MANILA - Sen. Manny Pacquiao was beaming as he received his college diploma Wednesday, over a decade since he started juggling his studies with his boxing and political career.
Pacquiao, 40, earned a degree in BA Political Science major in Local Government Administration, a feat he could have achieved earlier if he did not drop out of high school due to poverty.
"I am excited to receive my diploma and hang it on the wall... I will also show this diploma to my Mommy Dionisia, my dad, and my silblings, and remind them of God’s faithfulness," Pacquiao said in a statement.
"There is one thing that I always want them to remember, 'NEVER EVER GIVE UP,'" he told ABS-CBN News in a separate statement.
"It is never too late to dream bigger dreams. It is never too late to accomplish your dreams," he said.
Pacquiao started boxing when he was a teenager in the early 90s. By the turn of the century, 3 sports organizations named him Fighter of the Decade for being the lone 8-division world champion in boxing.
The Bukidnon-born athlete's 2007 bid as South Cotabato representative did not prosper, but he eventually won as Saranggani representative in 2010. He was elected senator in 2016.
"Among my achievements, this will be the most meaningful," Pacquiao said.
"Let this victory outside the boxing ring serve as an inspiration for people who are struggling to fight, to rise above adversity, to conquer and to embrace life and all its difficulties,"he said.