Niece [ “Ang boyfriend niyang baduy” ]

One Sunday evening not long ago, the eldest brother, the epitome of the 1970s and everything it represented, uncharacteristically requested that he and his younger brother speak privately in a remote corner of his home…

He was very upset.  It so happened that his only daughter, twenty-three years old, who also happened to be the younger brother’s “ahijada” [ “godchild”; on her Confirmation, not Baptism ], was currently involved with a young man that he did not like.  Positively.  His beautiful and kind ex-wife, who was his younger brother’s favorite in-law ever [ and much of the family’s ], had already expressed her absolute misgivings to him.  The younger brother had also seen the young man during Sunday dinner the other week, and he did look “unusual” to him.  But since the younger brother was the least judgmental of people, he kept his focus on the king prawns and the Angus beef…

The niece is not conventionally saccharine pretty.  But she is devastatingly attractive with her sharp Oriental features and alabaster complexion combined with an intelligent, complex mind that the uncle suspects is “infinitely more masculine than feminine” [ like Catherine the Great ].  She possesses incredible “sex appeal.”  During her college years at De La Salle University, she had been involved with an attractive young man from an Iloilo “de buena familia,” but she eventually became bored and irritated with him because he was a “Mama’s boy” and could barely make decisions for himself.  She claimed that she had “more balls” than he did.

A woman like her, with the makings of what is now termed as “goddess,” intimidates many men.  Even the few men she likes…

She has led a privileged life.  A generous granduncle brought her around Europe several times.  She has been sent to top institutions in the United States for postgraduate studies.  Everything has been done to ensure her future…

Her father bitterly complained to her uncle that the “unusual” young man had been introduced to his daughter by the fiancee of her maternal first cousin, whom he derisively described as “low class.”  The uncle smiled wryly and stared at him comically, for the father himself had all sorts of liaisons with a lengthy procession of women that positively couldn’t be described to be of Vassar, Radcliffe, or Wellesley quality.  What right did he have to complain when he unknowingly led by example???

“Will you please tell your godchild…”  the father ground his teeth.

“To what?”  the uncle asked.

“Tell her.  Tell her to…”  he stammered.

“It’s none of my fucking business.  However, it is entirely your fucking business.”  the uncle laughed.

“Shit!!!”  he grimaced.

The young man is indeed “unusual.”  He was a standout from the first time the uncle saw him because he is very dark.  Not the golfing kind of dark.  The native kind of dark.  He also has a well-developed physique, not unlike a farmhand, achieved through many hours in a “neighborhood gym.”  He is what the uncle’s uberwitty friend Dez Bautista describes as “Ethnicanus magnificus.”

He is about her age.  Poor.  Of an unknown family with little resources.  No stable job.  Part-time gym instructor.  No car.  She fetches him and brings him back home in her car.  She is obviously besotted with him.

The uncle is amused by it all.  The family expects him to be the most alarmed given his aristocratic sensibilities but he is not.  In his thinking, her father and mother should be the ones most alarmed.

The uncle can see her doting grandparents turning in their graves…

With continued agitation from his eldest brother and his favorite ex-sister-in-law, the uncle was so tempted to confront the “unusual” young man and “put him in his place” with the words:  “The young ladies in the family are expensively educated, not only in schools but more at home and during travels.  They are educated and trained — indeed forced — to excel in their chosen fields and to create a good life for themselves.  In the event that they choose to marry, their superior education on all matters academic, economic / financial, political, cultural, and social make them very suitable to become the trophy wives of leaders, business titans, captains of industry, and the like.  Young man, you are misplaced.  There is no room for you here.  There is nothing that you can possibly offer to do justice to the potentials of this daughter of the family.  Look for someone suitable, someone like yourself.”  However, with characteristic self-discipline and stiff upper lip aloofness, the uncle reined himself in and never did.

And so, with relentless pressure from his eldest brother and his favorite ex-sister-in-law, the uncle finally spoke with his “ahijada” godchild…

“I only have one thing to say, my dear…”  the uncle started.

“Yes, Tito…”  the niece listened dutifully.

“I know you like him and you’re enjoying all this.  It’s OK.  Enjoy it while it lasts.”  the uncle smiled.

The niece smiled back.

“But…”  the uncle continued.

“Yes, Tito?”  she asked.

The uncle pointedly said:  “Don’t be the ‘karma’ of your father.  Don’t be the ‘karmatic payback’ for your father’s philandering sins that your dear grandmother, our mother, grimly prophesied you would eventually be.  You don’t have to be the sacrificial lamb, you know…”

“Don’t make the very big mistake of marrying poor.  Life is sooooo full of problems.  Money should be the least of your concerns.”  the uncle stated coolly.

