Retail Therapy

“When the Going gets Tough, The Tough go Shopping.”

 I have the privilege of knowing some really world-class shopaholics, and they are an amazing breed…!!!

Putting aside the bottomless resources of these people, I have observed that megashopping, however pleasurable, is still a labor-intensive activity…

Unseen Taipan.  “Shopping” on the KKR / Kravis and Blackstone / Schwarzman level [ in their heyday ].  Juan de la Cruz buys clothes and shoes, He buys conglomerates and companies.  Liquidity is never a problem.  The most recent purchase was a large corporation based in China.  He is private and low-key to the extreme.  For all the money in the world [ and perhaps to deflect the kidnapers ], the family piles into one simple vehicle wherever they go in the city.       

Oriental Publisher.  A truly rich man, he bought a major hotel, had it completely renovated from top to bottom, but keeps it closed, reserving its use solely for his private functions.  The unknown darling of the “Lladro” Porcelain Company.  He does not buy single figures, or even groups of figures.  He buys, quite literally, whole towns of “Lladro” figures.  His Collection numbers in the thousands.  But once in a while, he finds the pale colors of the porcelain quite restrained for his tastes, and has them sprayed with gold.      

Emperor Kangxi.  Shopping on a sublime level with Olympian taste.  His kind of shopping is for multimillion-peso Filipino masterpiece paintings, magnificent antique furniture, ecclesiastical and domestic gold and silver, antique ivory.  In short, Everything Filipino, the best of the best, rare, and very expensive goes to Him.

Formidable Mother.  I have written so much about her that Everyone knows for certain that She is a certified megashopper.  The very best stores in New York, London, and Paris, and even Hong Kong and Manila, are her playgrounds.  To say She has dozens of Everything is an understatement.  All sorts of precious objects, name it She has it, in multiples.  As She herself said, with a puff from her solid gold tar guard:  “The only things I haven’t shopped for are Men, but I think I should start sometime, don’t you think???”  *LOLSZ!!!*  

Sleeping Beauty.  Sleeping Beauty is No Great Beauty but She was born rich, married rich, divorced rich, remarried rich, and will in all probability die rich.  Excellent Dress Sense.  The most beautiful dresses [ needless to say the most expensive ] and the most beautiful shoes [ also the most expensive ] I have ever seen on a Filipina in Manila, barring Madame Imelda Romualdez-Marcos in her heyday, of course. 

La Donna e Mobile.  Like Sleeping Beauty, She was born rich, married rich, separated rich, and shacked up richrichrich.  Dress Sense straight from the magazine ads.  Looks like a walking “Chanel” magazine ad, actually.  Or “Dolce & Gabbana.”  Has every single thing to make one look fantastic:  All the best and the most deathly expensive clothes, shoes, and bags.  Frankly, A Looker.   

Grand Don.  He has to acquire something everyday or He will get sick.  His recently-built “Little House” in the legendary family spread sprawls over 1,000 square meters but it is still not enough to contain his myriad collections of paintings, sculpture, furniture, ecclesiastical art, silver, porcelain, crystal, and high kitsch.  

Talleyrand.  Born to Big Money, the scholarly and erudite gentleman grew up — to quote the diplomat Valentine Lawford about Baroness Pauline de Rothschild in the Library of the Chateau Mouton — “combining luxury with learning.”  From books, he branched out to objects of historical significance, and from there to rariora that exemplifies the best of everything in the History of the Philippines.

La Duquesa.  Like Grand Don, She also has to buy something everyday or She will get sick.  Heaven have mercy on you if She takes a fancy on something you have, because She will summon Hell to get it!!!  Has the incredible gift of Serendipity:  What She wants appears out of the blue and She is able to buy, acquire, or simply grab it for herself.

Tita Fabulous.

NY Doctora.  “A Diamond a Day keeps Boredom Away” is her motto.  She is a constant presence in the jewelry stores of Manila and the jewelry salesmen are a constant presence in her home.  Has “ballroom dancing” soirees in her posh apartment so she can wear her big diamonds without fear of them falling and getting lost.  Takes her lucky dance instructors — the handsome, straight ones — on luxury Mediterranean, Aegean, and Caribbean cruises.  But no affairs — the widow is in love only with her jewelry, Euro placements, and Manhattan properties. 

Gobernadora.  She likes Everything and will buy Everything. 

Ms. Lean and Mean.

Old Guard Banker.  Belonging to a venerable Spanish mestizo family whose vast fortune [ and arts and antiques collection ] underwent the vicissitudes of time.  He buys the most beautiful and expensive Filipino colonial antiques and artifacts in an admirable effort to replace his family’s lost legacies.  It is through him that the cycle of wealth has returned to the family.

Violetta Valery.  Unlike the original “La Traviata” story, this Violetta Valery’s Alfredo Germont has provided handsomely for her.  But how long will it last???



  1. Bing Abad said,

    June 13, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Re: properties of the Jose branch of the Cojuangcos

    They still have the house at Roberts Street in Pasay, right? I think that is THE ancestral house (at least in Manila) and not the one in Forbes

  2. Enrique Bustos said,

    January 4, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Oriental Publisher must be Emilio Yap; the hotel is the old “Hotel Mirador” in San Marcelino.

