Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao will face Floyd Mayweather next month at a highly anticipated boxing match in Las Vegas. Now a studio company from the Philippines is set to release a film on Wednesday that talks about his humble beginnings.
The Tagalog-language film, entitled "Kid Kulafu," focuses on the early years of Pacquiao. In a report posted by PhilBoxing.com, director Paul Soriano elaborated on what the biographical film would cover.
"This is the untold story of our People's Champ-way before the fame, fortune, championships and even prior to wearing boxing gloves," Soriano said. "It is not about his career as a professional boxer but an in-depth look into his early years, from his birth up to his teenage life."
Soriano told PhilBoxing.com that it took three years to create "Kid Kulafu." That's because two of those years were dedicated to researching Pacquiao's childhood.
"Viewers will discover in the film how hard life was for Manny as a kid in General Santos City," Soriano said. "They will get to know a young boy who had nothing but attitude, passion and fighting spirit to face every challenge head on and knock it out one by one."
According to PhilBoxing.com, Pacquiao shared his personal story with Soriano through a series of conversations, which added a sense of authenticity to the film.
"All the pain and the knockouts I experienced in boxing were just physical pain," Pacquiao said to Soriano. "But you know what's more painful? It's the fact that you have nothing to eat, no home where you can rest and having a broken family. And I endured all those when I was young."
According to PhilBoxing.com, Manny's parents, Dionisia and Rosalio, will be played by actors Alessandra de Rossi and Alex Medina. The actor who portrayed the young Pacquiao on film, Buboy Villar, felt honored to highlight that story, undergoing a lot of boxing training to prepare for the role.
"I knew that there [was] a lot who auditioned for the role," Villar said. "That's why I was so happy when I was chosen. I'm really a big fan of Pacquiao."
Villar added that Pacquiao could be "a huge inspiration to kids of today," highlighting how the boxer overcame impossible odds as "Kid Kulafu." He noted that the Filipino boxing champ "was filled and fueled by passion and faith."
"He's hardworking, determined to rise above poverty and has high respect for his parents and family," Villar said. "When Sir Manny stepped into amateur boxing, his goal was not to win. He wanted to help provide meals for his family and make his parents proud of him."
Pacquiao explained the meaning of his nickname to Joaquin M. Henson of the Philippine Star back in November 2014. Part of the name came from a Chinese wine known as Vino Kulafu, which is popular in the central and southern portions of the Philippines.
"I was packing bottles of Vino Kulafu when I was a boy," Pacquiao said. "I thought of using a nickname as an amateur fighter and I became Kid Kulafu."
"Kid Kulafu" will air in cinemas across the Philippines on Wednesday. The film is set for release for theaters in the United States and Canada on April 24.