Paragua, Rogelio Antonio Jr.,
John Paul Gomez, Darwin Laylo and Richard Bitoon. Other Filipinos are IMs Rolando Nolte, Oliver Dimakiling, Emmanuel Senador, Petronio Roca and Chito Garma.”

The top seed is Le Quang Liem of Vietnam (2714). Chinese champion Li Chao is second at 2686. Two Indians are among the favorites, Krishnan Sasikiran (2669) and Parimarjan Negi (2651). Southeast Asian zone champion Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam (2631) and Iranian champion Ehsan Ghaem Maghami are also strong contenders for the top five places for the World Cup.

Chinese players are top seeds in the women’s division--Tan Zhongyi, Huang Qian, Guo Qi and Wang Jue and Batkhuwag Munguntuul of Mongolia.

The Philippine women’s bid is spearheaded by Catherine Perena, Janelle Mae Frayna ,Bernadette Galas and Marie Antoinette San Diego ’’

In the opening ceremonies, PacMan played a fighting 20-move draw against the organizer of the tournament Eugene Torre.

“Chess is one of the sports I love because I played chess even before I became a boxer,” Pacquiao said. He also said that he will continue to support chess.

Richard Bitoon has four points together with Gomez, Sadorra and Liem after 5 rounds.

Leading with 4.5 is Paragua. Richard was set to have an acid test yesterday against Li Chao in the sixth round.

(boypestano@gmail.com,www.chessmoso.blogspot.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 24, 2013.

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