MANILA - How did boxing champ Manny Pacquiao end up with the name "Pacman"?
According to his uncle, Sardo Mejia, the name "Pacman" was first used by the Filipino ring icon on the wing band of his rooster.
Pacquiao used to engage in cockfighting, Mejia noted.
"Sabi ni Manny, 'Ano kaya ilagay natin sa wing band ng manok ko?' [Sabi ko], 'Hatiin natin ang pangalan mo at apelyido mo -- Man-Pac.' Parang awkward. Sabi ko, 'Pac-Man.' 'Ah ganun, maganda yun.' Eh di nilagay niya sa wing band ng manok niya," Mejia shared.
But before he was "Pacman," the young Pacquiao was first known as "Kid Kulafu," which came from Mejia's favorite drink, Vino Kulafu.
Mejia was Pacquiao's first trainer in boxing.
According to him, Pacquiao has always been determined to become better despite all the challenges he was facing at that time.
Pacquiao first had a taste of victory at 12 years old when he defeated a 16-year-old amateur boxer in General Santos City.
"Kahit butas ang kanyang short pants, kahit pa wala siyang short pants, talagang magti-training yan basta may darating siyang training," Mejia said.
One of Pacquiao's childhood friends in Purok May Pagkakaisa in Barangay Labangal believes the fighting congressman will defeat Floyd Mayweather Jr. when they face off on May 3.
"Mananalo siya, dahil interesado eh. Ang taong interesado, talagang mananalo," said Isagani Arroyo.
Known for his rags-to-riches story, Pacquiao is an inspiration to many amateur boxers in General Santos City who say they want to follow the footsteps of the world boxing superstar.
"Gusto ko talaga magboxing kasi idol ko talaga siya... Siya ang inspirasyon ko," said 19-year-old Lony Cadayday. -- Report from Jay Dayupay, ABS-CBN News Soccsksargen