By Carmen C. Hernandez
San Francisco, California: The weekend of November 17 saw thousands of Filipinos flocking to Las Vegas for the Manny Pacquiao-Erik Morales super featherweight world boxing fight. Well, not everybody got tickets to the Thomas and Mack Auditorium, but private homes, hotels, bars and restaurants with pay-per-view cables were packed to the gills with cheering Pinoys. From the start, they smelled victory for the confident boxer from General Santos.
Those who were fortunate—and rich enough—to afford the expensive ringside seats included the President’s husband, Mike Arroyo, and son Rep. Mikey Arroyo. According to sidewalk “usyosos,” they spotted other government officials in the fully packed auditorium, among them, Deputy Speaker Erik Singson (was kinsman Gov. Chavit Singson around too?), Rep. Tony Ramos of Bataan, Bingbong Crisologo, Rep. Monico Puentevella and Majority Leader Prospero Nograles.
The fight was thankfully short and sweet, with Pacquiao aggressively pursuing the Tia Juana native Morales until the latter was knocked down before the end of the third round. Imagine, paying hundreds and hundreds of dollars for less than 10 minutes of entertainment! Obviously Filipino fans didn’t mind, as long as their hero Pacquiao polished Morales off in such a superb and awesome manner.
By the way, much-touted performer Sara Geronimo sang the Philippine National Anthem before the big fight. Unfortunately, people weren’t much impressed by her slow, dragging version of “Lupang Hinirang,” not to mention her awful designer gown.
Speaking of performers, Filipino Americans are still in bragging mood after the second victory of professional dancer Cheryl Burke, who partnered/tutored former Dallas Cowboy/Super Bowl football player Emmitt Smith, on Dancing With The Stars. Make no mistake about it, votes from the Filipino community worldwide and from Emmitt fans in Texas decided this year’s winners, not the three judges. Cheryl was also last year’s winner with actor-singer Drew Lachey.
Cache Creek Casino is just two hours away from San Francisco and has been voted one of the best casinos in Northern California. Located in a once-remote area west of Vacaville (famous for its premium discount outlets) Cache (pronounced “cash” but Pinoys prefer to say “ka-che”) has become a Filipino performer’s bread-and-butter haven. Bernardo Bernardo, Lerma de la Cruz, Edna Ichiban’s gay performers, Pilita Corrales and others have performed on Cache Creek stages. On tap this coming weekend is Martin Nievera, who has two concerts on December 2 and 3.
Ara Mina and April “Boy” Regino hosted a Thanksgiving show at the Peppermill in Reno last Saturday and of course, the Society of Seven with Lani Misalucha are in the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas until the New Year.
Best wishes and God’s blessings for a happy—and a lasting—married life to my “boss,” Tessa Mauricio, who will get married on December 6. Wish I were there to share the happy day!