One of the most anticipated events in the Philippines
is the birthday celebration of the World’s Greatest Boxer .
On December 17, Hon. Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao
and his wife Jinkee Pacquiao feted almost 2,000 guests
to great food, great entertainment and great prizes
at the KCC Events and Convention Center in General Santos City.
that I will be one of the hosts. Having done my research,
I was ready to work with Bayani Agbayani.
An hour before the celebration started, a pleasant surprise came:
Long Mejia will be hosting with us.
Minutes before show time, I was bugged with questions.
How would it be like to host an event with male comedians?
How would it be like to share the stage with two hosts who are known for lopsided humor?
Before the show started, I was given the privilege to lead the men,
including the Pacman, the birthday celebrator and Joey C., the floor director, in prayer.
I was reminded of how beautifully God opens doors of opportunities
and provides rooms for growth.
Indeed, His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts!
Laarni Lozada, the Grand Champion of 2008 Pinoy Dream Academy,
was among the first set of performers who came early to the back stage.
With sheer humility and kindness, she connected with us.
She is from Sultan Kudarat and she speaks Ilonggo.
She sang “Our Father” with intensity.
He wowed the crowd with his signature song: This is the Moment.
Side A Band sang Foolish Heart, Africa, Got to Believe in Magic and OPM Medley.
They capped their performance with Forevermore.
One of the highlights of the evening was the Vintage Motorcycle Showcase.
The scooter that was unveiled is a Lambretta 150cc , 1962 model
which is a hard to find collector’s item.
Being a classic item, it has inspired the owner, Dr. Warren A. Manilay
to make it a canvass depicting the boxing history and life of Manny Pacquiao.
The charcoal sketches of Mr. Elmer Reyes, the artist, were top coated.
We took the opportunity to mingle with the guests and ask them about their stay in Gensan.
currently from New York/ New Jersey area.
He is the son of Consul General of Syria Issam El Debs.
He performed an original composition for Pacman during the party.
Cesar Montano came to the party with his lovely wife Sunshine Cruz.
Lee Ann and I were delighted to see him back stage!
As the evening unfolded, I found myself having fun with Bayani and Long
without necessarily affirming their colored jokes.
One lesson I learned that night: by God’s grace, anybody can stand the test of character.
Aside from loads of grocery packs, boxes of appliances,
three Flat Screen TV and two motorcycles,
more surprises were given to the guests through the raffle draw.
Before the performance of GMA 7 Stars (Maureen Larazabal, Pekto and Glaiza de Castro),
the Kapuso Network raffled off P50,000 cash as a start up capital for the chosen guest.
Right after the Pacman delivered his birthday message,
he gave away the two major prizes.
To highlight his gratitude to his guests, he gave away One Million Pesos through a raffle draw.
But Pacman was determined to make someone a millionaire that evening.
went home a millionaire after receiving One Million Pesos in cold cash,
courtesy of the Pacman and Gov. Chavit Singson.
The new millionaire must be very happy and I rejoice with him!
And what happened to the surprise song number of Mommy Dionisia?
She confided that her CD got lost and no instant replacement could be made.
Despite the setback, she still managed to get as much attention
with her dazzling diamonds and outfits plus radiant smile.
for giving him a mother like Mommy Dionisia.
How the Pacman honors his mother is a reminder for us to honor our mothers all the more.
The party ended way past midnight but the memories will last a lifetime.
The World’s Greatest Boxer has inspired me to dream big dreams.
His life is a proof that ordinary people can be great by God’s grace.
Happy Birthday, Sir Manny!
Note: I stumbled upon this video on You Tube
and I realized the need to trim down.
I also have to get a singing coach so I can be more prepared to sing in public.