No Rein in Spain

I had such a great laugh yesterday when an influential good friend related the funny incidents that happened during the last official presidential visit to Spain…. 

And so, the congressmen were presented to The King and to The Queen of Spain in a reception line…

One congressman, obviously beside himself with starstruck excitement, stammered [ enthusiastically nonetheless ] to The King:  “Your Majesty!!!  I have seen you already!!!  In… ‘HOLA!’ !!!”

Of all the stupid and downright embarrassing things to say!!!     

My good friend winced in embarrassment.  He did not know whether to laugh or cry.

Bwahahahahah!!!   😛   😛   😛

The Filipino delegates were very honored that The King and The Queen of Spain did circulate among them for a whole hour.  But, in typical Filipino fashion, no amount of Spanish royal protocol could prevent them from breaching the lines and indulging in tasteless and endless “kodakan” picture-taking with the hapless royal personages.  All those glorious, dentured Filipino smiles!!!   😛   😛   😛

I was reminded of an English princess who, annoyed with all the picture-taking, quipped:  “When will She stop???  I feel like I am on duty in a charity bazaar!!!”

There was a palpable rush of excitement when “La China” Isabel Preysler, the most celebrated woman in Spain, entered the hall.  Everybody, photographers and guests, clicked away!!! 

Top chef and restaurateur [ not to mention real estate megaheiress ] Margarita “Gaita” Araneta Fores and her “Cibo di M” staff prepared the delicious and imaginative hors d’oeuvres.  She had flown in 50 “balikbayan” boxfuls of her “batterie de cuisine” kitchen equipment and Filipino ingredients from Manila to Madrid.  Everyone raved about Gaita Fores’ glorious food, which was simply perfect.  True to character, the Filipino delegates ate as if there would be no tomorrow…

After the state reception, as in all Filipino receptions, the congressmen’s wives scrambled to take the pretty flower arrangements back with them.  *disbelief*  It was as if they were just at the Makati Shangri-La or at the Manila Peninsula rather than royal Madrid.

The palace reception specified formal attire.  As in European formal attire.  The congressmen had to rent their frocks at 80 euros each.  Of course they looked grand.  They looked like waiters in an elegant restaurant of a grand hotel.  The only accessories lacking were the serving trays!!! 

A good friend used to say:  “The Problem is, that to be able to wear such attire, one must be tall, fair, blonde, blue-eyed.  One cannot be short, dark, and fat.  Certainly not “Ethnicanus magnificus.”  It just doesn’t work!!!”

“Ethnicanus magnificus.”  Harharhar!!!   😛

Because the preparations for the Spain trip were all “rush-rush,” the wives of the congressmen did not have time to go to their couturiers to order their dresses.  They ended up hauling whatever polyblends they could from their closets.  So instead of looking divinely elegant like the ladies of the European diplomatic corps, they looked like they were going shopping at “Rustan’s,” “S & R,” “Market! Market!” or the various Christmas bazaars.  Sadly, they were not better dressed than their expatriate countrywomen — the hordes of Filipina domestics in Madrid. 

No, there was No Rein while The Flips were in Spain.   😛





  1. Nona Pimentel said,

    January 16, 2012 at 5:11 am

    ha,ha, love reading all your comments re Pinoy habit of ‘bring home’…can’t help but remember one time in a large dinner party (mostly family though) that I was asked to do the prayers before dinner (buffet). Immediately after concluding the prayer, I added, ‘to those who wish to ‘bring home’ something later, please just ask so and so, if you are to be accommodated as we are still expecting other late coming guests…’ ha,ha…it struck everybody but they took it gladly, mostly family, like I said. (better to give it straight than gawk at an empty table while ‘late comers’ are still on their way)…Oh I must add, due to the hugeness of the gathering, I was saying the prayer with the microphone…

  2. periphery said,

    March 16, 2008 at 5:30 am

    alphabet soup: get your geography and history straight.

    (1) The LA-area “Bay Area” you speak of, i.e. Fullerton and its environs, is NEVER referred to as “Bay Area” by anyone outside of Hell-A.

