“Laughs for the Road”

There was something about the late-night show “Two for the Road” hosted by Elvira Manahan and Nestor Torre  in the early 1980s.  It was stylish.  It was piquant.  It was funny!!! 

Specially when the madcap actress Rita Gomez was a guest on the show… [ but that’s for another post… ]

But according to a good friend, the original 1960s “Two for the Road” hosted by Elvira Manahan and Joey Lardizabal was far more interesting than the “watered down” or subdued 1980s version.  The original one, my friend said, could be downright dangerous…

He remembers one particularly memorable episode before the imposition of Martial Law on 21 September 1972.  He was about seven years old.  There had been a very strong typhoon, and in the spirit of compassion, “Two for the Road” held a “charity telethon” to help the victims…

And of course, the irrepressible Elvira Manahan manned a telephone…

All was well and wonderful and welfare until a man with a squeaky, slimy, sleazy voice called.

“Hillooo?  Ito pu ba ‘yung ‘Tu por da Rood’???” [ “Hello?  Is this ‘Two for the Road’???” ]

Elvira answered with her wide trademark smile:  “Yyyeeesss!!!  May I know who this is, please???”

“Elbiraaahhh…” the man’s squeaky, slimy, sleazy voice started getting breathy….

Elvira was nonplussed:  “Yyyeeesss!!!  And what can we do for you???”

“Elbiraaahhh…!!!” the man’s squeaky, slimy, sleazy voice started panting…

Elvira began to be amused and stifled a laugh:  “And whooooo is this please???!!!”

“Elbiraaahhh… aaahhh… aaahhh ” the man’s squeaky, slimy, sleazy voice sounded like he was already doing something… 

“Yyyeeesss!!!”  Elvira started looking around, comically wondering what was happening…

“Elbiraaahhh… ANG LAKI NG **** MO!!!” [ “Elvira… YOU HAVE A BIG ****!!!” ]  blurted the man with the squeaky, slimy, sleazy voice!!!

(**** =  the female sexual organ in Pilipino)


But no!!!  The uberstylish and uberwitty La Elvira was not offended in the least…

Shocked but delighted, she threw her coiffed head back and laughed the loudest laugh ever, fell on the floor, and banged her fists as her tears fell with her uncontrollable laughter!!!  She literally, in today’s lingo, “ROTFLMAO” “Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off”!!!

My good friend’s uberCatholic father witnessed the whole incident with his three elder sons.  Scandalized, he promptly switched off the television set to their protests.  He then recited the evening rosary with them, led by their mother.

All I can say is…

Elvira Manahan really had incredible style!!!

We all miss the lady!!! 



  1. Garganta Inflamada said,

    July 10, 2007 at 12:39 am

    Re Boojie’s comment: except that the original Audrey Hepburn movie TWO FOR THE ROAD is obviously the more prominent property known the world over — and Elvira’s show was merely a take-off on the Hepburn-Finney film. So much as it was uniquely Manila, in terms of Wikipedia’s parameters, the Stanley Donen TFTR is the authentic one — NOT Elvira’s rip-off.


  2. Boojie said,

    July 6, 2007 at 7:13 am

    “Two for the Road,” the show not the movie, is worthy of an entry at Wikipedia. Why don’t you post it? I was too young at the time to know about the show but I’m old enough to recognize Ms. Manahan. Never knew that there was an earlier version of the show. I thought it was Nestor Torre and Manahan all along.

  3. Miffe said,

    May 23, 2007 at 3:46 am

    I had a great time laughing with your blog especially the story about Ms Manahan. She’s from Ilo Ilo with the Araneta clan. I kept on repeating the story to my husband with all the details , of course that includes the ahhh sounds lolz

  4. Alex Castro said,

    March 25, 2007 at 10:05 am

    Yup, Louie. For a forthcoming project on Kapampangan beauties. Now that should be full of remembrances! Will send u a private e-mail.


    March 21, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Alex, you are doing some research on Imang Unding? I remember her very
    well. She was one of the most beautiful women in the Philippines when she was young.

  6. cousin paz said,

    March 21, 2007 at 6:10 am

    That is so cute… “Miniwati.” A text I received said she was the “Mole of Asia!”

  7. Alex Castro said,

    March 20, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    Well, i was so intrigued, i just had to call. I was doing research on his mother anyway-T. Pandot’s very accommodating. He opened not just his home but also his albums for me, bawat picture, me tsismis. Ha!

  8. betty mahmoudy said,

    March 20, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    Toto / Alex

    My ****? a guest on the show? Are you sure? Maybe it was my ***. My *** was a sometime co-host on another TV show at the time, Swing In. I even sang on the program once as a child… wearing a MaryMike dress!

    Halcyon days???

  9. March 20, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    cousin paz:

    Of course, MISS Rita Gomez. One of my favorite characters ever.

    At least our soon-to-be President of the Philippines has never pretended to be an intellectual or even a socialite [ unlike everyone’s favorite “successful” actress… ], so her “Love? Love is a red, red rose!” answer is completely excusable. Did I say President of the Philippines??? Yes, I did!!! Our very own “Miniwati” Arroyoputri [ as opposed to Megawati Sukarnoputri ] may just see real competition in just a few years… 😛 😛 😛

    Toto Gonzalez

  10. March 20, 2007 at 1:09 pm


    You really called P*ndot O.??? That is absolutely hilarious!!! Now that was what my good friend was saying about the 1960s “Two for the Road”: it “could be downright dangerous”… I can just see La Elvira block the camera!!!

    Louie Dison West, are you reading this??? ROTFLMAO!!!

    betty mahmoudy, are you reading this??? Your **** was in that show!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  11. cousin paz said,

    March 20, 2007 at 11:17 am

    Elvira was something else…. We sure miss a colorful character like her. I remember one episode (I think it was around Valentine) and the show had Rita Gomez, Vilma S. (then quite a young actress) and other male guests (who I can’t quite remember.) The first question was “define love.” Gosh, the eloquent Ms. Gomez defined it so well that everyone was just amazed at the description, Elvira included. When it was the young acress turn, she said, “Love? Love is a red, red rose!” Gosh parang slam book!

  12. Alex Castro said,

    March 20, 2007 at 8:14 am

    OK, I called T. Pandot and asked for details of that fateful episode. He said the guests that included Belinda Olivares and Johnny Hubilla were asked to play a game of some sorts. Losers were to be dunked in a drum of water. Belinda Olivares lost, but Elvira asked T. Pandot to be a gentleman and take the dunking for her. “Not in these clothes!”, T. Pandot replied, so he proceeded to strip in front of live TV. At which point, Elvira rushed forward to block the camera, but only after the whole Philippines has seen T. Pandot’s bare self. Acc. to T. Pandot, the whole thing created such a ruckus, he had to personally apologize the next day to Geny Lopez!

  13. March 19, 2007 at 10:49 am



    Toto Gonzalez

  14. March 19, 2007 at 10:49 am


    It’s amazing how P*ndot O. is so high-style and so bohemian at the same time!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  15. Alex Castro said,

    March 19, 2007 at 6:21 am

    T. P*ndot made a splash on Two for the Road? Wow, he never told me about that! I wonder what possessed him to do that..i better call him!

  16. LOUIE DISON WEST said,

    March 16, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    This was during the 60’s and I think Eddie Mercado was the co-host then.
    The guests were John*y de Leon (son of Don Peping), and P*ndot *campo.
    While they were conversing, P*ndot noticed a big drum full of water (for dunking) in a nearby set. He proceeded to take of all his clothes except for
    the briefs and dunked himself in the water. When he came out, the briefs
    had become transparent. Everybody was on the floor laughing.

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