Food discrimination

31 May of every year is the feast day of “San Fernando El Rey” and it is the “fiesta” of San Fernando City, Pampanga.

One of the two best tables of San Fernando belongs to a gentleman born to several of the city’s patrician families.  The other best table belongs to the grande dame of the city’s uberrichest of the uberrich old families.  The gentleman’s and the grande dame’s tables are renowned even in Manila.

The gentleman’s aunt is currently Manila’s preeminent jeweler.  When it is the town “fiesta” and she is invited by her nephew, she deigns to descend on provincial San Fernando from her North Forbes Park residence.  The gentleman can invite his aunt because his sprawling residence, as elegant and as urbane as any in Forbes Park, and his splendid table can parallel her own.

And so during one memorable “fiesta” dinner, The gentleman seated his aunt in a secluded, elegant room with a round table along with several other prominent Manilans.  Because it was an out of town affair, she deemed to be casual with only a pair of large, natural Arabian pearl earrings and a 50 carat emerald cut platinum ring.  Nothing spectacular by her standards.

The food was served elegantly by the uniformed staff.  First came an assortment of starters.  Then soup.  Then the main dishes.  Everything was served on beautiful [ even spectacular ] antique English sterling silver dishes set on Belgian lace over large oval trays.  The gentleman, after all, had impeccable taste in everything.

All was well until the gentleman’s gay majordomo, in a gesture meant to charm the urbane and prominent city dwellers, laboriously brought in a Filipino style, immense wooden tray covered with banana leaves serving an assortment of freshly-grilled, first rate, choice seafood — lobsters, king crabs, large prawns, big “lapu-lapu” [ grouper ] fish — accompanied by various sauces of balsamic vinegar,  soy sauce, chili paste, shrimp paste, etc..

Preeminent jeweler’s eyes widened.  She turned pale with horror [ and embarrassment? ].  And she screamed:  “Aaayyy!!!  Ano iyan???!!!  Pagkain ng Mahirap!!!  Ayoko niyan!!!  Ilabas mo iyan!!!”  [ “Aaayyy!!!  What’s that???!!!  Food for The Poor!!!  I don’t like that!!!  Bring that out!!!” ]  She lifted her expensive, French antique ivory fan from her Hermes handbag and struck it repeatedly on the arm of the gay majordomo.

“Ay, sorry po!!!  Ilalabas ko na po!!!” [ “Ay, I’m sorry Ma’am!!!  I’m bringing it out already, Ma’am!!!” ]  wailed the gay majordomo, “Ilalabas ko na pooooo!!!” [ “I’m bringing it out already, Ma’am!!!” ]

“Ilabas mo iyan!!!  Ayokong makita iyan!!!” [ “Bring that out!!!  I don’t want to see that!!!” ] she insisted, all the while striking him with her exquisite fan.

She stood up and decisively pointed to the door with her expensive fan.  “Ilabas mo iyan!!!  Dalhin mo iyan sa asawa ko.  Taga-Leyte iyan, lahing mangingisda!!!  Pesante!!!  Gusto niya ng ganyang pagkaing mahirap!!!  Kumakain ng ganyan iyan!!!”  [ “Bring that out!!!  Bring it to my husband.  He’s from Leyte, he’s of fisherman stock!!!  A peasant!!!  He likes food for the poor like that!!!  He eats that sort of thing!!!” ]

The other guests exchanged knowing glances with coy smiles.  After all, she was a lady who did not mince words, not even with her great friend, the former First Lady.

I didn’t think that anybody in this present day and age could still speak like that.  Wow.   *impressed*

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56 Comments

  1. Ding Cervantes said,

    October 29, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Horrible. Reminds me of that columnist who got what she deserved after she soullessly wrote the unkindest words about Filipina domestics. Where’s the breeding there? I mean good breeding.

  2. September 18, 2008 at 4:17 am

    I have seen a lovely Gauguin and a happy and bright Klee in Imelda’s condo. Her very big Claudio Bravo is in her bedroom. She’s got them all.

  3. rgdgdfdfxdf said,

    October 3, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    I could never understand why “Garganta Inflamada” is so angry, so jealous, so abhorringly delusional.

    The nerve.

    Anyway, I heard Ch*y’s mother is bedridden, is it true?

  4. talagang tsismoso said,

    August 2, 2007 at 3:40 am

    i agree with you Garganta Inflamada 100%.

  5. Garganta Inflamada said,

    July 22, 2007 at 6:21 am

    talagang tsismoso:

    OK, I stand corrected, Details.

    In either case (and I am related to that snake), both agencies were made ‘money cows’ of the Marcoses.