She looked down.  She was downcast.

The uncle continued:  “And don’t have that romantic and absolutely stupid notion that marriage is about love.  It’s not.  It’s a business arrangement to ensure each other’s survival.”

She was quiet.

“Keep what I said in mind.  You won’t understand it now, but perhaps, in the future, you will realize that I was right.  You might also realize that your parents really only wanted the best for you, however cliche it sounds.”

Family Values.  Of a certain kind of Family.

The uncle laughed to himself as he remembered the 1970s ditty by the “Cinderella” band:  “Ang boyfriend kong baduuuuuy… baduy…  Siya’y in na in, pero out pa rin… Ang boyfriend kong baduuuuuy… baduy…”



  1. tib said,

    March 15, 2009 at 11:30 am

    I think people can say their piece as long as it’s tactful like the uncle’s.

    But everyone should be aware it’s niece’s choice in the end. Life is interesting.

  2. April 25, 2007 at 4:14 pm


    I’m glad to contribute anything “to lighten one’s burdens.” A little touch of levity always make things more bearable. Really, wouldn’t earth be a better place if we were left to our personal choices of the heart — and so long as it doesn’t harm an innocent party? Besides, we live and learn, and hopefully grow, from the lessons of love.

    I await your personal response. Akala ko ini-snub mo na ako. Cool.


  3. zippo said,

    April 25, 2007 at 2:35 pm

    Whoops, I meant Remy Martin COGNAC and Sempe Armagnac brands (Cognac and Armagnac both being 2 different and distinct “brandy-type libations” with the 1st being a product of France’s Cognac Region while the 2nd a product of the Armagnac region [I think they also have different processes of distillation])

  4. zippo said,

    April 25, 2007 at 9:31 am

    Hahahaha! Nice one G.I. I should tell my mom that the Cl*retian Priests originated from the Bordeaux Region and their vocation is cultivating Medoc and St. Emilion grapes for their wine!!!! Maybe that will “lighten their burden.” Hahaha 🙂

    G.I., it really is a small world. The Sempé-Zoellers, owners of the Remy Martin and Sempé Armagnac brands, are good friends of my mom. Another good Filipina friend of the Sempé-Zoellers from way back is Tita Chito M-C.


    P.S.: G.I. pls bear with me, I’m still in the process of composing my response to your heartwarming personal e-mail.

  5. Dawn Ona said,

    April 24, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    This story reminds me of the daughter of the famous Capampangan lady chef/restaurateur who did marry the gym instructor. I wonder if they are still together?

  6. Mirella said,

    April 24, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    Oh! It’s CL*RET with an “A”! All the while I thought it was with an “O”!

  7. Garganta Inflamada said,

    April 24, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    Hey, zip, tell your mom & sis — it’s the brand and vintage of cl*ret they drink over there that makes the boys special!! And that’s why nobody’s heard of the school, it’s SO exclusive that only a few people know!! 🙂 🙂

    But seriously, I have a second cousin who went to Cl*ret; and when they came to the States like 3 years ago, the boy was #2 or #3 in his new class!! Whereas siguro cheap red wine or champagne lang sa Ateneo and La Salle!

    Oh, also, and coincidentally, since I know your famille used to or still travailer vacance with this French wine-making familly, this boy’s mother, my FIRST cousin, used to be the rep in the Philippines for I think Remy Martin or one of the other cognac brands.

    Isn’t le monde just full of these coincidences?


  8. zippo said,

    April 24, 2007 at 9:36 am

    I googled it right after my family lunch. Apparently, according to Wikipedia, it’s a Catholic all-boys school in Diliman QC run by the Cl*retian Priests. It was founded in the 1970s.


  9. Mirella said,

    April 23, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    Just a question… what and where is CL*RET??? Sounds like a brand of mint chewing gum!

  10. Emelyn said,

    April 23, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    BRAVO! (with matching palakpak!) I almost stood up from my chair kaso baka naman ako magmukhang tanga, my husband would be wondering why I am clapping (nakatayo pa!).
    I cannot imagine how your wife and mother get along.
    If she’s supladita like me, hala, you’d be in the line of fire. (then again, that would really make for exciting family reunions no?)
    Obviously hindi ka mata pobre, not to disrespect your mom but does she control everyone’s lives? or the men in the family just don’t have the b*lls to stand up to her? (hmmm, cut off from the mana or humour the Lola…) — at the risk of appearing mukhang pera, I have to admit, tough decision. ching-ching 🙂

  11. April 23, 2007 at 7:55 am



    I like it, I like it, I like it!!! I can just see your mother, you, the maids, the table, the china, silver, crystal, the food…

    As I said: “It happens to Everybody.”


