Free haircut was given prominence in the last Golden State Warriors Filipino Heritage Night that was presented by Tanduay Rum even if there is not much connection between basketball and haircut in deciding the outcome of a game.
Thanks mainly to the efforts of the newly created National Filipino Barber Association (NFBA), the Warriors hosted “Sharp Sunday Line-up” where Filipino barbers volunteered their time and talent to give free haircut to mostly Filipino Warriors fans at the Oracle Arena plaza area as one of the main features before the game between back-to-back NBA Champions Golden State Warriors and visiting Phoenix Suns.
NFBA had at least twenty Filipino Bay Area-based barbers from San Jose, Concord, Vallejo participating in the free haircut giving smiles all around especially from those who had their hair done for free..
Later during the game, a barber battle featuring the barbers and their contestants with their Warriors logo hair design entries were introduced on the floor during a timeout in the second half of the game for a crowd vote on the winning hair design.
Honey Mallari, wife of NFBA founder Jay R Mallari, shared that the idea for the formation of the NFBA was started a year ago after doing some work with local barbers they interacted with during their months-long stay in the Philippines.
“With the creation of the NFBA, we are trying to connect the Filipino American barbers with the barbers in the Philippines by supporting Philippine-based barbers by way of giving them tools, resources and ultimately education out there by collaborating with them,” Honey imparted. “Ultimately, we intend to take the Fil-Am barbers to the Philippines, get the Filipino American and Filipino barbers together and hopefully learn from each other and hold a local free Gupitan event there.”
Elk Grove CA-based Jessica Foronda, one of only lady barbers in the group and whose parents are from the Ilocos provinces does not feel odd cutting men’s hair
“It feels good to be one of only two lady barbers in this event. I have always managed to stand out from the rest. I am not the average girl to just to do some girly thing so that is why I gravitated towards cutting men’s hair even in my own shop in Elk Grove CA near Sacramento,” Foronda maintains.
Alberto Argente who has a barber shop in San Francisco was one who competed in the barber battle featuring the best cut of hair with Warriors logo as featured design.
Argente’s entry, together with three others were featured in the competition that was presented to the game floor area for a crowd vote area for a crowd vote on the winning hair design.
The free haircut event was followed in the much-anticipated Filipino Heritage Night, the last at the Oracle Arena in Oakland before the Warriors move to San Francisco next season, by a Pilipino Folk Ensemble by LIKHA dance group, the U.S. National Anthem sung by Filipino middle and high school students belonging to music and arts school Bytes + Notes and a halftime performance by Filipino Bay area-based rapper P-Lo.
San Jose-based Bytes + Notes voice director Ann Marie Tecson recounted that this was the fifth time they their group was invited to sing the American national anthem on a Warriors Filipino Heritage Night.
“The reason we always get invited is that the kids are very good bunch of middle and high school students that are very talented. They are very proud to be here that makes us proud to be Filipinos all the more,” beams Tecson. .
Spotted at the Oracle Penthouse section with wife Mariz and son Matthew enjoying precious family bonding time was Philippine Consul-General to San Francisco Henry Bensurto, Jr who regard each Warrior Filipino Heritage Night a tribute to all of Filipino heritage not only for the Filipinos in the Bay Area but also for Filipinos of all generations around the world.
“Not in all US cities are Filipinos honored in the same grand way that we are in this great city of San Francisco and the Bay Area. We are truly honored and grateful to the City and the Warriors organization. We are especially grateful to that generation of first Filipinos who from the start of their history have struggled hard for this recognition that our new generation is now enjoying,” underscored Bensurto who also toasted Tanduay Rum for for exerting a lot of effort to promote our Filipino heritage here in the Bay area.
As for the game result, the defending champion Warriors bowed to lowly regarded young Phoenix team 115-111 in a tight game that saw Warriors’ top player Kevin Durant suffering a foot injury in the middle of the last quarter. The Warriors have lost 5 of the last eight games.
Alberto Argente (right) with his Warrior logo hair design which is one of just four entered in the competition
Some of the barbers that participated in the free hair cut service of National Filipino Barbers Association members
Philippine Consul General to San Francisco Henry Bensurto Jr. was with wife Mariz and son Matthew at the Oracle Penthouse
Elk Grove CA resident Jessica Foronda, one of only two lady barbers in the free haircut event
About a hundred mostly Filipino Warriors fans availed of free haircut offered by members of National Filipino Barbers Association at the Oracle Arena plaza.
Filipino Bay Area-based rapper P-Lo performed at halftime
Likha Filipino dance group performed a Pilipino Folk Ensemble before the game
The members of the Bytes + Notes choral group sang the national anthem for the fifth time already
Husband and wife team of Jay R and Honey Mallari started the National Filipino Barbers Association