Decorating in the Marcos Era

A very expensive senior decorator remembers…

“It’s all quiet now in that mansard-roofed French Provincial manse at one turn of Cambridge Circle in posh North Forbes Park, but back in those halcyon days when…”

“In those days, the mid-1970s, when one was rich, one was really rich!!!  We went around the world shopping on the magnate’s private Lear jet.  And there was a 747 that trailed us everywhere to load the purchases!!!”

“The magnate actually had simple taste:  He only liked expensive, very expensive, and terribly expensive things!!!  If it wasn’t expensive, it didn’t appeal to him.  There was also No Budget.  So that was our peg for the whole project.  A very easy peg to work with in any case!!!”

“We purchased the art over several years shuttling between New York, London, and Paris.    The magnificent Picasso was purchased from a top dealer in Paris; its purchase necessitated a hefty withdrawal from one of the magnate’s Swiss bank accounts.”

“The couple had decided that they wanted three immense chandeliers for their reception hall.  Three chandeliers of Bohemian crystal just like those in Malacanang’s Ceremonial Hall.  So off to Vienna in Austria we went.  We ordered three “Marie-Theresa” type chandeliers with crystal prisms 12″ inches long and 10″ inches wide each costing USD $ 300,000.00/xx, USD $ 900,000.00/xx for the three.  When they were ready, the 747 was dispatched to bring them back to Manila.”

“Of course, we bought many more chandeliers from Baccarat and Murano for the smaller rooms…”

“We bought all the antique rugs for the house in London.  Some 48 of them.  Several were very important pre-1875 Persian rugs.  Others were 18th century Axminsters.  And still others were late 18th century and early 19th century Aubusson rugs from France.”

“Many ladies swooned over the extraordinary curtains of silk damask and lace.  They didn’t even know that we had actually ordered the fabulous silks from Lyons in France.  And that we had gone to Saint Gallen in Switzerland for the exquisite laces.”

“The magnate had long admired ivory and mineral carvings in the residences of his elegant Chinese friends.  He wanted a collection of his own.  But he was very specific about wanting several, big, impressive pieces.  He did not want small ones, no matter how rare or exquisite.  So we went to the major Hong Kong dealers.  They were able to produce the impressive pieces that he wanted and he bought them all without any hesitation.  They were displayed in vitrine after vitrine in their reception hall and in the other areas of the house.”

WOWWOWWOW!!!  All of that three decades before Henry Kravis, Stephen Schwarzman, and the Russian, Chinese, and Indian billionaires!!!

And they were only a vassal and a lady-in-waiting to President Ferdinand Marcos and the First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos…

Those were the days.

However, the day came when there was a reprise — milder this time — of the vengeance of Louis XIV on his Finance Minister Nicholas Fouquet, when he dared to outdo him with his Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte [ southeast of Paris at Maincy, in the Seine-et-Marne ]…



  1. Enrique Bustos said,

    October 25, 2011 at 3:55 am

    Silver(io) houses for the price of gold
    SPY BITS By Babe Romualdez (The Philippine Star)

    Photo is loading…

    Two Silverio houses located in Urdaneta Village and North Forbes have been sold to Chemphil chairman Antonio “Tony”Garcia and Iñigo Zobel, respectively, but the long-running legal battle between Ricardo “Ricky” Silverio Jr. and his father, former Bulacan mayor Ricardo “Carding” Silverio Sr. continues. The tug-of-war has grown even more bitter over the years. In January 2006, a SWAT team and members of then Bulacan Mayor Carding’s security detail swooped down on the Urdaneta residence while Ricky Jr. and his children were inside. It would seem however that the disputed residence is actually owned by Pilipinas Development Corp. (PDC) with several court-decisions affirming Ricky Jr. to be the majority shareholder. As such, he can continue his functions and responsibilities as majority-owner until the said court decisions are overturned by the Court of Appeals (CA).

    The elder Silverio sued his son in 2004 for allegedly stealing the stock certificates and transfer books of PDC – an accusation that was dismissed by the Courts. As a matter of fact, the CA categorically declared that from 1990 to 2004, Ricardo Sr. was not a stockholder of PDC based on several documents plus the fact that Carding, having been a mayor then, failed to declare such information in his sworn Statement of Assets and Liabilities. It was the PDC (through a valid authority given to Ricky Jr.) that sold the Urdaneta Village property to 3G Holdings where Tony Garcia (also known as AMG) is part owner. Mayor Carding filed a case to have the sale nullified and cancel 3G Holdings’ title but this was dismissed by a Makati RTC, reiterating that Ricardo Sr. was not a stockholder of PDC and therefore not the proper party to file the said case with the former Bulacan mayor’s Motion for Reconsideration still pending before the court.

