Thursday, October 22, 2009

Filipino Entertainers in America

Animals and Gambling
To surprise the Mrs., we visited the San Diego Wild Animal Park in May 2008. I'll never forget that Saturday because I won more than $1300 in a single poker hand at Pechanga Resort & Casino after a relatively uneventful day at the park (I still prefer the actual zoo). Even if the park was a little boring, we ran into two celebrities with random connections to our own lives.

Celebrity Sightings
First, we ran into Dhani Jones, an NFL linebacker (that means he's a badass) for the Cincinnati Bungles who has an adventure program on the Travel Channel. Jones also starred in football at The University of Michigan, my alma mater. For whatever reason, I went up and introduced myself and we chatted for a few minutes about his show and football.

A few minutes later, while standing in line for the safari ride, my wife spotted legendary Filipina singer/diva Kuh Ledesma a couple groups ahead of us. We didn't speak to her because the line was moving but my wife started to sing one or two of her greatest hits and explained that Kuh is the Filipino equivalent of Mariah Carey or something. Anyway, running into her reminded me of a story from my wife's childhood....

Chasing Planes and My Mother Imelda
When my wife was little, she was fascinated by planes and would stop whatever she was doing to stare in wonder as they flew overhead (good thing she didn't live next to an airport). Upon observing this behavior, her mother rightly predicted that Mrs. Ober da Bakod would grow up and travel the world.

My wife had an active imagination, apparently, because she also insisted that she was actually long lost daughter of another famous singer, Imelda Papin. The Vegas entertainer was everything my wife longed to be: famous, an entertainer, rich, and fair-skinned.

I'm not judging, mind you. When I was little my favorite dinner was pancakes (one of my birthday meals, thanks to an understanding mother) and I endeavored to be an Orkin man because the company uniforms and hats were cool.

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