Closing Ranks

A young member of one of Manila’s most important families is in big trouble.

Watch as Manila’s most influential families close ranks to protect their own.

That was always how it was, still is, and always will be forever and ever…  Amen.



  1. November 19, 2009 at 3:41 pm



    From now on, comments with no real names, no email addresses that can be confirmed, and no reliable identity checks will no longer be allowed.

    Toto Gonzalez

  2. Garganta Inflamada said,

    April 8, 2007 at 11:47 pm

    D*lgado murder? Who(m) of the D*lgados was done in? And how are the Quir*nos involved?

    Pray tell please.


  3. April 1, 2007 at 8:12 am


    I only know as much as the next person. There are so many conjectures about the case.

    It’s just sad that family arguments about inheritance can lead to such dire consequences. I know all about it because I’ve been through it as well.

    Toto Gonzalez

  4. Natalie said,

    April 1, 2007 at 4:59 am

    Toto: would you know the latest on the D*lgado murd*r? Are the Quir*nos really involved?

  5. January 22, 2007 at 6:17 pm


    That shouldn’t bother Him. Or Anybody for that matter.

    I gather that it’s the chic thing to be these days. If one can afford it financially, politically, and socially. 😛

    Toto Gonzalez

  6. January 22, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    cousin paz:

    She is currently astride the pinnacle of Manila Society. What more could She ask for???

    Toto Gonzalez

  7. taitai said,

    January 20, 2007 at 7:10 am

    T*ny B*y Coj*angco being accused AGAIN of being a conspirator to the at*empted F*b 2006 cou*!

  8. cousin paz said,

    January 3, 2007 at 5:54 am

    Well, one definitely cannot buy class. She (GB) may be buying and wearing all her B*lg*ri, but the moment she opens her mouth, she spews the silliest of quotes for showbiz magazines to write about. I mean, a well-meaning and educated mother would not comment that her daughter’s looks are “pathetic” because she has her dad’s look and not hers.

    No matter how hard she tries, her showbiz past (from Seiko and Regal) hounds her like a ghost and is definitely a perennial nightmare.

  9. December 28, 2006 at 10:57 am

    myles g.:

    I’ll tell you in time.

    Toto Gonzalez

  10. December 28, 2006 at 10:57 am

    cara y cruz:

    Toto Gonzalez

  11. myles g. said,

    December 27, 2006 at 9:11 pm

    To bring this thread, OK, otherwise interesting, back on track — who is the errant young member of “one of Manila’s prominent families” and exactly was his misstep?

    Sige naman, don’t leave us hanging.


  12. cara y cruz said,

    December 27, 2006 at 6:30 pm

    Well, the Other Lady should always rememeber that “hindi nabibili ang breeding sa Rustan’s”.

    To be fair to D*wn, she has been quiet, save for a few choice comments, about this whole microwave issue.

    n.o.lopez: artwork? jewelry? last i heard, the Other Lady borrowed some art pieces to show off to her friends but was said to be totally out and bewildered. she was said to have been totally speechless when the ladies were discussing the pieces.

  13. December 27, 2006 at 3:56 am


    She should have done the correct thing at the onset of their dalliance by completely receding from the public eye and contentedly settling into the very lap of luxury with Everything that C*juangco Money Can Buy. What could Show Business possibly offer her after Big Business??? Nothing.

    You’re so right when you say that Manila Society will not be an awed audience to her excesses. They will just have a good laugh.

    One doesn’t hear about the L*gdameo-Flo*rendo complaining about D*wn… She was known to be a good in-law prior to this inane issue.

    He certainly is the leading business figure of his generation in his immediate family, but I don’t know if that will translate to his inheriting the bulk of their fortune. He is already rich on his own anyway. I really don’t think that his dalliance with His Lady will affect his inheritance. But perhaps, I’m just being naive. What do you think the Dowager Empress will do… or has She done it already by this time after her near brush with “The Grim Reaper”???

