Wearing the traditional Blaan costume, boxing hero Manny Pacquiao is named Datu Damfel Banwe,' which means "a man to unite the people from distant places towards peace and prosperity." (Photo by Cocoy Sexcion / Sarangani Information Office)
SARANGANI, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Mar. 28, 2008) – Filipino indigenous tribes have conferred boxing champion Manny Pacquiao the rank of datu in a ceremony attended by hundreds of natives in the southern Philippine province of Sarangani.
Pacquiao, the new WBC Super Featherweight champion, was also named “Datu Damfel Banwe” which means “a man with the power to unite the people from all places towards peace and prosperity.”
The ceremony was held in Malungon town March 26 where Bilaan and Tagakaolos leaders gathered to honor Pacquiao.
“Ipinakita nya ang kahalagahan na walang imposible kapag tayo ay may pangarap at inspirasyon,” (He showed us that in perseverance there is nothing impossible and we can achieve our dreams and goals in life. There is always an inspiration,” Sarangani Gov. Miguel Rene Dominguez said.
Pacquiao defated Mexican Juan Manual Marquez in a controversial bout earlier in March. Marquez’s camp said the Mexican boxer should have won the fight.