Tag Archives: Las Vegas

They’re Here! InvAsian

by Malou Liwanag-Aguilar/AJPress

LAS VEGAS – In the past years, the growth of the Asian populations has rapidly change. In California alone, the number of Asians has the largest, reaching 4.8 million in July 2004 and the largest numerical increase of 123,000 since July 2003, according to the US Census Bureau.

But the wave of Asian migration has turn to a surprising twist, as growing numbers of Asian Americans are beginning to leave from areas that have long been their main gateways — California and Washington. In a report by Steve Marcus for USA Today, it stated that “Asian Americans are moving to spots in the West they hope will produce better lifestyles.” The aralso explained the reasons – crushing home prices, poor schools, jammed freeways and persistent crime. These factors have sent millions of other Californians to pack their bags and move to the West, namely Las Vegas and Phoenix.

A growth in business and the community

According to the Census Bureau’s 2007 estimate, the number of Asians and Pacific Islanders in Nevada jumped 174 percent in the 1990s and 67 percent this decade. They now make up about 8.2 percent of the 2.6 million population.

Another proof on how big the Asian community has grown is the rapid development of Las Vegas’ Chinatown. Less than three blocks long 10 years ago, Chinatown now stretches almost four miles along Spring Mountain Boulevard. “Although it’s officially called Chinatown, it’s really ‘Asiatown’ said John Fukuda, founding president of the Asian Real Estate Association of America in USA Today. The association just opened its Las Vegas chapter last year.

Other visible signs of growth in the Asian American community are apparent – the construction of Asia Town Center, a 180,000 square foot shopping center and real estate agents are now offering prospective buyers with “fly and buys” for Californians to check out properties.

However, the Filipinos, not the Chinese or Japanese are the largest contingent, constituting more than 40 percent of the group’s local population.

This surge of Filipino immigration to Nevada began later than any other states. Mostly living in the Las Vegas Clark County area, the Filipinos have built a community that is centered to serve the growing population. It has Little Manila, accommodating Philippine favorites like Goldilocks Bakeshop, a mini mall-type Seafood City supermarket, housing other Filipino businesses like Jollibee, Chow King, Red Ribbon, Valerio’s and Philippine National Bank. It is also now a focal point of Filipino tourists and immigrants and is served by Philippine Airlines, which provides easy access when traveling between the Philippines and Nevada.

Development and progress in the area translates into more employment for the locals, something that is welcomed by the both job-seekers and employers.

The lights and sounds are indeed luring more people – not just Asians – from other states. Soon enough, the population will be more diverse – something that will make Las Vegas more interesting aside from its hotels and casinos.


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Pacquiao Marquez Match Hits Record PPV

by Joseph Pimentel/Asianjournal.com

LOS ANGELES – The numbers are in. The Pacquiao-Marquez rematch last March 15 in Las Vegas generated over $20.2 million dollars in pay-per-view (ppv) revenue, according to Golden Boy Promotions.

About 400,000 homes paid $49.95 to watch Pacquiao win a very narrow  split decision against his Mexican counterpart, establishing a record for fights below the welterweight division. Pacquiao and Marquez were held to a controversial draw the last time they met in 2004 but did not come close to earning the same amount of money.

With the ppv numbers, the gate for the fight also hit records. More than 11,000 people flocked to the Mandalay Bay Events Center to watch the fight live. Top Rank President Bob Arum said during the post-fight press conference that ticket sale earnings surpassed all of Pacquiao’s previous marquee matches against Mexican Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera.

Officially, the Pacquiao-Marquez II bout generated $3.3 million in ticket sales and $60,000 in closed-circuit earnings at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, according to an AP report.

The Inquirer reported that Pacquiao took home more than $5.5 million from the fight purse not including his shares of the ppv, closed circuit and other TV deal earnings.

Pacquiao Marquez III?

The ppv and ticket earnings give further implications that a Pacquiao vs. Marquez III bout is in the works. Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaeffer offered $6 million to Pacquiao for an immediate rematch against Marquez.

However, Arum continues to insist that Pacquiao will move up in weight (135 pounds) and his next opponent is Mexican-American World Boxing Council (WBC) Lightweight Champion David Diaz. Arum has scheduled the bout for June 28 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas if Pacquiao’s cuts that he suffered from the hands of Marquez heal in time.

