Manny Pacquiao’s family had always known his desire to run for president. And after the boxing star confirmed his plans to pursue the highest position in the land, his wife Jinkee knelt down and asked the Lord to let His will be done.
“Alam na namin na may plano siya for the higher position,” Jinkee Pacquiao shared to Boy Abunda in a sit-down interview with their daughters Mary Divine Grace or “Princess” and Queen Elizabeth or “Queenie” Pacquiao.
“Sabi ko, ‘Lord, let Your will be done. Thy will be done.’ Ganoon lang lagi sinasabi ko. Pero alam ko na sa sarili ko kasi ‘yun ang nasa puso niya. So, ine-expect ko na ‘yun without hesitation, without doubt na yun talaga ang plano niya,” Jinkee recalled.
Manny declared that he will run for president in September 2021, pledging to fight corruption and help alleviate poverty. Prior to announcing his candidacy, the eight-division world champion announced that he’s hanging up his boxing gloves for good after 26 years.
In an interview with Boy Abunda aired March 11, Jinkee, Princess, and Queenie opened up about their faith in God, their public life, and the challenge of Manny Pacquiao transitioning from boxing to politics.
‘Don’t repay evil for evil.’
Despite the grueling campaign for the presidency, Jinkee, who previously served as vice-governor of Sarangani, said she’s “having fun.”
After serving as vice-governor from 2013 to 2016, she retired from politics to focus on her family.
“Sumasama ako kay Manny. Minsan, pinapakanta ako. Minsan, pinapasalita. So, okay naman po. Nage-enjoy naman po ako,” Jinkee said, sharing her experiences as part of Manny’s campaign.
Queenie and Princess, on the other hand, haven’t participated in their father’s rallies and campaign activities so far, but Queenie said she is open to take part in the future.
We know that it’s your opinion and we don’t wanna bash you as well. We don't wanna return those bad words, those hurtful words.
When asked by Abunda how they’re managing to keep up with the country’s polarized political landscape, Princess admitted she gets upset when her father receives negative comments. Even so, she’s aware that it’s the “opinion” of the public.
"Of course, we get upset when they say very insensitive things. Or not very nice things about our father but we know that's your opinion and we don't wanna bash you as well. We don't wanna return those bad words, those hurtful words," said Princess.
Meanwhile, Jinkee chooses to seek the Lord’s wisdom when her husband gets unduly criticized by the public.
“I ask guidance from the Lord,” Jinkee said. “We live in this principle na pag may masamang sinasabi sa amin, sabi nga doon [sa Bible], ‘Don’t repay evil for evil. And don’t retaliate with insults. When people insult you, instead, pay them back with a blessing kasi ‘yun ang gusto ng Panginoon.”
‘He wants to make a difference’
Manny’s rags-to-riches story is no secret to the public. Before his boxing career, he spent time living on the streets. Jinkee said that for her husband, the presidency is a way to help Filipinos who are in need.
“[May] pangarap siya na maiahon ang mga kababayan natin sa kahirapan,” Jinkee said. “Sabi nga niya, bangungot ang napagdaanan niya before noong natutulog [pa] siya sa kalye at walang makain sa tatlong beses sa isang araw. So, gusto niya talagang i-correct or ang puso niya is matulungan ang mga mahihirap na tao para maiahon naman sila sa kahirapan.”
Meanwhile, Queenie and Princess said they have always been aware of their father’s passion to help his countrymen and his dreams to be the president of the Philippines.
We live in this principle na pag may masamang sinasabi sa amin, sabi nga doon [sa Bible], ‘Don’t repay evil for evil. And don’t retaliate with insults. When people insult you, instead, pay them back with a blessing kasi ‘yun ang gusto ng Panginoon.
“Because if that’s what my dad wants to do, I will always support him and be there for him. It’s his passion and he wants to make a difference in the Philippines,” Princess added.
Jinkee said she wants to be the kind of partner who supports her husband “physically, mentally, and spiritually” during his presidential campaign.
“‘Yung prayer ko always is maging strong ako, maging woman of strength ako. Kung ano pang darating sa buhay namin, kakayanin at kakayanin ko. Sabi nga doon, do not worry about anything, instead, pray about everything,” Jinkee added.
Manny as a husband and father
When he’s not wooing potential voters or meeting up with boxing fans, Jinkee described Manny as a man “after God’s own heart” and someone who’s “motivated” to learn about the Lord.
“‘Yun ang na-appreciate ko sa kanya, ‘yung faith niya kay Lord, 'yung pagbasa ng bible from morning hanggang evening, day and night,” she said. “Determined, focused, and motivated talaga niyang ginagawa ‘yun.”
Jinkee added that Manny is a very affectionate and loving husband and father—even when they’re out in public. “Manny is so kind, understanding, tsaka mapagmahal. Tsaka malambing, super malambing kahit madaming tao.”
“Hahalikan ka niya, iha-hug ka niya, kaya sinasabi nila na nagagalit, ‘Daddy, may kasalanan ako.’ Iha-hug niya agad sila kapag narinig nila ‘yung reason bakit. Hindi siya talaga yung tipong nagagalit agad or pinapagalitan, hindi niya yun nagagawa sa kanila,” Jinkee said.
Princess, on the other hand, said her father is someone who’s not scared to show affection, even in simple ways. “When we kiss him goodbye or when we go to school, he doesn’t just do one kiss. He does multiple kisses. All the time.”
Queenie added that Manny “never” got angry with his children. And if he does, he’s someone who doesn’t show brute force. “Hindi siya madaling magalit like that.”
Manny and Jinkee have five children, namely, Emmanuel Jr., Michael Stephen, Princess, Queenie, and Israel Pacquiao. As parents, Jinkee said they want to raise their kids according to the “word of God.”
“First, ‘yung love nila sa panginoon. Kailangan make Jesus at the center of their lives, so ‘yun ang importante. And everything will [go] well kapag meron kang Panginoon sa sarili mo. ‘Yun ang iniinstill ko sa kanila na kailangan you have the Lord in your life,” she added.
Jinkee said her husband deserves to be the president of the Philippines, as he’s someone who is a “man of God” and someone who will pursue a “God-centered governance.”
As a “living testimony” of Manny’s dedication to the Lord and his country, Jinkee believes that he has the heart to serve every Filipino.
“Si Manny Pacquiao ay tumatakbo hindi para sa kanyang sarili, kundi para sa Panginoon at sa Bayan,” she said. “Manny is a man of God. I believe na he will a have a godly leadership and a God-centered governance kasi without God, we are nothing.”
“Kailangan talaga ang Panginoon na gagabay sa kanya at alam kong… hindi niya gagawin ang kahit anomang makaka-sama sa paninilbihan niya sa mga tao at pagiging lider niya,” Jinkee added.
Meanwhile, Princess urged the public to acknowledge her father’s “pure intentions” in pursuing the presidency, especially those who point out his lack of experience as a politician.
Manny is a man of God. I believe na he will have a godly leadership and a God-centered governance kasi without God, we are nothing.
“Daddy is a very loving and kind person,” she said. “He has pure intentions and he really wants to make things better in the Philippines. And I really hope that people will be able to see that during the elections.”