Posted by: theboyfromsmallville | November 13, 2006

We measure our nights with beer

I’m in the Unites States of America.

I’m here to cover the biggest name in my beat right now.

But the excitement has yet to sink in.

For some reason, I can’t go giddy and say “yes! I’m in the US!”

There’s something missing.


Anyway, my port of entry was LAX, other wise known as the Tom something airport. Or Los Angeles International airport.

From the plane (PAL), I was ushered to the Vagabond Inn in Hollywood, right beside the Wild Card gym where Manny Pacquiao, the lone reason why Filipinos are proud to be Filipinos right now, trains for his all-important match against Mexican ring icon Erik “El Terrible” Morales.

The fight’s a big one here in the States. It’s about two future hall-of-famers sluggin it out for the third time to decide once and for all who is the best super featherweight in the world.

For the true-blue boxing fan, whoever wins doesn’t matter. The fact that Pacquiao and Morales are in the same ring is a joy to behold.

For the true-blue Filipino boxing fan, however, anything than a Pacquiao win would be a disaster.

Pacquiao’s relaxed. I’ve spent the last four days having lunch with him. During one lunch, he took a guitar and held a mini concert for the other customers in the Thai restaurant we were in.

In training, he’s focused. He goes over every little detail, as if to seek the perfection nobody in any chosen field has ever found. His trainer, Freddie Roach, asks him to go three rounds of shadow boxing. He goes four. He is asked to go three rounds with the punching bags, he does six. He is asked to go 15 minutes with the speed ball, he does 20. He is told to go 15 minutes with the skipping rope, he goes 30. He is asked to run uphill straight to the Hollywood sign twice, he goes three times.

Earth to Erik Morales: You’re dead chili-laced-ground-pork-cheese-and-tomato taco.

I’ve seen the Capitol Records building, the one a twister split in half in The Day After Tomorrow. I have eaten in IHOP, where Sean Penn worked as a mentally-challenged waiter in I Am Sam. I’ve walked down Walk of Fame. I’ve compared hand prints with Kevin Costner, Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, Bruce Willis, Tom Hanks and Adam Sandler (!) at the Chinese Theater.

I’ve walked the same stairs topnotch silver screen actors and actresses walked during many an Oscar night at the Kodak Theater. I’ve had my picture taken with the Hollywood sign as my backdrop.

I’ve sparred with Manny Pacquiao.

I’ve used a public payphone.


I fucked a $20-dollar whore.

Okay. Not all of that is true. I haven’t sparred with Manny Pacquiao.

Still, I’ve done everything to let the feeling of being in the US sink in.

But I am not excited. Not yet.

I am writing this on a piece of paper because I am waiting in a hotel lobby for a ride that will take me to
Las Vegas a little later on.

Something in this whole trip’s missing.

So we measure our nights with beer. We as in Abac Cordero of the Star, Nick Giongco of the Bulletin and myself.

Someone once asked me, how many nights have you been in LA? And I count the beers in my head: Heinneken, Dos Equis, Amstel Light, Modelo and Carte Blanco. Five beers. That means I’ve been here five nights.

And I am not excited just yet.

I haven’t seen my mom in 15 years.



  1. but you will. soon.
    really, really soon. :-)

    ihop! waaaaaah. i want ihop!
    if only for sean penn!
    may photo ka sa ihop?

    “Okay. Not all of that is true. I haven’t sparred with Manny Pacquiao.” –> eh what about yung…? BIG BRO NAMAN EH!!! ew ew ew!

  2. hahahahahaha
    go figure.

  3. […] I am already in Las Vegas so the things I write about my short stay in Hollywood will be pulled from memories. No. There is no need to go over again the fact that I measured my nights there with beer. I’ve written about that already. I’ll be writing about the guy I’m here to cover. […]

  4. […] In fact, my mind reached New York long before I did, since I stayed in Vegas for two more days after the fight and was stranded for about an hour at the Dulles airport in Washington—a stopover of my trip from Vegas to the Big Apple. New York, of course, was where my mother was waiting for me last Nov 21. I hadn’t seen my mom in 14 years, not 15 as I had previously miscalculated in two earlier blogs. So I was kind of cranky in Washington when the flight attendant manning the United Airways gate asked for a little patience because there would be a 20-minute delay in my flight. My mom was already at JFK International, waiting for me to arrive. I asked her what the delay was for and she said: “The pilot’s not here yet.” There was another 20-minute delay and this time, her reason was: “The pilot’s going through safety checks.” And then came another delay because: “The plane is parked in the wrong gate and we’re moving it here right now.” To which I snapped: “Why don’t we just bring out the turkey and celebrate Thanksgiving here while you’re trying to find your plane and pilot?” And then quickly added: “I’m sorry.” […]

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