  3. n5ydp said,

    October 4, 2008 at 3:16 am

    I can somehow sympathize with Gr*tchen Barret*o, I recall during our HS years in Assumption Iloilo, the sisters Claudin* and Marjori* studied there briefly. The family had an old car and they had to push it often because it would not start. Gr*tchen was supporting the whole family, sending money to her parents who at that time were living with her Castel*o relations. It was sad because Iloilo was such a small place and everybody knew everybody and, aside from their looks, parents would look down with disdain at the Barret*o girls — I guess in conservative Iloilo their wild antics were often frowned upon.

  4. PCA said,

    June 18, 2008 at 1:18 am


    Just a late reply to some of the comments in this post:

    Loren Legarda who was married to Tony Leviste, was previously married to her boyfriend surnamed Aranda. I think the marriage was annulled.

    As to who is the wife of Little Man D*fensor? This Juli* is a younger sister of this networking woman of First Quadrant fame, D*yee T*ctacan-T*mpalan ( she with the ethnic-sounding surname ) whose claim to fame was being featured in Mega magazine while showing her closet full of designer dresses, bags and shoes ( how tacky! ) So very GB!!!


  5. Tess Lopez said,

    April 6, 2008 at 9:32 am

    I got it Toto! Thanks so much for the connect! Will try to post something on Iloilo although Zaffy will be a better person. I am more knowledgeable on Negros Oriental as I have been working on a coffee table book of that province with Ron and Mike. Do you know anyone interested to publish it? I can assure it will be a good book!

  6. periphery said,

    March 16, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    Señorang ayaw tumuwad sa aking kinatatayuan:

    Sala sa Pranses, sala sa Kastila, sala sa Ingles…

    Mag-Tagalog ka kaya? Baka sakaling mas magaling ka sa balarila ng ating wikang pambansa. Kasi, pagdating sa pagsusulat sa mga wikang dayuhan, tinimbang ka ngunit kulang.

    Ang akin lang naman, kung ang isang tao ay gigiit na siya’y isang sapi ng lipunang de campanilla, kailangan marunong siya magsulat ang magsalita ng wasto. Kahit anupaman ang wikang kanyang piliin.

    Isang tanda ng taong mataas ang uri ay ang hindi nagpupumilit na magsalita sa isang wika na halata namang hindi niya masyadong alam.


  7. Juancho L. Baylon said,

    February 15, 2008 at 10:30 am


    In your post “Patrician Iloilo”, you wrote:

    The Lizares mansion by Andres Luna San Pedro, now a school.

    My friend reminded me that the Lizares-Lopez family of Iloilo had actually hosted Baron and Baroness Maurice de Rothschild in that French-style manse just before the War. Baron Maurice was the father of Baron Edmond de Rothschild of Compagnie Financiere fame, the owner of the Club Med resorts and other prestigious leisure companies.

    Just a little correction, if you don’t mind: It should be the Lizares-Gamboa family of Iloilo instead of Lizares-Lopez…… Emiliano Alunan Lizares married Concepcion Ledesma Gamboa and they were the owners of the house. They were the parents of Emiliano “Emilianito” Gamboa Lizares Jr., et. al.

  8. fybxzdrzrsdfvdzfv said,

    February 15, 2008 at 6:21 am

    Que barbaridad. Is that creepy or what? It’s so Tim Burton or… Stephen King.

    Did he also keep voodoo dolls in his closet?


    Garganta /tita fabulosa:

    Keeping voodoo dolls in the closet is better than keeping ****** as what you’re doing… nobody wants your wrinkled, old ***** unless you inject botox on to it…
    asi garganta asi asi

  9. February 14, 2008 at 2:57 pm


    I’ll ask you:

    Who doesn’t know about the legendary Emilianito Lizares???

    Toto Gonzalez

  10. tita Fabulosa said,

    February 14, 2008 at 5:32 am

    JLB wrote:

    There was also another character from Iloilo and Bacolod: Emilianito Gamboa Lizares. He is already dead but this gentleman appeared in the 1950s in Spanish films and partied with royalty and international movie stars in Madrid… he had statues of “duwendes” in his house in Bel-Air, Makati. Whenever he would “punish” these “duwendes,” he would place the statues of the “duwendes” lying down on the ground…


    Que barbaridad. Is that creepy or what? It’s so Tim Burton or… Stephen King.

    Did he also keep voodoo dolls in his closet?

  11. L*ding said,

    February 14, 2008 at 4:36 am


    hija, yes please, but my eyes are not trained for all those tiny knots of stitching. perhaps we can have tea in one of the girl’s houses here.

    i’m just enjoying talk here as it brings back memories of Manila’s Golden Age.


    to quote l*ah navar*o (she was one of the grandkids of M*say Y*lo) “I won’t stoop to your level” I might fall. I admire L*ah’s courage. That wife of that Defensor Man is a typical “fish lady.” Imagine shouting in the esteemed halls of the Senate and shouting “Puneta Ka” to L*ah. Who does this Juli* D*fensor think she is? Her claim to fame is snagging a losing senatoriable who happens to be in every tense moment of GMA. L*ah with all her grace should be remembered as one of the Forbes Park Kids of the 70s. Her courage and dignity in their quarrel is truly admirable.

  12. February 14, 2008 at 2:51 am

    Please do not mention this “other ******” masquerading to be the legal wife of the venerable House of Don *******. Goodness. If anything, she immerses herself with cheap baubles and gaudy jewelry because she’s never been used to such wealth. She’s never been one of us. And she uses the “apellido” for God’s sake. Even ****’* ***** did not do that!