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, taitai!!! I’m sure you shopped ’til you dropped this season. What interesting things did you see at the better jewelers? Did you get a new bauble for yourself??? Another Asscher cut perhaps???

    Toto Gonzalez

  14. taitai said,

    December 25, 2006 at 3:40 pm

    Other Lady (GB) is seeking attention to revive her “career”. Apparently, she is positioning herself as some kind fashion icon (at least for the Pinoy showbiz world). After all, she is still considered to be among Manila’s most beautiful.
    Her partner’s (TBC) unlimited resources allow her to live the life that most of her colleagues and “fans” aspire. Following this Paris Hilton way, she is succeeding and getting all the publicity resulting to more interviews, pictorials and endorsements.

    If she follows the way of the true heiresses, where will she wear her branded and imported stuff? Who will be her awed audience? Definitely not Manila’s elite…

    And then there is her nemesis (DZ-L). Has she been accepted already? Other Lady (GB) claims that she was dropped by the likes of her not-quite-sisters-in-law.

    Anyway, I wonder how much TBC will inherit from the Dowager? Surely the Dowager knows that Other Lady (and her daughter) will be the beneficiary. Oh well, maybe she has accepted this already.

    Oh well, Merry Christmas!!!


  15. December 25, 2006 at 4:48 am


    The British Royal Family thought this of Bessie Wallis Montague Warfield Spencer Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor: “We may defer, but We do not accept.”

    Toto Gonzalez

  16. n.o.lopez said,

    December 24, 2006 at 10:13 pm

    oh so delicious!

    this “other lady,” if indeed she was, just proves that money cannot buy nor change one’s behaviour…in short, money cannot buy class. i could just imagine what’s going on in t*nyboy’s mind, i mean have you seen her cheap, tacky interviews (with the most annoying of them all, moreover super-ugly b*y *bunda), just makes my toe cringe and spine shiver! she now is attached (will never belong) to the fabled ongs*ako-c*juangco family. i believe she’s very much ill-advised as she still craves for showbiz attention. Her Grace in her many, many years as a society figure will never be caught dead giving interviews (she will never even speak to!) to the likes of *bunda (nothing against him, he’s just bloody annoying).

    i think her blood will always crave for showbiz attention. yes, i do agree she’s lovely (not my taste though), and hasn’t been deserted after 12 years. i think she should try more to be accepted; if her main aim is to be the laughing stock of manila’s elite, she is succeeding admirably!

    and what is this that her daughter just speaks french and english, and her immersion to buying artwork and jewellery… oh how pathetic. does one need to blurt that out!

    yes, the real gr*tchen c*juangco should have a quiet word and lecture the other one about one thing : self-effacement.

    it would be a totally different matter if her roots were one as a theatre actress or even a film actress with genuine talent. but no, remember, this was a tacky tv show host, and the top actress of the se*ko films… labelled by some as a production, and a penitentiary by the others.

    the upper-class never have catfights, usually their bitchy behaviour is one laced with wit and light-fun… sending gruesome text messages is just plain dreadful behaviour…

    long live the dowager empress!!!

    n o lopez

  17. December 22, 2006 at 3:08 pm

    cara y cruz:

    He’ll be OK. Very OK.

    Toto Gonzalez

  18. December 22, 2006 at 3:07 pm



    Toto Gonzalez

  19. cara y cruz said,

    December 22, 2006 at 5:09 am


    LOL! It has and will always be this way!!! It’s just sad to see how the misadventures have overtaken this scion.

  20. x said,

    December 22, 2006 at 2:00 am

    I don’t know about the London property of the Flo*rendos. I know they still keep their Kensington Heights abode just a stone’s throw away from the old M*rcos house in the same neighborhood.

    Now the Flo*rendos are landed and rich but I still maintain that the R*mon C*juangco branch are still far more moneyed than the heirs of Dona N*na Flo*rendo. Now if you count the combined wealth of the Flo*rendos, the L*gdameos and even the L*renzos who are married in some way or another then I’m sure the L*gdameo fortune would be more. But I’d consider the heirs. M*ldy has less relatives than Dona N*na. So bigger pie pieces in the end.

