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Manny Pacquiao and Journey’s New Lead Singer Have a Lot in Common

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MANILA, PHILIPPINES - NOVEMBER 20:  Boxer and congressman, Manny Pacquiao sings with youngest daughter Queen Elizabeth during his concert in Manila following his win of the WBC super welterweight crown against Mexican Antonio Margarito on November 20, 2010 in Manila, Philippines. Pacquiao, an icon in the Philippines, won his eigth world title against Mexican Antonio Margarito last week. Pacquiao is regarded as a hero in the country and is the first boxer to be elected to the House Representatives in the Philippines.  (Photo by Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images)

Last Saturday I had the honor of seeing the legendary rock band Journey perform. For those of you who do not know Journey recently added a new lead singer to their band, who sounds very much like a prime Steve Perry, who was the band’s original iconic voice.

It is quite a Cinderella type of story for those of you who have not heard Arnel Pineda, who is Filipino, was a struggling musician in the Philippines for several years as the lead singer of a Journey cover band.

Legendary lead guitar wizard Neal Schon came across Pineda singing Journey songs in his cover band the Zoo on YouTube. He contacted Arnel and asked him to audition to be Journey’s new lead singer and the rest is history.

As remarkable as this story is Arnel just like the face of boxing’s, Manny Pacquiao, are both from the Philippines and they both have inspiring rags to riches stories of overcoming utter poverty in their homeland.

Pineda just like Pacquiao grew up extremely poor in the slums of the Philippines. They both left their homes in their early teens to seek income to provide for their families.

Both lived on the streets and sold what ever he could to survive. According to  Pineda’s biography he was sleeping in public parks, and benches and would collect bottles and other recyclables to recycle for money. Arnel often rationed a Marie biscuit as his meal for two days.


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