    (2) The Palm Beach Breakers has always been a hotel. From day one. So no, it is not a palace in the true sense of the word. The Newport Breakers was a home, one of the “cottages” of the Gilded Age. So in the grand scheme of things it occupies a more storied place in history than the eponymous hotel to the south ever would.

    (3) In place of Mexicans in California you get Cubans and Haitians in Florida. Six of one, half dozen of the other. Sheesh.

  3. betty mahmoudy said,

    February 19, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Re: My family’s wealth was not built prancing around the “entablado.”

    This is the funniest thing I’ve read all day!!! I LOVE IT!

  4. February 19, 2008 at 5:07 am

    Oh no, dear. Not that Durcal. My family’s wealth was not built prancing around the “entablado.” And “The Breakers” you speak of in Newport, R.I. is but a mansion. I speak of the palace hotel to the south.

  5. Garganta Inflamada said,

    February 18, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    t7jygfh…., last time I checked the Bay Area is in Northern California with beautiful San Francisco as its anchor.

    So you’re allergic to the ‘Mexicans’? But wasn’t your relation, Rocio Durcal, the queen of Mexican ranchero music? And your forebears might have come over on the galleon trade from Acapulco or Puebla, no less? No?

    The Breakers? Which one? The one in Newport or the one in Palm Beach?


  6. February 16, 2008 at 1:08 am

    Mozambique quite naturally. I will not deny myself or my ancestors of our heritage even as we await our return to “Queluz” and at the very least, Petropolis. We were just following our treaty signed in Tordesillas many centuries ago.

    With Somalia you might want to ask the Rom*aldezes and the T*ntocos as they used to maintain grand houses in Rome. Somalia if my history proves me correct — was an Italian chess piece in the grand old checker game for Africa.

    And no, I don’t want to go to Los Angeles. I’m allergic to Mexicans. I will wait for you at “The Breakers.”

  7. Tita Fabulosa said,

    February 12, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Actually, fybxzd ( Durcal-Patino-Beira )*, since you seem to want me to try Cibo / Pepato and cover the tab right away, I just got a brilliant idea.

    Maybe you can have Gaita fly her troops & supplies over to the Bay Area, CA, (and since that will be under 11 hours) why, the ingredients would be twice as fresh as what was served in Madrid!!! My place and the clubhouse in my complex is available. Toto has many cousins in the area, so at least moi, periphery, and the Gonzalez relations would once again try Margarita’s masterpieces.

    And to pull this off on such short notice, would be another feather in Gaita’s cap!!!

    How about it? My calendar’s open for the next month. 🙂 🙂 Muchissimas gracias in advance.

    Tita Fabulosa

    * Did a little research. OK, now I know who Durcal is — but I still get Beira as a city in Mozambique. So I wasn’t far off with the Somalia guess…)

  8. john said,

    February 11, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Margarita Fores said,

    February 6, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    After 10 years and 9 stores, Cibo is happy to have brought much happiness to our clients in Manila. We welcome any suggestions and feedback from you, especially those who have been disappointed or indifferent, so that we may find more ways to improve our product and our operation. It is only through constructive feedback from you, that we may truly improve ourselves. Thank you.
    More dishes with Arugula!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  9. Garganta Inflamada said,

    February 11, 2008 at 7:32 am

    fybxzd…, sorry, I have no clue as to what your 3 words…OK 2, unless that’s Patino with an ‘enye”, then I don’t know Durcal and Beira. Prominent names from Yemen? Somalia? 🙂

    BTW, I didn’t worry about the prices when I ate there because I was treated. But I can take a rain check if you want. BWAAHHHHHHH!


  10. February 11, 2008 at 2:41 am

    Oh dear. Garganta. I wish I could tell you who I am. That way you don’t have to pay the bill in Gaita’s restaurants. I really don’t mind paying. It’s capampangan trait to never economize on food.

    But I’m afraid I can only leave you with three words. Durcal. Patino. Beira.

