It was supposed to be exclusively “the” Manny Pacquiao birthday party, an event heralded all over the land, but the champion’s mother Nanay Dionisia would not let it pass by going unnoticed. And so she did what could have been unthinkable a few years back before her son became famous.
She showed off her newly-acquired skills in ballroom dancing by yes, performing the “swing” with her instructor in a much-applauded surprise number before the presence of about 2,000 well-heeled guests, including the President of the Republic of the Philippines.
Nanay Dionisia, the newly crowned Dancing Queen of GenSan
Oh my God! What would Tess Oreta say?
Hmmm… what if I dance up there myself? To Cha-cha or not to cha-cha?
Nanay Dionisia’s terpsichorean skills were not the only surprise for the celebrant and his well-wishers during the Pacquiao birthday party, which has been heralded weeks in advanced by the media, with its magnitude growing by the day in its grandiosity.
There was the presence of Manny’s Kapuso family, stars from television station GMA led by Richard Gutierrez, with his parents Eddie and Annabelle Rama in tow. Then the performance of Journey “frontman” Arnel Pineda who did his own version of “Open Arms” plus two more songs.
But that is going farther into the meat of the celebration already. Let me start from the very beginning, moments before Nanay Dionisia met Dyan Castillejo in this following picture….
But before that, here is the video of the ABS-CBN news report by Dyan Castillejo on the party:
Even though Bariles got a VIP pass to the Pacquiao birthday party, I was advised by some members of the Events Group handling the party to come as early as 5pm since a free seating arrangement depending on your PASS will be practiced.
And so at exactly quarter past five, I was with my fat brother Orman and his staff from Asia United Bank together with my photographer at their bank all raring to attend the most-awaited event this side of the world, the Pacquiao birthday party.
Since the theme was “Las Vegas” and the Dress Code was “Red Carpet Glam” according to the invitation shown below, we the guys were all wearing tuxedos.
The Pacquiao Birthday Party Invitation
It was my first time since I worked in Kuala Lumpur to wear such and was quite uncomfortable with my Amerkana. I could not close my neck buttons and my front buttons because it was too small for me. I had no choice since it was the only available rentable tuxedo at my ninang Deling’s Gift Shoppe. Orman almost did not want anything to do with me when he saw how pitiful I look in my beige tuxedo. Oh well, bahala na lang gyud! 🙂
We were at the rooftop parking lot by 5:30pm and were shocked that only a few slots were left for our vehicle. We lost no time in entering the mall and whoah! People were lining up both sides of the narrow passageway to the Convention Hall at the other end waiting for Pacquiao’s more famous guests. I was so embarrassed that I walked so fast with my head bowed down because I knew that these people were disappointed that it was just me, and not Dennis Trillo.
We gave our VIP passes to the staff manning the huge doors of the convention hall and were made to pick out a playing card from a pile. It was to serve as our ticket to the raffles later on. In a short while, we were ushered inside by what appeared to be Pinay Playboy bunnies minus the long ears and the tail into the ENTRANCE ARCH with Manny’s initials emblazoned on top.
Well, this must really be it. Welcome to the Pacquiao birthday party, Bariles.
The entrance arch with the MP initials
INSIDE KCC LAS VEGAS
KCC Las Vegas in full swing at the Pacquiao birthday party (foto by Ronald Velasquez)
Inside the VIP Section, our group chose a spot just behind the Presidential table which was in the middle of a small ring.
Boxing Ring cum Presidential Table
To our left a beautiful chanteuse was dishing out standards accompanied by a pianist on a grand piano.
In a while, a backgrounder video on the birthday boy was shown on the large screen up front, to signal the start of the program, and the appearance of a group of dancers with what appears to be feather dusters on their hair obviously doing a Broadway-inspired number.
The feather duster girls ala Broadway 🙂
Then, the real program started.. and this time, it’s the entry of You-Know-Who. Check out these pics.
Pacquiao’s Grand Entrance
Manny’s Birthday Girls, er, Cake
After Manny blew his birthday candles, he walked right out to the main door to fetch his number one fan, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It took her the whole of 20 minutes to get to the boxing ring from the entrance because a lot of the guests discarded decorum and tried to have their pictures taken with her. At this point, I must have seen a million PRESIDENTIAL GUARDS guarding her.
The President saying hello to GenSan Mayor Jun and First Lady Rose Acharon.
DENR Secretary Lito Atienza, President Gloria, Manny, TopRank promoter Bob Arum and trainer Freddie Roach
THE PARTY PEOPLE: Click on each for larger view.
Nanay Dionisia with (from right) Asia United Bank’s sales officer Dave Areglado, AUB AVP Orman Manansala, AXA administrator Yvette Areglado, AUB sales officer & soon-to-be-a-bride Lea Cunanan, with client Pacific Seas’ Mars B.
Premier fishing stalwart Mr. Doming Congson and wife, Vice-Mayor Flor Congson, seated with lovely GenSan First lady Dr. Rose Acharon and charming daughter Joahanna, a fresh graduate of Anglo-Chinese Junior College in Singapore.
Seen lining up for Blue Gre Coffee are gorgeous bosom friends (2nd from left) pediatrician Dr. Amalia Brana, banker wife Tess Laiz, top dermatologist Dr. Dina Calderon with sister-in-law leading obstetrician Dr. Cynthia Calderon, in green (would anyone know the other two at the leftmost part of the pic?)
ABS-CBN Socsargen correspondent, the elegantly pretty Chat Ansagay with Col. Ed de Leon, CO of the 173rd Infantry Batallion
Former Olympian boxer Onyok Velasco, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, former LTO-GSC head Gauvain Benzonan and Manolo Madria
Manny’s friends from Manila, and 2nd-timers to Gensan- former Manila Congressman Miles Roces, former Manila vice-mayoralty candidate Ali Atieza, DENR Secretary Lito Atienza and GenSan City Mayor Jun Acharon
Pacquiao Private Secretary, Lianne beautifully dressed for his boss and party director Joey C of ABS-CBN Socsargen
Young and pretty businesswoman Janice Tiu (seated in red) with her lovely friends Gingging Bualan, Janessa Bualan, Ann Bualan, Neneng Lenz. Standing are Jay-Ar Moxier & Ada Yap.
That’s Sarangani Governor Migs Dominguez, smart in black chatting with Cookie Factory owner Mr. Munda
Arnel Pineda, Pinoy lead singer of the American rock band, Journey, performing beside Ms. GenSan Tourism
Annabelle Rama with Mother Lily who left her after a while to have dinner at Grab A Crab
Painter/book writer Mila Royeca and Girlie Royeca
GenSan Mayor Jun Acharon & AFP Chief Gen. Alex Yano
Richard Gutierrez and his perfect nose (Kainis!)
PNB Santiago Branch Head Jessica Nunez-Reyes and Ms. Tourism with Manny. Behind them is Edith Espinosa, Ocean Canning’s Finance Manager
A pencil-thin Jennilyn Mercado performing a forgettable and lackluster song number
Statuesque ABS-CBN SOCSARGEN news reporter Ann Santos all dressed looking for her partner?
Former Pacquiao nemesis, the dapper Mexican David Diaz
Stand up comedian Teri Aunor
Single dad Atty. Tom Falgui, Barangay Apopong Captain Rogelio Pacquiao, Mayor Jun Acharon & First Lady Dr. Rose
TO BE CONTINUED…… MORE PIX….. THE FOOD…. THE GUESTS…..