Tag Archives: Filipinos

Las Vegas & Philippine Economies Get Boost this Weekend in Las Vegas

The “Philippine Connection” is very strong this weekend in Las Vegas.  

For one, this Saturday night is “Fight Night” at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas with the welterweight title bout of Manny Pacquiao versus Miguel Cotto bringing businesses from around the globe to Las Vegas, most significantly from the Philippines, the home of Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao.  {Fight article in Las Vegas Backstage Access tomorrow.} 

Even Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman has given both fighters a key to the city. 

Pinoy Pinay, a local Filipino restaurant on East Sahara, has welcomed Manny Pacquiao as a customer many times. And right now, their business is buzzing with anticipation. 

Clearly, “Fight Night” in Las Vegas is more than just a sporting event; it’s an economic engine attracting customers from around the world. The fighters will be earning millions, and so will Las Vegas, as well as having a Philippine economic imact. 

Ron Cabildo is a promoter for the Manny Pacquiao after-fight party at the Mandalay Bay. “It brings in my country people together. And they know how to spend money on the nightlife industry.” 

Filipino singing superstar Martin Nievera is also performing in Las Vegas this weekend at the Suncoast.   Martin is idolized in the Philippines. 

Martin was part of the cast of his father’s, Robert’s, old troupe the Society of Seven for the final two months of last year’s run at the Flamingo in Las Vegas.

The Society of Seven returned last week for a long-term engagement at the Gold Coast. 

That means the Nievera family and the Society of Seven will be going head to head this weekend in Las Vegas for a great Filipino cause. 

Nievera will perform at the Suncoast. Over the past five years he has had many Vegas engagements, including starring at the Golden Nugget for three months in 2004. Most recently he co-starred at the Suncoast in “Vocal Soup” with Susan Anton, Clint Holmes and Domenick Allen. 

Nievera jokes that producer Ed Matthews offered him the three-night gig at the Suncoast but had to look him up seven times on the Internet to find out what he does. 

What Nievera does is sing standards and pop hits. He’s recorded more than 30 albums. 

Nievera is also raising money for victims of typhoons in the Philippines. The nation was hit hard this year by a series of devastating storms. The two worst took place in September and early October, claiming more than 600 lives and causing more than $300 million in damage. 

“That’s what three nights at the Suncoast is doing,” Nievera says. “It’s more than just a gig. It will, hopefully, be another step toward hope and recovery for those folks suffering so badly in the Philippines. 

“Half a million people are without homes. Highways are now rivers. Bodies are showing up out of nowhere after being swept away by flooding all over the Philippines. The storms hit everyone — the rich, the poor, the powerful and the weak,”says Nievera. 

This weekend in Las Vegas is a big one for the Filipino’s in so many ways.

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Artist Bren Betaclan Pays it Forward– One Painting at a Time

Not everything or everyone requires a trillion-dollar federal government bailout.  Boston-based Filipino artist Bren Bataclan is committed to his personal quest of spreading happiness and hope all over the world with his inspiring paintings, one painting at a time. BrenBataclan

As a spin-off from his original “Smile Boston” project, for the past six years Bataclan has been turning many cold faces, symbolically pockmarked by the ravages of our economy, happy and beaming by stealthily leaving his cheery acrylic critters in parks, benches, libraries, trains stations, and street corners. 

Now, his “Smile Project” has spread like wildfire- in fact, his paintings are found in half the states – including on the Bellagio grounds in Las Vegas and the Strip – and in 32 countries, as well.

Betaclan simply leaves his colorful smiling paintings all over with attached no-string notes: “Take it, it’s free.” and “Everything will be OK.” 

He sees his cheerful artworks as an extension of his Philippine culture, which is proud of its people who can still muster a smile even at dire times.

“Life here can be very challenging, it’s a survival,” Betaclan said, “But people still find something to smile about.” 

Although not all of his art is for free – individual works sell from $10 to $3,000 and he has been commissioned  to do murals in schools, parks, hospitals, and showrooms, while being featured in newspapers, magazines, on television and radio – still, Betaclan is a strong believer that giving is as important as receiving, even in the worst of times.  

Don’t underestimate the determination and power of a single individual.

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