“Herr Doktor”

Some of the most brilliantly hilarious evenings of my life were spent high above Ayala Avenue, in an uberopulent setting that can only be described as having come straight out of Mario Praz’s magnum opus “History of Decoration,” in the dazzling apartment of the redoubtable Swiss and German-educated “Herr Doktor”…

“Herr Doktor:”  certifiably one of Manila’s most terrifying wits.  Admired.  Reviled.  Imitated.  And as the cliche goes, Never Equaled.  He has long been the envy of Manila’s most prominent Art and Antiques collectors, first for his unparalleled artistic and tactile treasures, and also for the splendorous casualness with which he decorates and lives with them!  He gurgles with snobbish glee when one praises the overwhelming “Stimmung” [ atmosphere ] of his home, bubbles with cosmopolitan joie when likened to the late Parisian stylesetter Charlie de Beistegui, swings from sarcastic to caustic when the conversation drifts to some pithy Manila “stylesetters,” and escalates to positively Wagnerian “Sturm und Drang” levels when one compares his home and possessions to some other Manila Art and Antiques collectors.

It was always a consistently Wicked Feast on the matitutinal faux pas of Manila’s not-quite-that-educated-as-they-should-be, not-quite-that-elegant-as-they-think-they-are, and not-quite-that-sophisticated-as-they-want-to-be Who’s-Who… 

“So bourgeois!!!  He should go back to *beep* where he came from…!!!”

“So rare… postcard-size ‘Amorsolos’!!!”  *guffaws*

“I wonder why he keeps staring at her [ a certain 19th century portrait ]???  Is he studying her hair and make-up?!  Or does he want to embroider beautiful “pina”?!”  *mock-wonders* 

“He has a fitness regimen:  “Pole Dancing.”  He likes “poles”!!!

“A House with no books!!!”

“How can you have a Collection when your advisers are a *beep* and a *beep*???”

“I did not know if it stood for *beep* or *beep*!!!”

“A Collector with no history!!!”

“A ‘Black Hole’… that means there’s nothing there!!!”

“There are no statues of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ at Versailles…!!!  Regnaudin did not know ‘Snow White’!!!”

“A Collection of Flea Market and Junkyard finds!!!”

“Oh, but I drove my fork into the ‘ormolu’ ‘surtout la table,’ and it was ‘scagliola’!!!”  *laughs*  

“All that Gilded *beep* Splendor!!!”

“His Silhouette for the Year:  Fire Hydrant!!!”

At the Marche aux Puces in Paris, a [ guileless ] friend asked:  “Do you think Louis XV would be cheaper than Louis XVI???  After all, he’s only Fifteen and the other one is already Sixteen…!!!”   *What???* 

“Like a vampire, She can’t be exposed to the Sun.  She’ll melt!!!”

“We were at an exhibit opening, and somebody said:  “”That’s ‘*beep* Dynasty!'””  She went up to him and countered:  “”Excuse me, my last name isn’t ‘Dynasty’!!!””   *What???*

“The secret of her figure?  Poverty!  How can you possibly afford ‘foie gras’???!!!” 

“She’s very pretty but very stupid!!!  She does not know the difference between ‘T’ang’ [ the Chinese dynasty ] and ‘Tang’ [ the orange drink ]!!!”

“She hopes that one day, after buying all that junk at Bangkal, She will finally acquire Style!!!”

“You’ll like her corset, it’s made of steel and looks like a submarine.  That’s why she always looks like a sandwich!!!”

“She claims to have been dressed by Balenciaga… but The Master did not dress pygmies!!!”

“She did not come as a Fashion Statement, she came as a Fire Hazard instead!!!”

“Don’t breathe on her… you might blow her away!!!”

“She decided to come as a Ghost and her factotum decided to come as a Dwarf… but a Royal Dwarf from Orange-Nassau at that!!!”

“They have a lot of gays in their family:  She is gay, her first husband was gay, her second husband is gay, her brother-in-law is gay, her new brother-in-law is gay, her house is gay, her collection is gay, even her dogs are gay… They’re a very ‘happy’ family!!!”   😛

“She’s so ugly… She’s totally convinced she’s beautiful!!!”

