Comedy Relief: “Coming out” party

Frugal, old Mr. Wang finally passed away.  As expected, he left behind a very considerable fortune.  The bulk went to his eldest son, but all his children were given a sizeable inheritance which would allow them to live very, very, very well for the rest of their days…

Adi, the youngest son, was finally liberated.  For so long, he had yearned to be a very stylish Chinoy.  For so long, he endured social humiliation, not only by his fellow Chinoys but even by Filipinos [ horrors! ].  He was sick and tired of being “baduy.”  He could now throw his export overrun clothes and local shoes; He could now buy all those expensive Italian clothes and shoes which his friends wore and which he had always wanted, and by the truckloads if necessary.  He no longer had to go to the old family barber on Echague; he could now afford that expensive salon at Rockwell and all its treatments every day if necessary.  He wanted to go to Vicki Belo; he wanted to look like a Spanish “mestizo.”  He could now get rid of the stainless steel “owner” jeep and the old Toyota “Tamaraw” that his old and parsimonious father had assigned him; he could now buy all the expensive vehicles — Expeditions, Cherokees, BMWs, Mercedes Benzes, even Jaguars — that his Chinoy friends were using.  He could now leave the dreary family co-op building and warehouse in Quiapo; he could now construct that dream house — in fact many dream houses — in those posh villages he had always dreamed of.  He could finally begin to live!!!

You see, Adi, unfortunately enough, was gay.  That’s why he had all those illusions of a stylish life.  But he couldn’t come out openly about it because he was Chinese, Chinese-Filipino, Chinoy, or whathaveyou.  He would be cursed by his family, especially by old Mr. Wang.  His very conservative father would have salted him and made him into “kiamoy.”

So it all happened, as there was all that money, millions and millions and millions of it anyway.  The transformation was nothing short of instantaneous.  All of a sudden, Adi Wang was a socialite.  He was clad in the latest clothes and shod in the latest shoes.  He had a new style of hair and practically a new face.  Adi also learned how to keep quiet most of the time, since he realized that his heavily-accented Quiapo English was just not “sosyal.”  He vowed to himself that he would take lessons to improve his speech.  He was driven in all the latest, most expensive vehicles by the handsomest drivers; he was the darling of the car salesmen as he always paid in cash.  And his new house — nay, palace — in the posh village was finished in a record 11 months by construction workmen toiling 24 hours a day [ the village association turned the other cheek when it was given a hefty “donation” ].  By the 12th month, which was December and just in time for his 40th birthday, Adi was ready to give his first party for his new “high society” friends.

The new residence of Adi Wang was indeed a sight:  Spread over 5,000 sq. m. was a sprawling contemporary villa with interior courtyards and gardens.  One entered a spectacular foyer with wall-to-wall aquariums; a living room with large and expensive artworks that Adi did not understand [ he initially thought that BenCab was a taxi company; he was endlessly irritated that he could not bargain down the prices of those Ang Kiukok and Lao Lian Ben, reasoning that they were fellow Chinese after all ] along with contemporary Italian leather furniture that he found too plain for its price; a long dining room with a dining table that was sold to him by his interior designer for Php 1,000,000.00/xx just because it once belonged to a handsome movie star whom Adi still drooled over; a library that had no books but had the biggest plasma TV and the latest sound system [ but he did have magazines, gay Filipino ones like “Valentino” and “Cover Boy,” stored in an expensive “kamagong” [ Philippine ebony ] “aparador” [ armoire ] from Osmundo Esguerra ]; separate hotel-style guest bathrooms which he was proud of [ he shuddered when he remembered his old father’s peeled enamel chamberpot ]; the master bedroom suite with walk through closets and an immense bathroom;  the other seven bedroom suites, each dedicated to the seven dream men of Adi’s life [ whom he could now buy at whatever price ]; a show gourmet kitchen ala Martha Stewart; a working kitchen entirely in stainless steel; and a pantry the size of a 7-11.  A walkway connected the main house to the staff quarters and to the 12 car garage, which had been deliberately made to be a showroom, California-style, to attract Adi’s boys.   Another walkway connected the main house to a commodious guesthouse.  There was a naturalistic swimming pool tucked discreetly behind palms and hedges in one corner of the vast garden with a pavilion complete with a bar, gourmet kitchen, changing rooms and bathrooms, and a game room with a billiard table, pinball machines, etc..  Indeed, Adi Wang had it all.  Finally.

