This is the first of infrequent guest posts by friends of mine who know what they’re talking about. Moonie Lantion is the author of articles like the “Big Ass Spanish Boat” blunder cited by Washington State’s Daily Evergreen. As usual, all opinions expressed are his, not mine. Thanks for playing along!
Darleene and I became friends due to two common interests – being Filipino and the internet. She was one of the main contributing writers to the Filipino American pop culture sites I used to run (Pinoylife.com and The Flavor Online). Darleene asked if I wanted to contribute to her blog since my non-writing ass hasn’t put together an article in years. I figured, why not?
2006 is on its way out and if you were to ask what or who was the biggest story in the realm of Filipino America, the response you’ll probably get is Manny Pacquiao. For those not in the know, Manny Pacquiao is the Filipino boxer that gained fame by knocking out a big name Mexican fighter, Marco Antonio Barrera. It was a huge upset and his victory over Barrera catapulted him into boxing stardom. After a rough few bouts after the Barrera fight, Manny really has shined in 2006 with two knock out victories over another big name Mexican fighter, Erik Morales.
The by-product of Manny is really fun if you’re Filipino. Whenever I meet a new Filipino person at work or at a party, one of the first questions that come up is, “Did you see the fight?” What ensues afterwards is a lengthy conversation of where people were during the last Pacquiao fight. If you want to know, I was at a bachelor party in Vegas during the last fight but I got the results via text message while a friend was getting a lap dance from some stripper that sounded like she was outsourced from overseas.
All tits aside, Manny is a phenomenon that I thought I would have never seen in my lifetime. I only read about the great Filipino boxers from back in the day. I watched Corky Pasquil’s documentary of “The Great Pinoy Boxing Era” with pride and envy. Pride because of the fact that there were these great Filipino boxers like Speedy Dado and Ceferino Garcia. Envy because I never thought I would be able to experience anything like that. I clung on to any form of Filipino athletic accomplishment… including the time when that Filipina won the gold medal in women’s bowling in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea only to find out that it kinda didn’t count since bowling was only an exhibition sport for those games.
But here he is, Manny Pacquiao. Seeing people like me yelling and screaming and holding their native flags with pride in a Las Vegas boxing main event is a beautiful sight to behold. Hearing mothers that don’t know DICK about boxing become excited whenever there’s a Pac-man pay per view is a simple pleasure. For whatever reason, this phenomenon brought us all closer, and I’m loving every minute of it.
I know that nothing lasts forever and in a few years, someone is going to knock Manny’s block off. That’s just the way things are. But let’s enjoy the ride while it lasts and hopefully, we won’t have to wait another generation for the next phenomenon. Thanks Manny… for reminding us how fun our people can be.
The Next Phenomenons?
So what other Pinoys are out there to get riled up about? There are a few but not a lot really rock the ethnicity like Manny does. Let’s talk about the folks that do represent properly.
Apl.De.Ap from the Black Eyed Peas – Come on now. He’s part of one of the hottest mainstream hip-hop groups in recent memory and he has a song that blasts the words “FILIPINO! FILIPINO! FILIPINO!” Gotta love it.
Brandon “The Truth” Vera – The mixed martial arts fighter out of San Diego rocked the Philippine flag on his way to the octagon for his bout with Frank Mir. It was a short fight with Brandon delivering a solid knee strike which took Mir down and then Brandon just finished Mir off in the first round. And he’s got Alibata/Babayin tattoos on his back.
Rex Navarrete – The Pinoy comedian we all love.
I’m sure there are a few others but those three are the ones that jumped out when I wrote this. Let me apologize to Darleene now for the comments and emails she will get from other internet posters that will write a diatribe on some person I forgot to mention and how much this person contributed to the advancement of Filipinos in the galaxy.
You Lost Your Filipino Membership Card
Now, let’s talk about someone that we need to disown immediately. Granted, she’s hot and a lot of you male readers (and some female) would want to plow this chick ’til next winter but we need to stop claiming her. That’s right fellow Pinoys, I’m talking about former MTV TRL host Vanessa Minnillo. This girl said in a Maxim interview that her estranged mother was Polynesian. Ok rocket scientist, can you show me where the F*CK the country of Polynesia is on a globe? I know your FILIPINA mom wasn’t there for you and that’s fine. But don’t deny the fact that you’re Filipino. Think about it chica, if your dad didn’t hook up with your mom, you wouldn’t have the look, you wouldn’t have been a former Miss Teen USA and Derek Jeter would have never given you the time of day. Have fun with your next job as the semen receptacle for Nick Lachey.
I think I’ll leave on that note.
– Moonie L.