Ducking the Pecking

It was a delightful privilege to be in the grand “sala” of the Lopez “Nelly Gardens” mansion in Iloilo on a cool July morning, seeing a light mist blanket the vast front garden, and listening to The Raconteur recount stories of Old Iloilo [ and Bacolod ] Society as he expertly played wonderful songs on the grand piano…

“Oh, so many wonderful, and not-so-wonderful things happened here, and are still happening.  So many parties.  So much laughter.  I remember She [ a Lopez lady ] stood right there…”  he recalled as he gestured towards the center of the grand room.

“She liked to sing.  She liked to think she could sing.  Her ‘piece-de-resistance’ was the song ‘Ang Maya’…”     

“Back in those days, no hotel in Iloilo would accommodate her because she liked to sing ‘Ang Maya’ accompanied by sixteen live ‘maya’ birds let loose around her.  You can imagine the mess…”

“But because this house, the ‘Nelly Gardens,’ belonged to her uncle, Don Vicente Lopez, She could do as she pleased.  So she arrived with the sixteen ‘maya’ birds in cages for her recital.”

“After several songs, it was time to sing her ‘piece-de-resistance,’ ‘Ang Maya.’  Her staff let the ‘maya’ birds loose and some did settle on her as she began to sing the lilting melody.  ‘Ah-hahah-hahah’…”

“ICK!”  she winced as a “maya” bird pecked on her hand.  The family and their friends smiled at each other but bit their lips.

“Ah-hahah-hahah…”  she continued.  “ICK!!  ICK!!”  she screeched as two “maya” birds pecked on her arm.  The family and their friends stifled their laughs.      

“Ang Mayaaa…”  she continued.  “ICK!!!  ICK!!!  IIICCCKKK!!!”  she shrieked as three “maya” birds pecked on her alabaster white shoulders and neck, which were exposed by her beautiful “terno” dress.  The family and their friends started giggling.  So much for politesse!!! 

“So She was ducking the pecking of the pesky ‘maya’ birds all throughout the song…  It was hilarious!!!  She had all these red marks afterwards!!!”

“I will forever remember that crazy afternoon!!!”  The Raconteur declared as he shook his head and laughed heartily.

Mwahahahahah!!!   😛   😛   😛




  1. sil said,

    March 8, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    based on conversations with my lopez relatives, “ang maya” was the favorite repertoire of manang hortens*. she made a fabulously dramatic entrance with her lace parasol during the lopez reunion in 1988.

  2. chans said,

    March 28, 2008 at 7:01 am

    Hi Toto,

    It’s such a delight finding your blog; I’m bookmarking it on my Favorites.

    I’ve always held a fascination for the old, moneyed clans ever since I became a spectator of their world back in college (my family on my father’s side hails from Sta. Barbara, Iloilo but by no means are we loaded). But prior to that, I’ve always had a repulsion for the flashy, tacky nouveau riche. Your blog piques my interest with just the right mix of 101’s and shiz. Please keep them coming!

    Love the writing style. My job entails mostly writing, so I can appreciate a good piece when I see one.

    Just out of curiosity, if you don’t mind me asking, what’s your educational background? Of course you can opt not to answer that.



    P.S. Is it possible not to post this comment, ie., for your eyes only?

  3. Syzygy said,

    November 26, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    True virtue is that which seeks to please others in spite of the humiliation… in order to obtain true joy among the beloved.

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