Where did all the beautiful “tutubi” dragonflies go??? We used to have many of them in the garden before…
We didn’t have all these techie gadgets which keep the children indoors the whole day these days. At best, we had the standard board and card games from the USA like Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble, Snakes & Ladders, Old Maid, etc.. We even had a Ouija board and enjoyed it immensely until my eldest brother said it was The Bad Guy making the glass move!!! We played Toilet on Lola Charing’s exquisite English Regency-style “klismos” chairs by Sr Jose Antonio Ortoll with the removable cushions (now museum pieces; the Catalan Sr Ortoll made beautiful furniture for Manila’s richies; he was married to one of the city’s richest ladies), pretending to poopoo with the corresponding noises during lunch and dinner parties, to the dismay and embarrassment of our parents. We pretended to be gymnasts at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, aping Roumanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci who scored continuous perfect 10.0s and ruining 3 bed cushions in the process. But even those were not enough to keep us pesky children inside the house the whole day. We had the gardens, the streets, and the parks to play in, as well as the jaunts to the country clubs and the hotels. We played War, throwing fallen fruits like santol, caimito, rambutan, kamias, & duhat as cannonballs across windows and fences. We played Rape (talk about childhood violence!?) wherein I the Rapist would pull down the dress zippers at the backs of the obliging, giggling girls, “single size” for half of the zipper length and “family size” for the full zipper length (just to show how much, or how little, parental or even “yaya” supervision we had in our preteens…). And we didn’t even know what real rape was! Bwahahah! We played 1973 Miss Universe, aping Margie Moran, Gloria Diaz, and Amparo Munoz, using paper cutout crowns. Presumably like all children, we played all throughout those summers…
During my childhood days, being techie was all in the mind. Being able to operate the Bose stereo system, the Sony Betamax video player/recorder, and the Sony Walkman was enough to impress the adults and to qualify as a techie.
November 23, 2012 at 9:40 am (2000s Philippines, Angst, Comedy Relief, Current Events, Design and Decoration, Family Traditions, Humor, Manila Houses, The Global Crowd, The Laguna Tagalogs, The Tayabenses / Quezonians)
Because her US-based nephew was in town for 2 weeks for his niece’s beach wedding in Boracay island, Parsimonious Auntie had invited her nephews and nieces for lunch ( siomai (( from “Forbes” notwithstanding )), what else???!!! ) at her Grey Gardens-style home in gated Makati ( remember the movie “Grey Gardens” from 2009 starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange? ). One could hardly move with the palimpsest of possessions, of great worth and the worthless, since PA at her advanced age could no longer make distinctions ( not that she ever did ). There were beautiful paintings ( Fernando Amorsolo magsasakas & lavanderas, Anita Magsaysay-Ho tinderas & chismosas, Romeo Enriquez portraits of the family trolls ), furniture ( enough original Batangas mesas altar to make the top collectors swoon ), and objects ( silver “paliteras” toothpick holders and “buyeras” betel nut & cigar trays from several roots of the tree, Ch’ing dynasty rose, vert, & jaune vases, etc. ), juxtaposed with PA’s latest finds from the 168 mall in Divisoria, “Wellmanson”s” & “Sophie’s” in Quiapo, & the Greenhills “Tiangge,” but they were all coated with what seemed like a year of dust, despite the presence of several household help, who had once complained to their mistress that she had too many things for them to clean, to which she replied matter-of-factly: “Mayaman ako. Kaya marami akong gamit. Wala tayong magagawa tungkol do’n.” ( “I’m rich. That’s why I have so many things. There’s nothing we can do about that.” )
The house looked frozen in time… A beautiful niece, married to a superrich Asian businessman, was fascinated with already-”antique” perfume bottles ( perfume, not EDT eau de toilette ) in a vitrine in Parsimonious Auntie’s master bedroom, the lot of them from the 1950s, mostly from PA’s mother-in-law, Lola Bruja Mahjongera. What fascinated her the most were 2 bottles, 1 big and 1 small, sporting capes and headdresses. She had seen them in that cabinet since she was a small girl in the late 1950s.
The nephews and nieces ( all adults, very well-off, with their own families ) snickered among themselves when they came upon their aunt’s big framed family photo from the late 1970s by a society photographer hanging in the stairwell. Something was different in the family pic…
Parsimonious Auntie had roundly cut out her former daughter-in-law’s face and replaced it with the one of the new daughter-in-law, whose photo however, was of a different proportion ( not to mention a different era ) to the former daughter-in-law’s body, making her look like an alien… It looked “beyond ridiculous.”
Observations between the cousins were exchanged in hushed tones…
“Cutting ***** off and putting ***** like that… so funny!” observed a senior nephew.
“Why didn’t she have that done professionally? It looks awful!” asked a kind niece.
“Ssshhh… She’s proud that she did it herself! DIY!” an acerb niece warned.
“Hah??? She did it herself???!!!” they all asked, incredulous.
“Do you honestly think she’ll pay for Adobe Photoshop services by a pro???!!!” the acerb niece retorted. They all kept quiet.
A witty techie nephew pointed at the family photo and quipped the best line: “BUT HEY… THAT’S THE ORIGINAL ‘CUT & PASTE’ !!!”