  13. February 14, 2008 at 1:25 am


    Toto Gonzalez

  14. February 14, 2008 at 1:25 am


    The famous Emiliano “Emilianito” Gamboa Lizares Jr.!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  15. Matutina said,

    February 14, 2008 at 12:52 am

    Senora L*ding,

    Why don’t you also ask Senor Augusto Gonzalez to organize a cross stitch bonding session among the girls here at the Manila Polo Club? Senora L*ding, you can invite your friend, Chito.

  16. JLB said,

    February 14, 2008 at 12:31 am

    Speaking of Albertito, it reminds me of his brother, the late Junjie Lopez… such a character… Iloilo Society would not be the same without him… There was also another character from Iloilo and Bacolod: Emilianito Gamboa Lizares. He is already dead but the gentleman appeared in the 1950s in Spanish films and partied with royalty and international movie stars in Madrid… He had statues of “duwendes” in his house in Bel-Air, Makati. Whenever he would “punish” these “duwendes,” he would place the statues of the “duwendes” lying down on the ground…

  17. zippo said,

    February 13, 2008 at 4:21 pm


    First of all, Ser*io III is no longer a Senator. His 2nd term ended last year and he was not eligible to run for reelection. As such, I don’t think that it is possible for him to “block” Ms. R*lucio’s appointment in the Senate.

    A word on Tony and L*ren L*viste. While it is true that his first marriage has never been declared null by a Philippine court, Tony L*viste had himself converted into a Muslim and, under Philippine Shari’ah Law, Filipino Moslems are entitled to 3 wives — all of whom are legally recognized under Philippine law. In fact, Tony L*viste divorced L*ren in a Philippine Shari’ah Court and this would be perfectly valid under Philippine Law.

    Z 🙂

  18. February 13, 2008 at 12:00 pm


    You must be kidding. This blog has become so notorious / popular [ and I honestly don’t see why 😛 ] in the Fort – Forbes – Dasmarinas axis that you are all [ perhaps even me ] likely to be “denied entry” to the Manila Polo Club. Bwahahah!!! 😛 😛 😛


    Toto Gonzalez 😀

  19. L*ding said,

    February 13, 2008 at 11:13 am


    why don’t you organize an afternoon tea at the Manila Polo Club for the girls here. We can have book readings or have painting sessions. I’m so proud of the niece of Chito, this lady name J*mby. She has brought subtle elegance to the Senate. I’m impressed by her wedding in Chito’s sprawling Calatagan Hacienda organized by Chiqui Yulo.

  20. JLB said,

    February 13, 2008 at 12:12 am

    It’s just sickening to read all these (corruption) stories about the President’s husband and top government officials… it’s like no one is middle class anymore in the inner circles of the President. Everyone has tons of money (courtesy of the Filipino people)… this new witness is no different from a thief… they are just after commissions and kickbacks… when one gets a smaller loot, that’s the time they spill out, like cry babies…

    FG is brash, impudent, and egoistic just like his great grandfather Aniceto Lacson… while his wife’s favorite cabinet minister RP has police escorts for his two ***********, ****** ****** in his yacht…

  21. nettie801 said,

    February 12, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    More pleaseee!!Lovin’ this thread so much!Rich and Fabulous….

  22. periphery said,

    February 12, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    I was bored, so I asked a Parisian friend of mine to translate the previous posting in French. His exact comment:

    “That is horrible French. Very bad, like a computer translated it from another language.”


  23. February 12, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    How about spending it??? 😛 😛 😛


    Toto Gonzalez

  24. February 12, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    And what is all of this debate about the Measure of Wealth? Ughhh. Why measure when you can just enjoy it? Such waste of energy to count when you can concentrate on how to grow wealth.

  25. February 12, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    And I agree with Tita Fabulosa. Why speak French? Proud to be Filipino. Orgulloso Espanol!

  26. February 12, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    I agree. *mee never dipped her hands in international affairs besides rolling up old Italian paintings in poster cylinders and transporting them away from Europe.

  27. Sharmaine said,

    February 12, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Looks like the ambitions of socialite *mily R*lucio-L*pez, former governor of G*imaras, to be “ambassador” would have to wait a little longer. Gloria Arroyo has extended the term of Philip*e Lhuil*ier as ambassador to Italy.

    We know that Lhuil*ier, after failing to get France, has lobbied to stay in Rome. Looks like his powerful Cebu clout has done it again for him.

    But, he has already been granted an agrément by Argentina. What happens now?

    If he has been retained for Italy for another term, the Philippines has to withdraw his nomination to Argentina and send someone else there. Would R*lucio-L*pez settle for Buenos Aires’ beef instead of Rome and Milan’s fashion?

    L*pez’s confirmation is being blocked by Sen. Ser*io *smeña III, whose wife Bet*ina M*jia-L*pez, is the daughter of Alb*rtito L*pez, whom *mily presents as her “husband”.

    There were also maltreatment complaints from teachers whom L*pez employed as maids.

    Confirmed were Willy Gaa as ambassador to Washington D.C and Noel Cabrera, ambassador to Myanmar.

