This is one of the funniest stories of Old, and not-so-Old, Pampanga…
After the war, the patriarch of a venerable family from Mexico, Pampanga decided that he would make a man out of his effeminate son and sent him to the Ecole Saint Cyr in Paris, the French version of the American West Point and the British Sandhurst.
Years passed and the son was due back in the Philippines. The entire clan, led by the proud patriarch who was already ill and wheelchair-bound, gathered at the MIA Manila International Airport to welcome the new graduate.
In those postwar days [ indeed up to the late 1970s ], well-wishers gathered at a screened second floor lounge overlooking the tarmac from where they could see the airplanes. There were no “tubes” and passengers alighted from the airplane on to the metal stairways driven to the arriving/departing airplane.
Everyone waited with bated breath for a tall, handsome, and dashing gentleman to appear. The patriarch actually expected to see his “reformed” son in a military uniform… he even hoped that his son would become a fine soldier and eventually a bemedalled war hero…
Just then, a tall and beautiful woman with silky long hair alighted from the airplane. She was wearing a wide-brimmed hat with silk roses, a beautiful and flowing silk floral dress which was unmistakably from Christian Dior’s very feminine and luxurious “New Look” line, and remarkably stylish shoes from the famous Roger Vivier. Her unexpected appearance elicited gasps of admiration from the crowd.
Even the patriarch’s family was impressed.
“Dios co!!! Calagu na!!! Ninu iya caya???” [ “OhmyGod!!! She’s beautiful!!! Who could she be???” ] an aunt gasped.
“Calupa neng Gre-heis Kehehl – hee [ Grace Kelly ]!!!” [ “She looks like Grace Kelly!!!” ] a niece exclaimed.
“Ali!!! Calupa neng Ha – ao – dree Eh – haff – vaaarn [ Audrey Hepburn ]!!!” [ “No!!! She looks like Audrey Hepburn!!!” admired a cousin.
“Malagu iya. Calupa neng Ree – eeta Ei – woh – art [ Rita Hayworth ].” [‘She’s beautiful. She looks like Rita Hayworth.” ] grunted the patriarch.
In the Capampangan dialect, “b” becomes “v” and “v” becomes “b,” “f” becomes “p” and “p” becomes “f,” and “h” is not pronounced when there is an “h” but “h” is pronounced whenever there is no “h.” *lolsz!*
The tall and beautiful woman smiled and waved at them. They were thrilled and waved back.
The tall and beautiful woman smiled and waved at them again. They were again thrilled and waved back as well.
“Yacu ini!!! Yacu y ******!!!” [ “I’m Me!!! I’m ******!!!” ] excitedly squealed the tall and beautiful woman, pointing to herself!!!
What???!!! The entire family stared at her incredulously. Then they stared at each other incredulously.
The expected military school graduate had turned to a soignee fashion plate!!!
The whole family felt like fainting!!! Bwahahahahah!!!
That very night, the proud patriarch suffered a severe and fatal heart attack and died. He absolutely could not accept that his son had turned into a beautiful woman. Poor man!!!
The beautiful Pampango “lady” actually became the inspiration for Dolphy the comedian’s most popular “shoke” [ “fag” ] movies in the 1970s: “Facifica Falayfay” and “Fefita Fofonggay”… *lolsz!*
The last times I saw the legendary Pampango “lady” was on the ledge of the “Subway” Disco along Manuel Adriatico Street in Manila in the late 1980s. “She” was dancing wildly to a remake of [ Gloria Gaynor’s ] “I Will Survive”…!!! *lolsz!*