Mama Rita

The Absolutely Unforgettable MISS Rita Gomez.

Knowing Me, Knowing You

A Problem of Legal Ethics.

It is quite a complex problem when your former lawyer friend and ally now represents your opponent and his vast empire, which you are now claiming is practically all yours.

Giving it All

In terms of sheer fun, no parties in the city can compare to the fabulous birthday bashes of Don Conrado “Ado” Escudero at their splendid family seat — the Villa Escudero — just outside San Pablo City in Laguna.  Yes, there are hosts in the city with formal receptions, distinguished guests,  sumptuous gourmet food and grand cru wines, full orchestra music, fantastic decor, and other unspeakable extravagances but no one can top the dizzyingly cosmopolitan and thoroughly intoxicating mix of very interesting worldly guests which results in social electricity of such memorable megawattage as Don Conrado “Ado” Escudero, “El Anfitrion” [ The Amphitryons, hosts to the gods ].

Among so many memories, I remember the unforgettable ladies who “shook, rattled, and rolled” on the dance floor during those heady evenings…

A great presence during those parties was Manila’s most famous sex therapist.  Every movement exuded her energetic sexuality.  When we complimented her for her incredibly energetic dancing, She advised:  “Toto, think of something BIG!!!”  *lolsz!*

Very memorable was a prominent Manila lady, famous [ or notorious ] for her weekly show in the 1970s where she sang traditional Filipino music, who danced the most beautiful, the most elegant, and the most expressive tango that any of us had ever seen.  *applauds*  With her prominent lawyer husband in the background, she glided to the dance floor with a tall and handsome partner and began a tango of romance, passion, and betrayal which could have put even Rita Hayworth and Ava Gardner to shame.  She danced with the fullest of emotions — with every nod, look, turn, twirl, and dip.  There were twirls in which she seemed to be gracefully falling to the floor, only to be swept up with bravado by her partner.  She was exquisite, exquisite, exquisite!!!  It was the most memorable tango series we had ever seen…

I remember a Belgian lady diplomat whom we enjoyed observing.  We were introduced during cocktails and we thought that she must have been of aristocratic or at least interesting descent because her surname was  prefixed by a “van der”…  She was dressed in silver lame with a turban ala Greta Garbo in the 1930s but she was overweight and wore thick maquillage.  Obviously a child of the 1960s, She did the “Twist,” the “Shake,” the “Locomotion,” the “Mashed Potato,” and every dance she knew.  We enjoyed watching her because everything was falling apart while she danced:  her turban unfurling, hair untangling,  maquillage dripping, decolletage lowering, [ costume ] jewelry falling, and costume unraveling.  She was a “fag hag” and danced with every gay man present.  The thing was, she “outfagged” the fags!!!

Then there was this very vivacious Ilongga lady [ from Iloilo ] who carried a venerable surname but was actually born on the “wrong side of the tracks.”  She was a much married lady — she preferred European husbands — and the proper Escudero ladies were always told that she was “between marriages”:  She was always “ex-This” but “pre-That” aside from “coming soon.”  She was a sultry and sexy woman, with a shapely derriere that was as wide as the SLEX South Expressway.  Her derriere was the main focus of her dancing:  it swayed with the “rhumba,”  wiggled with the “cha-cha,” bobbed with the “samba,” and careened with the “swing”!!!

Also unforgettable was a young heiress who belonged to one of Laguna’s richest families.  She was not particularly attractive but her thin, wiry figure ala Edie Minturn Sedgwick was truly a sight to behold on the dance floor.  She was a child of the 1970s, and she had this peculiar “drugged out” way of dancing, as if she had just inhaled the popular “substances” of that decade.

It was all summed up by an uberrich but notoriously parsimonious Spanish mestizo friend of high birth who sidled up beside us as we were enjoying the spectacle.  He looked derisively at the heiress who was whooping it up and tearing through the dance floor.  He said, in that trademark Hispano-English accent so peculiar to Manila’s enduringly affluent Spanish mestizos:  “Eeehhh…. the Pangit talaga…  they give it their all!!!”  [ “Yuck… the Ugly really…  they give it their all!!!” ]

We fell out of our chairs laughing!!!

“Voulez-vous couchee…”

… avec Adi Wang???

True to character, our hero [ or heroine whichever case it may be ] Adi Wang found his way to the “Agent Provocateur” boutique on Geary Street in San Francisco…

Prophet of Boom

Eminence Gris is at it again.

“The Gospel according to Mark”!!!