    Re *mily L*pez, no, she’s not a foreign service career officer. She was a model ( *mily R*lucio ), then became gov*rnor of G*imaras as “wife” of Alb*rtito L*pez, son of the late Vice President Fernando L*pez.

    Alb*rtito’s marriage to Chona M*jia, mother of Bet*ina L*pez-*smeña, has never been annulled and there’s is no divorce in the Philippines. What then do you make of *mily presenting herself as “Mrs. L*pez”? And she would be our ambassador!

    *mily and Alb*rtito’s daughter is Celin* L*pez, socialite and fashion arbiter who writes a lifestyle column for the Philippine Star.

    Am curious, what are *mily “L*pez”’s qualifications for the post? Also, how is Gloria ( and her government ) going to introduce *mily’s “marriage” to the Italian foreign affairs?

    There seems to be a clear cut case of “bigamy” here…

    The *mily L*pez “marriage” reminds me of the L*ren L*garda-Tony L*viste “marriage”.

    Tony’s first marriage has not been annulled I was told. Anyway, L*ren and Tony have split recently. L*ren, I heard is occupying Tony’s Forbes Park property. Apparently, if anything happened to Tony, who’s past 70, there will be infightings too between the L*ren “L*viste” clan and the real family of Tony’s first wife with whom he has children.

    If there’s been NO marriage annulment, HOW on earth could a public figure CLAIM “marriage” to a person or call herself or himself “married” to so and so? It’s rather hypocritical, isn’t it? She’d be hard put to call on Pope Benedict and to introduce Alb*rtito L*pez as her husband when the latter’s real wife is still there, alive and kicking, still very much married to Alb*rtito.

    *mily “L*pez” might as well stick to her original name and be done with it – *mily R*lucio.

  28. priscilla tionko said,

    February 12, 2008 at 11:36 am

    …hahaha…so funny…….they took out spanish before i even started college…literal deba, major laugh trip when i translated it…i used…..

  29. L*ding said,

    February 12, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Some Filipino “Old Rich Kuno” (including fabulosa?) think of themselves as hacenderos who like to think of their family as one of the last bastions of Castilian heritage, exponents of old-world urbanidad

  30. L*ding said,

    February 12, 2008 at 10:20 am

    dahling fabulosa,

    french is the language of the romantics. I am a romantic. so are marivic v*squez, ch* ch* madrigal, nik*i teodoro. you guys should see nik*i do her ramp in the halls of congress. she to me is the most beautiful congresswoman ever in the history of the Philippine Congress…

  31. Babblefish said,

    February 12, 2008 at 7:55 am

    WOW! I can almost see the fur flying! With French and Spanish hissing, too!

    That translation seemed straight out of Babblefish. Anybody here speak Klingon? Now THAT would be truly impressive.

  32. tita Fabulosa said,

    February 12, 2008 at 7:06 am

    hijas, hijo —

    God, that translation is soooooo bad, it’s almost funny. **rolls eyes** I apologize for posting in Spanish. I thought most of the readers would understand or get the gist. Would I be redundant if I posted at least a smoother translation of the earlier post?

    * During the demise of the Macoy admin, the little escapade in Rome involving then-Phil-ambassador to Italy the Holy See, was APPARENTLY caused by someone snitching to the Italian authorities. And the snitch supposedly was no other than the ex-presidential daughter who was using Morocco as her base at that time. (Is it true, Liding?)

    * Before that admin fell, the commander-in-chief had also APPARENTLY taken up with a (not nephew, but _____) of his wife. Said (not nephew but ____) was married at one time to a son of the governor of the Central Bank during those times. Said affair obvisouly was happening behind the back of the formidable First Lady. (Is it true, Liding?) Eventually, the relationship was outted — but then, the stability of the regime had become dicey. When her family had fallen from power, MR-L apparently went thru her assets quickly and is supposedly hard-up and stays one step ahead of the debt collector — so to speak. What a pity!

    Good try, priscilla — but you NEVER translate literally. It just takes away the whole…flavor of the story. You translate the CONTEXT of the passage. (But I loved the bon marche! Good market!!) No, hija, even I can tell you that liding meant “how cheap” or “low class”!)

    Liding, why would I try to speak in French? The Philippines has NEVER been in the sphere of the French world. So other than Tita Cory Aquino and a few other Francophiles, it would be the height of pretentiousness.

  33. priscilla tionko said,

    February 11, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    this is the translation of L*ding’s french in english :

    “You speak Spanish like if your old richness? Spain is not even the first class in Europe. Bombs everywhere. How much pretentious so that the people employ Spanish to reveal it they is richness rich, rich, old, when makes some they are right small brown Filipinos of Manila. good market!”

    of your friend cherishe

    this is the translation of Tita Fabulousa’s spanish:

    “Oi some two past nights storias – I am not safe with the veracity of these but they are very intrigosas:

    * During the dispersion of administration passed Ilocana-Leytena, the arrest of the Philippine ambassador to Rome and the Vatican one, that one B.T*ntoco, was precipitate by secret information. The information (on `it breaks’ of arms) secret to the Italian authorities was transmitted by **** presidential that was living in Morocco during that time. It is truth, liding?

