My father Augusto Beda Arnedo Gonzalez [ "Beda" o 27 May 1932 - + 08 August 1990 ] passed away of diabetic complications [ what else? ] on 08 August 1990 while on a tour of the United States.
We commemorated the first anniversary of his passing on 08 August 1991. We held a Mass and a dinner for family and friends at the family home.
After the Mass, the regal Dona Luz “Lucing” Sarmiento de Panlilio was elegantly seated in the living room and was looking outwards to the terrace. My uncle Brother Andrew, his first Cousin Bienvenido “Dodong” Gonzalez Jr., and two other gentlemen were talking just outside the double doors. All were big men with width and girth.
She turned to her grandson Joey and remarked: “You see those gentlemen there, hijo? That is how the gentlemen looked in my time!!! They were big and tall and had ‘carriage’!!! They had ‘empaque’!!! That is how men should look like!!! Not like the men these days, who look starved like the ‘casamac’!!!”
Dona Luz lived through the last golden days of the Pampango landowning gentry from the PreWar to the 1950s. Her husband, Don Jose “Pepe” Panlilio of Bacolor, was a true gentleman of the Old World. He occupied himself with aristocratic pursuits. After The War, He liked to entertain frequently with elegant soirees at their Santa Mesa Heights residence. He was a very big man. His idea of a small snack was a big bowl heaping with luxurious, carabao milk ”Pastillas de Leche” which he consumed by himself.
In those days, corpulence was a status symbol. It implied that one had the considerable resources to eat very well and not work very hard physically.
I wonder what Dona Luz Panlilio and her kind would think of the fashionable men these days with their lean physiques, muscles and six-pack abdominals…??? In their time, only the “casamac” farm tenants / laborers looked like that…!!!