    Earlier this year, the elder Silverio’s former secretary and now third wife Lorna Cillan filed a complaint against her stepson, with the Malolos RTC basing her complaint on a decision rendered by another court that ruled her as majority owner of PDC as reflected in the 2003 General Information Sheet that she and her husband filed. The Malolos court however dismissed Cillan’s complaint after taking notice of the pendency of cases involving PDC.

    Reliable Spy Bits sources also belied reports claiming that AMG had managed to borrow a loan from Banco de Oro by pledging the Urdaneta Village property despite the fact that the title was still in the name of PDC. Considering the strict due diligence of a giant bank like Banco de Oro, it would have been impossible or even preposterous for BDO to grant a loan to 3G Holdings, with the Urdaneta property as security, if the title was indeed under the name of PDC, they point out.

    This long-standing Silverio saga is just one more typical story of families whose enormous wealth is being dissipated due to the patriarch having too many families. In the case of Ricky Jr., he says his main reason for fighting his father is purely sentimental especially with respect to the Urdaneta Village property because it was owned by his mother Beatriz Sison (not Dela Merced as erroneously reported) who died without leaving any will. Tony Garcia has been helping Ricky Jr. and those who are very familiar with both of them say they are not only polo buddies but long time personal friends, with the younger Silverio looking up to Garcia as the older brother he never had.

    As for the Silverio property located in North Forbes, Iñigo Zobel has already given notice through the Department of Foreign Affairs that the Turkish Embassy has to vacate the property by the end of this year. Actually, the Embassy is holding its last celebration of Turkey’s Republic Day on Oct. 28 at the multimillion-peso mansion. The polo playing Iñigo specifically chose the super prime property because of its location in Cambridge Circle with its back facing the 18th hole of Manila Golf. Rumors have it that PLDT boss Manny Pangilinan was actually interested in the same North Forbes property but when he found out that his neighbor was going to be Iñigo’s cousin, Jaime Augusto Zobel, he backed out and opted for a property in South Forbes instead.

    Iñigo had paid a good price for the 4,500-square meter Silverio property at P200 million cash considering that real estate prices in the tony subdivision have skyrocketed over the years, with a house and lot measuring 10,000-square meters now able to fetch as much as one billion pesos today. The Silverio houses have become even more precious than silver with triple the price of gold.

  2. roxane cruz said,

    April 9, 2011 at 3:48 am

    sobra ang pagglorify ninyo sa cojuangco family. oo they have initial wealth of their own pero naging tuta sila ng mga marcos. actually dapat 75 percent of what they have in the bank here and elsewhere belongs to the pinoys. ibalik ninyo dahil sa dami ng natural disaters maraming pinoy na naghihirap.““`ma conciencia naman kayo. lahat naman kayo producto ng catholic school.““““““““`5““““““““`

  3. Teta Blanco said,

    November 1, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Your Cojuangco story won’t be complete unless you also look further back into the family’s relationship with the Palarcas of Paniqui, Tarlac. The Palarcas are direct descendants of the Paragas brothers who founded Paniqui, Tarlac in 1712. My great-grandfather Domingo Palarca was the President of the Military Government of Paniqui, Tarlac from January 1900 to June 1901. While Melencio became the area’s Representative to the First Philippine Legislature from 1907 to 1909, Domingo’s eldest son and my grand-uncle Sisenando Palarca was the Representative to the 7th Philippine Legislature from 1925 to 1928. The Palarcas own the CIT Colleges situated in front of the Town Plaza where the old Palarca ancestral home was. Look into the relationship of Domingo Palarca and Melencio (Ysidra’s brother) and into how the Cojuangcos came to own the lot (which used to be Palarca property) where YC Compound now stands. Palarca involvement in Paniqui politics ended when my grandfather Jose Palarca ran for the 1971 ConCon and lost to a Cojuangco (Peping, I think). Before she died, however, my grandmother told me a story which echoes your story about the origins of the Cojuangco wealth.

  4. Enrique Bustos said,

    May 2, 2010 at 6:20 am

    From a supreme court decision docket number G.R. No. 109979

    On October 7, 1987, Beatriz Silverio died without leaving any will in the Municipality of Makati, Metro Manila, she was survived by the legal heirs, namely:


    1. Ricardo Silverio Husband

    2. Edmundo Silverio Son

    3. Edgardo Silverio Son

    4. Ricardo Silverio, Jr. Son

    5. Nelia Silverio Daughter

    6. Ligaya S. dela Merced Daughter

    During the period covering June, 1965, June 1971 and February, 1974 Ricardo Silverio Sr, acting in his capacity as administrator/trustee of the conjugal partnership between him and his wife Beatriz S. Silverio, and using funds of said conjugal partnership, purchased three (3) properties situated at North Forbes, Makati, Metro Manila, Old Forbes, Makati, Metro Manila, and Bel Air, Makati, Metro Manila. In breach of his fiduciary duty as administrator of the said conjugal partnership, and without the knowledge and consent of his wife Beatriz, Ricardo Silverio Sr fraudulently and surreptitiously caused the said properties to be registered in the names of three (3) illegitimate children with his mistress Carmen Zuniga, in order to place said properties beyond the reach of his lawful wife Beatriz Silverio. he was cohabiting with a certain Carmen Zuniga with whom he has three (3) children, namely, Maria Rowena Z. Silverio, Maria Roxanne Z. Silverio, and Ricardo Z. Silverio III. Ricardo Silverio Sr also admitted in a civil case that he purchased three (3) valuable real properties in Cambridge Circle, North Forbes, Intsia Street, Old Forbes, and Taurus Street, Bel Air, all in Makati, Metro Manila, and placed said properties in the names of his three (3) illegitimate children.

  5. November 24, 2009 at 4:54 am


    You’re right. She did not run for Congresswoman. She’s not into politics; she likes to bake and cook.

    zippo probably had a mix-up.

    Thanks for the clarification. We will be deleting that as we clean up this blog.

    Toto Gonzalez

  6. November 24, 2009 at 2:34 am

    That’s weird.

    Zippo said that China ran for Congresswoman.

    I think she never did. I am from Tarlac.

    Check the facts.

  7. atanas said,

    March 13, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    I have been living in the States for a while and haven’t heard anything from my Mom’s side of the family. Last I heard there was a rumble at the Urdaneta house.

  8. atanas said,

    March 13, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    I am enjoying reading your posts. It really is fun to go back to the past. It’s nice to know little tidbits about Manila’s Old Rich — stories that I only hear about in family gatherings. As for Tito Dante, yes, he is the son of Eduardo and Beatrice Silver*o.

  9. Garganta Inflamada said,

    February 12, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    periphery asked:

    This sort of makes me wonder… exactly how much money has notre maîtresse des voleurs rapaces been able to keep hidden from the Filipino people all this time?


    Probably, even she doesn’t know. I think she is not that sophisticated, inventory-wise, to have kept an accounting of what is, could’ve been hers. With a need-to-know basis among all the perpetrators, with all the shell-corporations and fronts covering up their assets (and many of those helping themselves to the loot in the ensuing chaos), I don’t think she really knows. Nor wants to know since her supposed ‘innocence’ helped her dodge a bullet in the New York trial. If SHE had kept a meticulous record of what was her/theirs in her crazy, convoluted ways, I think that would’ve surely come out in the trial.

    She was just good at shopping and acquiring things. (She’s kinda scatter-brained in some regard, as most of us are.) But for once I believe her when she said that she honestly didn’t know how much she had. This ‘state of denial’ she lives in, helps her very well in being to state honestly that she ‘doesn’t know how much she is worth.’ One of the 2 or 3x that I actually believe her.


  10. periphery said,

    February 10, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    This sort of makes me wonder… exactly how much money has notre maîtresse des voleurs rapaces been able to keep hidden from the Filipino people all this time?

  11. Garganta Inflamada said,

    February 3, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    talagang t., so “k*t z.” is the daughter of whom?

    Who was ricardo’s first wife? Or was a bachelor before?

    Is beatrice a ‘de la m*rced” or did that ligaya marry a “de la m*rced”? ( I ask because a cousin used to shack up with ricky de la m*rced while he was still married. )


  12. talagang tsismoso said,

    January 28, 2008 at 8:51 am

    dante silver*o is not the son of ricardo silver*o, dante is a nephew of ricardo silver*o. the story is that ricardo married the widow of his brother edmundo silver*o, beatrice. when edmundo died she married ricardo silver*o. the house of beatrice is in urdaneta village up to this day. ricardo still lives in this house with his former secretary, now his wife, congresswoman lorna silver*o. dante & edmundo jr. are the children of beatrice & edmundo, while ricardo jr. & nellia de*,& ligaya de la m*rced are the children of ricardo & beatrice. if any one is close with former president corazon aquino, you should ask about ligaya silver*o de la m*rced.

  13. talagang tsismoso said,

    January 28, 2008 at 8:41 am

    dante silver*o is not the son of ricardo silver*o, dante is a nephew of ricardo silver*o. the story is that ricardo married the widow of his brother edmundo silver*o, beatrice. when edmundo died, she married ricardo silver*o. the house of beatrice is in urdaneta village.

  14. Riverlane said,

    January 22, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Is Dante Silver*o the son of R*cardo Sr.? I thought he was one of the nephews.