  11. Garganta Inflamada said,

    February 7, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Uhmmm, this multi-lettered poster, xywofnadhnaecnoe, I would prefer if you did not speak or interpolate for me. I did not “…feign blah-blah…”

    And I also resent your insinuation about my take on the prices. If I ask someone else to re-interpret my postings, I will ask. OK?

    To Margarita, I did not mean to diss your restaurants (based on my last trip to Manila), it’s just that — and I am being plainly honest here — I just don’t remember what I had (went there for snacks w/ long-lost company). I’m not much of a foodie, and I tend to prefer French cuisine when dining out (since I don’t prepare that at home).

    BTW, we are sort of related by marriage. Your father is a first cousin of a first cousin of mine (so via the Geronimo line). But I’ll certainly stop by Cibo or Pepato again on my next visit home.


  12. JLB said,

    February 7, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Gaita, my cousin saw you in the Go Negosyo! Caravan held at the University of St. La Salle Coliseum middle of last year in Bacolod.. how down-to earth and friendly you were yet very classy and elegant in a white shirt and jeans…..heard you had yummy chicken inasal in Bago City in the house of your ancestor General Juan Araneta…..i love Pepato and how you incorporate filipino menus and ingredients into your nouvelle cuisine repertoire…its so eclectic….reminds me of Cendrillon at SoHo, but yours is better……Gaita, i hope you can get a copy of the cookbook entitled ‘Namit Gid!”..its published by the St. Scholastica Bacolod High School Class of 1980…it has Negrense recipes in it, u can buy it at Pendy’s in Bacolod….i wish you could also incorporate Negrense cuisine into Pepato’s menu…more power to you…

  13. periphery said,

    February 6, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Towards the tail end of 2007, I went back to Manila for the first time in 9 years. I am a self-described foodie, and where I live now (SF Bay Area) is foodie heaven. I have to say that of all the restaurants I ate at while in Manila recently, there were only three that I would describe as having really good food: Cibo, Pepato, and Abe.

    So, yeah, hats off to Gaita for her successful efforts.

  14. February 6, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    And yes, I will visit Greenbelt. My side of the world is abuzz about this news, almost-like-Harrods-cum-Takashimaya boutique mall called Adora. After I gorge myself in your restaurant we will promptly check out this Adora place. It’s very controversial I hear. I heard it’s connected to the old Rustans but with a different twist, a different Tantoco.

  15. February 6, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    Gaita, I remember your food. There is no such thing as italian food in Manila without you being part of it. I like it a lot. You are not afraid to spice it up with Filipino ingredients unlike these little restos popping like mushrooms and denying the Filipino tongue off of its natural palate.

    And it’s not just the food. It’s the presentation too. I think that’s the extra kick your dishes have. Ooooh, the edible flower vegetable things and the sauces…and the desserts!!!!!! The food is ambrosian (except for goat/sheep/lamb….but that’s my personal preference as I don’t like the smell of lambchops—I guess you can imagine I’m not Jewish). Overall the food is excellent.

    I was merely quoting Garganta Inflamada– who feigned to forget the mouth watering food your restaurant/s serve. He was probably concerned about the price tag which if I must say, is truly truly affordable.

    However, when I fly to Manila, I will remind you of this thread of a blog so I can taste-test (although there would be no need, I just want to try all of it) the rest of your menu!

  16. February 6, 2008 at 6:32 pm


    Hi there!!! Great to see you here!!! *hugs*

    Friends, this fabulous lady needs no introduction… Margarita “Gaita” Araneta Fores herself!!!

    Everyone who was there say you did an impressive job in Madrid. To the skeptics, you were the one good note of the Madrid trip. Everyone is proud of you!!! But please, try not to stress yourself during these megaproductions because nothing will be worth it if you get sick.

    I am so honored you have visited my silly blog.

    Best regards to Alvin!!!

    See you around!!!

    Toto Gonzalez 😀

  17. Margarita Fores said,

    February 6, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    After 10 years and 9 stores, Cibo is happy to have brought much happiness to our clients in Manila. We welcome any suggestions and feedback from you, especially those who have been disappointed or indifferent, so that we may find more ways to improve our product and our operation. It is only through constructive feedback from you, that we may truly improve ourselves. Thank you.

