On Saturday 26th March, Paul Masangcay is fighting Kieran Manwaring at the O2 in London in the Muay Thai Grand Prix.
Philippine Generations caught up with Paul to learn more about his journey as a Second Generation Filipino in the UK…
PG: How old are you?
Paul: Just turned 24 a few days ago.
PG: Where are your parents from in the Philippines?
Paul: Both parents are from Pampanga; Father – Macabebe and Mother – Capas Tarlac
PG: Tell us about your family?
Paul: First and foremost I love my family to bits; always support me in whatever I do – fighting wise and in general life.My dad works as a chef in a English/Filipino restaurant check them out on Facebook – Benso Cafe, mum works in a hospital within the catering department and my sister works for HSBC.
PG: What inspired you to take up fighting?
Paul: I wasn’t the athletic type throughout my childhood and was overly obese (not ashamed to say) but I’ve done martial arts since the age of 4. I found Muay Thai at a later age of 17, was going to just participate for general fitness and weight loss (started at 122kg) but a few months later found myself doing a no win no lose bout and been competing since professionally. So far throughout my fighting career I haven’t seen much Filipinos in this sport so this gave me a drive to show people how talented we are and to give us Filipinos more recognition as we deserve it. Always want to make myself and family proud!
PG: Who is your fighting hero and why?
Paul: My fighting hero would have to be my team mate and training parter Luciano ‘Lucky’ Mendola both training out of The Knowlesy Academy. The reason I look up to him as no matter what, Lucky has no excuse not to train even if he isn’t in fight camp he trains like he is, he eats healthy all year round, doesn’t let any barriers stop him, motivates his team mates, gives off good vibes, always gives an amazing performance in the ring, doesn’t dodge anyone to fight/ fight who ever, never complains and he is only 18 years old! Love this guy like a little brother.
PG: Who is your Filipino hero and why?
Paul: My Filipino hero/s would have to be my parents as without them I wouldn’t be here doing what I love and they have shown me how to live the right way in life following their family traditions which I’m proud to show people. They tell me off but it’s for the best and want to prove to them they have raised my sister and I correctly.
PG: Why Muay Thai? Where do you train?
Paul: Muay Thai is a beautiful fighting art, very technical but brutal so you get the best of both worlds. It’s very disciplined which has helped me in my everyday living life, the training is very challenging which I like and I can show it off in the ring making it a bigger test. I’ve met so many amazing people in the Muay Thai world, which I’m happy! I train at The Knowlesy Academy in north west London, check them out.
PG: How much do you know about Eskrima also known as Arnis the Filipino martial arts?
Paul: I’ve always wanted to try Arnis out as its our own martial art, seen many videos of it and have a big interest to try it out. Watch this space!
PG: Where did you grow up and did you mix with the Filipino community?
Paul: I grew up in north west London where there are many Filipinos and have always mixed with them. More or less in my childhood I’ve been going to Filipino events and family parties.
PG: When did you last go to the Philippines and where did you visit?
Paul: Last time I visited Philippines was May 2015, it was just a short visit of 10 days so had to travel between parents places. I managed to go to Baguio, a few beaches but forgot their names and many malls for the shopping. Love going back to the Philippines!
PG: What’s your favourite Filipino food?
Paul: Kare Kare with Bagoong also Balut!
Good Luck Paul!
Philippine Generations is committed to Educating, Inspiring and Empowering Filipinos in everything we do. It is always great to hear of young Filipinos like Paul, who are proud of their heritage and use that strength to better themselves and the people around them.
If you have a great story to tell, get in touch!