In addition to the denouement of Vilma Bautista in New York, here is what happened to the Lindemere estate on Long Island, and how there is no honor among thieves, i.e., they fought amongst themselves again: The article is dated January 1986, a month before the whole corrupt Marcos administration fully unraveled.
“The new owners, architect Augusto M. Camacho and Dr. Pablo E. Figueroa, immediately ordered more than $1 million in renovations of the house and grounds, including new roofs, plumbing, heating, windows and more. They told Sprague and Hoffsteatter they planned to build a plush condominium resort.
“They put in a huge swimming pool and a very large guest-type gazebo that has a fireplace that could cook a whole bullock,” Sprague said.
Imelda Marcos appeared during those renovations, usually accompanied by a bus or van full of Filipino friends and associates, and machine-gun toting bodyguards. Hoffsteatter said Camacho repeatedly told him that tales of her visits should be “quieted down.”
But the only opposition from the surrounding middle-class community of 5,800 came when someone asked whether the Asian-looking owners of Luna Seven actually worked for the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the Korean evangelist. Luna is the Latin word for moon.
“Everyone thought it was one of Rev. Moon’s operations,” Hoffsteatter said. “I had to take care of that.”
Sued Imelda Marcos
But by 1982, ownership of the property was transferred to a Curacao corporation called Ancor Holdings N.V. And in February, 1984, Figueroa and Camacho each sued Imelda Marcos and other partners for $1 million in state Supreme Court in Suffolk County, saying that “Marcos decided to make Lindenmere into her private personal estate and discontinued the development of the $19-million resort.”
Both suits charged that Imelda Marcos “does business in New York State systematically and continuously” and that her activities include “extensive real estate purchasing, improving, developing and managing.” The suits also charged that she uses agents to “keep hidden her personal direct participation and involvement” in the transactions.
Figueroa dropped his suit after receiving $20,000 in legal fees, his lawyer testified last week. Figueroa could not be reached Friday. Camacho settled for $875,000 for his work as architect and contractor at Lindenmere, his lawyer said. A man who answered the telephone at Camacho’s New York apartment this week said he was out of town.
According to Suffolk County tax records, a woman named Vilma H. Bautista paid more than $36,000 on behalf of Ancor Holding to pay 1984 and 1985 real estate taxes. Bautista, who appeared in one of the photographs taken with Imelda Marcos at Lindenmere, serves as her personal secretary when she travels in the United States.
Congressional investigators have identified Bautista as a secretary at the Philippine Mission to the United Nations. A spokesman at the mission said Friday that Bautista was on leave in the Philippines and could not be reached.
Lindenmere itself appeared deserted behind “Keep Out” signs and wooden fences Thursday. Neighbors say an elderly woman works as caretaker, helped by two Filipino men. No one answered at the doors, and a brown dog stretching beside garbage cans was the only sign of life.
The legendary “arbiter elegantiarum” ( his own words ) Dr. Eleuterio “Teyet” Montano Pascual passed away today, Tuesday, 20 November 2012.
Eternal rest grant unto the soul of Teyet. And may perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace. Amen.
Our sincere condolences to the Pascual and to the Montano families.
Thank you very much for the innumerable hilarious laughs ( which periodically broke my face in 2 ), the excruciating razor-sharp wit, and the exquisite, infallible erudition during the times we were together — at your “Stimmung”-filled, Mario Praz-style apartment ( you liked it when I described it that way, didn’t you? ), at small dinners with friends, and at big “sassiety” gatherings. I will certainly miss you, Herr Doktor!!!
I knew something was amiss when we met briefly at Lisa Tinio-Bayot’s Jose Rizal birthday do at Fort Santiago last June. You were leaning on your male nurse for support as you walked; visibly weakened, it was not like you at all. Sorry for not having taken up your invite for yet another long dinner ( more like a whole nighter ) at your apartment; I was in “outer space,” as usual. “Naku, mag-dinner tayo, Toto. Maraming nangyayari. Marami akong kuwento. Matutuwa si Madame pag lumitaw ka.” I will regret carelessly skipping it for the rest of my days.
