One of the best things about hosting/producing America’s first and only daily talk show for and about the Filipinos is the opportunity to celebrate Pinoy Pride every day! Actually, it is my duty to underscore, highlight and discuss every Filipino achievement and victory daily on Kababayan LA. I am truly blessed! And there were actually lots to give thanks for this past week; so I opened the show with TGIF on a Monday. Thank God I’m Filipino! Because the week teemed with Pinoy feats, I’m giving myself license to borrow this one-word line from highly-paid-Hollywood-star-turned-disaster Sheen: Winning!
Manny Pacquiao v Sugar Shane Mosley
I have been covering Pacquiao fights since my sportscasting days in Manila. I remember the first time I heard his name from my mentor and former boss, Ronnie Nathanielsz, who kept raving about this southpaw who beat Thai boxing hero Chatchai Sasakul. And it was no ordinary fight. Sasakul actually dominated the first six rounds or so of their WBC Flyweight bout. The Thai ringmaster was undefeated until the young Pacquiao knocked him out with the signature left to Sasakul’s chin. That was the Philippine boxing hero’s first championship belt.
Over the years, we’ve seen Pacquiao’s rise to the top of the boxing world and crossover to mainstream stardom. There have been exciting fights and there were fights like last Saturday’s supposedly championship match up that looked more like glorified sparring session between old friends by the end of the night.
Seriously, what was up with the bro-mance? After all the hype about two future hall of famers meeting on the canvass? And what about the don’t-discount-the-heart-of-a-true-champion bit? There was a lot of heart alright, but not displayed the way fans who paid for the fight wanted to see it. Four-time world champion Mosley showed heart, true”¦love and respect for Pacquiao”¦ by not even attempting to throw punches.
So that was that, a lopsided victory for Pacquiao who told us in an interview at the post-fight press conference: “œKung lumaban lang sana siya. Baka napabagsak pa natin ng maraming beses. Pero tumakbo na lang e. Ayaw nang lumaban. I gave my best. I wanted to make people happy and give a good fight. Want to fight Mosley toe-to-toe but maybe he felt hurt after I knocked him down in the third round.”
Pinoys earn recognition at film festivals
After the Pacquiao-Mosley weigh in at the MGM Grand Garden Arena last Friday, as I walked pass the smoky grandeur of the casino, complete with the soundtrack generously provided by the slot machines, I got a text message from Winston Emano, publicist for a Filipino-made romantic-drama about the computer virus that shut down thousands of computers in the early 2000, Subject:I Love You that premiered at the Newport Beach Film Festival not too long ago. It featured a high-profile cast that included Jericho Rosales who, according to Winston’s text message, was given Outstanding Achievement in Acting by the NBFF organizers.
And this was huge! Firstly, there were hundreds of movies screened at the festival. Imagine each had at least one star. And for our very own Jericho to beat all of them?! Secondly, the said film festival only hands out one award to an actor, whether male or female. So Jericho actually beat not just the actors in other movies; but the actresses as well. And finally, according to Winston, who knew people from the organization, the vote was near unanimous? Now that’s something to be proud of!
Also in Vegas, I bumped into Philippines’ Doctor to the Stars, Vicki Belo, who gave us a quick interview before the Pacquiao-Mosley fight. “My ex-husband is here; my son is here; my boyfriend is here. We’re one big happy family,” she joked.
And the son she was referring to was filmmaker Quark Henares who screened his Filipino indie film titled Rakenrol at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.
The film that put a spotlight on the Philippine underground rock scene took home the audience award for Favorite Narrative Feature at the LAPFF. This is the second time that a film by Quark (Yes, he’s Vicki Belo’s son.) has won an audience award from the LAPFF.
Looking forward to next week
So this week, we will be awaiting the results from Cannes where brilliant Filipino director Aureaus Solito was invited to premiere his Busong, a film about a tribe in Palawan and their indigenous beliefs about interacting with each other and with nature.
“Aureaus just wanted to make a film for himself, out of his own story. He left the tribe but went back after 20-something years to tell their story,” said Jong de Castro, executive producer of the film. According to him, Aureaus went to Hong Kong to get financing for the film next to Busong since it’s a trilogy. Then he showed the footage to some people and the Cannes people saw it and asked him to submit. From the encounter, Aureaus and his team had about a week to edit the first cut and it took three days for the actual DVD to travel to Cannes; and about a couple of hours for the organizers to view it; but only 10 minutes later when they called to tell Aureaus that the film “œwas in.”
So prayer petitions for this week is for the movie to do well in Cannes. We all know that the victory of one Filipino or anything Filipino-made is the victory of all Filipinos. Together we can work to improve our image and standing on the global stage. Meanwhile, we should also try to take note of the concept of busong in our daily living “instant karma! What goes around comes around. So remember always to do good, even when nobody’s looking.
To catch any of the interviews mentioned her and more, log on to www.youtube.com/kababayanla18. We are also available on Time Warner Video on Demand. Go to “international” then click “Filipino.”