    *Antes the dissolution of administraction same, pretends, the narrow head an intimate friendship with the favorite granddaughter of `reigns’ the same behind the back of. This granddaughter I separate with its husband, a son of the governor of the Central bank, and empeso the intimate relation with his `***.’ He is verded, liding? But they do not do months some past ones when its aunt ( the queen ) informio of the relation. And just a short time later, caida of regno ocurio. And now, that ***** ( with initiales MR-L ) this reached ( hard-up ) and always this looking for and asking by money to suportar its luxurious life. That pity!”

    who speaks better? go figure.

  34. Confused said,

    February 11, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    luv the thread until the language changed and I am so LOST. should’ve paid attention to my French and Spanish professors . ay (should’ve gone to class at least!) ug.

  35. periphery said,

    February 11, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    babelfish much?


  36. February 11, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    WOW!!! All this delightful international babble!!! Chic!!! 😀

    Toto Gonzalez

  37. L*ding said,

    February 11, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    à la tante Fabulousa,

    Vous parlez espagnol comme si votre vieille richesse ? L’Espagne n’est pas même la première classe en Europe. Bombes partout. Combien prétentieux pour que les personnes emploient l’espagnol pour le faire apparaître ils sont richesse riche, riche, vieille, quand en fait ils sont juste de petits Philippins bruns de Manille. bon marché !

    de votre ami chéri,


  38. L*ding said,

    February 11, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    *mee Marcos does not meddle in international affairs.

  39. Garganta Inflamada said,

    February 11, 2008 at 7:27 am


    I totally concur. Ditto.


  40. periphery said,

    February 11, 2008 at 7:02 am

    GI: Sure, if you want to email I have to problem with The Ringmaster giving you my address. BTW, “opposite sides of the Bay”… I have relatives in San Ramon and Lafayette…

    tita Fabulosa: More stories, please. Although I have to admit that I need to have my lola translate your postings because, much to my father’s chagrin, I can’t speak Spanish to save my life.

  41. tita Fabulosa said,

    February 10, 2008 at 11:10 pm


    Oi algunas noches pasadas dos storias — no estoy segura con la veracidad de estas pero son muy intrigosas:

    * Durante la dispersion de la administraction pasada Ilocana-Leytena, el arresto del embajador filipino a Roma y a la Vaticana, aquel B. T*ntoco, era precipitado por informaciones secretas. La informacion ( sobre la ‘cache’ de armas ) secreta a los autoridades italianos era transmitida por la **** presidential que estaba viviendo en Morocco durante ese tiempo. Es verdad, l*ding?

    *Antes la disolucion de la administraction misma, aparente, el jefe estrecho un amistad intimo con la nieta favorita de la ‘reina’ a espaldas de la misma. Esta nieta separo con su esposo, un hijo del gobernador del Banco Central, y empeso la relacion intima con su ‘***.’ Es verded, l*ding? Pero no hacen meses algunas pasadas cuando su tia (la reina) se informio de la relacion. Y poco tiempo despues, la caida del regno ocurio. Y ahora, esa ***** ( con initiales MR-L ) esta alcanzada ( hard-up ) y siempre esta buscando y pidiendo por dinero para suportar su vida lujosa. Que lastima!

    Como, l*ding? Que es tu ‘take’ con estos cuentos?

  42. periphery said,

    February 10, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    ichiro said: “”it’s funny how some of the posters who are so up in arms about the notions of ‘matapobre’ are the very same posters who are hypocrites. can’t have it both ways, sweeties…””

    (s that directed at me? Ooh, did i hit a nerve with my previous posts? 🙂

    It’s true that the stuff you described happens a lot in the Philippines. Notions of “marrying down”, or of darker-skinned people being somehow less worthy, or of certain professions being beneath one’s status. It is equally true that I believe in NONE of those things. For me it’s all about how one treats one’s fellow man, and all about discretion.

    And for the record I don’t think lowly of L* Gr*t* simply because she’s an actress. In point of fact, I have a couple of friends who are in Philippine showbiz. I think lowly of her because she’s a gold digger who puts on airs and acts like she’s the Queen of Sheba simply because she’s shacked up with a very, very rich man. She is pretension personified.

    The rigid social stratification in Manila is something I always found stifling and limiting. I actually had a friend “scold” me once for making small talk with a sales clerk at Rustan’s. I shouldn’t engage the help in conversation daw. I remember being so mad at my friend I wanted to slap her.

    Manila society is extremely insular and incestuous, and I can’t help but think that the country would be so much better off if it were more open, less discriminatory. Less conscious about racial make-up, or skin color, native language, or job, or family pedigree. More conscious about intelligence, honest achievement, deportment, and humility. The country would be in a much better place, don’t you think?

  43. tita Fabulosa said,

    February 10, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Oye, l*ding, eres tu? Donde te guardas las milliones de la Taclobena? Con *****? 🙂 🙂

    @ichiro hijo, yo creo que esa ‘liding’ no es que tu piensas.

    Yo soy la una y la unica TITA FABULOSA autentica!!

    La di da.

  44. Juancho L. Baylon said,

    February 10, 2008 at 11:48 am

    and it doesn’t matter how much a person has in his / her account as long as it is hard earned… but in our beloved philippines, anything can happen now. there is an ostentatious display of wealth among certain families when there is so much abject poverty within… how brazen… sure, some families can claim they have US $$$ 500 million… but the question is, how was it acquired… was it ill-gotten? some would say it’s better than having no money at all…… i don’t agree, for me, it’s still the PRINCIPLE!!!!!!