  6. talagang tsismoso said,

    July 21, 2007 at 7:23 am

    r*man cruz was never the head of pnb; he was the head of gsis.

  7. Garganta Inflamada said,

    July 14, 2007 at 4:46 am

    If you looked closer, there’s really a lot more to it than met the eye. Those NYC real estate shenanigans played by IRM and cohorts only confirmed that she sincerely believed the Republic was her personal fiefdown and purse.

    1. They (Imelda and brother) engineered the move to the Schraffts Ice Ceam location — a prime, commercial Fifth Avenue location. Certainly that COST the struggling Republic MORE than the residential land on East 66th — all supposedly to give the Philippines a “higher” profile in the New York scene. But who’s counting a few hundred thousand dollars between crooks?

    2. To “offset” the more expensive Fifth Avenue purchase, sell the East 66th property. Who could be possible buyers? Why, the First Lady of the Martial Law Dictator, and her brother just happened to have the “For Sale” papers in front of them before the ink was even dry!!

    3. The price? Of course, one could dig up New York sales since those are a matter of public record (but I am not going to waste my time doing so) — but you can be sure, since the Sale was NEVER going to be an Open Sale, the price was agreeably set (after all, crony R*man Cruz was only head of PNB at the time), it was priced BELOW market. So not only did the Republic lose out in what could’ve been a potentially profitable deal if it had been declared an open, market sale, but the Republic actually lost money because it was a closed sale, with only one buyer considered.

    The only saving grace of the whole chapter would be in the crazy, raccoon-like mind of Imelda, she probably would’ve rationalized it with: “O, hindi bale kung lugi, sa atin-atin lang naman ito!” ( “Oh, never mind if there was a slight loss, it’s all from the same pot anyway.” ) Again, in her mind, mixing what’s yours (the country’s purse) is mine, but NOT the other way around!?!

    Are we sure she doesn’t have a tumor in that addled brain of hers?

    G.I.

  8. Garganta Inflamada said,

    July 10, 2007 at 12:24 am

    Talagang Tsismoso, well, yes, individually, the objets d’art may be authentic, of the first order, etc., etc., but really — a Third World dictator’s wife (whose legend is only a little more vulgar than the earlier dragon lady, Madame Nhu) — surrounding herself with Old European masters and whatever objets d’art were left over from the fall or late spring Sotheby’s / Christie’s sales? Huh? Would Brooke Astor surround herself with Manansalas? I don’t think so. I mean look at the seeming incongruity of it all.

    What the hell does having 17 Grandma Moses works hang in an Official Philippine guest palace signify other than a terribly twisted sense of ‘art’? Would the Thais adorn their official Guest Houses with Andy Warhols? I don’t think so.

    Also, let’s correct another thing. The apartment on East 66th St. in Manhattan isn’t (or wasn’t) really hers. Its acquisition was concocted so that the ever-avaricious First Lady at the time could gain a Manhattan pied-a-terre. ( As if the apartments at the Waldorf, the Carlyle, and the two Olympic Towers apartments weren’t enough? )

    The Philippine Consulate to NY and the Philippine Mission to the UN were very quietly esconced in that East 66th Street brownstone just off Fifth Avenue, pre-martial law years. And then come Martial Law, Imelda and K*koy decided they wanted their own Manhattan brownstone; so they engineered the acquisition of what was once the Schrafft’s Ice Cream storefront on Fifth Avenue/45th Street to become the new Philippine showcase, while with the help of those other immoral realtors, the Bernst*in brothers who later brokered the Crown Building purchase. The Philippine government purchased the new Fifth Avenue location while ‘selling’ the extremely favorable East 66th property to K*koy / Imelda at what must have been below-market prices.

    And of course, in connivance with this unholy trade was this other ass-licking, piddling, kunu Filipino New York architect **** ******* with that equally odious wife of his — I forget the bitch’s name now. The SOB got the jobs to design the new Philippine Center and Imelda’s new digs.

    I don’t know the status of the East 66th property now.

    G.I.