“She has a beauty secret… It’s called Embalming!!!”

“Money is the Best Beauty Treatment.”

“You should inquire about this new beauty treatment… the latest from Switzerland!!! They say it’s foolproof, very effective, and very exclusive!!!   It’s called the Multiple Aneurysms Beauty Regimen… It’s… “The Pause that Refreshes”!!!   😛   😛   😛       

One late evening, “Herr Doktor” was showing my friend and I the latest amusing atrocities that he had confected in his French blue hallway… he had serendipitously added his “bijoux la plage” [ “jewels for the beach” ] to the already staggering assemblage there… when amidst all the gossiping, giggling, guffawing, and gesticulating, the hallowed 1870s portrait of Filomena Asuncion de Villafranca by The Master Justiniano Asuncion crashed to the floor, right on our feet!!!  Oh dear.

Without even bothering to know why it had fallen to the floor, “Herr Doktor” picked up the precious portrait, shook off some dust, and rehung it insistently on its old hook.  “See,” he explained with a laugh, “even Filomena is jumping for joy now that you two are here to keep her company!!!”  And turning to her, he admonished:  “You must take care of your virginity!!!  There are many men — and men who are not really men — out there who are after you!!!”   Bwahahah!!! 

And one of his best tirades is about a nationally known [ thankfully long-deceased ] personage…

“Did you know that he was gay???  Why shouldn’t he be gay???” 

“So what do you think the brown monkey was doing in Germany???  He was the catamite [ boy kept for unnatural purposes ] of that German!!!”

“And what do you think he was doing with that “publisher” of his???  They were sharing everything, even themselves during those cold nights!!!” 

“He wrote to his mother:  “Please decorate in the European style, with a console and a mirror above it…”

“He performed a blowjob on the macho general brother and couldn’t pay, so the equally macho artist brother shouted:  “Sh*t!  You better pose as *beep*…!!!”

“Whothehell would write a poetic farewell during his last hours when he should be thinking of other more crucial matters???” 

“Whothehell would perform a preplanned jete during his final moment???  Only someone gay!!!”   

OhmyGod!!!  How totally subversive!!!  *collapses with laughter*

I absolutely adore The Man!!!   🙂   🙂   🙂

*A selection of *beeps*:  Cleopatra, Ch’ing, Coconut, Queer, Queen, Shopkeeper, Gardener, Fish-dealing, Meat-dealing, Driver, Salesman, Dumb, Dumber, Banana, Ming, Nefertiti.




  1. Enrique Bustos said,

    May 26, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Justiniano Asuncion also did a miniature portrait of Filomena Asuncion on ivory sheet that was in vogue then; it is now owned by her great granddaughter.

    The Legendary Feud of Teyet Pascual and Pitoy Moreno

    Teyet Pascual hosted a party and dressed all his maids and waitresses in vintage Pitoy Moreno dresses as a form of revenge against Pitoy. Teyet told his guests that all Pitoy Moreno creations were cheap and suitable only as uniforms for househelp. He dubbed him as “The Scar of Fashion in Asia” [ a play on Pitoy’s title of “The Czar of Fashion in Asia” ] because to Teyet, the only true fashion genius was Ramon Valera.

  2. May 27, 2009 at 1:21 pm



    “Herr Doktor” happens to be the archenemy / nemesis of “uberrich, chubby hacendero.” 🙂

  3. Diamondes said,

    May 27, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    I think I know who this is too…. Is he that uberrich, chubby hacendero?

  4. myles g. said,

    January 15, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    I think I know who this “Herr Doktor” is.

    Is he neighbor (and house-lender) to the Fabulously Clueless One?


  5. myles g. said,

    January 15, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Do you mean Hedda? Suzy had this strange Jewish name, I think.


  6. September 13, 2006 at 10:32 am


    Thank you! These are slim pickings from my droll life…

    It would be much more fun if I could connect the naughty [ oftentimes nasty ] comments to the actual names, since it is all for real. But I have been advised by well-meaning lawyer friends…

    I am no so*zy hop*er anyway…

    Toto Gonzalez

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