Now Teyet, from the next life, admit the truth: Was JPMR really gay as you asserted???!!! :O :O :O
Look at erstwhile friends IRM and Cristina Ponce-Enrile. Notice how Mrs. Enrile purposely turns away from the ex-queen, while her ex-majesty is seated glumly a few inches behind CPE. After all the beso-beso, I wonder how much they are really seething underneath.
I wonder if the Enriles’ old dog, Adlemi (read it backwards) came along at the launch or is even mentioned in this memoir. LOL!!
Speaking of BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’s and “Moon River,” perhaps the saddest news to come out today is that Andy Williams, whose version of the classic song is perhaps the most famous, passed away at his home in Branson, MO, at 84. He died from bladder cancer.
Thanks for the music and memories, Andy. Rest in peace.
SWEET MYLES …. Audrey wore a SHORT LBD in the movie when she went to prison to deliver a ” weather report ” It was a tank dress zipped up at the back, she had to look for her shoes under her bed, she wore it with a large portrait hat that had a long ecru organza sash on it. She knew how to whistle for a cab. Audrey had large black sunglasses later popularized by Jackie Kennedy !
Yes I do miss Audrey and CAT and YES she wore a LONG dress in the opening of the movie BUT when she went to to jail to visit and give the weather report, she wore a SHORT LBD with a large hat and a trailing organza dash on it.
On the int’l-Broadway show biz front, here is a clip of Sylvia La Torre’s grandaughter, Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, in the recording studio for the new CD album of the current revival of GODSPELL on Broadway.
There are now, perhaps premature, talks of Miss de Tagle being primed for the role of Kim in a possible wide-screen version of MISS SAIGON. Lea Salonga vaulted into world attention with her London and New York portrayals as Kim. But a MISS SAIGON screen version will only happen if the LES MISERABLES film opening this December will be a resounding success.
Little Black Dress, A Girl’s Best Friend
By Larry Leviste
Photos by Marvin Maquirang
Manila’s fashion icons, young stylists and sexy sirens arrived at Dusit Hotel to watch Face Off, a one of a kind bridal fashion show last week, with their best friend forever, the ageless Little Black Dress.
The LBD appeared in all it’s guises and manipulations, long and short, classic or edgy, in stark shantung or fully beaded. Sponsored by Samsung and PDI, these lovely ladies dressed like they were attending a wedding and so not to upstage the brides, they chose a wardrobe staple that is the color opposite of white. They never looked lovelier, black was mysterious, slimming and seductive.
This powerful one piece wonder was invented by Coco Chanel in the 20s, since then an austere uniform of the chic and the severely elegant. The most famous LBD was worn by Audrey Hepburn in film Breakfast a
not, you zip it up and forget about it. And since black absorbs light, you will always you will always photograph beautifully. An LBD is a woman’s secret weapon.
Look at these great portraits, why do Pinays look so good in black. It starts with their tresses, shiny black like a ravens feathers, then their onyx eyes and eyebrows which look so exotic with black eye-liner and shadow. The LBD, whether glossy or matte, masculine tailored for femininely draped or with a peplum is best set off by sheer black stockings then punctuated by black pumps or the latest patent platforms. It’s a head to toe look, a total package.
For the evening’s extravaganza, a fashion show’s climax is traditionally a bridal gown. So if the 40 robes de marriage were contestants in a beauty pageant, the winner was the wedding terno by Cary Santiago and the first runner up was Auggie Cordero’s black and white feathered masterpiece. I wonder why veils and bouquets were omitted though, maybe to show these original couture numbers could be worn again and again just like an LBD.
Four days of flooding in Metro Manila could not deter the 100 matrons who trooped to Rustan’s Makati, dressed to the hilt for Criselda Lontok’s Holiday Collection last Friday.
Perhaps it was cabin fever, a closing of ranks and a show of support, but every member of the Ladies Who Lunch was accounted for and attired in dazzling silks and blinding bling.
It was a merry mix of the Old Guard, New Money, Blue Ladies, the Yellow Brigade, Loi Ejercito and Monjierra Disini.