  9. talagang tsismoso said,

    July 1, 2007 at 3:31 am

    Garganta Inflamada said: “Of course, the Madam* was such a gullible client — as in all those supposed old masters paintings she had that other Imeldific toady, Gl*ceria Tant*co, buy for both the Madam*’s personal collection and those of the supposed Philippine museum. If she (IRM) got as bad advice as she did from GT’s choices (the art galleries on Madison Avenue, including Armand Hammer’s, were pretty much laughing behind their backs when the consummated a sale w/ Gl*ceria. They were able to fob off objets d’art that were gathering dust in their warehouses that none of their more knowledgeable American & European clients would touch, to these parvenu Filipina matrons (who only had cash but no knowledge of true art whatsover), then her jewelry, on closer inspection by the real experts, would also be 2nd or 3rd class.”

    check this website http://www.djl.net/jewels/ the jewlery here is part of the imelda marcos famed jewelry collection which includes 45 carats D-color flawless marquise cut diamond bracelet by bvlgari.

    i have seen some of the paintings that mrs. marcos has purchased abroad and i can say that they are truly world-class. what i have seen are a picasso, a sculpture by michelangelo, and a grandma moses; they are in her apartment in pacific plaza condominium on ayala avenue. some paintings that were sold by the philippine government are a raphael, a canaletto, a botticelli, a titian owned by england’s charles i. these paintings were part of the metropolitan museum of manila collection. the paintings in her new york apartment on east 66th manhattan included an el greco, a boucher that was in louis xv of france bedroom, and a zurbaran. these pieces was also sold by the philippine govermnent. what is left in government hands are 17 pieces of grandma moses paintings in the goldenberg mansion, the former guest house of the marcoses

  10. taitai said,

    May 9, 2007 at 8:16 am

    Update:

    The legendary Baroda Pearls sold for a record-breaking US$7.1 million to a private Asian buyer!

    Could the buyer be Im*ldific? 🙂

  11. Garganta Inflamada said,

    April 20, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    Anent Zippo’s #45 comment,

    even though I’ve never met her (LO) (nor have any great desire to), that’s the impression I get/got just looking at her countenance in the society rags. It’s this terribly arrogant, scary hauteur that all but bulldozes you with the message: “I’m somebody social … somebody to be reckoned with…” And it’s the same look with that other upstart IRM asslicker, Greasy T*ntoco — looks of supreme arrogance.

    Reminds me of when I worked at the ____ Section of the UN in the mid-80s. Our Dept processed (this was pre-PC days) the applications of the new or returning delegations of the various members nations when the General Assembly convened at the UN’s NYC headquarters each fall. So, applications with photos of the short-term diplomats and families, and anyone needing access to the UN grounds, were sent in to us. The ‘diplomats’ from the Russian/Soviet bloc countries all had this hardened, jowly look — both men and women — in their photos, as if to say, “We’re tough; you can’t guess what we feel or think through these serious facades.” At the same time, the underlying message after looking at all their photos, was: “Wow! These are really unhappy, joyless people!” So, that’s sort of the feeling I get from these 2 Manila society personages and their ilk.

    (BTW, amongst applications on file from the previous Session, were one *melda Rom*aldez Macros and one Ferd*nand Macros, Jr. At least they did not look as forbidding as the Soviet faces, but what lay behind those faces were another matter. Anyway…)

    Just some musings on a still chilly April day in the Bay Area.

    G.I.

  12. zippo said,

    April 18, 2007 at 11:25 am

    Both mam-ba-bagoong and jeweller L.O. are notorious for being bastos…..

  13. taitai said,

    April 12, 2007 at 5:45 am

    Was anybody able to verify the MIFF (1982) earrings?

  14. taitai said,

    April 9, 2007 at 11:22 am

    Indeed, the fabulous single strand pearl necklace that belonged to both Marie Antoinette and Barbara Hutton is more historic. But quality-wise, it is incomparable to the magnificent Baroda Pearl Necklace.

    Ah… the jewels of the Tsars! Check out THAT historic emerald necklace that now belongs to Liz Taylor (was also owned by Barbara Hutton at one point)
    http://www.royal-magazin.de/russia/maria-pawlowna-wladimir.htm

    MAGNIFICENT!!!

  15. taitai said,

    April 9, 2007 at 2:44 am

    Manila International Film Festival (1982)

    For this international event, it is said that the *meldific wore a magnificent pair of pear-shaped diamond earrings. This pair was to match a pendant that was reputed to have belonged to Liz Taylor (the Taylor-Burton diamond??). It was such a rare pair that one was bought from the Shahbanu of Iran and the other from the wife of a Swiss Industrialist.

    Oh my… I believe that this pair could be fabulous pair that Harry Winston had sold to Mrs. Eleanor Loder of Canada in 1963 and was auctioned in Switzerland in November 1981 with a final price of $7,300,000!!

    The first diamond (the Winston) was a 61.80ct D-Flawless. In 1959, HW has sold it to the King of Saudi Arabia, who returned it the following year saying: “I have 4 wives, and if I give one stone to one wife, my life won’t be worth a moment’s peace – unless you have three others like this.” bwahaha!!!