  45. JLB said,

    February 10, 2008 at 11:32 am

    tita l*ding,

    with all due respect to you, i think you are a kind woman, like IO-C, who has immense compassion for the poor. that’s commendable. i also agree with you that it’s really tasteless for people not to feed their household staff properly and to look down on them… that’s being “matapobre”……

    but isn’t it human nature for most rich familes ( no matter how kindhearted and compassionate for the poor ) in forbes or wherever in wanting their son or daughter marrying one of their kind or up??? and when the child marries someone who is lower in social status, the family,generally speaking, looks down…… isn’t that being “matapobre” too? some society matrons call the makati mayor “negro” or whatever names because of the color of his skin and because he belongs to a lower social status. isn’t that being “matapobre” too? isn’t it also “matapobre” of rich familes and their relatives to look down on actresses because one of their members is married to one, or has a relationship with one?
    “”it’s funny how some of the posters who are so up in arms about the notions of ‘matapobre’ are the very same posters who are hypocrites. can’t have it both ways, sweeties…””

  46. L*ding said,

    February 10, 2008 at 10:57 am

    and besides, periphery, when i said vaults, it could mean vaults in their own banks… not some small security vault in one’s room. remember, we’re talking USD $$$ millions here… dollars not pesos…

  47. L*ding said,

    February 10, 2008 at 10:43 am


    there’s no school for learning “class.” nobody can say he has a monopoly in knowing who has “class” and who doesn’t. one is “class” because other people say she is “class.” nobody can claim that as a privilege.

    with the recent stirrings in citibank, societe generale and other banks in the u.s. because of the subprime woes, it is worth putting your money in a basement vault in your manse.

    with the superrich, legitimate cash can be stored in any manner the owner likes it. I disagree with your statement that “legitimately acquired wealth should never held in the form of cold, hard cash in any significant amount”… what’s wrong with that??? Most uberrich anyway own banks so they can just keep the cash at home for their own protection.

  48. JLB said,

    February 10, 2008 at 10:37 am

    I read from a “Philippine Tatler” issue sent to me a year or two ago about how some bankers ( ? ) complained to the editors about some of Manila’s ( in your own words now ) “old wealth,” “establishment,” “superrich” socialites, glowingly featured in the magazine, were not paying their outstanding dues and balances… so was it all for show then?

  49. periphery said,

    February 10, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Anyone who doesn’t have compassion for the poor does NOT have class. It doesn’t matter how much money one has, or what New England boarding schools one attended, or how close to the front row one sits at the Paris couture showings. Being “matapobre” is crass, not class. Anyone who is truly secure with one’s social or financial position does not need to stoop to being “matapobre” or to flaunting one’s baubles like that erstwhile actress who has neither talent nor breeding. So in a way we agree on something.

    BTW, if someone keeps millions in _cash_ form in their vaults, they’re one of a handful of things: a thief, a drug lord, a politician (which in the Philippines is synonymous with “thief”), a massive tax-evader, or just plain stupid.

    As a form of wealth management, it’s about on par with socking one’s savings away under the mattress. No investment value to speak of, and zero hedge against inflation. Legitimately acquired wealth should never held in the form of cold, hard cash in any significant amount. It’s only when one needs to keep one’s money away from the harsh light of day that one keeps it in physical cash form.

  50. L*ding said,

    February 10, 2008 at 7:51 am


    hija, don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against those people who have less than USD $$$ 500 million. What I’m against is their “audacity” to brand themselves as old wealth, establishment, super rich, etcetera when in fact they are just crumbs to those uberwealthy abroad. Yes they live and die here but you have to realize that the world has become one big village. We all have to compare whatever rankings we have locally in a globalized undertaking. If a Makati Worker vacations in Bali, he can be considered a millionaire because of the Rupiahs devaluation. If he calls himself rich because of that, is that being realistic??? NO NO No!!! So you have to assess whatever you have against World Standards!!! Manila is not the World!!!

  51. L*ding said,

    February 10, 2008 at 3:08 am


    hijo, what truly matters is compassion towards the poor. I’ve seen people with a lot of class and style but they don’t feed their help properly, look down on them, etcetera… i admire the works of M*ldy C. towards helping medical students by providing scholarships. that’s class sprinkled with compassion versus her “daughter-in-law” who speaks of hermes like it’s something to be bought in Farmers, has publicity that will shame Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman, and a coterie of bodyguards that will dwarf the Duchess of York….. Who is she? Nothing but living her “delusions of grandeur”, using her “provider’s money”, nothing of substance… Zero… And people here say she’s the classiest star, the stylish….How appalling!

  52. Garganta Inflamada said,

    February 9, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    L*ding wrote:

    Who among these so called “old wealth” can claim to have that liquid cash stored in their vaults? or metal deposits for that matter? Few… Akong Lucio worked hard for it and deserves it. Next time I will name those who pretend to be “old wealth” but their bank accounts can only buy 10 Tourist buses…..To be truly rich your money should be able to buy you a PLANE…Yes an airplane. If you can’t buy one then you’re not. You’re no different from the workers in Makati. The only difference maybe is you have Charmin to wipe your old arse…


    But you’re assuming that everybody wants to climb higher. That ain’t necessarily true. Maybe some folks are content with their 35 million (in whatever) and whatever middling status that confers upon them. They will also probably live the longest.

