Manny Pacquiao is a big star in the world of boxing. He is even a bigger star in the Philippines. Every Filipino drops what he is doing when Pacquiao fights in Las Vegas. And that includes attending a birthday party.
Countless times, I have performed birthday parties on Sundays Pacquiao got into multi-million brawls inside boxing rings in fabulous Las Vegas. And each time the Philippines screeches to a standstill. Birthday parties run late, school activities managed by nuns switches to suspended-animation mode, traffic lightens up, criminals go on a break—all this because everybody watches Pacquiao’s fight on television.
Pacquiao is going to fight again on December 6 (December 7, Philippine time). Already, I have received word from a birthday mom she is moving her child’s party to December 6, as she anticipates her guests will watch the fight. She fears that if the party is held on December 7, no one will come to the party, or those who will, will arrive only after the television broadcast of the fight.
I have another client who is booking me for a lunch-time party on December 7. He wants me to stay until 5 PM. He expects the party to last that long, on account of latecomers among the majority of his invited guests.
Well, Manny Pacquiao’s fights not only disrupts party schedules but also magic performances. Here’s is an account I’ve written sometime ago on how one of his boxing matches almost dealt my show a mortal blow.
I once performed at Hard Rock Cafe on the day of the Pacquiao/Marquez fight a couple or so years ago.
I was trying to build up to my finale, when the audience suddenly erupted with shouts.
I was baffled. Shaken, I tried to regain my composure. What was the laugh line I just said to get such a tremendous reaction? Did I say something funny, something intriguing, something brilliant?
I then discovered that somebody switched on the TV monitors hanging around the whole place. It was round one, and Manny Pacquiao sent Marquez down to the canvass three times with a barrage of shots. That’s why the largely Filipino crowd, which was not watching me but the boxing on TV, went wild with jubilation.
Fortunately, the TV station went on commercial right after the end of that round. And even more fortunately, they showed a heap of advertisements that lasted an eternity, allowing me to finish my show before Round 2 came on.
The audience watched the rest of my show during the commercial break. I was elated. They validated my theory that I was more entertaining than beer commercials.