( “Best Face” by Android??? )
It was all sooooo effortless and yet so splendid…
For once, I arrived in time for the 7:30 p.m. invitation. The 3 streets which the manorial house straddled were already filling up with all the latest, top-of-the-line cars and SUVs. Just by the vehicles alone, one already knew exactly which crowd was attending the party: the major Chinoy and Pinoy players of big business.
The extensive buffet dinner was catered by the Makati Shangri-La hotel, and it featured all the best selections from its 4 restaurants. All kinds of wines and other liquor flowed freely from the very open bar. French champagne, Scottish single malt, Johnny Walker Double Black, vintage Bordeaux and Burgundy, Louis XIII [ Treize ] de Remy Martin cognac, it was “bottoms up” “drink all you can” because the sky was really the limit. Because it was drizzling, meaning that the ladies’ expensive Blahnik, Choo, and Louboutin heels would sink in the extensive lawn’s grass and their Hermes bags would get wet, the lady of the house spontaneously decided to hold it inside the house. No problem, as the elegant house of embassy proportions, completely airconditioned, could easily accommodate the 200 guests in round tables of 10 between its living room and garden room, with more than enough space for everyone to glide through like a skating rink.
There were lovely, lovely flowers by Manila’s top florist placed discreetly on various tables and pedestals around the house.
After dinner, it was quite a treat to see many of Manila’s richest Chinoys [ Chinese-Filipinos ] and Pinoys belting out their favorite ballads and dance songs accompanied by a very talented band. Interestingly enough, many of them actually had good voices. The joking, the teasing, the banter, the mock verbal abuse among Manila’s inebriated business titans were very amusing.
The immaculate guest bathrooms were efficiently attended by alert and assiduous household staff who totally cleaned up after each guest. There were various Hermes and Chanel cosmetics on Christofle silver trays and lovely, lovely flowers amidst the Carrara marble and the uberefficient German fixtures. Hidden perfume burners emitted the most marvelous scents.
The party finally ended at 5:00 a.m..
There are many superrich people in Manila, but they might as well wear shirts stamped with “SCRIMP SCRIMP SCRIMP” by the modest [ albeit admirable and conscientious ] way they live. But for the superrich to live like the superrich, that’s style…
All I can say is that it’s really, really, really nice to be really, really, really rich and to have everything really, really, really new.
May 13, 2011 at 1:33 pm (1800s Filipinas, 1900s Philippines, Arnedo de Sulipan, Domestic Travels, Escaler de Sulipan, Family Traditions, Gonzalez de Sulipan, Manila Houses, Pampanga Cuisine, Pampanga Traditions, Personal, Quiason de San Fernando, Random memories, Reyes de Arayat, Rodriguez de Bacolor, The Batanguenos, The Bicolanos, The Bulaquenos, The Cagayanons, The Cavitenos, The Cebuanos, The Davaoenos, The Global Crowd, The Ilocanos, The Ilonggos, The Laguna Tagalogs, The Leytenos, The Manilenos, The Negrenses, The Novo Ecijanos, The Pampanguenos, The Pangasinenses, The Past, The Samarenos, The Tarlaquenos, The Tayabenses / Quezonians, Valdes de Pampanga)
BALUBAD [ KASUY ].
CALUMPIT / KALUMPIT.
DURIAN [ DAVAO ].
MANGOSTEEN [ DAVAO ].
MARANG [ DAVAO ].
RAMBUTAN [ THAILAND ].
SAGING NA LAKATAN.
SAGING NA LATUNDAN.
SAGING NA SABA.
SAGING NA SENORITA.
January 8, 2011 at 7:26 pm (2000s Philippines, Arnedo de Sulipan, Current Events, Design and Decoration, Family Traditions, Gonzalez de Sulipan, Humor, Manila Houses, Personal, Random memories, The Global Crowd, The Ilonggos, The Manilenos, The Negrenses, The Pampanguenos)
I have never had a Christmas season like this in Manila… I was actually out of breath dashing from work to lunch, work to merienda, work to cocktails to dinner… practically every day. I can only guess that the Philippine economy is doing well, because the majority of people are in the mood to give and to attend all sorts of gatherings.
Aside from the Christmas parties, the lunches and the dinners with friends, there were family / clan reunions, gala events, “bienvenidas,” “asaltos,” “despedidas,” “important” weddings, baptisms, confirmations, children’s parties, debuts, “important” funerals, art openings, concerts, book launches, out-of-town jaunts, etc., etc., etc..
And the season hasn’t stopped… It’s just going and going and going…!!!
There are many rich, even superrich, Filipinos. But only a few of them have style, and even fewer still have the high style which compare to their peers in New York, Paris, and London.
Architect Leandro “Lindy” Locsin and his heiress wife Cecilia “Cecile” Araneta Yulo along with their friends personified Filipino high style.
Lindy and Cecile kept a close circle of friends — Jimmy and Maribel Ongpin, Ting and Baby Paterno, and Manolo and Rose Agustines.
He already had good taste even as a child, which wasn’t surprising considering that his family lived in the most beautiful residence along aristocratic Calle R. Hidalgo.
If the adage “Money can buy everything” is true then Arturo de Santos certainly bought everything…
At the time when family background counted for everything in American colonial Manila society, Conching Chuidian Sunico had everything it took to dominate the social scene.