Giving it All

In terms of sheer fun, no parties in the city can compare to the fabulous birthday bashes of Don Conrado “Ado” Escudero at their splendid family seat — the Villa Escudero — just outside San Pablo City in Laguna.  Yes, there are hosts in the city with formal receptions, distinguished guests,  sumptuous gourmet food and grand cru wines, full orchestra music, fantastic decor, and other unspeakable extravagances but no one can top the dizzyingly cosmopolitan and thoroughly intoxicating mix of very interesting worldly guests which results in social electricity of such memorable megawattage as Don Conrado “Ado” Escudero, “El Anfitrion” [ The Amphitryons, hosts to the gods ].

Among so many memories, I remember the unforgettable ladies who “shook, rattled, and rolled” on the dance floor during those heady evenings…

A great presence during those parties was Manila’s most famous sex therapist.  Every movement exuded her energetic sexuality.  When we complimented her for her incredibly energetic dancing, She advised:  “Toto, think of something BIG!!!”  *lolsz!*

Very memorable was a prominent Manila lady, famous [ or notorious ] for her weekly show in the 1970s where she sang traditional Filipino music, who danced the most beautiful, the most elegant, and the most expressive tango that any of us had ever seen.  *applauds*  With her prominent lawyer husband in the background, she glided to the dance floor with a tall and handsome partner and began a tango of romance, passion, and betrayal which could have put even Rita Hayworth and Ava Gardner to shame.  She danced with the fullest of emotions — with every nod, look, turn, twirl, and dip.  There were twirls in which she seemed to be gracefully falling to the floor, only to be swept up with bravado by her partner.  She was exquisite, exquisite, exquisite!!!  It was the most memorable tango series we had ever seen…

I remember a Belgian lady diplomat whom we enjoyed observing.  We were introduced during cocktails and we thought that she must have been of aristocratic or at least interesting descent because her surname was  prefixed by a “van der”…  She was dressed in silver lame with a turban ala Greta Garbo in the 1930s but she was overweight and wore thick maquillage.  Obviously a child of the 1960s, She did the “Twist,” the “Shake,” the “Locomotion,” the “Mashed Potato,” and every dance she knew.  We enjoyed watching her because everything was falling apart while she danced:  her turban unfurling, hair untangling,  maquillage dripping, decolletage lowering, [ costume ] jewelry falling, and costume unraveling.  She was a “fag hag” and danced with every gay man present.  The thing was, she “outfagged” the fags!!!

Then there was this very vivacious Ilongga lady [ from Iloilo ] who carried a venerable surname but was actually born on the “wrong side of the tracks.”  She was a much married lady — she preferred European husbands — and the proper Escudero ladies were always told that she was “between marriages”:  She was always “ex-This” but “pre-That” aside from “coming soon.”  She was a sultry and sexy woman, with a shapely derriere that was as wide as the SLEX South Expressway.  Her derriere was the main focus of her dancing:  it swayed with the “rhumba,”  wiggled with the “cha-cha,” bobbed with the “samba,” and careened with the “swing”!!!

Also unforgettable was a young heiress who belonged to one of Laguna’s richest families.  She was not particularly attractive but her thin, wiry figure ala Edie Minturn Sedgwick was truly a sight to behold on the dance floor.  She was a child of the 1970s, and she had this peculiar “drugged out” way of dancing, as if she had just inhaled the popular “substances” of that decade.

It was all summed up by an uberrich but notoriously parsimonious Spanish mestizo friend of high birth who sidled up beside us as we were enjoying the spectacle.  He looked derisively at the heiress who was whooping it up and tearing through the dance floor.  He said, in that trademark Hispano-English accent so peculiar to Manila’s enduringly affluent Spanish mestizos:  “Eeehhh…. the Pangit talaga…  they give it their all!!!”  [ "Yuck... the Ugly really...  they give it their all!!!" ]

We fell out of our chairs laughing!!!

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14 Comments

  1. Garganta Inflamada said,

    December 1, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    I think Manuel and Constantino Manahan must’ve had some Irish forebear. They’re definitely mestizo and Elvira’s sons, Johnny and Bonggoy, are certainly not your average Filipino-sized men. Altho I did have this Biology teacher in Ateneo also named Manahan but who was dark as kamagong.

    G.I.

  2. zippo said,

    September 9, 2007 at 1:15 am

    HK:

    I don’t think *lvira L*desma ( vda. de Eduq*e ) Man*han was born “on the wrong side of the tracks.” From what I know, the L*desmas are quite well-off. Besides, *lvira only had 2 husbands — both Filipinos at that.

    As an aside, *lvira did have a female relative named Socor*o who, in Socor*o’s own words, was born “on the wrong side of the tracks.” Socor*o was sent to Manila to study Nursing and indeed became a nurse. She was so talented, however, that she became the biggest female singer in the 1980s. She even married ( now separated ) a ( now in the news ) descendant of a Philippine President with whom she has a daughter.

    Socor*o is, of course, best known by her nickname: Ku*.

    If the information I got serves me right, *lvira and Ku*’s father were either siblings, half-siblings, or 1st degree cousins and both sides were mired in an inheritance squabble which Elvira’s side won and which explains why Ku* came “from the wrong side of the tracks.” This also explains why Ku* never guested on “Two for the Road.”

    Z :-)

  3. Hans Kristen said,

    September 5, 2007 at 9:36 am

    Must be Elvira Manahan? “Two For the Road”!