War and Piss

In those halcyon days before 1991 when lahar rudely inundated Old Bacolor, Pampanga, the beautifully-restored 1830s Panlilio-Santos Joven ancestral home was the setting for many elegant receptions, especially during the annual town fiesta in honor of the “Nuestra Senora del Santisimo Rosario” [ “La Naval de Bacolor” ] held every third Sunday of November.  The imposingly beautiful and leonine Luz Sarmiento de Panlilio and her extremely talented grandson Joey Panlilio were the indefatigable team behind all the splendor, elegance, and eloquence of those sunset years of Old Bacolor.

During one of those “fiestas,” the talk at the “cabecera” long table in the dining room shifted to the Second World War and the extreme hardships which everyone, rich and poor alike, had to endure…

Luz “Lucing” Sarmiento de Panlilio recalled how she, her diabetic husband Jose “Pepe,” her young son Jesus “Tenggoy” [ later known as “Jess” ], and their extended family had — on mistaken information of American soldier guests — evacuated to Mariveles, Bataan only to witness the fall of Bataan and be part of the subsequent “Death March” to Capas, Tarlac.  It was their great fortune to be surreptitiously dragged out from the “Death March” and hidden by their loyal retainers along the road in Bacolor.  The family was sick with malaria.  The couple found their elegant and constantly updated home dilapidated and stripped of everything.    They had to drink water from used milk cans and eat from whatever container was available; they remembered how they only drank from fine glasses and only ate from fine porcelain in “peacetime” [ prewar ].  Later in Manila, she would find their stolen [ by the Japanese soldiers ] “Hoepfner” grand piano being lowered from the Jones bridge to a barge for transport along the Pasig river;  she argued and negotiated with the merchants and repurchased it by trading her own goods.  She shuddered at all the horrible memories…

On the other hand, a guest — a prominent gentleman who belonged to Nueva Ecija’s premiere landowning clan — reminisced his family’s rather opulent “emigre” lifestyle during the war:  how they had fled to the Sierra Madre mountains, and lived in caves, but how their many servants had brought their European furniture, crystal chandeliers, Persian rugs, French china, English silver, French crystal, and European comestibles, and how the family continued to live luxuriously, waited on hand and foot by their servants, all throughout the war…

Luz Sarmiento de Panlilio was incredulous.  She smiled and seethed.  Bemused, bothered, and bewildered, she politely asked her guest:  “Hijo, baka naman ibang guerra ang nangyari sa inyo???”  [ “Son, could it be that a different war happened to your family???” ]

Everyone stifled [ what could have been ] a good laugh.

Bwahahahahah!!!   😛   😛   😛

Landing vertically

An enterprising aunt had accumulated 100 hectares of land in Tagaytay city which she wanted to sell to one of the big real estate companies which could make it to an upmarket residential development.

Interested parties came in quick succession.  But no transaction came to pass.

During one family occasion, one of the wags in the family whispered:  “Of course she has 100 hectares in Tagaytay city…  100 VERTICAL hectares!!!  Try developing that!!!”

LOLSZ!!!   😛   😛   😛

SanFo faux pas

My dear friend Adi Wang, an heir to a big Chinese fortune in case you’ve forgotten, was in San Francisco and all his affluent Chinese friends were scrambling to entertain him as always.

One of his richest and most chichi friends, with real NoCal social clout, invited him to dinner — a reservation that she had made two months before and which would cost at least USD $ 240.00/xx a head, without wine — at the uberchic, difficult-to-get-a-table “French Laundry,” the famous Yountville, Napa Valley restaurant of renowned chef Thomas Keller.

When told that dinner the next evening would be at the “French Laundry,” Adi Wang snapped:  “Wala pa naman akong ipapa- ‘dry clean’ ah!!!  At puro Italian ang mga damit na dala ko ha, walang French!!!”  [ “But I’m not having anything ‘dry-cleaned’ yet!!!  And all the clothes I brought are Italian huh, nothing French!!!” ]

Bwahahahahah!!!   😛   😛   😛

Water shortage

All the brouhaha about the impending water shortage in Luzon brings back a funny memory from the 1970s…

During one “Binibining Pilipinas” beauty pageant, in the Q & A portion, the smart-alecky host Ariel Ureta asked a contestant, the sultry and statuesque Guada Sanchez:  “What will you do if there is only one pail of water left in the world???”

Without batting an eyelash, the sultry and statuesque Guada Sanchez replied with aplomb:  “I’m going to take a baaaaath!!!”


Well, I’m going to do exactly the same thing!!!

Dishonor among Thieves

“We practically own the Philippines.”

“We own 60 % of ‘his empire’.”

“We own ‘his share’ of the television station.”

It’s finger-pointing time.  But who really stole what from whom???

It’s a good thing that the Filipinos are a stupid lot [ and that includes me ], and that they didn’t do what the Bolsheviks did to the Imperial Romanovs in Tobolsk, Siberia in 1918… back when they really had the chance on 23 – 25 February 1986 at the Malacanang palace…

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