I had such a great laugh yesterday when an influential good friend related the funny incidents that happened during the last official presidential visit to Spain….
And so, the congressmen were presented to The King and to The Queen of Spain in a reception line…
One congressman, obviously beside himself with starstruck excitement, stammered [ enthusiastically nonetheless ] to The King: “Your Majesty!!! I have seen you already!!! In… ‘HOLA!’ !!!”
Of all the stupid and downright embarrassing things to say!!!
My good friend winced in embarrassment. He did not know whether to laugh or cry.
The Filipino delegates were very honored that The King and The Queen of Spain did circulate among them for a whole hour. But, in typical Filipino fashion, no amount of Spanish royal protocol could prevent them from breaching the lines and indulging in tasteless and endless “kodakan” picture-taking with the hapless royal personages. All those glorious, dentured Filipino smiles!!!
I was reminded of an English princess who, annoyed with all the picture-taking, quipped: “When will She stop??? I feel like I am on duty in a charity bazaar!!!”
There was a palpable rush of excitement when “La China” Isabel Preysler, the most celebrated woman in Spain, entered the hall. Everybody, photographers and guests, clicked away!!!
Top chef and restaurateur [ not to mention real estate megaheiress ] Margarita “Gaita” Araneta Fores and her “Cibo di M” staff prepared the delicious and imaginative hors d’oeuvres. She had flown in 50 “balikbayan” boxfuls of her “batterie de cuisine” kitchen equipment and Filipino ingredients from Manila to Madrid. Everyone raved about Gaita Fores’ glorious food, which was simply perfect. True to character, the Filipino delegates ate as if there would be no tomorrow…
After the state reception, as in all Filipino receptions, the congressmen’s wives scrambled to take the pretty flower arrangements back with them. *disbelief* It was as if they were just at the Makati Shangri-La or at the Manila Peninsula rather than royal Madrid.
The palace reception specified formal attire. As in European formal attire. The congressmen had to rent their frocks at 80 euros each. Of course they looked grand. They looked like waiters in an elegant restaurant of a grand hotel. The only accessories lacking were the serving trays!!!
A good friend used to say: “The Problem is, that to be able to wear such attire, one must be tall, fair, blonde, blue-eyed. One cannot be short, dark, and fat. Certainly not “Ethnicanus magnificus.” It just doesn’t work!!!”
“Ethnicanus magnificus.” Harharhar!!!
Because the preparations for the Spain trip were all “rush-rush,” the wives of the congressmen did not have time to go to their couturiers to order their dresses. They ended up hauling whatever polyblends they could from their closets. So instead of looking divinely elegant like the ladies of the European diplomatic corps, they looked like they were going shopping at “Rustan’s,” “S & R,” “Market! Market!” or the various Christmas bazaars. Sadly, they were not better dressed than their expatriate countrywomen — the hordes of Filipina domestics in Madrid.
No, there was No Rein while The Flips were in Spain.