Gensan can certainly consider itself blessed to have a hometown hero the caliber of boxing legend and near-Renaissance Man Manny Pacquiao. The fortune he made from his victories on the ring, and his eventual political career, have been invested into numerous business interests in the city; while his birthday celebrations, particularly in recent years, have been both major celebrity draws and opportunities for charity. This year’s birthday bash for Pacquiao is especially huge, seeing it come in the wake of a boxing KO triumph and a milestone in his life. The Pac-Man’s 40th Birthday was indeed a rarely witnessed spectacle.

Coming into the third week of December 2018, Gensan braced itself and prepared for a rush of people potentially bigger than the Holidays, as the KCC Mall of Gensan Convention Center was prettied up to host what has been one of its regular events, the birthday celebration of Manny Pacquiao this past December 17. As tells us, the Fighting Senator of the Philippines was especially chipper, commenting on his excitement at facing American boxer Adrien Broner in Las Vegas in January next year. “I feel stronger and faster, and by God’s grace I am wiser at 40, feeling 25,” Pacquiao declared during the party.

There was a veritable who’s who of notables and showbiz personalities who have made the annual trek from all over the Philippines to join Pacquiao on his birthday. Regular guests include the likes of Cebuano song idol Max Surban, with the most important of the attendees being Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte himself. Entertainers also performed a shadow play that recounted the Filipino pride’s now-familiar rise to fame and glory. His own family was prominent in the festivities as well, with wife Jinkee and their children giving him a heartfelt serenade.

As for the charitable portion of his party, Pacquiao graciously raffled off several vehicles ranging from sedans to pickup trucks and tricycles plus various home appliances. He even enjoined the guests to stick around well past midnight for the grand raffle draw. Indeed, no less than 10,000 guests were at hand to both get a chance to partake of the birthday meal (via food stub) and try their luck at the raffles. Tickets were acquired before the birthday celebration at the offices of Pacquiao’s local charity organization, which saw Generals line up for a shot at opportunity to win big.

It seems things really are going all the way for Manny Pacquiao. His match against Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse back in July ended with his first knockout win in years. And much attention has been given to President Duterte’s remark at trying to convince Pacquiao to run for President by 2022.

Image courtesy of Yahoo Sports

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