  15. zippo said,

    January 20, 2008 at 1:07 am

    Hi Toto. Kindly give my e-mail address to ichiro.

  16. zippo said,

    January 20, 2008 at 1:06 am


    K*t is NOT the “The Magnate’s” daughter. She’s the granddaughter. Besides, K*t’s dad has never been in good terms with his own dad. Also, the North Forbes home is not K*t’s grandmother’s home but her grandfather’s, uhmmm, “friend.” K*t’s grandmother’s home is at Urdaneta.

    Z 🙂

  17. Garganta Inflamada said,

    January 19, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    ichiro wrote:

    I like your “aristocratic feistiness”… so Min*ie Osm*na.


    Oh dear, ***gulps*** I’m not sure if you meant that as a compliment or not, ichiro. But since this is the feastday of St. Fabian ( at least on my side of the dateline ), then I shall be magnanimous and take it as a compliment — even though I have never actually met Our Visayan Lady of the Maturing Socialites. 🙂


  18. periphery said,

    January 19, 2008 at 1:38 am

    Ok, so I’m totally lost. Is it the general consensus that the post referred to the D*lta Mot*rs people? Wow, I had no idea. I met K*t a few times at various parties years ago, and she never made an “uberrich Magnate’s daughter” impression on me. Interesting…

  19. JLB said,

    January 18, 2008 at 5:13 pm


    Maybe Kris Aquino can interview and guest Jo Cojuangco-Reyes, Lulu Cojuangco-Rivilla, and Ditas Cojuangco-Teodoro in her talk show…

    We have to give credit to Don Pepe and Dona Metring by being fair in all their family dealings. After the war, Don Pepe, being the eldest clan member, aside from the aging Dona Sidra, made sure the proceeds and profits from the Cojuangco properties, industries, sugar mills, and even the “Paniqui rhum” were all divided equally between the children of Don Pepe, the two orphaned children of Don Antonio, and the children of Don Eduardo. He could have opted more shares for his children but he was fair. He even took care of and brought the children of Don Antonio to the United States. After the war, Dona Sidra became a changed woman… submissive and withdrew from the everyday dealings of her vast business empire.

  20. nettie801 said,

    January 18, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Hi Sir Toto,

    Just love this site… can’t resist to drop a line in your very interesting blog, as I consider myself as an avid reader / fan of yours… I am also a true-blooded Capampangan! Also from Apalit, but living somewhere in the North Pole ( hehe )… Been reading your blog for the last 18 months, guess you can call me an “addict” of this site… always looking forward to the new stuff everyday… Thank you and please continue blogging. God bless you and your family… Btw, I am also a fan of the “hopeless actress”… so anything about her family… amuses me ( hahaha ).

    Just in case you’re wondering how I ended up in this site… just like others, I googled “Don Macario Arnedo”… and the rest is history!!!

  21. zippo said,

    January 18, 2008 at 10:27 am


    I’d love to talk to Josephine, Lourdes, or Ditas about this. In fact, a talk show should guest these three formidable women ( representing the 3 branches ) to talk about a family who has contributed so much to Philippine history.

    Also, ichiro and chong mo, if you already know who I am, please just keep the info to yourself. For spilling family secrets, my relatives might skin me alive ( or, worse, disinherit me ) 🙂

    Z 🙂

  22. JLB said,

    January 17, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Don Juan Cojuangco was not childless. His child died during infancy or childhood. I don’t know if “Rosa Cojuangco” is a hoax or not. I don’t think Don Pepe or Dona Metring would have allowed a real niece to go penniless and suffer like that… specially if she really is the daughter of Don Juan.

  23. Garganta Inflamada said,

    January 17, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    And since Lualhati had no children, were all the multimillions left to Estefania’s children, Chech* and Lo*ie???


  24. chong mo said,

    January 17, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    I’m loving this thread. Nice, juicy stories.

    Still can’t guess who “zippo” is though I think we were in school at the same time. “Alicia Santos-Daniels” was a blockmate.


  25. zippo said,

    January 17, 2008 at 7:13 am


    Lualhati Aldaba is one of the famous Aldaba sisters which includes Estefania Aldaba-Lim ( the 1st female cabinet secretary ever, also known as the mother of Cheche Lazaro ) and opera singer Dalisay Aldaba.

    She died about 2 years ago.

  26. Garganta Inflamada said,

    January 17, 2008 at 6:12 am

    Toto wrote: However, the day came when there was a reprise — milder this time — of the vengeance of Louis XIV on his Finance Minister Nicholas Fouquet, when he dared to outdo him with his Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte [ southeast of Paris at Maincy, in the Seine-et-Marne ]…


    He, he. Visited there in June ’06. I can see why Louis XIV banished Fouquet to prison ( However, when I think of Fouquet’s manse, Versailles and Malmaison, I like Malmaison the best.) But the most interesting feature at Fouquet-ville was the mannequin in the basement alluding to the legendary Man in the Iron Mask. Do you think the North Forbes chateau had its equivalent? BWAHHHHHHHH!!!