Actually, Adi was mad with himself because he completely forgot to tell his architect that he also wanted a disco and KTV lounge in his house.  He was too occupied with reining in his extravagant interior designer.  How could he fantasize being Donna Summer with Afro hair and peasant dress if there was no disco and no KTV lounge???  His architect assured him that “discos” were no longer fashionable and KTV lounges “commercial,” that “clubs” were the “in thing.”  Adi didn’t understand because “Embassy” at The Fort was a “club” but people were dancing, so wasn’t “Embassy” a “disco” too???

Adi Wang was determined to throw his best party ever… because it was actually the first party he would ever throw in his lifetime.  There was no budget for this first foray into “high society.”  He tasked his interior designer to coordinate the whole affair.  He realized that he could no longer hire his deceased father’s equally old friend in Binondo to cater.  He was quite sure that the food, however delicious, with its dated presentation and occasionally chipped platters, would not please his newfound friends.  He decided that the caterer of the moment in Makati circles must be hired for the party.  Adi was told by his interior designer that a full service bar was absolutely necessary, so he contacted his childhood friend, an established importer, to send over all kinds of liquor.  Adi’s personal favorite bubbly was “‘Andre’ Cold Duck,” not because of the taste, but because it was pink; he ordered several boxes.  He was told by his shocked interior designer that pink champagne was terribly unchic and was an absolute no-no-no in stylish circles, but Adi was unconvinced.  He also ordered boxes of “Dom Perignon” and “Cristal Roederer,” but only because he was told by his interior designer.  Adi’s favorite wine was “Asti Spumanti,” he thought it was the height of elegance.  Besides, it was yummy because it was sweet.  No, no, no Tsingtao beer, he thought.  He did not want anything Chinese around.  But he ordered several boxes of uberexpensive “Louis XIII de Remy Martin” [ “Louis Treize” ] Grande Champagne Cognac [ sold in a “Cristal Baccarat” decanter; +- Php 62,175.00/xx each ] anyway because that was what his rich childhood friends liked to drink.  With ice.

…………

Everything was just fabulous, with all of Adi’s guests having a lot of fun — what with all the fabulous free food and the fabulous free booze and the fabulously freespending host who spent Php millions to entertain all his fabulously freeloading friends…

When all of a sudden, Adi’s eldest brother appeared.  Drunk, very drunk.  He had obviously come from his favorite KTV bar…

“Ano ito???”  he demanded.

“Ay, birthday ko, salamat dumating ka…”  explained Adi nicely. genuinely thrilled that his roguish eldest brother, whom he actually respected, had honored him by attending his birthday party, although he was mortified that the latter reeked of liquor and GROs, albeit in Giorgio Armani Black Label…

Eldest brother approached Adi and hit him on the face with his fist, sending poor Adi flying and crashing on to one round dinner table painstakingly decorated with expensive American cymbidium orchids, Dutch tulips, and Colombian roses and set with gorgeous French china, crystal, and silver…

There was collective shock and horror among the guests, but none of them could do anything…

“Ay!  Huwag!  Huwag!”  Adi cried out to his eldest brother.

But very drunk eldest brother couldn’t be stopped…

“Di yah sha pai!!!”  cussed and hissed eldest brother.  He pulled Adi towards him and slapped him on the face… hard.

“Ah hia sho ti!!!”  he continued.

“Huwag!!!”  Adi wailed, imploring his brother to stop.

“Piao si!”  cussed his brother.

“Chi bai bin!”  he concluded.