    A recent study came out that people who rated themselves on a 7-8 scale of “How happy are you?,” tended to have the least health problems in the population surveyed, whereas the super-strivers (those rating themselves 9-10) were beset by more health problems. It must be comforting to know that one has the zillions to pay for one’s ICU care whether in Asia Hospital, Stanford or Cedar-Sinai. But you can’t take it with you — unless you aspire to have a Pharaohnic burial. 🙂 🙂


  53. Garganta Inflamada said,

    February 9, 2008 at 7:44 pm


    Couldn’t have put it better.

    Say, we live on opposite sides of the Bay. Can you email me or vice-versa? Mr. Ringmaster, can you kindly oblige? Thanks.


  54. periphery said,

    February 9, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Oh, and one more thing… ask yourselves… if someone has enough money to be considered rich in the Philippines, AND that someone lives in the Philippines, does it really matter if his or her money is not enough to be considered rich in the United States or France or England? Because, really, it does NOT.

    Say you live in Manila. You have a nice house, with a big yard, an army of servants, a fleet of cars. Your children go to the best schools. You eat at the best restaurants. You take fancy vacations at least once a year. You can afford the latest fashions, the coolest gadgets, the best wines. And you have no plans to emigrate to cooler, wealthier environs. WHO CARES if you’re only considered upper-middle-class or kind-of-sort-of-rich in America or Europe? That’s not where you live!

    These arbitrary cutoffs (“to be truly rich nowadays, one’s net worth should be at least $500 million”) are just plain silly. Can any one of you, truly, from the depths of your soul, HONESTLY say that you wouldn’t consider yourselves rich if you had $400 million? That’s 16 BILLION Pesos. How about $250 million? Or $50 million? How many posters here have $50 million?

    Ok, how about $20 million? That’s rich by any sort of measure, even outside Third World Philippines, and anyone who claims otherwise is a pretentious snob. It will never land you in Forbes Magazine’s rich lists, but it’s still more than enough to qualify you as “rich”. Then again one needs at least ONE BILLION DOLLARS to land on the global rich list. Honestly, sweeties, get real…

  55. periphery said,

    February 9, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    Funny how a simple phrase in a simple post could spark a somewhat passionate discussion about old money vs. nouveau-riche. Anyway, my two cents’ worth:

    -Nouveau-riche is a RELATIVE term. No matter how old your money is, chances are you can always find another family whose money is older.

    -Whether old or new rich, as long as you’re rich, then good for you 🙂 Whether Lucio Tan’s money is 50 years old or 500 doesn’t make his money any less real or potent.

    -What truly matters is CLASS, which money CAN’T buy. Rich is not equal to classy. Conversely, poor is not equal to “wa- class”.

    -It’s funny how some of the posters who are so up in arms about the notions of nouveau-riche are the very same posters who post glowing and gushing comments about this or that “aristocratic” Don or Doña, or this or that “aristocratic” family. The very notion of “aristocratic” implies old families, and usually old money. Can’t have it both ways, sweeties…

  56. February 9, 2008 at 6:29 pm


    Like you, I don’t believe that distinctions between “Old Rich” and “New Rich” should hold because only “Rich,” make that “Very Rich,” or even “Incredibly Rich” — of whatever vintage and vantage — matters.

    Wasn’t Christina Ferrare-de Lorean the one who said: “It is better to be ‘nouveau riche’ than not to be rich at all…”

    All this brings back memories of one of my all-time idols, the [ late ] International Jeweller… There was a conversation between her and the patrician son-in-law that went like this: “Mama, in case they underestimated you, I told them you are very rich!” son-in-law flatly declared.

    “How dare you, hijo!!!???” snapped International Jeweller. “I am not only Very Rich… I am Extraordinarily Rich!!!!!!!”

    You Go, Girl!!! Bwahahahahah!!!


    Toto Gonzalez 😀

  57. L*ding said,

    February 9, 2008 at 4:15 pm


    hijo you’re absolutely right. Very astute! Some “Old rich Kuno(I’m sorry for the word but it’s true and happening now)” Filipinos are everywhere. From Dasmarinas Cavite to Dasmarinas Village, they lurk. As a woman witness to a lot of serious international wealth (I once delivered something for J*fri in Begawan riding in his Lear Jet), I can truly say that some snooty “old rich” here are just considered middle class in a cosmopolitan city like Paris or in place like St. Barts. They have to be realistic in showcasing and branding themselves as “old wealth” , “the establishment”, “old guard” etcetera… when in reality their net worth is not even 100 million dollars…. To be truly rich nowadays, a banker friend told me, you should have a net worth of at least 500 million dollars….. Who among these so called “old wealth” can claim to have that liquid cash stored in their vaults? or metal deposits for that matter? Few… Akong Lucio worked hard for it and deserves it. Next time I will name those who pretend to be “old wealth” but their bank accounts can only buy 10 Tourist buses…..To be truly rich your money should be able to buy you a PLANE…Yes an airplane. If you can’t buy one then you’re not. You’re no different from the workers in Makati. The only difference maybe is you have Charmin to wipe your old arse…..

  58. ana said,

    February 9, 2008 at 10:15 am

    “nouveau riche” is a relative term, to be sure. Sort of like the Pritzkers would consider Warren Buffett nouveau, but the Rockefellers would consider the Pritzkers nouveau, but the Vanderbilts would consider the Rockefellers… well, you get the picture.