  27. January 17, 2008 at 5:52 am


    That’s a sad and complex story.

    Toto Gonzalez

  28. January 17, 2008 at 1:06 am

    Ay, I don’t like *******. She’s “matapobre,” unlike Gretchen Oppen and TingTing de los Reyes.

    So out of the blue, I Google Rory’s name and lo and behold, a story about a certain Rosa Garcia Cojuangco? A love child of what I’ve always thought to be a childless Juan Cojuangco! How true is this?!!!!!!!!!

  29. JLB said,

    January 16, 2008 at 8:41 pm


    u mentioned :Could you imagine in the 1960s when Danding and Peping battled each other in numerous electoral contests, both candidates went home to the same Compound?!!!

    correct me if im wrong, but i think Eduardo Jr. lost to Jose Jr. in 1965 during the congressional elections in Tarlac. By that time ,during 1965, the Jose Cojuangco’s Sr. branch of the family already had their own compund inside Luisita. So its impossible for them to be coming together to the same compound. as ive said i think its just a cycle, power moves , sometimes its there, sometimes its not there. Tingting was a controversial power herself during the post-EDSA years and from 1992 to 1998. Then she re-emerged herself by one of the pillars of EDSA 2 planning it inside her house with a few others to the streets of Makati and Edsa. She helped kicked out Erap a beneficiary of Eduardo Sr, the reason why she lost but not ‘defeated’ in 1998. i remember a famous presidential daughter from the Jose Cojuangco Clan, just before the 1992 election, saying: “I’ve always known that power is temporary and that power should be temporary and I’d like to believe that we have always made it clear that we do not consider power as some sort of a potion to be addicted to. When the time comes that it is no longer there, we shall always have very good memories of it but we certainly are not about to crave and hunger for more of it.”

    “Sic transit gloria mundi”… thus passes the glory of the world and times…

  30. zippo said,

    January 16, 2008 at 12:46 pm


    I just have to add Kimi Schultz and the late Rio Diaz to that list

    Z 🙂

  31. zippo said,

    January 16, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    The Cojuangco gentlemen are famous for marrying beautiful women: Josephine Murphy, Sari Cacho, Tingting De Los Reyes, Soledad “Gretchen” Oppen, Nikki Prieto, Nene De Las Alas, Imelda Ongsiako, Denise Yabut, Lizette Banzon, etc. But I’ve always believed that they pale in comparison to the most beautiful (blood) Cojuangco: Aurora “Rory” Cojuangco (now Lagdameo).

    Z 🙂

  32. zippo said,

    January 16, 2008 at 12:31 pm


    China lost because, well, she never even bothered to campaign. It’s sad that all the members of Peping’s family who ran during the last elections lost: Peping himself as Governor, China as Congresswoman, and his Jaworski son-in-law as Mayor of Pasig.

    It’s true that Peping and Tingting raised their daughters well BUT the same must be said of Ditas’ kids too. Gilbert served his constituency very well so that when his wife, Nikki, ran in his stead, the people overwhelmingly voted for her. This was the same Congressional District that Ditas served before Gilbert.

    By the way, this Congressional district is where Paniqui is located — the ancestral town of the Cojuangco clan; the town were the fabled Y.C. Compound stands (Y.C. = Ysidra Cojuangco). For those who don’t know, Y.C. Compound is where the family’s ancestral home is and where all 3 branches have homes.

    Could you imagine in the 1960s when Danding and Peping battled each other in numerous electoral contests, both candidates went home to the same Compound?!!!

    Z 🙂

  33. January 16, 2008 at 10:23 am


    Your powers of observation are astonishing!!!

    Well, I didn’t say that, I just wrote it down. The late uncle of the bride did [ + January 2006 ]. He probably had Alzheimer’s and had mental lapses. I have already corrected the error. Thank you very much!!!


    Toto Gonzalez

  34. January 16, 2008 at 3:57 am

    Daphne Osena has a picture of Imelda Ongsiako-Cojuangco in a very nice black-and-white Inno Sotto gown. Does anybody know other sites that have Imelda O-C pictures in it?

  35. January 16, 2008 at 3:55 am

    zippo, I really like the children of Tatang. They are very simple. Though the same could not be said about Tatang’s princely and “matapobre” grandchildren, I truly applaud Tessie and her siblings for keeping things simple, humble and very efficient. Such is the secret to great wealth — reminds me of what Toto wrote about Dna. Sabina Sioco de Escaler.

