By Izah Morales, Yahoo! Southeast Asia Friday June 4, 2010 05:50 pm PHT
Pacquiao's most trusted adviser reveals beneath Manny's happy-go-lucky probinsiyano is a guy whose mind is as quick as his hands.
Sarangani's Congressman-elect Manny Pacquiao may have not received formal education but that doesn't make him less of an educated man.
Though it's easy to perceive Manny as a simple-minded probinsiyano (a simpleton from the provinces) or even "stupid", his legal counsel, Jesus "Jeng" Gacal knows his long-time friend and client is nothing like that at all.
"Manny has a mind of his own. When he likes it - even if you're against it - he wants to prove you wrong. Especially if he knows he's right," reveals Gacal.
"Maybe it's the champion in him. Mind you, si Manny hindi lang nagkaroon ng formal education pero ang utak ni Manny mas matalino pa sa mga nakapag-aral [Manny did not have a formal education, but he is more intelligent than those who were educated."
Gacal and Manny met in a cockpit venue in General Santos City in late 1990s. He thinks Manny's lack of schooling a blessing in disguise.
"Swerte siya at hindi siya nakapag-aral kasi kung nakapag-aral siya, baka clerk lang siya or whatever. Hindi siya magiging bilyonaryo [He's lucky that he was not able to study. If he had, he might have just ended up as a clerk, and not become a billionaire]."
Proof of Manny's intelligence is his excellent memory, says Gacal. "He's been in boxing for 15 years. So dapat, medyo nakalog na ung utak niya [his brain should be shaken up a bit by now]. But one time, he saw a friend whom he didn't see for three years and he still remembered his telephone number."
Pacquiao's intelligence is also reflected through his talent in music.
"Kaliwete sya. Artist talaga. He plays the piano without proper training. Nakukuha niya yung sounds. Talented talaga. [He's left-handed. A true artist. He can play pieces all by ear]," says Gacal.
Manny is also naturally talented in almost any sport, says Gacal. "Amazingly, he always excels. Tinuruan lang siya mag-dart sa US. In a matter of weeks, yung mga nagturo sa kanya, tinatalo na nya. Natural athlete talaga. Magugulat ka. [He was taught how to play darts in the US. In a matter of weeks, he defeated those who taught him. He's really a natural athlete. It's shocking]."
Though Manny's got great feet in the ring, he's not as naturally talented in dancing as his mom Dionisia, who dances ballroom regularly. "Kasing tigas ng kanyang muscles ang kanyang katawan [His body is as firm as his muscles]," says Gacal.
With Pacquiao now an elected official, he's out to be just as victorious in public service. On June 14, he will be joining students around the country going back to school, taking a crash course in Public Administration at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, according to Pacquiao's chief of staff Jake Joson.
Reposted From Izah Morales of Yahoo Southeast Asia