TALE  OF  THE  RICH  AND  THE  FAMOUS:  PACQUIAO  BUILDS  INTO  THE FUTURE

MANILA SEPTEMBER 25, 2006 (STAR) By Abac Cordero - Manny Pacquiao is building up on his strength and stamina in Los Angeles while a hundred workers are continuously building his dream house, a mansion actually, in Gen. Santos City.

Pacquiao, scheduled to face Erik Morales on Nov. 18 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, has started his gruelling eight-week training at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood last Wednesday.

Pacquiao stands to earn a guaranteed $3 million or at least P150 million for this fight, a slice of which should answer for the construction of the mansion, supposed to be the grandest in his hometown.

According to Raoul Lachica, tasked to oversee the construction of the mansion, it should be finished by Dec. 17. Work started late last year with a hundred men on call seven days a week.

Pacquiao wants his mansion finished before Dec. 17, the day he turns 28. Heís planning to celebrate with the house blessing, the baptismal of their soon-to-be-born baby girl, and hopefully a victory party.

Pacquiao, this early, has come up with a long list of friends, including VIPs to be invited to the affair.

They will come mostly from Manila and even the US where he has lots of friends in and out of the boxing world.

The mansion sits on a 2,300-square-meter lot. Two buildings are being constructed, the main house at 780sq meters, and the one housing his billiards room, entertainment center, sauna and gym, and recording studio at 320 sq meters.

Beige is the color of the house and red-maroon is the roof made of tiles imported from Japan. A giant, elegant staircase will lead to the second floor where the rooms are.

The main, two-story house has seven bedrooms, excluding the servantís quarters. The 130 square-meter masterís bedroom is even bigger than most condominium units being sold in the millions.

The swimming pool is shaped like a boxing glove, complete with fiber-optic lighting for a grand effect during nighttime. The tiles used to build the pool were imported from Spain.

Construction materials, which are not available in Gen. Santos City, are brought in from Manila by ferry.

Thereís a gazebo, a giant pond and a couple of cabanas by the pool, with landscaping surrounding the two buildings. A seven-car garage is also in place.

"Itís supposed to be the most beautiful house in Gen. Santos City. Work is done 80 percent and we expect it to be finished in time for Mannyís wish," said Lachica.

"This is the dream house for Manny, his wife Jinkee and their children. And for the construction weíre using only the best," said the contractor who did not say how much the mansion would cost.

"You can just imagine," he said.

The house interior will be carefully laid out once the construction is over by late November or around the time Pacquiao climbs the ring to face Morales in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao, as in common practice, flies home a couple of days after a fight. By November, as he hopes to emerge victorious once more, his dream house will be there waiting.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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