    Keep the comments coming!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Toto Gonzalez

  12. zippo said,

    April 23, 2007 at 7:27 am

    I had Sunday lunch at my mom’s. She was so devastated she couldn’t play mahjong. Apparently, her favorite 16-year old granddaughter from Poveda was receiving calls, e-mails, and text messages from a boy. When asked where he went to school, Lola expected I.S., La Salle (Greenhills or Zobel), or Ateneo. When told where he went to school, Mom almost fainted.

    “Hijo”, my mom said to me, “it was bad enough that he didn’t come from those schools.” “I was prepared to even accept it if he were a student of San Ag*stin,” mom continued. “But,” she said with horror, “CL*RET?!!!!!” “Why your sister and I don’t even know what kind of school that is,” she says.

    I asked her what she and my sister did to my niece. My mother replied, “I had your sister and brother-in-law restrict her phone calls by cutting off her cellular phone allowance.” Then, mother raised her voice and said, “ikaw kasi… started all this by marrying (name of my wife). Now all your nieces think they’re free to marry anyone they please.”

    I stood up, went to the kitchen, and had the maid call my niece. “Why tito,” my niece asked upon entering the kitchen. I handed her a 1,000 peso bill. “Here”, I told her, “buy yourself some cell phone pre-paid cards.”

  13. zippo said,

    April 20, 2007 at 4:58 am


    Please give G.I. my e-mail address 🙂


  14. Garganta Inflamada said,

    April 19, 2007 at 9:33 pm


    Glad you could join us!!

    I’ll make a trade with you. I know you said that you watch “Jeopardy!” with your son as a together ritual, in Manila! Good choice!

    Well, how do I put this? — and I generally don’t toot my own horn — tell me who you are ( discreetly, of course ) and I’ll let you watch the episode on which I competed!! ( Will still have to work out the technical details since I have it on tape, the RP has a different DVD zone, etc., etc.)

    I gave our host, Mr. TG, permission to give you my email address if you’ll do the same. Am just merely curious…but I’m having Dado Baltao work on that satellite technology so no one can hide behind these blog monikers!! 🙂 🙂

    Added a riposte to your basketball and alajera stories.


    G.I. (not to be mistaken for Gastro-Intestinal, please!!) 🙂

  15. zippo said,

    April 19, 2007 at 2:10 am


    I just posted a story about a really funny incident which my mom witnessed in the 1970s. I posted it in the Comments section of the “Fashion Scar of Asia” article of Toto (see The Cebuanos)


  16. zippo said,

    April 19, 2007 at 2:02 am

    Yup G.I., I’m one and the same.

    I already e-mailed Toto G about clues to my identity but, sorry, I just can’t really publicly say who I am.

    OK will try to share some really funny stories from the past

    Z 🙂

  17. Garganta Inflamada said,

    April 18, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    ZIPPO!! If indeed that’s you.

    On this topic I agree with you.

    Now, if you REALLY are that Zippo, did you know your ‘story’ previously posted on the Carlos Celd*an website has been reprinted here? Look in “Comments” under the thread “The Rich Are Different.”

    Now, if indeed that is you…one can never be too sure on the Internet… I did say I admired your story and your turn-around. Good for you!! Instead of just disagreeing — as you already have on 2 posts, how about posting your own juicy stories? That’s what makes this site jump!! 🙂 🙂


  18. zippo said,

    April 18, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    I married a girl with the right family name who went to the right schools. We had a really grand wedding covered by the right newspapers and Manila’s (at that time) only glossy magazine. 3 years down the road, we were already cheating on each other. A few years thereafter, absent a pre-nup, she cleaned me out during our annulment proceedings.

    6 years ago, I met a probinsyana 15 years my junior. She had a terrible family background with absolutely “no social standing.” The only thing going for her were her looks and her brains (an engineer who is a voracious reader and who speaks grammatically correct English). My entire family boycotted our wedding and was, because of this, eventually eased out of the family company. We’ve been married for 3 years now. She’s still very much UNwelcome at my mother’s house or those of my siblings. We have a 2 year old son (the 1st and only grandson in my family [out of 11 grandchildren]) and we’re expecting our 2nd child. I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER!!!

    Marriage IS about Love….one just has to know what Love actually is 🙂

  19. someone said,

    April 16, 2007 at 11:03 am

    I think they should let her be and make her own decisions. Giving their opinion to her is enough…

  20. April 13, 2007 at 10:46 am


    There must be something in the “feng shui” of that club. They should ask a Chinese “feng shui” expert to analyze it. It’s become the barroom brawl capital of Manila.

    All those tasteless brawls. So adolescent. Murder is infinitely more chic and definitely more of a statement.