    The second diamond (the Louis XIV) reportedly belonged to Louis XIV of France. In 1958, Harry Winston bought it from the estate of Thelma Foy (daughter of the Chrysler Motor founder) and had it recut to a 58.60 cts D-Flawless.

    Such an exceptional pair. Truly magnificent. WOW!!!

    (I wonder if she still has them?) 🙂

  16. Garganta Inflamada said,

    April 8, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    Taitai,

    Re the Baroda necklace, you know with all the recent renewed interest in Madam* Meldie’s patron saint, Marie Antoinette, wouldn’t you say that the necklace in question which embarrased M.A. and Cardinal Richelieu to no end, is the most legendary and fabled necklace in history? Of course, it did nothing to protect that fragile Hapsburg-Bourbon neck.

    Also there was the legendary emerald necklace of Catherine the Great which was handed down to all the succeeding czarinas of the Romanov dynasty. And the now extinct royal house of Vietnam had this veddy, veddy special set of, I think, a rare orange pearls set. It got written up once in the now defunct Connoisseur magazine.

    G.I.

  17. April 7, 2007 at 10:02 am

    taitai:

    If Apo Lakay was still in power, I have no doubt that Our Queen would purchase the “Baroda Pearls” directly from the sellers at a good price.

    Toto Gonzalez

  18. April 7, 2007 at 10:00 am

    Garganta Inflamada:

    That’s a very good question!!!

    Perhaps The Key lay in the fact that the relationships of *melda Rom*aldez M*rcos, *rlinda M*randa Ol*dan, and Fe Sarm*ento Panl*lio from the very start were as Client and Jeweler rather than that of *melda Rom*aldez M*rcos and Mar*quit Javel*ana de Lop*z as Junior Politician’s Wife and Senior Politician’s Wife, or more specifically, Powerful Upstart Politician’s Wife and Powerful Established Politician’s Wife.

    In Fe Sarm*ento Panl*lio’s side, there was already a business relationship between *melda Rom*aldez M*rcos and Fe’s mother, the senior jeweler Ines Lug*e Sarm*ento. The then cashless *melda had met Ines Sarm*ento at the home of her rich uncle Speaker Dan*eling Rom*aldez. The then-impressive diamond engagement ring given by Ferd*nand M*rcos to *melda Rom*aldez was purchased from Ines Lug*e Sarm*ento [ in cold cash, what else 😛 ]. Luz Sarm*ento Panl*lio [ married to an older cousin of Fe’s husband ], Fe’s elder sister, vividly recalled that it was during a luncheon party in 195_ at their home “Rincon Peluz” in Santa Mesa Heights attended by Pacita G*eco Rom*aldez and by the then-unknown but remarkably beautiful *melda Rom*aldez that the Speaker Dan*eling Rom*aldez called requesting his wife to bring his niece immediately to the Senate. It was on that fateful afternoon that Ferd*nand Edr*lin M*rcos met *melda Tr*nidad Rom*aldez.

    Toto Gonzalez

  19. April 7, 2007 at 10:00 am

    Garganta Inflamada:

    According to unimpeachable sources, Madam* *melda Rom*aldez M*rcos at Mal*canang Pal*ce became a favorite “Guaranteed Sales” destination, along with Saudi Arabia, of the world’s leading jewelers from the early 1970s onwards. The major jewelers of Fifth Avenue, Bond Street, Place Vendome, and Antwerp all made representations to the Philip*ine F*rst L*dy at the Pr*sidential Pal*ce.

    As for “Mataray,” “Mamba-bagoong,” and “Magla-latik” [ NOT my terms, mind you!!! ], All I’m certain is that “Mataray” and “Mamba-bagoong” positively abhor each other, and the same goes for “Mamba-bagoong” and “Magla-latik.” Now I am not quite sure about the relations between the snobbish “Mataray” and the usually cordial “Magla-latik,” they are probably social friends on “beso-beso” terms at best, and condescending social acquaintances at the worst. *lolsz!*

    Toto Gonzalez

  20. taitai said,

    April 7, 2007 at 9:47 am

    The legendary Baroda Pearl Necklace (modified) is being auctioned by Christie’s New York (Magnificent Jewels – April 25, 2007)!!!

    *********
    Christie’s is offering two remaining, graduated strands from the most famous and sought-after pearl necklace in history. Comprising each strand are the most perfect and largest pearls selected from the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rows of the original seven-strand necklace. All sixty-eight radiating pearls, measuring from approximately 9.47 to 16.04 mm, are impeccably matched in color, luster, size and shape, and are joined by a stunning cushion-cut diamond clasp mounted by Cartier. Complementing this royal treasure are a pair of natural pearl and diamond ear pendants, a brooch, and a ring en suite. This supreme example of exceptional provenance, most likely never to occur again, offers collectors “the ideal pearls”, a belief first embraced by Indian Royalty centuries ago.

