The life of an ice cream vendor in General Santos City, South Cotabato changed in an instant upon his chance encounter with Senator Manny Pacquiao on May 27, 2018. That was because, in just a matter of minutes, he earned a significant amount of cash, a house and lot, and a new job—all without even joining a raffle or betting at the lotto.
Based on a Facebook post of Jen Manilay, one of the trusted staff of the boxing champ, Pacquiao showed his generosity during an unplanned meeting with ‘Manong Marciano,’ a street ice cream vendor in General Santos City.
She recalled that while the team was waiting inside the senator’s car, she decided to buy ice cream for everyone amid the scorching summer heat. Upon getting an ice cream on stick, Pacquiao immediately asked her to call the vendor, who was logically surprised to meet the senator. Pacquiao quickly gave him P3,000.
Just got lucky
But during their short chat, Pacquiao realized that the vendor recently had a stroke and has three kids who still have not enrolled in school. Thus, he increased the money he was giving Manong Marciano to P30,000 so he can buy his meds and pay for school fees of his children.
The ice cream vendor was further shocked when Pacquiao casually gave him a house and lot (which will be handed over next week) and a new job so he won’t have to endure hot outdoor weather to earn a living. Manilay disclosed that Manong Marciano will be given a new job at Golden State College also in General Santos City (though it was not disclosed what type of job or position he will be assigned to).
Pacquiao, a 39-year-old senator who rose from the ranks by earning international boxing titles, is not new to providing financial assistance to the less fortunate. In November 2017, he disclosed that he had given about $200 million (P10.4 billion) that time to projects that help impoverished Filipinos.
“Every income I receive in boxing, almost half of it goes to the less fortunate,” he told Agence France-Presse in an interview. “After each fight, half of my income goes to the poor. But I don’t like to announce it.”
Pacquiao is the second wealthiest senator in the country with a net worth based on his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) of P2.9 billion, following Senator Cynthia Villar with a net worth of P3.6 billion. He is also facing a P2.2 billion tax evasion case (now pending at the Court of Appeals) filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for alleged tax deficiencies in 2008 and 2009.