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Manny Pacquiao Knows His Core Gift by Bo Sanchez

November 2006

Do You Want To Be A Champion In Life?

Kerygma Preacher Arun Gogna told me that while he and his wife Lalaine were watching The Pacman knock down El Terrible Last Sunday, Lalaine told him that were probably only two people in the entire world who wasn’t watching the fight: Pope Benedict and Bo Sanchez.
Sorry Lalaine, only one person didn’t watch.
Because last Sunday, after giving a retreat in Tagaytay, I had lunch with my family in a restaurant, and together with every breathing, living creature in that building, we watched the fight on public TV. And all of us—waiters, cooks, and customers—went berserk every time Pacquiao’s punch landed on Morales.
What a fight and what a boxer.
Obet Cabrillas, another Kerygma Preacher, was once a fierce boxer. (If you ask me, he still looks like one. Don’t let his height fool you!) We met last Sunday night and I asked him to analyze the fight and the fighter for me. He had followed Manny’s career from the start. And what he said fascinated me. Obet said that in one interview, one journalist asked Manny, “Meron ka bang agimat?” (Do you have an amulet?) And Manny said, “Wala akong agimat. Ang alam ko, Nagbibigay ng Diyos ng mga regalo sa tao. At ang binigay Niya sa akin, malakas akong sumuntok. Kaya ginagamit ko ito sa pagbigay ng kaluwalhatian sa Kanya…” (I don’t have an amulet. What I know is that God gives gifts to people. And He gave me the gift of a strong punch. I will use it to give glory to Him.”) This is a loose quotation, but it captures the essence of what Pacquiao said.
I’m reminded of another athlete who spoke about this same powerful principle. Eric Liddell, the Olympic champion sprinter, said, “God made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure…” (You can watch this inspiring story in the true-to-life movie, Chariots of Fire.)
Eric Liddell knew his core gift.
Manny Pacquiao knew his core gift.
Unless you know your core gift, you’ll never be a champion.
Kerygma Preacher Alvin Barcelona talks about his music mentor, Freddie Aguilar. He says that whenever he watched Freddie sing, he did it with 100% passion. In every concert, the audience would always ask Freddie to sing his worldwide “legendary” song, Anak. But even if he has sung this song a thousand times, he sings it with so much passion, you’d think he was singing it for the first time.
Alvin tells me a good story. He says that because Freddie helped in the EDSA Revolution, President Cory Aquino offered him a government position. (Department of Music?) His politely turned down the offer and said, “Tita Cory, gusto kong maglingkod sa bansa. Pero pagkanta lang alam ko.” (Auntie Cory, I want to serve the country. But I only know how to sing.)
I’m sure Freddie has many gifts. But he stuck to his core gift.
On November 21, I’m kicking-off the provincial tour of my Inspirational and Comedy Concert, Botoks. (Six cities for this year: Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, Davao, Ormoc, and Bohol.) It’s entitled Botoks—not Bosings, Bocooks, or Bodances. Because my core gift is to speak. Yes I can sing too, but I’d rather let my fellow Kerygma Preachers wow the audience with their incredible singing voices.
My role is to preach God’s love to the world.
What is your core gift?
It’s the only way to be a Champion.


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