Pacquiao: Encounter with God changed me

Posted at 01/13/2012 1:39 PM | Updated as of 01/13/2012 7:22 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Boxing champ Manny Pacquiao said he is shedding his vices after an encounter with God changed him.

Boxing champ Manny Pacquiao talks about his political plans, his boxing career and his renewed faith in a one-on-one interview with ABS-CBN correspondent Dyan Castillejo.

In a one-on-one interview with ABS-CBN News, Pacquiao said he has had his share of vices in the past including gambling, drinking and womanizing.

"Pagsusugal, yung pag-iinom, yung mga pambababae. Kung ano mga kalokohan mga barkada. Kung anong ginagawa diyan..." he said.

"If I had died last year or in the last 2 years, I am sure I would've gone straight to Hell. My faith in Him is there 100 percent but behind it, I was still doing evil," he added.

Pacquiao said a dream he had after his fight with Juan Manuel Marquez last November started him on the road to change.

In his dream, he said he was walking inside a beautiful forest when a bright light shone on him and a voice asked: "Son, why are you going away from me?"

"I woke up crying. I remember I was crying in my dream and when I touched my pillow, it was wet," he said.

Pacquiao said he looked for the meaning of the dream and found answers in the Bible.

"Noong unang panahon, kinakausap ng Panginoon ang tao sa pamamagitan ng panaginip. So sabi ko totoo yung panaginip ko na kailangan magbagong buhay na ako at yun siguro ay tawag sa akin ng Panginoon na siyempre alam niya yung puso ko na nananalig ako sa kanya pero sa likod niyan is gumagawa pa rin ako ng mga masamang bagay at yung mga hindi niya ikakatutuwa,” he said.

(In the old times, the Lord talked to people through their dreams. So I said, my dream is real. I have to change my life. Maybe it was God calling because he knows what's in my heart, that I believe in Him but still do bad things, things that don't please Him.)

The change in Pacquiao's lifestyle came slowly and surely. Pacquiao said he is reading his Bible regularly and spending more time with his family.

He has also lost his appetite for his old vices, and gave away all his fighting cocks.

He also said the change came not just because he desired it but because God changed him.

"Di ko naman sinabi na o, magbagong buhay ako. Hinto na ako sa pag-iinom. Hinto na ako sa pambababae ko, sa pagsusugal ko. Kumbaga, binago lang siya. Binago ng Panginoon. Dumating yung panahon na ayaw ko na gawin yung mga bagay na iyon. Dahil because tinanggap ko na si Hesukristo sa katawan ko, Jesus Christ, and siguro yung Holy Spirit ang nagsabi sa akin na iwanan ko na iyon," he said.

"Being a Christian means accepting Christ as your saviour, your God. That is why you are called a Christian. If you remove 'Christ', there's only 'ian' and that means 'I am nothing.'"

Catch the full interview on ANC Presents: The Pacman tonight at 7 p.m.