Reining champion Gener De Guzman beat his previous record of 35 to eat 36 fishballs in less than one minute during the Second Annual Island Pacific Super Ball Fishball Eating Contest held at the Island Pacific supermarket in Santa Clarita, California on February 11. He was up against 30 finalists from all over the state in the competition that showcased the popular Filipino street food, which is available at the Island Pacific grocery stores and seafood market outlets and the freezer aisles of other retail shops.
The contest was sponsored by Mekeni Food International and SoCal Filipinos. Headquartered in the Philippines, Mekeni Food International produces a wide variety of products ranging from fish balls and squid balls to sausages, longaniza, hot dogs, tocino and street food favorites.
De Guzman was presented $1,000 in cash for successfully defending his crown, while a runner-up prize of $500 and three additional awards of $300 went to other competitors.
Hosted by Ruby Rodriguez and “G” Töngi, the well attended event featured a tasting booth offerings samples of Mekeni products including chicken tocino, fishballs and fishball sauces. Adding to the festivities, opening up the program was Gingee (Marjorie Light), who is a music maker from Los Angeles known for blending electronic and hip hop music with sounds of Filipino kulintang gongs and other percussion instruments. During halftime, the Malaya Dance Company performed cultural numbers pandango sa ilaw, followed by pop artist Garth Garcia.