  4. September 4, 2007 at 7:54 am

    regvszsgzrfgd:

    Rose Lacson Hancock Porteous is a Negrense lady from the prominent Lacson Clan of Talisay, Negros Occidental. That’s across the channel from Iloilo and the Ilongga ladies. She is not the lady I am referring to.

    Toto Gonzalez

  5. August 26, 2007 at 2:25 am

    This reminds me of the former Hancock and then Porteous. Rose Lacson. Rose of the now demolished Prix d’Amour. But now I’m not sure!!!!!

    **********************************************************************************************

    “”Then there was this very vivacious Ilongga lady [ from Iloilo ] who carried a venerable surname but was actually born on the “wrong side of the tracks.” She was a much married lady — she preferred European husbands — and the proper Escudero ladies were always told that she was “between marriages”: She was always “ex-This” but “pre-That” aside from “coming soon.” She was a sultry and sexy woman, with a shapely derriere that was as wide as the South Expressway. Her derriere was the main focus of her dancing: it swayed with the “rhumba,” wiggled with the “cha-cha,” bobbed with the “samba,” and careened with the “swing”!!!””

  6. August 26, 2007 at 2:23 am

    Ah! *rmida Ponc*-*nrile S*guion-Re*na.

    **********************************************************************************************

    Very memorable was a prominent Manila lady, famous [ or notorious ] for her weekly show in the 1970s where she sang traditional Filipino music, who danced the most beautiful, the most elegant, and the most expressive Tango that any of us had ever seen. *applauds* With her prominent lawyer husband in the background, she glided to the dance floor with a tall and handsome partner and began a Tango of romance, passion, and betrayal which could have put even Rita Hayworth and Ava Gardner to shame. She danced with the fullest of emotions — with every nod, look, turn, twirl, and dip. There were twirls in which she seemed to be gracefully falling to the floor, only to be swept up with bravado by her partner. She was exquisite, exquisite, exquisite!!! It was the most memorable Tango series we had ever seen…

  7. August 26, 2007 at 2:20 am

    My Lolas remembered the Ocampos for having so many brown chinita children running to and fro at their [ Ocampo ] house — and their beautiful “aparadores” and “sillas.” They said some of those beautiful pieces were sculpted by the renowned Tampingco and some Chinese guy also commissioned by the sugar barons in Negros before the war… not sure…

  8. August 26, 2007 at 2:17 am

    L*cio Tan does does not take business class when travelling in non-PAL planes to Canada. And neither does Lorenzo Mendoza of South America. And the old Amancin Ortega who lives in Galicia. It’s better to go economy sometimes. You’re elbow to elbow with all walks of people and hopefully, you get to meet awesome personalities.

    I’ve traveled business so many times and especially when the planes come from Manila, OH MY GOD are most of the people — especially the young ones in business class — so much of the social-climber type! Even Maurice Ar*ache will raise his hilarious and infectious eyebrow!

  9. zippo said,

    August 25, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    One’s class is not shown by the airplane seat one purchases. It is shown by how a person respects other people.

    Tip to M*lu: the next time you take Coach Class from Manila to Athens and your olfactory nerves are violated by people who you feel are beneath you, do NOT bitch and write about it. Rather, grin, bear it, and immediately take a sleeping pill!

    You can be first class even if you’re traveling coach.

    Z :-)

  10. mzcjzpmz8w3macpx said,

    August 25, 2007 at 4:02 am

    juja wrote:

    Of the DBF, I mean. Her taking Economy Class to Greece just doesn’t figure into the equation.

    *********************************
    That isn’t always a great way to judge other people. ( 1 ) Maybe it’s her choice. Nothing wrong with that; it’s her money — so it’s no one else’s business. ( 2 ) Maybe the First or Business classes were full ( of the show-offs and the social climbers ) Some of the Waltons of Arkansas, owners of Wal-mart, often fly economy. What can you say to that? ( 3 ) Maybe there was someone in First or Business that she wanted to avoid? Could be any one of legitimate reasons.

  11. August 24, 2007 at 11:26 am

    juja:

    I have nothing to say about the M*lu F*rnandez issue.

    She is the youngest sister of Lilibeth F*rnandez-Campos and Vicky F*rnandez-Zubiri. Their particular kind of Fernandez are descended from the prominent Ocampo Family of Old Quiapo district, which was an enclave of The Rich from the 1850s to the 1930s. Their peers were the Tuason, Legarda, Paterno, Zamora, Araneta, and Nakpil families. The Ocampo Family was memorable because they remodeled their 19th century “bahay-na-bato” into an eccentric and interesting Japanese-style residence complete with a pagoda in the 1920s.

    Toto Gonzalez

  12. August 24, 2007 at 11:15 am

    overtureph:

    Thank you for the clarification.

    What do I know??? *lolsz!*

    Toto Gonzalez

  13. juja said,

    August 24, 2007 at 6:28 am

    Just curious about what you have to say about the M*lu F*rnandez issue. She claims to be one of the “haves”, being the daughter of a prominent dermatologist and one of the founders of the Makati Med. Is she, really? Of the DBF, I mean. Her taking Economy Class to Greece just doesn’t figure into the equation.

  14. overtureph said,

    August 22, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    It’s the Von and not the Van in between surnames who are said to be of aristocratic lineage.


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