    Toto Gonzalez

  21. betty mahmoudy said,

    April 13, 2007 at 9:42 am

    Speaking of genus Ethnicanus species magnificus… what about the recent brawl at a club in the Fort involving an ex-president’s grandson and the mulatto descendant of someone murdered in a fit of jealous rage by a national painter with an uncontrollable temper?

  22. April 10, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    Mirella and betty:

    You girls are way too funny!!!


    Toto Gonzalez

  23. April 10, 2007 at 9:30 pm


    “Ethnicanus mediocritus.”


    Toto Gonzalez

  24. April 10, 2007 at 9:29 pm


    “No Comment”???!!! *wink* *wink*

    Toto Gonzalez

  25. betty mahmoudy said,

    April 10, 2007 at 7:30 pm


    Of course you’re right. He was an Ethnicanus mediocritus, come to think of it. And my ex would be the Caucasian version!!!

  26. Mirella said,

    April 10, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    I’m really flattered, Toto … but Earthshaking??? Bwahahaha! I’d have to say “no comment” on that! 🙂

  27. April 9, 2007 at 7:36 pm



    You’re such a gas!!! I’m reeling from your comments!!! 😀

    You know Everything… Left, Right, Up, and Down!!!

    You and Danny are such an attractive couple. I once told my younger brother that I have only seen a few couples with that kind of “electric spark” between them, and you’re one of them. I told him that One Look at You and Danny and I knew that you had Great [ as in Earthshaking! ] *** with each other. I hope that hasn’t changed!!!

    Both elder and younger brother agreed with that observation. Elder brother said that the only other couple he observed with that “electric spark” was the young heir of a prestigious retailing fortune and his chic, Assumption Convent-educated wife. 🙂

    How I wish we could have lunch soon. I have sooooo much to tell you!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  28. April 9, 2007 at 6:26 pm


    Toto Gonzalez

  29. April 9, 2007 at 6:26 pm



    No, not that man. That one was “Ethnicanus,” but not “magnificus.” Bwahahah!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  30. betty mahmoudy said,

    April 9, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    ethnicanus magnificus? hahahaha. then it can’t be the same loser who dated my sister!!!

  31. Mirella said,

    April 9, 2007 at 6:10 am

    ““Don’t make the very big mistake of marrying poor. Life is sooooo full of problems. Money should be the least of your concerns.” the uncle stated coolly.

    “And don’t have that romantic and absolutely stupid notion that marriage is about love. It’s not. It’s a business arrangement to ensure each other’s survival.””


    If there was a contest on who can guess the characters on your blind items, I’d probably be the winner!

    I’ve observed that this situation is indeed very common. I prefer to call it “The Lady Chatterley Syndrome”, based on the DH Lawrence title heroine who fell in love with a lowly stable hand/estate caretaker (“houseboy” in modern setting). Many women of privileged backgrounds go for men who are inferior, be it those who are financially inferior (the more obvious), or those who may be rich but are inferior in breeding and class — Kr*s Aqu*no’s choices in men should be good examples of the latter.

    We can probably blame this on many deep-rooted insecurities — hey, who doesn’t want to feel more superior and smarter and more special than the next guy, anyway? And we can also blame this on pop culture where “ghetto, grungy, gangsta rock stars” are considered cool and sexy! Gone are the days when desirable men were like Cary Grant!

    Now speaking for myself… I actually married a man from a poorer family than mine. But then I believe I saw in him intelligence, ambition, and proper bearing… and most important of all… he was never close to his family!!! Hehehe! Oooh, I’m such an evil in-law!

    I hope “the niece” snaps out if this soon, the guy being a gym instructor (I seriously doubt that he works part-time at the gym to help pay for med school or something!). I know she will, she’s still very young. And I’m sure “the uncle” will do everything he can to save her! 🙂

  32. April 9, 2007 at 5:28 am


    No, they haven’t gone their own ways. That’s why 1970s playboy father is still sooooo upset!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  33. violet said,

    April 9, 2007 at 4:31 am

    “The native kind of dark.”


    Hello, Toto, just lurking about your blog. Can’t help but wonder if these lovers went their own ways, though 🙂

  34. April 9, 2007 at 4:25 am


    It happens to Everybody… doesn’t it???

    Toto Gonzalez

  35. Paz Atienza said,

    April 9, 2007 at 3:01 am

    Sounds very familiar…

  36. April 7, 2007 at 7:19 am


    Thank you!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  37. Jerome said,

    April 7, 2007 at 6:25 am

    My name is Jerome Herrera. I am the owner of the Pinoy Penster Community website. We are an online community of Amateur and Professional Writers. I was wondering if we could exchange links. This will expose your blog to the hundreds of visitors we get everyday. If you are interested, please email me at The URL of Pinoy Penster Community is

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