pay-per-view pacquiao party

we were over at a family friend's house last night for two simultaneous occasions: a birthday party and a gathering for "pambansang kamao" manny pacquiao's latest boxing match in las vegas--the one against marco antonio barrera.

i wish i took a picture of the sumptuous, $200-lechon they had ordered from somerville, roasted cebuano-style with garlic cloves and whole peppercorns inside. the meat was tasty, but the skin could have been crunchier. at the end of the night, all that was left was the pig's head and the bony parts...the essential ingredients for lechon paksiw.

at close to 9pm that night, the guests huddled in front of the television, grabbing the "best seats in the house" or otherwise finding a spot that's good enough. the screen displayed the countdown to when the match was going to begin. when we found out that there were three preliminary fights before the main event, i scurried right back to the dining room to "snack" on the solitary pig on the table and a glass of spumante.

as i did, a family friend ate beside me and asked me that dreaded question..."when?"

he was referring to "when" i was going to get married. i responded by saying, "don't you think the more accurate question should be, is there someone special yet?"

fast forward to two and a half hours later, when kyla's voice proudly sang the philippine national anthem inside the visibly packed arena at mandalay casino hotel. i regained my premium seat at their equally visibly packed living room to cheer on pacquiao. there was a jar of chichacorn being passed around to share with everyone. garlic and a loud cheering mouth: a knock-out combination indeed!

i was among the more vocal members of that household's audience from round 1 to round 12. i believe pacquiao was deliberately avoiding to knock barrera out due to an unspoken, professionally-related respect, to give the latter a "dignified defeat" to conclude the last fight of his career.

another hero's welcome awaits the "pacman" in the philippines.

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