His dad’s name, looks blessing and `burden’ for Michael Pacquiao

No one is spared from society’s biggest plagues these days like bullying or depression.

Not even the son of a wealthy and famous personality like Manny Pacquiao. The 21-year-old Michael, Manny’s second child, suffered from both.

Michael, who took his looks from boxing’s global superstar, said he was bullied because of his face, among other things.

“Most of the time in school, I would hear… make fun of me, saka they would make fun of my face, my name, tsaka backstab me. Talk behind your back,” Michael told Julius Babao in an interview.

That happened when Michael was still in high school in Gen. Santos City, the hometown of both his parents.

“They thought Inglisero lang. So people thought na ano, na ako maarte, and then wala akong masyadong ano du’n, e, friends,” said Michael who is now making a name for himself as a rapper.

“I was bullied because of my appearance. I’m not guwapo. No one really wanted to talk to me. Because of my name also. They were afraid,” he recounted.

Sometimes people would try to befriend him just for the benefit of being close to the Pacquiaos.

“They were pretending to be my friends because yung name ko. People were nice to me because they just wanted something from me. Libre ko sila, like that. In reality, they don’t really genuinely like me for who I am,” said Michael.

That would make Michael feel down – who wouldn’t? – and eventually depressed at the tender age of 16.

But through his family’s help, he managed to keep it at bay and choose to stay positive. “I was thankful that I had two actual friends there. They were genuinely there for me. Blessed ako dun. I could talk to them, they would ask me, ‘Are you okay?’”

“If you listen, dibdibin mo siya, dwell, you would start to believe them. They would be dictating who you are and you would lose. You shouldn’t listen to them. Have someone to talk to like relatives, friends. Cancel out the noise. Believe you are not what they say you are. Who are they to judge you?” he said.

For the youth experiencing the same thing, Michael said: “You’re not alone. Yun ang important part. You can talk to someone about what you feel and don’t let feelings determine your choice of action. It’s just a feeling kasi mawala rin naman ang feeling. Yung mali ko, nag-focus ako doon sa sadness.”