Sunday, July 22, 2018
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From the Baja 500 to NBA Baloncesto

Ensenada, MEXICO—The legendary Baja 500 races for off-road motorcycles, trucks and custom fabricated cars roared in the deserts and small mountain ranges of this Mexican coastal city June 1 to 4.

But residents and merchants preserved a sports frame of mind to welcome passengers of the cruise ship Carnival Imagination on a port call last Wednesday.

The Baja 500 easily gave way to NBA Baloncesto (basketball) and ignited celebration in the papas and beer joints of this Pacific Ocean cove.


In the center of the controlled chaos were countless Californians, including Filipino Americans all pumped up by the 4-1 victory of the Golden State Warriors over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2017 NBA Finals.

Their revelry began in the bars of the 70,000 plus ton, 855-feet long Imagination as it sailed here Tuesday night from Santa Catalina Island off the coast of Long Beach, California.

First reached by the Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, this commercial fishing and tourism hub is said to have been mapped in 1602 as a safe haven for returning galleons from Manila to Acapulco, Mexico.

Not long after the NBA Finals ended, the Carnival celebrators agreed that Golden State will be a pain for the other 29 teams in the NBA in the next few years.

They noted that no less than LeBron James of the Cavaliers observed that most of the Warrior led by Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant will don the Warriors jersey for a while.

The world’s best basketeer told sportswriters the Dub Nation’s big names “are in their 20s and they don’t show any signs of slowing down.”

James also said he’ll seek more help for the Cavs and named several superstars to approach—Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, and Paul George.

With a capacity of 2,056 passengers, the Carnival Imagination employs a crew of 920 from 60 countries.


Majority of the employees are Filipinos and Indonesians working varied jobs—security guards, electricians, greasers, state room attendants, cooks’ and dining room assistants, waiters, waitresses, etc.

Always hard working and pleasant, Filipino workers aboard the ship are hospitable by nature and often draw praise from passengers

Ana Lyn of Olongapo City is a separated mother of four who has worked aboard Carnival cruise ships for eight years. She told me she can’t wait to go home on vacation for two months starting in July.

Gerardo of General Santos City and Cris of Bacolod City have been seafarers for almost two decades and show no signs of tiring.

Despite a grueling, seven-day work schedule, both say Filipinos on cruise ships overseas are fortunate to have a steady income to send home to their families.

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