And then eldest brother just walked away, leaving Adi sobbing pitifully.  Everyone else was horrified, but none of them wanted to leave, what with all the fabulous free food and the fabulous free booze and the fabulously freespending host who spent Php millions to entertain his fabulously freeloading friends…

Poor, poor Adi Wang!!!   :(   :(  😦

…………

After that terrible humiliation, Adi retreated inside the house to his masters’ bedroom suite.  The guests thought that their pitiful friend must have been so humiliated by his eldest brother that he decided to end the party.  But the staff, aware of their master’s plans, confidently assured them that “the party had just begun!!!”

Undaunted trooper that he was, Adi Wang continued with the show…

The lights dimmed.  The fog machines started.  The band started playing a soft “samba” beat that got louder and louder.  Twenty four muscled and handsome boys in “mardi gras” costume gradually filled the stage, gyrating to the “samba” [ in a Latin, not a macho dancer, kind of way ].  And as the lights brightened, the boys parted, and there was Adi Wang…  dressed as — who else??? — Carmen Miranda!!!

Adi was wearing a fantastic headdress of tropical fruits and birds that could have put Frida Kahlo’s confections and Marie Antoinette’s legendary coiffeurs to shame!!!

And as the beat got louder, everyone recognized the “samba” to be Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana”…

Adi’s Chinese friends, however affluent and cosmopolitan, were frankly shocked and their jaws dropped to the expensive blue grass of the lawn…

The dancers and Adi Wang danced a “samba” that became a “can-can” that became a “samba cum can-can”…

“Her name was Lola / She was a showgirl / with yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down right there / She would “merengue” / and do the “chacha” / and while she tried to be a star Tony always tended bar across the crowded floor / They worked from eight ’til four / They were young and they had each other / who could ask for more? / At the “Copa” / “Copacabana” / The hottest bar north of Havana / Here / At the “Copa” /”

The guests cheered and hooted for their friend…!!!

“At the “Copa” / “Copacabana” / Music and fashion were always the fashion at the “Copa”…”

“His name was Rico / He wore a diamond / He was escorted to his chair / he saw Lola dancing there  /  And when she finished he called her over / But Rico went a bit too far / Tony sailed across the bar and then the punches flew / and chairs were smashed in two / There was blood and a single gunshot but just who shot who / at the “Copa” / “Copacabana” / The hottest bar north of Havana / ”

She lost her lover / “Copa” / “Copacabana” / ”

“Her name is Lola / She was a showgirl / But that was thirty years ago when they used to have a show / Now it’s a disco / but not for Lola / Still in the dress she used to wear / faded feathers in her hair / she sits there so refined /  and drinks herself half blind / She lost her youth and she lost her Tony and she lost her mind / At the “Copa” / “Copacabana” / The hottest bar north of Havana / Here / At the Copa / Copacabana / Music and fashion were always the fashion at the Copa ”

“Don’t fall in love…”

Indeed, Barry Manilow’s song “Copacabana” is turning out to be the metaphor of Adi Wang’s life…

21 Comments

  1. HRH said,

    March 7, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Interesting… speaking of the late F*rnando “Junji*” L*pez Jr., he was different from Adi, far, far different.

    I can vividly recall one time in Iloilo, his long white limousine ( the longest in the country ) parked at the facade of a mall, then Junji* in his grand fashion alighted from the car wearing a long floor-length fur coat and big dark glasses. That was in the summer, by the way.

    He was so fond of cockfighting that when he brought that limousine from a US trip the gates of the Iloilo Coliseum had to be reconstructed in order to accommodate his fabulous car.

    He was a very generous person and sometimes people tended to abuse him for that. But once one got into his nerves, especially the mistake of staring at him one could get a loud slap on the face. That was then followed by an “alalay” giving the offending party P 25,000 cash.

    He even had his maid’s nose fixed because he found the poor “muchacha’s” flat nose too annoying to look at.

    A journalist friend once asked him how much he earned each month. He answered in a soft spoken Ilonggo accent: “Day, naga ulan lang ang kwarta para sa akun.” How’s that?