They were all loyal clients of the Criselda Lontok brand of modern chic, which they have been wearing for 30 years.
Why is there such a diehard following for Lontok’s always classic elegant, age-appropriate and wrinkle-free garments? Perhaps it’s because, like the New York high society designer Carolina Herrera, Lontok has known all her clients for the last 50 years. She is one of them.
So Lontok knows their needs, from daytime separates for lunch at the Polo Club to elegant fetes in Old and South Forbes Park. For instance, every true-blue member knows that a pair of Lontok’s slim leggings or stretch pants is the best travel wear. At their golden age, they know that comfort first, style later is the only way to dress.
It is confirmed. The worst scenario has come to pass.
The admirable Secretary of the DILG Department of the Interior and Local Government Jesus “Jesse” Manalastas Robredo passed away 3 days ago, 18 August 2012, Saturday, in a plane crash off Masbate province. He was 54 years old.
Eternal rest grant unto the soul of Secretary Robredo. And may perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace. Amen.
Our sincerest condolences to the Robredo family. The Philippines has lost a truly admirable government official who has laid a rare honorable and industrious template for all public servants to emulate.
Re that upcoming Claudio Bravo exhibit. Sounds positively boring. Same old, same old — emphasis on old, crowd, or who’s still alive of those who were painted, coming to see themselves and their friends…or foes…in their younger, less plasticated years.
The subtitle of the exhibit should be “The Portraits of Dorian Grays.” And a more interesting post-exhibit publication should be: Before and After (of the subjects).
Final preparations are underway for the landmark retrospective of Claudio Bravo, the renowned Chilean artist who painted portraits of members of Manila society in the 1960s.
The exhibit will open at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila on Sept. 18, Chilean National Day. The catalogue of Bravo’s Manila portraits will also be launched during the occasion.
The exhibit will be made possible by Ambassador Roberto Mayorga and the Energy Development Corp. headed by Oscar Lopez.
To be exhibited are 37 portraits, the first time in 44 years that they will be displayed. (The first time was in June 1968 at the Luz Gallery, the culmination of Bravo’s six-month stay in Manila.)
Portraits will include Imelda Cojuangco, Luis Araneta, Mauro Prieto, Chona Kasten, Tingting Cojuangco, Gretchen Cojuangco, Presy Psinakis, Conchita Lopez Taylor, Pacita Lopez, Dr. Constantino Manahna, Elvira Manahan, Bonggoy Manahan, Sam Eduque, Marilou Prieto Lovina, Tessie Luz, Alice Recto, Regina Dee, architect Leandro Locsin and Cecilia Locsin, Antonio Roxas, Pamen Roxas Elizalde, former President Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda Marcos, Baby Fores, Mercy Tuason, Katherine Young, Evelyn Lim Forbes, Aurelio Montinola Sr. and Leonor Varona Montinola.
Portraits that have been brought abroad will be included in the catalogue: Pilar Roxas, Jaime Zobel, Bea Zobel, Jaime Augusto Zobel, Fernando Zobel.
Sketches and doodles made by Bravo, who died on June 4, 2011, in Morocco, will also be on display.
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Our dearest Tita Naty — Natividad Batac Gonzalez-Palanca — passed away today, Monday, 30 July 2012, 7:00 p.m., at the age of 92 at the Saint Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon city. She was the last surviving daughter of our grandfather, D. Augusto Diosdado Gonzalez y Sioco ( 1887 – 1939 ) of Sulipan, Apalit, Pampanga.
She first married John Setzer, who was killed in Mariveles, Bataan during World War II, by whom she had a daughter, Georgina “Georgie” Gonzalez Setzer ( married “Butch” Unson ). She then married Francisco “Paquito” David Palanca of San Fernando, Pampanga, by whom she had 4 children: Francisco Jr. “Bong,” Josephine Marie “Josie” ( married Ernesto “Nitoy” Unchuan Velasco ), Augusto Jose “Joey” ( married Regina “Gina” Gamboa Santos ), & Jaime Diosdado “Jimmy” ( married “Lenni” Laya ).
Eternal rest grant unto the soul of our dearest Tita Naty. And may perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace. Amen.