  18. Margarita Fores said,

    February 6, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    And to dqwqfdweoidjso, it is a pity that you don’t remember what you had. The food at Cibo is simple Italian cafe food… our repertoire, at cibo di M, my catering division, has a much wider repertoire that includes not just more special Italian menus, but elegant Filipino ones as well. May I invite you to visit PEPATO, cibo di M, at Greenbelt 2 when you come back to Manila one day and I hope that you do have better memories of what you taste!!!

  19. Margarita Fores said,

    February 6, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Thank you for your kind words about the food my team and I prepared in Madrid, at the Palacio De El Pardo. I do not know much about the guests because we only had time to focus full blast preparing the food and the floral arrangements with the very little time we had. And to the person who questioned how fresh could our food be after flying it for 20 hours, FYI, we flew Filipino ingredients in… fresh fruits, laguna cheese, jellies, jams and marmalades to serve with beautiful Spanish cheeses, bihod, sotanghon, and other unique Filipino ingredients, but cooked everything there in the venue’s kitchen just before the event ( the way we normally do at all our catered events). This we did together with the wonderful chefs of The Ritz Madrid who run the kitchen there and maintain the Palace exclusively. My Fiori di M team also collaborated with Nick, the Malacanan florist, to create a total scene with arrangements so breathtakingly beautiful and FILIPINO… with endless sampaguita garlands and Philippine orchids that made the jaws of both the Filipino and Spanish guests, and royalty, drop. Yes the women, especially the Spanish-Filipino women, did take some parts of the flower arrangements home… but really, the wonderful scent of the sampaguita that wafted across the room, may have reminded them so much of all the GOOD and BEAUTIFUL things they remember about our beautiful country, that they may not have been able to help themselves from wanting to take some garlands home… I am sure any normal person who misses his or her home country that much would have done the same. The first state visit of a Filipino President to Spain in 45 years was indeed special, and I must say I was honored to have been part of the team that tried to show the rest of the world that we in the Philippines are capable of much elegance and grace and that our country is indeed beautiful and unique. I would like to focus on the positive side of the trip, and would not like to dwell on what the press and most everyone else focused on… just the flak. Explaining the real circumstances would be futile because it seems most people decided way in advance that there was no saving grace to the trip. I am just thankful that my team and I, especially my Fiori di M girls ( who started as simple kasambahays at my mother’s home, but are now the experts who help me create our unique floral sculptures at Fiori di M ) were blessed with this once-in-a lifetime chance to bring pride and honor to our country! For the Philippines and our products to go global, sometimes extraordinary efforts need to be taken to showcase them. This was one such event… if the entourage, and all other questionable things were part of the damage, I must admit I was not privy and didn’t really care to be. All I know is, if you had seen it all, you would have been proud of it, and you would have held your head high, proudly Filipino!!!

  20. Garganta Inflamada said,

    January 21, 2008 at 8:15 am

    Just came across this:

    This is the last story on that page:

    “NEW JERSEY — Filipino American siblings, who claim their great grandfather, a former Governor General to the Philippines in 1859 who fathered two children of Spain’s Queen Isabel II, have sought the help of the US State Department to certify the authentic testatory will sent by the military archives of Spain.

    In a letter to the State Department, Juan Carlos Arevalo, who works for Pentagon; and his businesswoman- sister, Cara Maria Margarita Arevalo; and their Filipino father, Ray Arevalo, cousins of reigning King Juan Carlos l of Spain; want to claim back their legacy and the general’s role in history.

    Their legacy was lost when a Filipino widow – Dona Atanacia Bayot – who had seven children, and a son from a previous marriage, married Governor General Juan Martin Arevalo who was then on the brink of death.

    She then assigned her son – Francisco – as the sole executor of the Governor’s monetary estate and gold from Spain – at the expense of his sole surviving inheritor, Don Julio, the grandfather of Ray Arevalo.

    The Arevalos claim that the Bayot family defrauded the Arevalos by misrepresenting them to claim the Governor’s properties and royal gold military pension – or Escudos – from Spain which are still being sent by the Spanish government from 19th century up to this time.