    And yes. It is true. Apo Lakay’s estate is immense though hidden from public view. The 13.2 B account discovered by this Pimentel senator a long time ago is but a small fraction. Did he think the former Presidential family would put all of their deposits in one account?! Hah!

    That is the craziest misconception of all.

    Toto. One can look into the Hong Kong and Singapore wires going into and out of the major Philippine banks ever since 1991 or 1992 when most of the M*rcoses were allowed to go home. Especially Metrobank. Most of those wires end up in conduits for the benefit of the M*rcoses. Those wires alone can eclipse the monies trading in the Philippine Stock Exchange at any given day.

    Remember the Philippine Bank Secrecy Law? We have it and this is the primary reason why most M*rcos cronies, although sedate in business dealings in Manila, can live a high life. All they have to do is wire some funds from overseas.

  21. December 20, 2006 at 9:20 pm

    cara y cruz:

    It is said that “Outsiders make the best disciples.”

    Regarding the young scion and his misadventure, I told you that powerful Manila would close ranks. It’s just the way it is… delightful, isn’t it???

    Toto Gonzalez

  22. cara y cruz said,

    December 20, 2006 at 7:54 pm

    tsk! i just can’t bear to watch people who love to pretend that they are used to the ways of the rich… no, make that OLD RICH! no biggie if you are nouveau, climbing, clawing, or biting your way up. just dont pretend that you aren’t when that is exactly what you are doing.

    Toto: Btw, talagang they closed ranks huh. It’s been days but quiet lang.

  23. December 20, 2006 at 9:51 am

    cara y cruz:

    I remember that incident from some years ago. It actually caused quite a stir among the grande dames of the Old Guard. They were scandalized because they knew that the favorite granddaughter was very rich and of impeccable lineage on her maternal side even without her forthcoming C*juangco inheritance. I can still hear in my mind the derisive comments about The Other Lady uttered in flawless Spanish and in Assumption Convent English.

    At least The Other Lady has her own house now…

    Toto Gonzalez

  24. cara y cruz said,

    December 19, 2006 at 9:01 pm

    taitai: I’m sure Gr*tchen won’t be able to spot a real priceless piece of jewelry even if it is staring right at her. Sus, the regular collections of these jewelry houses don’t fetch high prices at auction anyway. Also, she won’t get a dime from the Dowager unless she makes peace with the Dowager’s favorite granddaughter. Remember the time when she allegedly attempted to throw out the granddaughter from the granddaughter’s own home.

  25. taitai said,

    December 16, 2006 at 10:41 am


    I don’t see any value of buying pieces from the normal collections. I feel that people who buy those are more after the name (Bulgari, Cartier, Van Cleef, etc) than the quality of the stones.

    Those from the High Jewellery collections are those that have “investment” value and fetch top dollars at auctions.


  26. taitai said,

    December 16, 2006 at 10:13 am


    By all means, please use THAT as the title to a post! Your blog is so much fun and it is an honor to be of any help =p


  27. December 15, 2006 at 3:42 pm


    Would you mind if I titled a post “The War of the Microwave Oven”??? Credit for the title goes to “Taitai” of course.

    Toto Gonzalez

  28. December 15, 2006 at 3:39 pm


    You’re too witty!!! I was absolutely convulsed with laughter [ and still am 24 hours later!!! ] about “The War of the Microwave Oven”!!! Not even “s**zyhopper” was that funny!!! Bwahahahahah!!! *falls off chair*

    “The War of the Microwave Oven”!!!

    “The War of the Microwave Oven”!!!

    “The War of the Microwave Oven”!!!