    But his younger, equally fabulous brother Em*anuel “Ni*ky” L*pez is a diva too: his place and vehicle are so distinct that you can immediately spot them. There, in front of the Old Colonial Mansion of the clan, stands the mini château of Ni*ky, painted in pink, it has a little tower resembling old castles in Europe in pink too, its glass windows are covered by flower-printed curtains. He does not have a limo like his elder brother but he has a simple pick-up type vehicle… of course in flashy pink too.

  2. cara y cruz said,

    May 27, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    BWAHAHAHA!

  3. May 18, 2007 at 10:03 am

    Anton:

    You all know each other in the Chinese-Filipino community. 🙂

    The “Wangs” are publicly not part of the taipan league. But they are very, very, very rich. Enough to do all the shenanigans they can think of. The family made its initial fortune in the food manufacturing business. That’s all I can say.

    Toto Gonzalez

  4. Anton Sy said,

    May 16, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    Sino kaya ito T? I am not part of the social set kasi? Would I know the family at least by reputation?

  5. April 1, 2007 at 7:57 am

    cara y cruz:

    Uhm… They’re really more “industrious” than “industrialist.”

    Frightfully rich, nonetheless.

    Toto Gonzalez

  6. cara y cruz said,

    March 31, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    toto:

    OMG! Adi comes from a family of very conservative Chinese industrialists, right?

  7. March 28, 2007 at 3:17 pm

    May:

    Thank you.

    “Adi Wang” is very real. And He’s young: only in his 40s. Yes, there are more of his merry misadventures coming our way. Thanks to His Money, he has a lot of “someones”… “someone here,” “someone there,” “someone everywhere”!!! *lolsz!*

    As a matter of fact, He’s asking me and some other friends out to dinner somewhere at “Serendra” on Saturday night. Godknows what he’s up to again… 😛 😛 😛

    Toto Gonzalez

  8. March 28, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    Vic:

    *lolsz!*

    I hope to finish this post soon, because my friend “Adi Wang’s” misadventures are just getting better and better!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  9. May C. Marquez said,

    March 28, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Great story, indeed! parang fiction. Is he still alive? I enjoyed reading his story, sana me kasunod at sana happy ending. He needs someone na magbibigay sa kanya ng spiritual and moral guidance at hindi kaplastikang mundo…

  10. Vic Velasquez said,

    March 28, 2007 at 9:28 am

    True humor. Perfect characterization. You see it here in old Hong Kong too – and how !

  11. March 8, 2007 at 11:12 am

    Alex:

    Great to see you here!!!

    Of course you know Him!!! *lolsz!*

    Toto Gonzalez

  12. Alex Castro said,

    March 8, 2007 at 12:21 am

    Balamu yata balu ke ini (ok, zip my lips!)

  13. violet said,

    February 9, 2007 at 4:16 am

    Wish we could read more about ‘Adi Wang’. I love this ‘character’.

  14. February 5, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    Adjie:

    *lolsz!*

    They are a new, uberdelightful breed, I assure you.

    I adore Adi Wang. He is Everything I have ever wanted to be… and More!!! *lolsz!*

    Toto Gonzalez

  15. Adrian Lizares said,

    February 5, 2007 at 8:45 am

    uhm, am not in Manila but am very curious about this strange breed the Manilenos, Toto, email me…. AVEC LE NOM de cette folle???

    adjie

  16. cara y cruz said,

    February 1, 2007 at 8:29 am

    toto:

    how young is this Adi Wang? Lately, there have been too many of them coming out in the same manner. LOL

  17. Sore Throat said,

    January 21, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    Toto,

    Replied to your email.

    S.T.

  18. January 20, 2007 at 4:43 am

    hbxgfhbxgfhbxdfg:

    Oh, But He had inherent style, unlike my friend Adi Wang who has to buy it left and right… *lolsz!*

    Toto Gonzalez

  19. January 20, 2007 at 4:04 am

    I like this story a lot. Reminds me of F*rnando L*pez Jr.

  20. January 16, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    cara y cruz:

    For editing. It wasn’t scandalous enough. *lolsz!*

    Toto Gonzalez

  21. cara y cruz said,

    January 16, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    toto:

    why did you remove your previous posting? email me


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