    The Arevalos said they are the direct descendants of the late Governor General.

    The Governor General was murdered in the Philippines in 1864 after Atanacia Bayot, bore him a son, Julio Martin Arevalo.

    Because of the “gold Escudos” from Spain, the Bayot family became the most landed, wealthiest family in Masbate, Philippines and acquired properties in the US.

    Ray Arevalo also discovered last year, that their grandfather left a vast winery and other properties in Spain for his heirs.

    “With the Spanish influence on land-grabbing in the Philippines and the power of the rich trampling the rights of the poor, we believe that a heavy case of transgressions, force and manipulations transpired during the time of our great grandfather, Don Julio,” the heirs said.

    The Arevalo heirs discovered their royal lineage through extensive records such as letters from the Queens of Spain, military records, department of Army , Supreme Court and Justice Ministry from the Spanish archives of Segovia, Spain.

    The Governor received the Order of San Hermenegildo Award, the highest award given to someone with outstanding royal and military contribution to Spain. the award came from Queen Isabel . He toppled the insurgency in Fort Santiago, Intramuros and received another award of distinction. The Governor was Spain’s biggest military star in the 1850s.

    Cara Arevalo, her mother Caroll and father Ray, are in the Philippines right now to trace back the history of their great grandfather.

    In an earlier interview, the Arevalo family said after the State Department certification, the Bayot clan would be forced to return the stolen properties of the Arevalos.

    The Arevalos have yet to decide whether to file a criminal complaint against the Bayot family for fraud, deception, and misrepresentation.”

    So the Zobeyalas might NOT be the only royal Flip relatives of the Spanish House of Bourbon. Seems like there is a new family on the horizon. I wonder how far it will go. Whaddya think?


  21. periphery said,

    January 21, 2008 at 12:08 am

    …oh, and one must not forget the Pedrosa and Hidalgo ladies… some wealth and looks, and definitely the right pedigree…

  22. periphery said,

    January 21, 2008 at 12:01 am

    Your near-encyclopedic knowledge of the histories (and secrets) of the Philippines’ storied families is amazing. You should write a book ( or at least a series of essays ) about the different wealthy and prominent Spanish-Filipino families and their histories. True Spanish-Filipinos, though, because as we all know most people with any pretensions to “alta sociedad” claim Spanish lineage, however remote or diluted.

    Specifically, I am curious as to what has become of most of these prominent Hispano-Filipino families. Are there any left that are truly in the highest reaches of Philippine Society besides the Zobel de Ayalas, Roxases, Elizaldes, and Aboitizes? Are the ********* still wealthy, anyway? Or are they living on fading fortunes and flawless pedigrees, like what’s called “good goods” in WASP society?

    What about other “Castilaloys” that are wealthy and pedigreed but largely anonymous? At my old school, before I transferred to IS (I guess the kids these days call it ISM now, haha), I had a classmate whose first name I can’t remember. But this boy definitely had very Castillian features, and his family name was de Villa-Abrille if I remember correctly. They lived in Forbes, actively using multiple houses there ( two North, one South, if memory serves ). Fabulously wealthy, but relatively simple and almost completely anonymous… Then there was the beautiful Mrs. Ladao, originally Barrenechea y Roselló… And there was Miguel, another classmate with a totally anonymous ( i.e. not famous, not to be found in society pages ) last name, but who only spoke Castillian at home and who was shipped off after 7th grade to the US, where he attended Groton for high school and went on to college at Princeton. I think he was a Lopez cousin by marriage, though…

  23. Juancho L. Baylon said,

    January 13, 2008 at 4:07 am

    yes, the house of congress is not august anymore unlike the prewar years, it is now littered with with all sorts of nouveau riche creatures and thieves which, without their gaudy expensive suits and barongs can be mistaken for tinderos and tinderas of fish.

  24. January 8, 2008 at 3:33 am

    “But if the food was flown from Manila to Madrid, how fresh could ingredients be that were in transit for some 20 hours? ( I did sample some items at “Cibo” last time I was in Manila, on two occasions no less, and I frankly can’t remember what I had. )”

    My lolas fondly remember separate jets filled with Filipino food being flown to Madrid and to New York during the heyday junkets of the former First Lady. Well-appointed food ha. Even Joseph Estrada did it. Even D*nding does it now.