    Can you just imagine the “Manila Society” magazines “The Philippine T*tler,” “L*festyle Asia,” and “M*tro S*ciety” all with their own versions of “THE SPECIAL ‘WAR OF THE MICROWAVE OVEN’ LUXURY ISSUE”??? Bwahahahahah!!! 😛 😛 😛

    I’m sure there’s one language in the world that her daughter cannot speak: “Baklish”!!!

    I have a great friend, a formidable grande dame in her 80s — the widow of a legendary technocrat — who has been buying major pieces of jewelry from Bulgari [ and from Buccellati, Cartier, Van Cleef, Winston, et. al.. ] since the late 1950s. I can tell you that they are truly a world apart from what we’re seeing now.

    The fantastically rich “Eminence Gris” is a very generous person to those loyal to him [ like all the taipans ]. Some beneficiaries of his largesse during Christmas [ and all year round, actually ] can spend an entire afternoon in the posh boutiques of G4 [ and some in the MB and BMW showrooms ] and emerge very, very, very happy…!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  29. taitai said,

    December 14, 2006 at 5:36 pm


    S**zy is S**zy and Toto is Toto! :p Your blog is as fun and as interesting as the real s**zy’s!

    Anyway, did you see in the new angelic s**zyhopper’s site the photo of Madame *melda (with *mee) in a red gown and fabulous rubies??

    Anyway, aside from S**zy, I also love that K*tty G* and her 2 books. I hope she comes up with a 3rd book and I would guess that there would be a mention (at the very least) of the “War of the Microwave Oven” hahaha!

    While I believe that the C*juangcos are more wealthy than the Flo*rendos and the L*gdameos, I agree with you that it is definitely not a family on its way down.

    How/Where/Why did La Gr*ta get this thought? I wonder how the Flo*rendo-L*gdameo clan is reacting to this allegation? I also wonder what reactions The Dowager and T*nyboy have on this issue?

    I was also told that the estimate for The Fortune is US$500 million. But I am not sure if this still includes the Christmas bonuses (P1 Billion / kid) The Dowager gave to each of her children some years ago.

    You’re right, if The Imminent happens (in a few years time) and The Fortune is divided, it will indeed lose its “critical mass.” The more interesting questions are: How will IT be divided? Who gets how much?

    T*ny C. is a very competent businessman. I’m sure that even without his inheritance, he will be able to provide well for La Gr*ta and D*minique. Nonetheless, Other Lady should stop flaunting and be a lot more discreet.

    Other Lady reportedly had 3 bodyguards and a “yaya” while shopping in Orchard Road in Singapore. Was she afraid of being mobbed or kidnapped there?! hehehe.

    She also said on National TV that her daughter (D*minique) ONLY speaks French and English and does not know how to speak Filipino. REALLY?!

    While she buys Bulgari jewels, those are not pieces from the Magnificent Jewels (or High Jewellery) Collection.

    By the way, you should see “Eminence Gris” (Oct. 25 post) shop in Rustan’s! The salespeople, security guards, et. al. really love him because he gives out money!


  30. December 14, 2006 at 1:25 pm


    There’s a “New Angelic S**zyhopper” but it just doesn’t sound like her anymore…!!! Huhuhu…

    And to answer my friend Cecile Zamora’s query: No, I am certainly not “s**zyhopper”!!! What on earth made her think of that???!!! *laughs*

    Toto Gonzalez

  31. Alicia Perez said,

    December 14, 2006 at 1:16 pm


    It cannot be said that the Cojuangco-Ongsiako are more affluent than the Lagdameo-Floirendo. The Floirendo have a vast empire in Davao and their splendid way of life there and in the United States [ New York ] and Europe [ London ] could put the lifestyles of the richest taipans to shame.