    *********

    http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lfsearch/LotDescription.aspx?intObjectId=4890918

  21. March 27, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    Tell me about fund-raising. Sigh! 😦

    I wonder if there has been anyone at my age who was hermano mayor in any town fiesta in the country. Now I feel old! Haha!

  22. March 25, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    Ivan:

    Of course I’ll be there to eat all that free food…!!! *lolsz!*

    I pity you. How many Php millions do you have to raise???

    Toto Gonzalez

  23. March 24, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    Toto,

    Hehe! The fiesta of San Fernando is on May 30. And the dinner you shared with us above was during the eve of the fiesta, May 29 (if I’m right about the gentleman’s identity). Hehe! Hope you could join us this year as I was selected by the Cathedral for the unenviable task of serving as hermano mayor this year. Lot’s of work to do… 😦

    Ivan

  24. Garganta Inflamada said,

    March 16, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    P.S. to your Ruby/Garnet/Te*et Pascual story: Buti na lang it did not become just another “Nagpapa-salamat po si ma’am” transaction. I wonder how many other times that occurred. And what precautionary steps the gem purveyors to the Visayan Tin Crown took to protect themselves from becoming another D*na J*cinto casualty?

    (On second thought, if it had happened to them at all — buti nga sa kanila. They deserved it. 🙂 🙂 ) As the saying goes:

    Fooled me once, shame on you.
    Fooled me twice, shame on me.

    Do we have an equivalent of that in Pinoy lore? Or are the Pinoys forever naive?

    Always wondering,
    G.I.

  25. Garganta Inflamada said,

    March 15, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    Toto,

    Re your hilarious anecdote above: how does LO? get these pieces of jewelry and then pawn them off to La Reina? I mean obviously ‘may patong’ if La Reina got them thru her personal alajera. Why could she not request a direct buy from the likes of VCA, Winston, Bulgari? Or the cost really didn’t matter — it was more catching the Madam* in the right mood?

    And what if the Madam* (I think this title fits her the most 🙂 ) did not buy it — other than the wives of the Brunei Sultan, who else could afford such baubles in her periphery of Southeast Asia? Or is this the same alajera who had the Saudi oil minister’s wife as another valued client?

    Of course, the Madam* was such a gullible client — as in all those supposed old masters paintings she had that other Imeldific toady, Gl*ceria Tant*co, buy for both the Madam*’s personal collection and those of the supposed Philippine museum. If she (IRM) got as bad advice as she did from GT’s choices (the art galleries on Madison Avenue, including Armand Hammer’s, were pretty much laughing behind their backs when the consummated a sale w/ Gl*ceria. They were able to fob off objects d’art that were gathering dust in their warehouses and none of their more knowledgeable American & European clients would touch, to these parvenu Filipina matrons who only had cash but no knowledge of true art whatsover), then her jewelry, on closer inspection by the real experts, would also be 2nd or 3rd class?

    The anecdote above just tells me how *predictable* talaga iyang mga Manila matrons. And I am surprised that these high-class pimp…oops, I meant alajeras, excuse me :-), like Fe and L*ding, never encountered moments of great bodily harm, or near-bodily harm in all their years of plying those BLOOD diamonds and gems!! (I mean iyong mga jewelry salesmen dito sa America have fallen victim to such well and dangerously executed thefts by known and highly organized Colombian jewelry thieves, that I’ve often wondered about these Manila alajeras.)

    (*Predictable* — and I know this from personal experience. A few years back when my parents were still mobile and more sprightly, we walked into one of those boutique art galleries in La Jolla (the exclusive enclave outside San DIego), just browsing around; not really to purchase anything. Anyway, the salesperson there (not a Filipina; I think she was French) after observing us for about 5 minutes or so, then asked quite off-handedly — you’re from Manila, arent you? Visto ka agad! 🙂 🙂 Obviously, she had lived and worked in Manila, and knew a Manila donya & family when she sniffed one. But I digress… 🙂 )

    So, to close: if LO and Te*et Pascual were not exactly friends, then in a case of ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ — then LO and the “magla-latik” are/were bosom buddettes, too? Bwaaaaaaaaaahhh!!

    G.I.

  26. cara y cruz said,

    March 12, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    taitai:

    you really love jewelry. the de Grisogono 25.06 ct is gorgeous!

