MANNY Pacquiao may be the toughest man in the ring, but at home, the champion is putty in the hands of his four adored kids.
The world boxing champion welcomes another girl into his family?Queen Elizabeth. His youngest daughter has just been christened in Pacquiao?s hometown, General Santos City.
?I named her Queen Elizabeth because I already have a Princess in the family,? says the PDI Man of the Year, beaming with pride. Princess is the third in the Pacquiao brood. The eldest is Jemuel, 8, then Michael, 7.
Being a father is no easy job, Pacquiao admits. Being away from home often prompts him to overcompensate for his absence, not that he wants to raise spoiled brats.
?I tend to give what they want because I never got what I wanted as a child?not even food. There just wasn?t enough money all the time,? he explains.
While Pacquiao happily relegates the task of child discipline to wife Jinkee, he sometimes rewards his children if a task is accomplished, such as cleaning up the room or putting the toys back on their shelves.
What do the kids usually ask for?
?Computers and toys. My two boys are especially good in computer games. Sometimes they beat me.?
His children are developing love and appreciation for real sports. His two boys are into European soccer, probably an influence from Brent International School where they study. They?re also into basketball.
Pacquiao picks up his children from school and plays basketball with them whenever possible. Upon waking up, he goes straight to their bedrooms and gives them a hug.
He also tries to instill in them Filipino values, retelling his own struggle of rising above poverty, so that his children would learn the value of hard work.
?When I?m home I watch over my children. I teach them how to pray and to be always thankful to God for everything. They pray in the morning, before meals, and before sleeping. I teach them the power of prayer and value of faith. Every Sunday my family goes to church,? Pacquiao says.
There is no boxing equipment in his home because, like regular dads, Pacquiao has fears?for instance, that one of his children might grow up to be a boxer. A boxer?s life is harsh and brutal, which he doesn?t want to pass on to his kids. Hence his training and workouts are held outside his home.
His boys have seen his matches on TV. Because of what they?ve seen, Pacquiao says, none so far have shown interest in becoming a boxer.
?Sometimes I joke around and ask them what happened to De La Hoya. But my children feel for me each time they see my bruises. Now both boys say they don?t want to become boxers because it is a painful job,? he says.
Education is the best gift he can give his children, he says. Having missed that while growing up, Pacquiao, now enrolled in Business Management at Notre Dame University, feels that all the money in the world will not give character and depth to a person if he or she is not well-learned.
?I want my children to grow up as responsible, educated people. I want them to be conversant in many subjects. I don?t want them to feel insecure because they have nothing substantial to say in a conversation,? he says.