Michael Pacquiao says he was bullied for his appearance, family background
One would have thought that any child of Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao would never have experienced bullying, but that’s what his son Michael claimed to have happened to him that resulted in him struggling with his mental health at such an early age.
Speaking in an interview with Julius Babao, which was uploaded on his official YouTube channel, Michael opened up about being bullied for his appearance and family background, saying that he struggled with depression and self-harm at an early age.
The younger Pacquiao said that despite his family’s fame and wealth, he never fit in with the rest, and that he was even backstabbed by people who were supposed to be his friends.
“I couldn’t fit in kasi Pacquiao [daw ako]. They thought na Inglesero ako sa [General Santos City] in high school, so they thought na maarte ako. Wala akong masyadong friends. But in the international school, it’s okay,” he said, in response to Babao’s question about being bullied in the past.
Michael’s remark was a confirmation of his previous interview with content creator Ned Adriano where he first claimed that he was bullied when he was still young.
“Not really physical, more of emotional and mental [bullying], I guess. Other people [would] make fun of me, ‘saka they would make fun of my face, my name, tsaka backstab me. Talk behind your back,” he continued.
When asked about going through depression, Pacquiao revealed that he was struggling mentally at an early age, saying that he even thought about ending his life when he was only 16 years old.
“Yeah, ending my life. I felt alone. It was one time, sa room ko lang ‘yun, it was kind of like a charger wire thingy, and then naisip kong ‘yun. Na-set ko ‘yun, naisip kong huwag na” he said.
“I stopped kasi what would my parents think, and what would they think of me doing this. So at that moment, I didn’t think of myself. I thought of my parents and my brother. And then I stopped,” he continued.
The rapper then opened up about his struggle with depression, saying that he felt “unhappy” because he was unsure of his direction in life. Despite this, he expressed his gratitude to his parents for comforting him during a difficult time in his life.
“I would just smile, but deep inside it’s [empty]. I was dwelling in it. I was thinking about it too much… super big problem na ‘yung depression. I didn’t know where I was going with my life,” he said. “They comforted me. My dad talked to me. We prayed. I felt nice, I felt better.”
Michael also stressed that while he and his family are living a comfortable life, he eventually realized that money can’t buy happiness after all.
“People think na, ‘Pacquiao lang maraming pera,’ Pero hindi naman ganon. Like, sa music ko, I actually did it all by myself. And people thought na parang ginamit ko si Daddy, [or] asked [for his] help kasi maraming connections tsaka pera. In truth, it’s not real. Expectation lang ng mga tao is different from reality,” he said. “
“I thought [being rich] would make me happy, make me satisfied, make me fulfilled. But it’s not the case. It’s not permanent. Just because na mayaman kami, wala nang problems, ‘cause money doesn’t solve all problems,” he further added.
Following his bout with depression, the boxer’s son hoped that his peers would remember that they are not alone, especially when it comes to struggling with depression.
“You are not alone,’ yun ang [most important part]. You can talk to someone about what you feel and don’t let feelings determine your choice of action,” he said.
Michael, who’s pursuing a music career, is the second out of five Pacquiao children — Jimuel, Princess, Queen Elizabeth, Israel and him. EDV
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If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Center for Mental Health hotline at 0917-899-USAP (8727); (02) 7-989-USAP; or 1553 (landline to landline, toll-free).
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