    I only thought of the Php 13 B / USD $ 271 million as the core of the Ramon Cojuangco fortune. As you say, there are other considerable holdings…

    I did ask some highly-placed friends in international banking circles about the fortune and they estimated its full amount at around USD $ 500 million. It is almost in the league of Henry Sy Sr., Lucio “El Capitan” Tan, Jaime Zobel, and Eduardo “The Boss” Cojuangco Jr. who are in the USD $ 1 billion range. And not to be outdone — by a far shot — is the late “Apo Lakay” with an estimated USD $ 35 billion. *lolsz!*

    I’m not sure about the art and the antiques in the collection of the dowager empress… The sad truth is that — if she purchased them during the Marcos heyday which was also the heyday of sycophants, pretenders, amateurs, dilettantes, swindlers, and expert forgers — those are probably fakes or second- and third-rate originals…

    “The other lady,” in her bid for social legitimacy, has also immersed herself in art and antiques. But as soon as she started, the vampires of the Manila art and antique world descended on her like vultures to carrion. She was about to extravagantly purchase millions worth of splendid “antique furniture” for that sought-after “de buena familia” effect when arguments about authenticity erupted between connoisseur friends and dealer acquaintances. It was a “baptism of fire” into that rarefied world.

    Yes, the dowager empress has a considerable jewelry collection, but of course you know that jewelry is no longer an important component in one’s financial portfolio these days…

    Certainly one of the most controversial points is the true ownership of “the shares.” Months after the 1986 EDSA revolution, I was at a dinner with senior Marcos advisers and bankers who vehemently swore that “the shares” were indeed owned by “Apo Lakay” himself. Now, it could be said that “Apo Lakay” could have purchased “the shares” with “ill-gotten wealth,” but the fact remains that those were actually his. I’m sure your Lolo Nemesio knew something about those…

    Yes, “the other lady” has yet to learn the value of understatement and discretion.

    Aw, c’mon!!! Didn’t you see him on ANC the Filipino channel??? He was all over the news!!!

    Alicia Perez

  32. taitai said,

    December 14, 2006 at 10:46 am


    I LOVE s**zyhopper (the original one!)! I heard she’s making a comeback. I hope it’s soon.


  33. xxxx said,

    December 14, 2006 at 2:39 am

    It is true that the L*gdameos are no match to the R*mon C*juangcos. I mean, the 13 B is a very meager estimate. You forgot their deposits in Hong Kong and San Francisco. That counts for at least 26 B, plus of course the antiquities and jewelry collection of *melda C..

    It’s a pity T*nyboy’s Gr*tchen is very blatant on the cat fights that happen daily within Makati alone. The more she talks, the less inheritance D*minique might receive.

    Toto my Cabalen, I am in a quandary. Who is this 4th generation heir you speak of? A Y*chengco boy? or More clues… do give clues. And do hurry. I’m excited.

  34. Alicia Perez said,

    December 13, 2006 at 3:35 pm


    I was just told at a dinner party this evening that there was yet another incendiary line during that [ text ] altercation. After “the married one” declared: “At least, I’m married, unlike you!!!” “The other lady” retorted: “You may be married… but you’re married to a family that’s on its way down!!!”

    The L*gdameo-Flo*rendo??? No way!!! Not in a million years!!!

    Whoa. But what does she think of the imminent — the inevitable passing of the grand doyenne, the dowager empress herself — and its certain financial consequences??? The fortune will be divided and may lose its “critical mass.” It should be remembered that the touted Php 13 B, at Php 48.00 = USD $ 1.00, is equivalent to USD $ 271 M and that is no longer very big by the new international standards of wealth. Ask the Binondo central bank.

    It was also related that his Cojuangco first cousins were shopping at “Rustan’s” Makati when the attending salesgirls disappeared one by one to a great commotion in another section of the floor. They asked one salesgirl what was happening and they were told that “Mrs. Gr*tchen Cojuangco is here.” Thinking, rightly, that it was their Tita Gr*tchen Oppen-Cojuangco, THE Mrs. Eduardo Murphy Cojuangco Jr., the aristocratic and dignified wife of their all-powerful Tito D*nding, they proceeded to that section of the floor to greet the venerable lady. They were flustered to see “the other lady” demanding: “Yaya!!! Where’s my bag???” and “Yaya!!! Where’s my wallet???” amid a dozen maids and a battalion of bodyguards. And to think that the Cojuangco-Uychuico branch of the affluent Cojuangco clan is so understated, even self-effacing…

    It was also related over the dinner table that she had been sent an invitation to a jewelry show by a European jewelry house. Word was sent that she would not attend because “all the guests are of the type who only look but do not buy!!!” She asserted that she was the type who bought their jewelry even when there was no show!!!