  27. March 12, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    bwahahaha!!!! What a behavior : )

  28. taitai said,

    March 12, 2007 at 6:32 am

    6) de Grisogono Ring with 25.06ct Green Diamond surrounded by black diamonds ($7.3M)
    7) Van Cleef & Arpels Drape de Diamants ($2.5M) – not VulaCAn 🙂
    8) Neil Lane ring with 15ct D Cushion Shaped diamond ($1.5M)
    9) De Beers Kiss of the Rose Ring ($1.2 M)
    10) de Grisogono Ring with 83.39ct Black Diamond ($1.2M)

    For details and photos:
    http://www.forbes.com/2007/02/09/rare-expensive-diamonds-forbeslife-cx_hp_0209diamonds.html

  29. taitai said,

    March 12, 2007 at 6:25 am

    Now, back to the real VCAs 🙂

    Best Bling 2007 (by Forbes) – Prices are in USD

    1) Sotheby’s 108ct D-Flawless Emerald Cut ($16M)
    2) Mouawad Diamond Necklace with 70ct Drop ($12M)
    3) Leviev Diamond Necklace w/ 77.12ct Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond ($10M)
    4) Graff Ring with 13ct Fancy Vivid Pink Pear Shaped Diamond ($10M)
    5) Harry Winston Ring with 10.11ct Fancy Intense Pink Diamond with two Trapezoid Diamonds ($8.3M)

  30. cara y cruz said,

    March 11, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    LOL! Gosh, she has the bling and the cash but absolutely no class. Te*et has one of the funniest, sardonic, and razor-sharp wit of his generation.

  31. March 11, 2007 at 6:07 am

    taitai:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the story!!! It’s from Te*et Pascual’s arsenal of the darndest anecdotes.

    Yes, with all the technological advances in gemology, semiprecious gemstones are being made to look like precious ones. But I’m sure you’ll never be fooled, taitai!!! 🙂

    Toto Gonzalez

  32. taitai said,

    March 11, 2007 at 5:12 am

    GRABE!!!!
    bwhahahaha!!!!

    But really, garnets and tourmalines are usually passed off as rubies. One has to be extremely careful.

  33. March 11, 2007 at 4:13 am

    Adjie:

    Her nephew, The Gentleman, is so used to His Aunt that he just laughs at her antics.

    Actually, as I told Rafael above, the whole incident was really comical — sitcom material — more than anything else…

    Of course her Great Friend is The *meldific herself!!! Which reminds me of another funny story, this one related by the delightfully vicious Te*et Pascual…

    During the early Malacanang years, Preeminent Jeweler was supplying The *meldific with the nucleus of what would eventually be “The World’s Most Spectacular Collection of Jewelry.”

    And so one leisurely afternoon, Preeminent Jeweler was summoned to The First Lady’s Bedroom where The *meldific and her good friend Te*et Pascual were chatting away. Preeminent Jeweler grimaced when she saw Te*et because she considered him “pampasira ng benta” an obstacle to a sale.

    “O, ano’ng dala mo ngayon sa akin?” [ “What did you bring me today?” ] asked The *meldific sweetly.

    “Ah, pinagdala kita ng pagkaganda-gandang set ng ‘rubies’!!! Collar!!!” [ “I brought you a fabulous suite of rubies!!! A collar!!!” ] replied Preeminent Jeweler excitedly.

    “Rubies daw, Madame!!! Baka garnets, o tourmalines, o puwet ng baso…!!!” [ “Supposedly Rubies, Madame!!! They might just be garnets, or tourmalines, or even broken glass…!!!” ] mocked Te*et.

    “Aba! Entremetidang ito!!!” [ “Hah! You meddlesome…!!!” ] countered Preeminent Jeweler angrily, her arms akimbo. Te*et stuck his tongue out at her.

    “Van Cle*f & *rpels iyan!!!” [ “It’s by Van Cle*f & *rpels!!!” ] Preeminent Jeweler declared proudly as she displayed the fabulous suite of rubies.

    “‘Ban Clep & Arfel’ daw, o!” [ “Supposed to be ‘Ban Clep & Arfel’!” ] mocked Te*et, imitating her Capampangan accent. “At ano naman kaya ni ‘Ban Clep’ si ‘Klepto’???” [ “And could ‘Ban Clep’ possibly be related to ‘Klepto’???” ] he mused aloud. Preeminent Jeweler gave him “The Look.”

    “Maganda ba ang mga ito, Te*et?” [ “Do you think these are beautiful, Te*et?” ] asked The *meldific, seeking a second opinion. She looked at the pieces closely.

