Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao never had second thoughts when the opportunity came to have his own wax figure at the famous Madame Tussauds in Hong Kong.
A crew of the popular wax museum visited the eight-division boxing champion Pacquiao late last year for photo and measurement sessions, which was used for the wax figure.
“Masayang masaya ako dahil napili ako na first male Filipino wax figure,” said Pacquiao in a video shared by the Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. “Kaya nag-oo agad ako grinab ko yung opportunity.”
In an interview with Bobo Yu, marketing head of Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, Pacquiao said he hopes that having his wax figure would inspire others of what he has accomplished.
From an aspiring professional boxer, the 41-year-old pride of the Philippines became one of the legends of the sports as he won multiple titles from eight weight divisions.
His popularity helped him turn from a sports icon to a political figure in the country following his election as a congressman in the lone district in Sarangani from 2010 to 2016, and then a senator.
“This is a big honor for us Filipinos,” said Pacquiao, a southpaw known by his moniker the “PacMan” not only in the boxing world but globally. “It was a different way to represent my country.”
Pacquiao said his experience “was unforgettable” since the said session with the Madame Tussauds staff lasted more than six hours, longer from what he thought was just an hour or two.
Aside from the experience, Pacquiao said he actually had fun with the people that he worked with during the session.
“They made it very fun, and they’re friendly,” said Pacquiao. “It helped me throughout so I was at ease the whole time. It was an unforgettable experience. There are a lot of things we did to perfectly measure all the positions. They did a good job.”
“When I was called by Madame Tussauds, I really appreciated it. Madame Tussauds Hong Kong is home to wax figures of cultural icons, superstars, celebrities while being a cultural icon itself,” he added.
Aside from Pacquiao, two other Filipinos are now part of the Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, including two beauty queens in 2015 Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach and 2018 Miss Universe Catriona Gray.
In September of 2018, Madame Tussauds Hong Kong unveiled the wax figure of Wurtzbach.
The wax figures of Pacquiao and Gray are expected to be revealed this year.