The Filipino Everyman is awed by the displays in the SM malls and wonders just who can afford all those “mamahalin” [ "expensive" ] items like “Bench,” “Penshoppe,” “Folded & Hung,” “Kamiseta,” “Giordano,” “Levi’s,” and the others. To them, only their prosperous OFW relatives and friends working in condominiums, houses, and factories can afford to do so.
The Filipino Well-Off are proud of their ability to shop at the establishment favorite “Rustan’s” department store and at the elegant Greenbelt IV and V shops. They like to wander around, gawk, and buy at the uberchic “Adora” department store. The prestige watch stores — “Patek Philippe,” “Jaeger LeCoultre,” “Chopard,” “Audemars Piguet,” “Rolex,” “IWC,” “Breitling,” “Panerai,” “Omega” — delight them, but they decide that it’s better to buy the watches of their desires in Switzerland, where they cost less. “AC 632″ is the place to buy beautiful and elegant gifts. They like to talk about the Chinese-Filipina rubbing alcohol heiress who bought the Php 6.5 million crocodile “Birkin” bag with the diamond-studded clasp at “Hermes” in Greenbelt IV.
The Filipino Rich pride themselves in being able to shop abroad at their whim and leisure: The “Landmark” and “Pacific Place” malls in Hong Kong; “Takashimaya” and “Mitsukoshi” in Tokyo; “Barney’s,” “Bergdorf,” “BHV” in New York; “Harrod’s” in London; “Galeries Lafayette” and “Printemps” in Paris. They are amazed by the Chinese-Filipina rubbing alcohol heiress who bought the Php 6.5 million crocodile “Birkin” bag with the diamond-studded clasp at Hermes in Greenbelt IV, and impressed by the lending investor hostess with the mostest who also bought one, but conveniently and completely ignore the Php XX million they themselves spent for the new house by Ramon Antonio, the Php XX million they spent at Furnitalia and Osmundo Esguerra to furnish it, the Php X million for the lush “tropical” landscaping, the Php XX million hubby spent for the 2 MBs at Wil*y Sung, etc..
Aside from Madame Imelda Romualdez-Marcos who, during her political prime from the 1960s – 1980s, became the world’s ultimate shopper nonpareil [ officially from a mythical, legendary, and controversial $$$$$$$$ fortune based on unimaginable, bigtime gold trading; no, I will not go into those other, juicier stories, too long... ], some Filipinos and Filipinas also reached the pinnacle of world-class wealth and saw what life, and shopping, was really like at the top of the world…
A beautiful, uberrich Filipina relates her life:
“When you want to buy a couture gown, or gowns, let’s say at ‘Chanel,’ and you decide that you want to go to Paris [ because you don't have to ], a secretary of theirs will contact your secretary and designate a date for your visit to the Paris salon, at your absolute convenience, of course. Their secretary will also discreetly ask your secretary several questions about your various preferences: color, cut, style, shoes, bags, food, wine, diet constraints, flowers, etc.. When you are at the Paris salon, you will be greeted and entertained with the utmost courtesy and geniality by the staff; if you are truly important, Karl [ Lagerfeld ] will be there. You will be served food and drinks very elegantly: you will be surprised that all your favorite food and drinks are so beautifully laid out on a table just for you; your favorite flowers are around the room. They have taken note of practically everything you like. You will be shown the current collections, you make your selections. Should you want something else, or something more, perhaps something very special, a design can always be made for you, and only for you. Your measurements are taken by the most elegant staff in the world. Then it’s back to your Avenue Foch apartment or to your hotel, which is usually the ‘Plaza Athenee’ or the ‘Meurice.’ A few weeks later, your dress, or dresses, arrive by crate. The interior of the crate is lined in black velvet and in the middle is the mannequin wearing your dress. The crate is accompanied by 2 staff members from the house to make absolutely sure that the dress fits you perfectly and that you look devastating in it. Now you understand why a couture dress costs so $$$ much.”
“When you are known at ‘Hermes’ in Paris, you simply make your selections, and they will be sent to your Avenue Foch apartment or to your hotel, which is usually the ‘Plaza Athenee’ or the ‘Meurice.’ You never ask how much anything is and you usually order several colors of the things you like. Price is never an object at ‘Hermes.’”
[ This is from the beautiful and gracious Filipina lady who has the inaugural gown of Jacqueline Bouvier-Kennedy and several important dresses of Princess Diana in her temperature and humidity-controlled closets, as well as the world's largest high-quality citrine as the stopper of a gilded crystal decanter. Aside from countless other splendors... ]
Wow, that’s how “the other .000001 % ” lives…
That’s why we’re genuinely and sincerely thrilled with the adventures and misadventures of the most fantastically self-made Filipino, Manny Pacquiao, his wife Jinkee Pacquiao, and beloved mother Tita Dion / Aling Dionesia Pacquiao… !!! He has made it to the ranks where once, only business titans like Henry Sy Sr., Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr., Enrique Zobel, Vicente Madrigal, and Andres Soriano Sr. dared to dwell.