  25. January 3, 2008 at 9:45 am



    Happy New Year!!!

    Toto Gonzalez 😀

  26. Alex Castro said,

    January 3, 2008 at 2:24 am

    I bet I would have been royal-flushed too. If I had been there, I would have brought my slum book, and I would have asked Reina Sophie to write me a d-d-k-shun, after filling the page with her “favorite motto/ favorite quotation/favorite dishes, color, etc”. Bwahaha!

  27. Garganta Inflamada said,

    December 25, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    A Merry Kwanzaa to one and all… 🙂

    G.I. 🙂

  28. betty mahmoudy said,

    December 24, 2007 at 10:19 am

    Merry Christmas to all – we await more freshly squeezed juice in the new year!

  29. zippo said,

    December 23, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    A Happy Christmas to all — to Toto, G. I., Betty, and all the other readers of this Blog.

    Z 🙂

  30. zippo said,

    December 22, 2007 at 9:53 am

    Betty, Department of Foreign Affairs ( DFA ) insiders have been talking about this scandal for weeks. When will all these government scandals end?!!!

  31. Garganta Inflamada said,

    December 21, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    betty mahmoudy wrote:

    Toto, scandale! Apparently the Philippine Ambassador to Spain requested the Spanish Governnment in 2004 that Spanish nationality papers be expedited for him upon the end of his posting! Ayayay!


    Actually, Betty, that request is not as uncommon as you think. Within diplomatic circles, it is accepted that sometimes the envoys have acclimated themselves to their assignments so much that either by choice or circumstance, they opt to want to reside in the new country permanently.

    US news commentator Connie Chung’s parents were diplomats ( OK, from the Chiang Kai-Shek gov’t. ) but decided to remain in the US even though the Nationalists were still able to establish their country in Formosa. I have relatives who for many years were assigned to the Phil’s Mission to the UN; and after all those years of service, took up US residency in the end. Of course, it’s sort of an insult to the mother country, but then, the host country can always use such requests to their advantage later on.

    So Lan*’s request was probably pushed by Conch*tina…w/ *sabel’s prodding too. At least marami ng mga credentialed “atchay” sa Madrid. Ha ha ha! ( just kidding ).


  32. betty mahmoudy said,

    December 21, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    Toto, scandale! Apparently the Philippine Ambassador to Spain requested the Spanish Governnment in 2004 that Spanish nationality papers be expedited for him upon the end of his posting! Ayayay!

  33. Garganta Inflamada said,

    December 20, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    Since it’s so cumbersome finding the apropos topix, I will just add here on top: 2 Manila names and faces appeared in this past weekend’s San Francisco Chronicle society spread:

    * M*ndy Perez-Rubio (don’t know much about them but I know they are/were a Manila family) appearing (pic #4 in the “Star Light, Star Bright” section) with a Volunteers dinner (including Art Linkletter and his wife) of San Mateo County (yup, where Hillsborough is located); and

    * Mike U*tengsu, trying to appear young in (Symphonix League, pic #6).

    (Being SF, there are also lots of pix of huge, ugly drag queens. Yecch! )


  34. zippo said,

    December 18, 2007 at 10:30 am

    Right you are G.I. I don’t enjoy Cibo BUT Ms. Fores’ PEPATO is something else.

  35. Garganta Inflamada said,

    December 18, 2007 at 7:23 am

    But if the food was flown from Manila to Madrid, how fresh could ingredients be that were in transit for some 20 hours? ( I did sample some items at “Cibo” last time I was in Manila, on two occasions no less, and I frankly can’t remember what I had. )


  36. December 18, 2007 at 4:56 am


    I agree with you about Gaita’s cuisine being world-class.

    I also indulge myself whenever I’m at a party catered by “Cibo di M.” 😛

    Toto Gonzalez

  37. betty mahmoudy said,

    December 17, 2007 at 7:00 pm

    Margarita’s cuisine is truly world-class. Que lastima that the delegation was not.