    “Ay, Ewan Madame!!!” Te*et glared at Preeminent Jeweler and she glared back. He turned the other way.

    “Van Cle*f & *rpels iyan!!! Isuot mo, isuot mo!!!” [ “That’s really Van Cle*f & *rpels!!! Wear it, wear it!!!” ] Preeminent Jeweler assisted The *meldific with the long dangling earrings…

    “‘Ban Clep’ nga…” hissed Te*et.

    “Van Cle*f & *rpels iyan!!! VCA iyan!!!” [ “That’s really by Van Cle*f & *rpels!!! That’s VCA!!!” ] insisted Preeminent Jeweler.

    “Te*et… pakisara mo nga itong collar.” [ “Te*et, would you please close the clasp of this ‘collar’ necklace.” ] The *meldific requested. Te*et rose from where he was sitting and giddily attempted to close the clasp of the “collar” necklace as Preeminent Jeweler stepped back to admire her jewelry on The *meldific.

    “Ang ganda sa iyo…!!!” [ “It’s so beautiful on you…!!!” ] fawned Preeminent Jeweler. “Kunin mo na iyan!!!” [ “Buy it already!!!” ] she persuaded as she switched to high-gear sales talk.

    “Naku, Madame, ang hirap isara!!!” [ “Oh Madame, it’s so hard to close the clasp!!!” ] Te*et complained.

    “Van Cle*f & *rpels iyan!!! VCA iyan!!!” [ “That’s really by Van Cle*f & *rpels!!! That’s VCA!!!” ] Preeminent Jeweler emphasized.

    The irrepressible Te*et peered closely at the clasp. “Ay, Madame… VCA nga!!!” [ “Ah… it’s VCA alright!!!” ] he declared with surprise, mock-impressed.

    The *meldific smiled.

    “Sabi ko naman sa iyo!!!” [ “I told you so!!!” ] beamed Preeminent Jeweler. Both ladies had no idea what joke Te*et was about to play…

    Then came The Punch Line…

    Te*et peered even closer to the clasp with the perspicacity of a seasoned connoisseur… “VCA… VULACAN!!!” [ “VCA… VULACAN!!!” ] screeched Te*et derisively.

    [ *”Vulacan” / Bulacan is a province adjacent to Manila. There is a town there called Meycauayan, which is the manufacturing center of Philippine jewelry. Back in the 1960s, the quality of the jewelry was still mediocre. But standards have greatly improved since then. ]

    Preeminent Jeweler launched a volley of curses, screaming: “~@#$%^&*!!! ~@#$%^&*!!! ~@#$%^&*!!! ~@#$%^&*!!! ~@#$%^&*!!!”

    The Sale to The First Lady was Ruined, needless to say… “Pffft…!!!”

    End of Story!!! *lolololsszzz!!!*

    Toto Gonzalez

  34. Adrian Lizares said,

    March 11, 2007 at 12:49 am

    I would go on with stories I hear about these people but I am poor at recalling stories and don’t really count or make the difference, but yes it is known to be that way. What a pity when you are in such a lofty position but lose yourself because of your ways or the lack of command for them.

    As they say ” the acorn does not fall far from the maple tree”, there must have been a root of all these. Oh well there you have it. I wonder though how the host must have felt like to be adressed in such a way, will he invite her again and prop the same yummy food on their service a la Russe? Might that have suited her fancy? Banana leaves too rustic for that kind of taste? But to repudiate it in such a way, baka super bad mood lang talaga siya?

    Pray tell though who is her Great Friend?

  35. March 10, 2007 at 9:40 am

    Adjie:

    Of course you do!!!

    Like her Great Friend, She never ceases to amaze. She’s another one of those Capampangan lady overachievers [ like Fe Sarmiento Panlilio, et. al. ]. They demand so much from Everybody but demand the most from Themselves. Incredible!!! *shivers*

    Toto Gonzalez

  36. Adrian Lizares said,

    March 10, 2007 at 2:09 am

    OMG I know these people!

    not surprised though… nothing shocks me about Manila *YAWN*

  37. March 7, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    cara y cruz:

    Exactly!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  38. cara y cruz said,

    March 6, 2007 at 5:57 pm

    toto:

    well, if the lady jeweler thinks that her hubby is “lahing mangingisda” then she’s doing a perfect job being a fishwife. Dontcha agree??? LOL

  39. March 4, 2007 at 10:16 am

    cousin paz:

    She’s too much fun, doncha think??? *winks*

    Toto Gonzalez

  40. cousin paz said,

    March 4, 2007 at 9:01 am

    Ay naku the other woman never stops! A friend showed me a copy of the magazine (“Y*s”) where 20 pages were devoted to her bitchiness. She is really one menace to Filipino high society! Kakahiya!