Arum’s insistence on Diaz has caused friction with the Top Rank/ Golden Boy copartnership with Pacquiao.

Golden Boy is heavily promoting Marquez as the next “biggest Mexican attraction in the United States.”

“The numbers for this fight are an amazing achievement for a ‘lower weight’ fighter,” said Oscar de la Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions. “It’s an honor for all of us at Golden Boy Promotions to promote a fighter who is as talented, tough, charismatic and popular as Juan Manuel. While he didn’t get the decision in this historic bout, we are going to make sure he receives the recognition he deserves as Mexico’s biggest star.”

The AP reported that a third bout between “Pacquiao and Marquez is likely, probably at lightweight and possibly within 12 months.”


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Lani Misalucha Best Singer in 27th Annual Best of Las Vegas

by Cynthia De Castro/Asianjournal.com

LOS ANGELES – Filipina singer Lani Misalucha, dubbed Asia’s Nightingale, was voted Best Singer in the recently concluded 27th annual Best of Las Vegas poll. Conducted by The Las Vegas Review-Journal, almost 8,000 total votes were cast and tallied in this year’s poll. There were two picks for best singer; the readers’ pick was Celine Dion and the staff pick was Lani Misalucha.

Born in Manila,Philippines, Lani holds shows at the Flamingo Las Vegas with the veteran Hawaiian variety troupe Society of Seven – SOS. Misalucha’s full-throated style and wide range have been frequently compared to those of popular divas such as Barbara Streisand, Whitney Houston, and Celine Dion. Since arriving in Las Vegas in 2004, she has been called the New Siren of the Strip. She possesses a comedic flair and can effectively impersonate above-named divas as well as Gladys Knight, Toni Braxton, Gloria Gaynor, Donna Summer, Tina Turner, Beyonce Knowles, and Britney Spears.

Born into a musical family, Lani started joining various bands at age 17 as a vocalist or back-up singer. After obtaining a degree in Business Management from the Philippine Christian University, Lani married Noli Misalucha, an IT expert and Mormon pastor with whom she has two kids, Lian and Louven.

In 1996, Misalucha made a breakthrough with the song “Ang Iibigin ay Ikaw” which was a finalist at the Metropop Song Festival and later conferred the Awit Award for Record of the Year. In 1998, she won acclaim outside the country when she was awarded the Best Interpreter/Singer Award at the 3rd Asian Song Festival. Misalucha received the Grand Prize at the 1999 Metropop Song Festival Artist of the Year Award. In that same year, she won the Aliw Award for Best Lounge Act, Awit Award for Best Performance by a Female Recording Artist, and Awit Award Nomination for Best Stage Actress.

Misalucha was hailed as Aliw Awardee for Best Female Performance in Music Lounges, Bars, Clubs & Restaurants for four consecutive years, 1999-2002. She became a semi-regular host in the Sunday noontime show SOP (Sobrang Okey Pare) in 2001, along with other top artists. Her first major solo concert in September 2001 at the Araneta Coliseum entitled, “Lani Misalucha, The Crossover Live Tour” was packed to the rafters by over 18,000 fans. In that same year, Misalucha received the Aliw Award for Best Major Concert by a Female Artist and the Tinig Award for Best Solo Performer. Her Crossover Live Concert album received the Platinum Award.

In 2002, she bagged the Aliw “Entertainer of the Year” award, and two Katha awards — Best Folk Song Vocal Performance and Best Traditional Song Vocal Performance. She also held her first US Concert Tour that year, performing in Reno, San Diego, Washington, Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, Atlantic City, Pasadena, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. of San Francisco declared August 17 “Lani Misalucha Day” to give due recognition to her talent as an artist.

In 2004, after being granted a US visa as an “Alien of Extraordinary Ability,” Misalucha relocated with her whole family to the United States.

In no time, Lani became the first Asian to headline in a Main Showroom of the Las Vegas Strip, performing with Hawaii’s Society of Seven at the Jubilee Theatre of Bally’s. Her stint at Bally’s ran for 15 months from August 7, 2004 to February 5, 2006, after which she and the Society of Seven moved to the Main Showroom of the Flamingo starting last August 2006. They will be staying on at the Flamingo till April 13.



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