  36. January 16, 2008 at 3:20 am

    Yes, I heard that a Zob*l nephew from Spain ( or San Fran? ) or something was very much a known **** ****. Did you see him? He was in the old file footages of ABS-CBN covering the Glorietta blast!

  37. January 16, 2008 at 3:18 am

    Ichiro, the Cojuangcos run like the DuPont companies. United but divided in agenda. Individually wealthy and ruthlessly competitive even amongst themselves. The only thing common is their good wish for the Cojuangco name to remain within the top tier of Manila’s 400.

  38. JLB said,

    January 15, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    I think the rumor about Ysidra Cojuangco’s wealth coming from Antonio Luna’s “Katipunan” gold is simply not true. Ysidra was very frugal and a genius when it came to business and that was why the Cojuangco fortunes flourished even without her brother Melecio who had an untimely demise. I think Ysidra had a Chinese boyfriend from Hong Kong…

  39. zippo said,

    January 15, 2008 at 7:12 am

    G. I.,

    Re your Post No. 1, Henry Sy used to live towards the dead-end of Talisay Road. He had a simple but tastefully decorated house with some artwork done by his childhood friend and neighbor, Juvenal Sanso.

    Of course, “Tatang” Sy now lives in the Philippines’ most expensive and exclusive Penthouse befitting of the country’s richest TaiPan: One Roxas Triangle. His Penthouse has a commanding 365 degree view of the metropolis. His children visit him regularly. What strikes me, though, is that his children really seem to get along with each other and they are so simple. They are driven around in Toyotas and Mitsubishis.

    Z 🙂

  40. January 15, 2008 at 7:10 am

    ichiro and zippo:

    From [ my ] Comment # 2 in the post “Dona Sabina Sioco de Escaler, 1858 – 1950”:

    “”Yes, there is the persistent and undying story in Manila High Society of Dona Ysidra Cojuangco, General Antonio Luna, the ‘bagones’ cartloads of Katipunan gold, Don Antonio Cojuangco, Dona Ysidra’s flight from Malolos, Bulacan to Paniqui, Tarlac, the beginnings of the famed Cojuangco fortune, and all that. A very interesting story with no historical proof. It is about as believable as President Ferdinand Marcos’ possession of the ‘Yamashita Treasure’.””

    Toto Gonzalez

  41. zippo said,

    January 15, 2008 at 7:02 am


    I actually have never seen “Meldy-Co” and the “President-Tita” together.

    Z 🙂

  42. zippo said,

    January 15, 2008 at 6:58 am


    You must be talking about that old “chismis” regarding the Grand Old Lady “Lola Sidra” Dona Ysidra Cojuangco and General Antonio Luna.

    Z 🙂

  43. zippo said,

    January 15, 2008 at 6:47 am


    The Manahans did not live in Banaba. If memory serves me right, the Toda family were in Banaba (No. 4, I believe).

    Z 🙂

  44. periphery said,

    January 15, 2008 at 3:55 am

    I love reading your posts, especially the “juicy” ones such as this.

    Anyway, I thought that the Man*hans lived on Banaba? Eh… I could be wrong. The only times I ever really went inside North Forbes were when I would go to the Sarm*ento home.

  45. Juancho L. Baylon said,

    January 14, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    dear toto,

    as promised here is an article about Enrica Alunan Lizares. i hope you can make a single post about her in your blog. i have a picture of Enrica Lizares at the head of the dining table in her house in Talisay with President Manuel Quezon and Vice-President Sergio Osmena in 1938. I can email you the pic so u can post it in the blog about Enrica Alunan Lizares. i have other info and articles about her. Below is one article about her. Thank you very much for your interest about her.

    History of Negros
    by Francisco Varona
    Chapter VI, pages 7-9

    The Alunans-Capitana Dicang

    While many great haciendas was being founded in the different towns of Negros in 1850, Capitan Bartolome Alunan, married to Dona Agata Labayen, was already a prominenet haciendero of Talisay (Minuluan).This marriage bore ten children, an ordinary average of offspring today as it was then in a province so rich, it lands its own fecundiy to its women. Of these, only four were male; the rest were female.One of the males was Raymundo, father of Rafael Alunan I, one of the most distinguished sugar leaders not only of Negros but of the country as well. Among the daughters, the first born was called Enrica; the last was Segundina, mother of Alfonso Coscolluela, grandson by his paternal lineage of the brave Don Jose Coscolluela, who setteled in Negros with his wife, a native of Cabatu-an, Iloilo. Alfonso Alunan Coscolluela is one of the most important financiers of Negros. A provincial treasurer for many years, he started his public career as a modest clerk with a salary of twenty pesos a month.