    I really am very impressed with “the other lady.”

    Alicia Perez

  35. December 13, 2006 at 4:58 am


    No problem!!! It’s so much fun anyway!!!

    Perhaps we should gather enough material and devote an entire post to them. We just might outdo the first incarnation of “s**zyhopper”!!! 😛 😛 😛

    It’s always great to have you here!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Toto Gonzalez

  36. taitai said,

    December 13, 2006 at 2:32 am


    Forgive me for starting the comment on Gr*tchen B*rretto and D*wn Z*lueta-L*gdameo’s war.

    I found it interesting that they were bitching over such petty things as clothes, shoes and a microwave oven!!!


  37. December 12, 2006 at 3:17 pm

    I wonder how we arrived at this train of thought. In the post, I was talking about a young man, the fourth generation heir of a vast business empire, and the big trouble — ballooning into something political — he got into.

    Nevertheless, The War of the W*nnabes a.k.a. The Battle of the B*tches is vicious fun anyway… 😛 😛 😛

  38. December 12, 2006 at 3:14 pm


    I heard about that incident from highly-placed friends in advertising and show business. The many bodyguards, maids, and assistants, the gowns, the shoes, even the microwave… Perhaps that is really her style.

    Didn’t She say those words some time ago? Did She say them again?

    Oh, it’s much better than a “telenovela.” It’s for real, after all…

    I know that they [ the not quite “in-laws” ] are unhappy about all of these embarrassing — and worse, publicized — incidents.

    I do not want to think of what *melda Ongs*ako C*juangco and L*nda Flo*rendo L*gdameo say to each other…

    Toto Gonzalez

  39. taitai said,

    December 12, 2006 at 4:03 am


    Apparently, P*ntene forced the two ladies to make peace – at least for good publicity’s sake. The truth is, according to sources, the war has worsened.

    There are talks that D*wn uttered THE words that made La Gr*ta furious:
    “But I am married!”

    Very telenovela, noh?!

    Oh well, I wonder how La Gr*ta’s “in-laws” are reacting now, especially after she publicly slammed them (Mrs. M*ldy and L*zette B*nzon-C*juangco) on an interview that came out of the Inq*irer. (Although she is now civil with M*ldy C.)

    On the other hand, it seems that the L*gdameos have embraced D*wn as their own – or have they?


  40. December 11, 2006 at 9:41 am

    Cousin Paz:

    I’m sure it has all been ironed out by now. Could there be any other way??? You know how it is…

    Toto Gonzalez

  41. cousin paz said,

    December 11, 2006 at 7:39 am

    Hi Toto,

    Can’t wait to hear your story this Wednesday night. I have my sources too.

    Cousin Paz

  42. December 10, 2006 at 2:12 pm


    I am reminded of a line from Dominick Dunne’s “The Two Mrs. Grenvilles”:

    Alice Grenville to Ann Arden: “Understatement is a Virtue… that can hide many things.”

    Toto Gonzalez

  43. December 10, 2006 at 10:55 am


    Oh dear, if I could just transcribe the conversations at recent dinner parties, the barrage of bemused, bothered, bewildered, and blatantly bitchy comments made by expensively educated individuals, made over French foie gras and Chateau d’Yquem…

    I’m sure you hear a lot too.

    Toto Gonzalez

  44. taitai said,

    December 10, 2006 at 10:25 am

    Gr*tchen B*rretto and D*wn Z*lueta-L*gdameo are having a very public word war.

    I wonder how the C*juangcos and the L*gdameos are reacting.


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