GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – Manny and Jinkee Pacquiao have been gifted with their fifth child, a baby boy whom they have named “Israel.”
Baby Israel is the third boy of the celebrity and politician couple – Manny is Sarangani Representative while Jinkee is vice governor of the same province – and is heavily referenced to the Holy Bible. Pacquiao himself said the newest member of the family is a gift from God.
Jinkee gave birth on Sunday, two weeks after her husband wrested the World Boxing Organization Welterweight championship from Timothy Bradley Jr.
Pacquiao, in his message on the birth of his son, said: “Israel is born to God be all the Glory Hallelujah! As Pacquiao’s family we will serve the Lord.”
The couple apparently named him after the embattled Middle East country which they have been repeatedly visited. The last was in 2013 when wife Jinkee was still a few months pregnant with their fifth child.
The new WBO welterweight champion was in the delivery room when Jinkee gave birth. Baby Israel, who weighed a healthy 8.1 pounds, was placed in the incubator as a precaution.
Pacquiao turned a new leaf in his storied and colorful life over the last few years. From a devout Catholic, he became a a born-again convert and Bible-quoting preacher.
He is said to have removed the Virgin Mary grotto and other religious images in his house. He had also noticeably discarded the rosary which was once ubiquitous whenever he fought, and discontinued his practice of making the sign of the cross before the bell rang at the start of a round.
Some people had blamed his new-found faith for his initial loss to Bradley in 2012. (READ: Netizens blame Pacquiao’s faith in shocking loss)
Both Pacquiao and Jinkee come from fairly large families. Pacquiao has 4 siblings from mother Dionisia, who is estranged from father Rosalio. Pacquiao has half-brothers and half-sisters from both parents. Jinkee has 5 other siblings.
Pacquiao’s other children are namesake Emmanuel Jr, Michael, Princess, and Queen Elizabeth.
Pacquiao is a fierce pro-life advocate and had campaigned hard against the Reproductive Health bill in the Philippine Congress, a measure which has since been signed into law and upheld by the Supreme Court as constitutional. He is against the use of contraceptives.
As a young boy, Pacquiao ran away from home to escape poverty and tried his luck in boxing, a profession that he does not want any of his sons to pursue.
He rose to become one of the greatest champions in the history of the sports, capturing 8 world titles in 8 different weight divisions, a distinction he singularly held and may never be equaled.
His children are well taken care off and are studying in the best schools his money can offer – a far cry from their father who skipped meals, slept on cardboard mats in damp and dimly gyms, and never finished elementary school. – Rappler.com
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