    But let us go back to speak of the first daughter of Don Bartolome Alunan, Enrica by name. She is the mother of many sons, all of them great hacienderos and capitalists, and grandmother of many children, among them the brilliant and young financier, Placido Lizares Mapa. She married Efigenio Lizares in 1872 and upon being widowed, continued caring for their haciendas of Matab-ang, Minuluan and Cabi-ayan. Until now, at the age of 80 and after giving birth to seventeen children, twelve of whom are living, she continues to be the unifying inspiration and supreme authority of this great family which, aside from its numerous haciendas, also manages and supervises over the great Sugar Centrals of Talisy-Silay and Bacolod-Murcia and the small Central Danao.She is to sum it up, an extraordinary woman. At an age when she should be serene and happy after having lived a fruitful life, she does not feel contented if she cannot personally attend to her trees and plants in the garden of her manorial house in Talisay; or if she cannot inspect a cane plantation or other properties of one of her children. This admirable ancient is called with love and respect, Capitana Dicang.

    A Strong Woman

    Dona Enrica exclusively administered the hacienda of Matab-ang and those later on acquired as communal property. She lived in Talisay and had to inspect the work being done, give out the wages, etc. carried on an Orimon (chair carried by four men) to the hacienda. She covered the trip in more than half a day and returned about three or four days later.

    Aside from attending to her haciendas, Dona Enrica also occupied herself with the manufacture of delicious confectionaries for sale, maintained loans, rolled cigars and engaged in other means of making a living. To this day, and inspite of the burden of her 80 years (she was born 15 July 1855), Dona Enrica attends to all these herself. Asked why, she answers: “I have nothing to do.”

    But this is not all. It is also well known that Dona Enrica knows as she does her little fingers all that passes and all that is done or left undone in all and each of the haciendas of her children. She has time to occupy herself with how these haciendas are going along. If one son is absent, she goes to the hacienda without being asked, to personally watch over encargados. She always has counsel or some advice over the works of her sons.

    Austere by nature and firm in her judgement, Dona Enrica maintains severe discipline in the family, Her sons already rich in their own right and themselves sporting white hair, respect her and believe in her as if she were a god. She intervenes in the social activities and even politics of her sons, not so much to impose her point of view than to maintain the unity of her family which is one of the most ancient and respected throughout Negros. So old that Dona Enrica herself declares that not only her parents , Bartolome Alunan and Agata Labayen, but also her grandfather, Vicente Alunan, had been born in Negros.

  46. JLB said,

    January 14, 2008 at 10:04 pm


    thanks for sharing the story of the very interesting gathering you attended recently… hehehe… i think i now know who you are… i hope i’m right… you belong to the Antonio Cojuangco branch of the family. why didn’t Josephine Reyes attend the gathering? i’m sure there are still hurts deep within from certain family members regarding the outcome of the last elections. i think President Aquino was trying to avoid attending that affair. i read from Ate Marrisse’ book “Time and Tide” about Madame Imelda Romualdez-Marcos telling Imelda Ongsiako-Cojuangco that her husband Monching was the lovechild of Ysidra Cojuangco and Antonio Luna. Btw… i think Luis Tirso Rivilla has some relatives in Bacolod. Among them was the family that was massacred 7 years ago inside their house in Bacolod… zippo, can you give us anecdotes about Imelda Ongsiako-Cojuangco and Cory Aquino, are they just civil to each other or do they talk at great lengths when they see each other…???

  47. Garganta Inflamada said,

    January 14, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    Ha! The truth will out.

    Funny, in Ricardo Manapat’s SOME ARE SMARTER THAN OTHERS, a fairly complete treatise and documentation of the wholesale looting ( who got what, where, when, how, and how much ) that went on during the Macrosse administration, the ex-Mr. T*yota-Manila only merits one of the shorter chapters — although of course, his De*ta Enterprises were certainly widely known. However, it also ties in together and all makes sense since Mr. Silver*o also owned ( the smaller ) De*ta Air ( thus, the 747 angle ).

    I remember, in the late 60s and early 70s, the Silver*os used to live around the corner from my cousin’s place in Urdaneta Village. Of course, that wasn’t good enough.

    Anyway, apparently by 1982-83, Mr. Silver*o supposedly ran afoul of his master, Ferdinand The Bull, and thus the Silver*o empire started imploding. So they shot up like a flaming arrow and crash-landed with a fiery finish. All too soon and short. But he got to marrying off one of his daughters to the Zob*ls.

