Article By Lynn Chawengwongsa
Famed boxer Manny Pacquiao announced his acceptance of the Asia Society’s 2015 Asia Game Changer of the Year Award in a press conference at the Asia Society on Oct. 12.
Pacquiao, who announced on Oct.5 that he will be running for senator in the Philippines in the upcoming 2016 elections, focused his talk on his political involvement and humanitarian efforts.
Although Pacquiao’s professional career has made a startlingly stark trajectory from his humble upbringing, the 36-year-old boxer is often reminded of his past.
“My life has changed because of the money I’ve earned in boxing,” the Filipino congressman said. “I can go all over the world and enjoy myself. But every time I hear the voice of poor people, I feel it in my heart because I’ve been there.”
Unlike many of the other awards Pacquiao has won, the annual Asia Game Changer of the Year Award, which “recognizes those making a transformative and positive difference for the future of Asia and the world,” is a formal acknowledgment of his philanthropy and humanitarian work.
“Today, Manny is a major humanitarian force, directing his philanthropy toward numerous causes, including education and the fight against human trafficking. He is a remarkable inspiration and demonstrates the power of giving back to transform people’s lives,” said Josette Sheeran, president and CEO of Asia Society, in a statement issued by the Asia Society.
Pacquiao succeeds Jack Ma, founder and CEO of Alibaba in receiving the award. He, along with other nine honorees that include Indian-American actor and comedian Aasif Mandvi, will be honored in the Asia Game Changer Awards Dinner and Celebration at the United Nations on Oct. 13, 2015.