  41. March 3, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    taitai:

    Sounds like something the adorable Melanie Marquez would have said…!!! *lolsz!*

    Toto Gonzalez

  42. taitai said,

    March 3, 2007 at 7:12 am

    Update on “The War of the Microwave Ovens”:

    At a recent magazine party, actress 1 (a.k.a. “The Other Woman”) was asked if she was reconciling with actress 2 (a.k.a. “The Wife”).

    She said: “According to my Valentino gown, it’s not gonna happen!”

    DUH???!!!

    Oh my, Valentino now makes “thinking” gowns???!!!

    Bwahahaha

  43. cousin paz said,

    March 2, 2007 at 11:39 am

    Hi Toto,

    Grabe I know her na! When “talagang tsismoso” said her hubby was a former diplomat to Spain, I guessed her na. She is kinda crass. Her nephew was my brother’s good friend in college. That’s another controversial story. When we see each other na lang.

    Cousin Paz

  44. n.o.lopez said,

    March 2, 2007 at 10:45 am

    i guess. if you look at it it’s laughable…

    yes you are Toto, very poshest man and i mean it in the nicest way : )

    n.o.lopez

  45. March 2, 2007 at 8:32 am

    Rafael:

    Yes, I agree with you. But I have to add that the incident was actually quite comical and not really “high-handed.”

    Toto Gonzalez

  46. March 2, 2007 at 8:29 am

    cousin paz:

    The Answer is right under your nose. *lolsz!*

    Toto Gonzalez

  47. March 2, 2007 at 8:29 am

    n.o. lopez:

    I agree with you.

    Toto Gonzalez

  48. March 2, 2007 at 8:28 am

    n.o. lopez:

    Please. I am not a member of the Filipino upper class. How, how, how hopelessly bourgeois… I belong to the International Set… IN MY DREAMS!!! *lolsz!*

    That was “Food for The Poor” for Her. But I don’t think Alain Ducasse or Joel Robuchon would agree.

    Toto Gonzalez

  49. March 2, 2007 at 8:22 am

    talagang tsismoso:

    Bullseye!!! 😛 😛 😛

    Toto Gonzalez

  50. March 2, 2007 at 8:21 am

    taitai:

    I agree. So good for figure-conscious people like us. *winks*

    Toto Gonzalez

  51. talagang tsismoso said,

    March 2, 2007 at 4:52 am

    i know this jeweler her name is ******* ******* *******-******. she really acts this way in public. her husband is the former ambassador to spain **** ****** ******. i think her nephew is ****** ******* ******.

  52. taitai said,

    March 2, 2007 at 3:47 am

    Oh my, freshly-grilled seafood with native kamatis, sili, calamansi and bagoong or with burong isda is TO-DIE-FOR!!! Yummmy!!!

    🙂

  53. n.o.lopez said,

    March 1, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    and we should always remember that philippines is really mahirap whether we accept it or not, most especially the subject matter, ladies discussed in this marvellous blog are the upper class {headed by His Lordship The Mr Gonzalez : ) }

    could someone define to me what is “pagkain ng mahihirap..?” sorry but i don’t get it!

    “poor as i may be, common i am not!” – dame barbara cartland

    hope you’re ok dear toto..

    n.o.lopez xxx

  54. n.o.lopez said,

    March 1, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    i agree with rafael. that kind of behaviour is usually just seen on people who have inadequacies, insecurities and general lack of social etiquette. to utter words “ay pagkain ng mahihirap” and just act in a haughty manner is simply revolting and that person (who is she?) deserves to be shot in broad daylight. i simply hate snobbery like that.

    you will never even imagine Her Majesty saying that even in private as self-effacement is a more highly regarded attitude than social snobbery. Snobs are snobs because they have to exhibit and telegraph to everybody that they’re rich, etc, etc.

    Repugnant.

    hello my dear toto!!!!

    n. lopez xxx

  55. cousin paz said,

    March 1, 2007 at 10:21 am

    Hi Toto,

    Who is this woman? Can’t seem to consider her a lady…. She can’t be the jeweler I’m thinking of because she and her hubby have Capampangan roots too. Pray… Tell!

    Paz

  56. Rafael said,

    March 1, 2007 at 6:43 am

    I think it’s pathetic, quite an uneducated gesture, lacks etiquette, seems what a nouveau riche would act or do, in very bad taste (no pun intended). I’m sorry, but I just can’t emphasize it enough.


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