    So, which Picasso was it and where did it go? [ Was it the controversial ( “Head of a Woman,” 1954 ) that ended up with Imelda’s cache and until 1999, was the subject of heavy litigation in the US? ]


  48. zippo said,

    January 14, 2008 at 3:51 pm


    It might interest you that I had just attended a dinner where all three branches of the Cojuangco family were in attendance. It was a smallish dinner ( only 7 or 8 tables ) in the home of one of the senior family members in a very exclusive subdivision.

    The Antonio branch was headed by the only living child of the Antonio branch: the very low-key Lourdes Cojuangco vda. de Rivilla ( widow of the late banker and Ormoc Central sugar baron, Luis Tirso Rivilla ). Doña Lourdes’ brood of children were there led by her eldest son Bambi and youngest son Dors. Other Antonio branch members were in attendance, such as Doña Lourdes’ late “Koyang Ramon’s” and Meldy’s sons Mikey and Choy and their spouses. Imelda Ongsiako-Cojuangco, who was ill, was represented by her lady-in-waiting, Marietta Santos. Tony-Boy wasn’t there, though.

    The Jose branch was represented by the patriarch, Don Pedro ( Pete ) and spouse Sari, together with sons Mel and Nando. Peping and Tingting were also there with their daughters Liaa and Pin. Cory was represented by her Senator-son, Noynoy.

    The Eduardo branch was represented by youngest daughter Isabel Cojuangco-Suntay. Its most famous member, Danding, was represented by his youngest son Charlie. I left early but I heard that THE Gretchen O-C was on her way to the dinner.

    The head table had Doña Lourdes, Don Pedro and Sari, Peping and Tingting, Isabel, Noynoy, Charlie, and Dors. You could see that the cousins GENUINELY enjoyed each other’s company — notwithstanding the fact that: (i) Noynoy ran for the Senate as an oppositionist while Charlie’s party was part of the Administration with Danding / Isabel’s sister’s son, Gilbert Teodoro, sitting as Secretary of National Defense; (ii) Peping unsuccessfully ran as Governor of Tarlac while Danding supported Peping’s opponent; (iii) Danding’s sister’s ( Ditas’ ) daughter-in-law, Nikki Prieto-Teodoro, ran and won against Peping’s and Tingting’s daughter, China, for Congresswoman of Tarlac; (iv) the previously apolitical Antonio branch, for the very first time, fielded a family member ( Doña Lourdes’ US-educated son, Dors ) as mayor of the Cojuangco ancestral hometown of Paniqui, Tarlac who ran and won supported by Danding but not by Peping ( who fielded somebody to run against his nephew notwithstanding his earlier promise to support Dors in what was to be a rare show of Cojuangco solidarity ).

    It was a peaceful and warm family gathering. Showbiz celebrity members of the family, such as Mrs. Yap and Ms. Barretto, were NOT in attendance.

    Z 🙂

  49. January 14, 2008 at 3:19 pm


    As always, You’re brill!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  50. zippo said,

    January 14, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    OK. At the risk of people guessing my identity, I’m now going to say that I grew up in the 1970s-1980s in North Forbes. I used to bike the entire village so I know the ins and outs of that village. If memory serves me right, during the 1970s, there were only 2 prominent French Provincial style homes: (i) the ivy covered Man*han home ( which is now the French Ambassador’s residence); and (ii) the blue-and-white Silver*o home.

    Z 🙂

  51. January 14, 2008 at 2:42 pm


    To tell you the truth, this blog has gotten big and unwieldy and I no longer know what’s happening half the time!!! *lolsz!*

    I don’t remember writing what you mentioned. Perhaps it appeared as a comment by somebody else. As you may have observed, I am not the one who writes the most titillating, most exciting, and most controversial things in this blog. They come from my dear readers and appear as their comments. Also, by the advice of concerned lawyer friends, I certainly steer clear of scandal and slander.

    Anything about the legendary “Tana Dicang” Dona Enrica Alunan de Lizares is welcome here. You can post your contributions right here or in the Comments section of the post “Chichi Bacolod.” Actually, She deserves a whole post all by herself. Thank you very much!!!


    Toto Gonzalez

  52. January 14, 2008 at 2:36 pm


    Do regale us with more Marcos Era tales!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  53. January 13, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Of course….

  54. January 13, 2008 at 9:21 am


    I’m sure you know exactly whose house [ palace, actually ] it is…

    Toto Gonzalez

  55. January 13, 2008 at 7:30 am

    Hahaha, I knew you’d write about this…

  56. Garganta Inflamada said,

    January 11, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    I guess — who owned/owns PAL after the Todas (the 747)? (1) Mr L.T.

    If not, (2) H*nry Sy.

    Note: actually we knew a family who, in the 60s, did buy a few modest chandeliers from Austria. But then again, they were from San Lorenzo. Said family has since retired to Spain.


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