  38. zippo said,

    December 17, 2007 at 8:33 am

    My uncle’s wife. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if Hugo’s ex-wife was also dancing with them.

    Z 🙂

  39. Garganta Inflamada said,

    December 16, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    Actually, that’s not such a uniquely Pinay behaviour. Even in the Bay Area (SF and environs), whether high-society corporate events or even little non-profit affairs, the organizers never fail to mention what’s to be done with the floral table centerpieces.

    At one small, non-profit cancer support group Holiday dinner I attended last week, they said that the person with the birthday closest to Dec 25th — backwards or forwards, could take home the table centerpiece if they wanted to. OK, so maybe there are more creative ways of doing it, but it seems to be a worldwide phenomenon. Don’t tell me it’s not done in India or Croatia or Korea or anywhere in Africa. Maybe at a state dinner, you wouldn’t grab these things, but at any dinner of a lesser stature, those items are fair game.

    It’s called recycling, folks.


  40. divina said,

    December 16, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    happens all the time… bejewelled pinays hogging vases after an event… no matter where it is.

    one time, they even tore out tassles from the table setting of a party at Shangri-la Makati. And this was supposedly the A-list crowd.

  41. syzygy said,

    December 15, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    A joyful life is a giving of self without pretense and an open mind as its companion.

  42. Garganta Inflamada said,

    December 15, 2007 at 4:52 pm

    Zippo, thanks for the clarification. Yeah, I wasn’t sure of the quality of, as you so aptly put it, the Lady Leprechaun’s retinue. Did any of Manila’s mestizeria bluebloods accompany her?

    Re: Venezuela, so was it your uncle’s wife or Chavez’s (wife) who went dancing in the streets after the results became known?


  43. zippo said,

    December 15, 2007 at 12:30 am

    I’m sorry to inform you G.I. but the politicians and spouses that went with Her Excellency, the Lady Leprechaun, were much worse than the gentlemen and ladies-in-waiting of IRM. IRM had the likes of IOC, Josie Vergel De Dios, Elvira Manahan, Manoling Collantes, and the writers Kerima Polotan and Ileana Maramag, among others.

    Speaking of Hugo Chavez, I was so glad that the referendum which would have allowed him to tinker with the Venezuelan Constitution lost, albeit narrowly. An uncle, who is an executive of an oil company and is now based in Caracas, was telling me that his wife, a gracious Venezuelan lady, spent the whole night dancing in the streets of Caracas after the results of the referendum were known.

    Z 🙂

  44. Garganta Inflamada said,

    December 13, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    I want pictures of this Madrid pow-wow!

    Bleak as it sounded from your description, Toto, I hope this lot is/was a better one ( i.e., a little more polished? like the Z*biris perhaps? ) than all those Ilokano sycophants during the Makoy era.

    ( I’m sure El Rey J-C had a less stressed time here than at that conclave of So. American heads of state in Chile where he had to tell that Venezuelan peasant ( who certainly resembles some of our congresspeople) to shut up! “Porque no te callas?” he called on Chavez after the p*g would not shut up. )

    Of course, we all know Imelda only wanted attractive people around her; but not overly attractive as to shift the spotlight from her. I imagine GMA is not as insecure as Da Pabulous Wan is/was. 🙂 BTW, IRM is really looking peaked these days.


  45. chong mo said,

    December 13, 2007 at 10:49 am

    What a funny story. It’s so typically Pinoy. I remember my family’s surprise during my wedding when some of the guests started bringing home flowers. Nothing was spared. The centerpieces in the receiving area of the Rizal Ballroom as well as in the ballroom itself. One Wedding Coordinator crew had to intercept a well-dressed couple bringing out a small pot that belonged to the hotel. To think we were the “promdi” people in the room. I was so shocked because these people who were getting flowers were ones whom I thought were the classy people from the villages. Apparently, it’s also a practice to raid the balloons during kiddie parties even BEFORE the party ends. They sure start them young. The party was in MPC [ Manila Polo Club ].

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