Our sincerest condolences to our first cousins, the Palanca-Gonzalez family.
Larry, we would like to be amused with your take on the two RL designers of country uniforms at the recent Olympic Parade of Nations: one whose golden salakots did not gleamer as intended, and the one who outsourced tailoring to China.
MY Assessment of the designer who replaced John Galliano at DIOR published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, please enjoy ………
Dior’s New ” NEW LOOK ”
Raf Simons, the 44-year-old Belgian designer, showed his dazzling debut couture collection for Dior last week.
Fashion peers Elbaz, Cardin, Alaia, Furstenburg, Versace, Jacobs and Tisci watched a 54-piece collection weave its way in and out of five palatial rooms festooned from floor to ceiling with varied blooms, from white orchids to yellow mimosa and blue delphiniums. Simons made international style editors and couture clients realize that the future of fashion springs from the past. But once it’s realized, one must forget the past.
So like the revolutionary New Look of Christian Dior in 1947, Simons manipulated the iconic Bar Jacket with rounded shoulders, wasp waist and padded hips on full circle skirts.
This new New Look was reinvented as coat dress, pantsuit in his trademark minimal architectural lines. There were also short-and-sweet dresses, cut like a chopped-off ballgown and worn over skinny black pants.
KEY LOOK—mini ball gowns, cut so short they’re now tops, exquisitely embroidered with fabric buds and crystal petals
But it was his intense, pulsating use of color that was the main focus of this couture de force collection that deconstructed the rules of Dior signature looks.
But it wasn’t like the take-it-apart deconstruction of the ’90s, but rather it was the concept of abstracting just one Dior code at a time.
Simons achieved the bravely impossible, a bow to the heritage of the House, yet making the clothes so supremely elegant and comfortably appropriate for this point in fashion history.
Simons says the focus of his first collection for Dior was to “change the psychology of people who are interested in couture. I want to make it more dynamic, appeal to a person who has a different energy.
“A younger person, in mind, not necessarily in age. And I think couture is very much about curating something unique for women. Fashion is so mass-produced now; I hope there will come a refocus on how people see couture. And I would also hope for a new focus on the craft. It’s mind-blowing when you start investigating what is done here. But I want to approach it with a new energy. I’m interested to see how people will pick up on it.”
The result of last Monday’s show was a selection of ideas by a designer with a rare aptitude: to meld modernity with romance.
Another page is turned in fashion history, from Christian Dior’s extraordinary rise to the throne of couture in 1946 to his untimely death on Oct. 23, 1957.
His youngest assistant designer, Yves Saint Laurent, was promptly put in charge of the most famous and important couture house in the world. Laurent was rudely replaced by designer Marc Bohan in late 1960, and Bohan stayed on until Gianfranco Ferre took over in 1989, who was then succeeded by John Galliano in 1996.
With just five designers in 64 years, Dior certainly carries an aura of majesty, a magical place that is larger than life, now reinvigorated and remastered by Raf Simons, the once and future king of French haute couture.
MAITA GOMEZ my favorite model of the 60s, our Miss Philippines to Miss World and a activist for Women’s Rights passed away gently in her sleep. Her sister DITAS died just recently. May God’s Eternal Sunshine shine on beautiful MAITA forever.
Margarita Juana “Maita” Gonzalez-Favis Gomez passed away today, Thursday, 12 July 2012, at the age of 65 — Maita of the enduring and effortless beauty, of high intelligence, and profound social conscience. Born to the landed aristocracy, she found her true calling in the defense of the poor and the marginalized.
Maita, didn’t I tell you during Ditas’ 40th day last 25 June 2012, Monday ( just 17 days ago!!! ) that your loss of voice could be a symptom of something??? I will really miss you, my dear, dear, dear friend and “prima”!!!
And I’m sorry ( again ) for transcribing Ditas’ “Because Maita is a blabbermouth…” Of course, you didn’t really mind, you even joked about it: “Don’t tell Toto Gonzalez… anything!!!” Ha ha ha!!! But just the same…
Eternal rest grant unto the soul of Maita. And may perpetual light shine upon her.