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It was fiesta time for Filipinos in the greater Washington D.C. area!
At around midnight on Nov. 14 they gathered together to watch “Money” Pacquiao (see Greg Macabenta’s column on page 30) beat Puerto Rican WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto to a pulp.

Like many Filipinos everywhere in the US and around the world, families and friends sponsored potluck dinners, drinking sprees and other forms so they can watch the fight together to save money and reestablish relationships.

In the Maryland, DC and Virginia areas, the families prepared appropriate Filipino dishes and invited friends and relatives to watch the fight on TV through the Home Box Office (HBO). They tried to outdo each other by serving appropriate Filipino dishes for the occasion: dinuguan (yikes), kare-kare, litson kawali, adobo, mechado, grilled fish and many more to friends and family.

Fortunately, not many unknowing neighbors called police to check the reason for the frequent loud screams, cheers, yells, curses and whoops emanating from these Filipino homes that evening. And when Pacquiao was on the verge of finishing Cotto off, many became blood-thirsty and yell: “Finish him off, K… Him, knock him down …”

A Feed the Hungry (FtH) board member who could not stand the gore tried to put a more positive face on the fight: “Pacman is uniting the Filipinos and Filipino Americans!” Others were more interested about the money Pacquiao would get. Some claimed he would earn more than $60 million. The actual amount is about $22 million. And like Dracula, the Philippine government’s tax agency, said it would get a substantial amount from Manny in taxes.

But many fund raisers for the victims of the series of typhoons in the Philippines booed when after the fight Pacquiao mentioned the presence of the First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, Speaker Prospero Nograles, Ilocos Sur Gov. Chavit Singson and scores of other Filipino officials who spent money to watch the fight, some at ringside. They were disgusted by the presence of these politicians who spent loads of money to watch the fight while they continued to raise funds for the typhoon victims who are still suffering.

Some who knew of the trip of Speaker Nograles to DC early this month and who heard him deny that he would watch the Pacquiao fight were similarly angry. “Garapal,” they said.

“Look, we are already raising funds for schools and home renovations to the people affected by the disaster in the Philippines, and look at those politicians spending thousands of dollars just to see the fight”, said one community leader.

The next day, Filipino Americans still euphoric over Paquiao’s win, faced reality when they had to volunteer for three hours at a warehouse in Fairfax, Virginia delivering or putting into boxes donated school supplies, bed sheets, linens, household items, medicines, small appliances, and school bags for shipment by FtH to the Philippines.

Hear ye! Hear ye! Remember Leandro “DD” Coronel who wrote the “Observer” column for the “Manila Mail” up to the mid-90s? And who retired from the World Bank at an early age to settle down in Manila because it’s “more fun there”? According to the editor, DD has submitted a book review and a column about the visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for publication in the “Manila Mail”. DD still has many friends in the Washington metropolitan area.

This is not Tsismis. According to a Tsismoso reporter, a Filipina (name withheld) waitress in a Washington D.C. restaurant recently asked a customer: “How do you like your coffee, Sir?” “Black,” said the customer. Looking startled, the waitress said: “But it’s already black, Sir.” The customer could not stop laughing for several minutes.

A Tsismoso follower, who thinks he is Henry Kissinger, says there’s something fishy in the recent appointment by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of her National Security Adviser, Norberto Gonzales, as secretary of national defense, vice Gilberto Teodoro who has resigned to be presidential candidate of the administration party, Lakas-Kampi. This pundit-pretender said: “Gonzales is the same person who a few months back proposed setting up of a military junta in case of failure of the election. He floated this idea because he said the Constitution does not provide for a successor in case of a failure of election. This interpretation was shot down by legal luminaries and senators. He was then quoted as saying, the failure could either come from a natural or man-made calamities or a failure of the automated machines which are being used by the Comelec for the first time. He is the same Gonzales who reportedly met with some bishops to form part of a junta in case of a military takeover.

More ominous, is the resignation of Arroyo’s private pollster who predicted her victory by more than one million votes with the help of Hello Garci in the 2004 elections. The pollster has joined pro-administration Manila Standard Today in setting up a “media” survey group. Expect it to come up soon with surveys that will contradict the results of private survey groups like the Social Weather Stations, Pulse Asia, Ibon and others. This, my friends, will provide support for a reprise of Hello Garci in 2004 and make the administration party candidate Gilberto Teodoro the winner in the 2010 election. If this fails, the next step would be a failure of election or a military coup by generals supporting Arroyo.”
Hello Garci?

Samples of Filipino wit:
A wholesaler of “balut” in Sto. Tomas, Batangas: Starduck
A small Internet cafe: Cafe Pindot
A laundry in Manila : Summa Cum Laundry
A restaurant in Pasig : Johnny’s Fried Chicken, The “Fried” of Marikina
A boxing gym in Taguig: Blow Jab
A tombstone maker in Antipolo: Lito Lapida
A copy center in Sikatuna Village , Quezon City : Pakopya ni Edgar
A “kambingan”: Sa Goat Kita
A store selling feeds for chicken along Sucat Road : Robocock
A shoe repair in Marikina : Dr. Shoe-Bago
A shoe repair shop along Commonwealth Avenue , Quezon City : SHOEPERMAN (We will HEEL you, save your SOLE, and even DYE for you)
A taxicab: Income Taxi
A second-hand watch store: 2nd Time Around
A squid stall in a wet market: Pusit to the Limit
A lawyer’s extension office: Nota Republic
A ceiling installer: Kisame Street
A car-repair shop: Bangga ka ‘day!
An aquatic pet store in Malolos: Fish Be With You
A fishball cart along P. Campa St. , near UST: Eat My Balls
A barber shop in Cagayan de Oro: Pinoy Big Barber
A party-needs business: Balloon-Balloonan
A store selling fresh chicken, apparently owned by a woman named Dina:
Dina Fresh Chicken
A Hair Salon in Makati : Hair We Go Again
And here’s what I saw in La Paz, Iloilo:
A cart selling roast chicken: CNN – Chicken Namit-Namit.

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