BOOM-BOOM take LA party by storm
By Homer D. Sayson
26 Jan 2007
CHICAGO -- It was a quiet Saturday, January 20 last week, a wonderful time when the hurried, break-neck pace of life in these
United States careened to a joyful rest.
It wasn't just another Saturday, though. The skies above loomed with a haze of blue. The air whiffed with a little coolness to it. And the breeze, the lovely breeze, was light as a lover's kiss.
And for the 150 or so Cebuanos who gathered at the Lake Street Park and Community Center in Los Angeles, California, that day was truly special. It was the feast of Senor Santo Nino, a time to honor a bedrock of Cebu's religious heritage, a time of thanksgiving, a time to party.
BOOM-BOOM TAKES TIME OFF. ALA stable sensation Rey "Boom-Boom"
Bautista took some well-deserved time off from his rigorous training schedule to attend a Sinulog party hosted by Cebuanos at the Lake Street Park in LA last Saturday afternoon. Photo shows Boom-Boom posing for posterity with party host Julius Tan.
The Lake Street Park is about 3.8 miles down the road from Staples Center on south Figueroa st., but the salo-salo hosted by Julius Tan and Bebot Mercado could well rival the enthusiasm, the happiness, and perhaps, even the wretched excess of any Lakers game.
Like other public parks in LA, alcoholic beverages were taboo at Lake Street, but sodas and juices and mineral water flowed like a never-ending brook. And there was enough food to feed a continent.
Two oversize lechons, roasted to reddish brown perfection by a Cebuano from Long Beach, lay helplessly on the table, it's delicious aroma whetting every one's appetite.
Other viands included barbecue chicken breasts and pork loin, bam-i (Bisaya style), sinugbang pampano, beef steak (Bisaya style), lumpia shanghai, fried chicken, kinalaw na yellowfish tuna and dinugo-an.
Topping all the gastrononic delights was a load of chopsuey, whipped to die for by Nanay Gloria.
Those who were diet-conscious were not discriminated. Light treats such as siopao and puto were also served alongside pinapple turnovers and mixed fruits. And there was fun, a bottomless barrell of fun.
Among those who graced the affair were LA residents Maing Magallon, Engr. Jojo Sy, Joel Anino, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Castillo, Allen Castillo, Glendon Abas, Boy Bacalan, Norvin Maloloy-on, Gerald Ralloma, Cokie Cerino and family, Bimbom Alvarez, Didith Alvarez Mohr, Gigi Barot and Greg Mercado with his lovely bride Badette.
Also in attendance were Ike and Rose Abangan, Joshua Mercado and his beautiful wife Kay, Josie Osorio and family, Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Reyes, Mr. and Mrs. Brooks Viceral, Dante Abayan, Elriza Rizada Bautista and Melissa of Cabreros, Basak San Nicolas.
Bebot Macachor couldn't make it, but his doting wife Mita and niece Pam gladly came on his behalf, while Acad Tancinco Soucie and Nene Alvarez Ramos drove all the way from San Diego.
Rev. Fr. Art from Balamban, Cebu officiated the mass at 2 pm and a festive Sinulog dance, participated by all, followed shortly thereafter. Paul Miaga, borrowed from the Sin City of Las Vegas, emceed the event.
At around 3 pm, boxing superstar Rey "Boom-Boom" Bautista arrived. The unbeaten super bantamweight came with ALA stablemate Z Gorres, a pug of lesser weight but of equal potential. Rounding up their entourage was trainer Edito "Ala" Villamor.
To no one's surprise, Boom-Boom and Z were pleasantly friendly, more open than a 24-hour 7-11 store. They posed for photographs, signed autographs, and shook eager hands while smiling all the way.
Although a feast lay before them, begging to be devoured, Boom-Boom and Z admirably resisted the temptation. You see, they are penciled for world championships fights this Feb. 24 in Cebu City. Keeping their weight under control is most imperative.
As mischievously told by a source who was at the party, "Boom-Boom and Z's trainer, Edito Villamor, watched his boxers' food selection like a hyperactive presidential guard. And he made them avoid the lechon like tax evaders."
When deep in training, especially for a career-defining bout, boxers usually frown at social gatherings that tend to distract them from their fixed fistic focus.
But the ALA boys merrily made this one exception. "They were celebrating the Sinulog. It's good for the boys, good for the soul," Villamor told me.
Yes, indeed. Pit Senyor!
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