    But anyway, yes, Lucio Tan is rich beyond the dreams of avarice, but by any sort of measure in the context of the Philippines he can indeed be considered nouveau. But really it’s relative. I mean he’s certainly old money compared to Ay*n Mu*ji-L*urel, right? hehehehehe…

    XXXXXXXXX said,
    February 8, 2008 at 8:26 am

    i totally agree with all you said liding. To TOTO and everyone reading this blog, when is one considered to be old rich? should you have at least a hundred year old fortune? say, wealth that has been passed on by at least four generations? what truly is the basis?


    in Ramona Diaz’s documentary Imelda, i remember a clip was shown of Imelda partying in “her” (OUR) new york townhouse with george hamilton et. al… Then while Imelda was dancing, the camera focused on an almojadon on her sofa.. printed on the pillow was: NOUVEAU RICHE is better than NO RICH!

  59. Juancho L. Baylon said,

    February 9, 2008 at 7:50 am

    i agree with what you said…’s family cannot be considered old rich today just by having a 40 or 50 year old ‘ancestral’ house in forbes… has to be a spanish colonial ancestral mansion of some sort………4 generations ago, the cojuangcos came from the grassroots themselves…..while in Negros, sugar cultivation ,in commercial quantities, started during the 1850’s…….so as what u said, its some sort of cycle…out with the old, in with the new…..but this cycle doesnt apply to any Royal Family around the world because ,i believe, that the Royal Family(which the Philippines does not have), is the highest form of aristocracy, in any form and in any means….

  60. February 9, 2008 at 3:34 am

    Garganta Inflamada:

    I do not know about the Ol*dan of Leyte.

    ESM-O’s traceable lineage is definitely Old Guard Pampanga. Her paternal M*randa side is Old San Fernando. Also her maternal S*lgado side. Through the M*randa side there are blood relations to the Old Guard Singian, Hizon, and Lazatin families. Through the S*lgado side, there are blood relations to the Old Guard David, Lorenzo, and de Leon families. As always, Everybody who is Anybody in Pampanga is related.

    Not surprisingly, ESM-O is distantly related by blood — through the Hizon, Lazatin, and Lorenzo families — to the husband of her late archrival FLS-P, “The International Jeweller.”

    As a child, ESM-O witnessed the great affluence of her grandaunt, Dona Teodora Salgado de Ullmann, one of the richest and most prominent ladies in San Fernando, Pampanga during her lifetime. Dona Teodora was not a provincial “dona,” She was a cosmopolitan socialite who was frequently in Europe traveling with the richest Filipinos of the early 1900s: the Soriano, Elizalde, Zobel, Roxas, Limjap, et. al.. Dona Teodora actually wore dresses by Paul Poiret, Madeleine Vionnet, and Coco Chanel. She had jewelry from Rene Lalique and Fulco di Verdura. She went to Erno Laszlo for her skin. She lived like the Duchess of Windsor.

    It is a fact that, despite her patrician lineage, ESM-O made her own $$$ megabucks.

    Toto Gonzalez

  61. February 9, 2008 at 3:18 am


    Who else could it be??? 🙂

    Toto Gonzalez

  62. Garganta Inflamada said,

    February 8, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Is it strange or mere coincidence that we have a “L*ding” and mention of the “Ol*dans” here?

    Ichiro, with the reputation and deportment of the grand matriarch of that family, they are definitely “nouveau.”

    Dig into other threads here ( Toto, you really must establish some sort of index ) about previous discussions of EM-O. As always, very juicy.


  63. john said,

    February 8, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    would ’emperor kangxi’ be the person who had so many ivory santos displayed in an Ayala Museum exhibit about 2-3 years ago?

  64. XXXXXXXXX said,

    February 8, 2008 at 8:26 am

    i totally agree with all you said l*ding. To TOTO and everyone reading this blog, when is one considered to be old rich? should you have at least a hundred year old fortune? say, wealth that has been passed on by at least four generations? what truly is the basis?
    Weren’t the ancestors of the old rich at present once considered as parvenus when they have just made a fortune.. don’t you believe the new rich of today will become the old rich of tomorrow? by then, another newly rich generation will emerge. and the cycle just goes on and on.. the new becomes old.. “out with the old, in with the new”.. after all, whether categorized as old or new, it’s the fact that you are rich that truly matters…

  65. periphery said,

    February 8, 2008 at 4:39 am

    GI: How about five? LOL.

    (caveat… I’m not saying one way or another whether any, some, all, or none of the following names fall under my “over $30 mil list”… because I do know or at least know of quite a bit more than 8 Pinoy households in town)


    ***my lips are sealed***


    “nouveau riche” is a relative term, to be sure. Sort of like the Pritzkers would consider Warren Buffett nouveau, but the Rockefellers would consider the Pritzkers nouveau, but the Vanderbilts would consider the Rockefellers… well, you get the picture. 🙂

    But anyway, yes, Lucio Tan is rich beyond the dreams of avarice, but by any sort of measure in the context of the Philippines he can indeed be considered nouveau. But really it’s relative. I mean he’s certainly old money compared to Ay*n Mu*ji-L*urel, right? hehehehehe…

  66. Garganta Inflamada said,

    February 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm


    OK, let’s play the name the Filipino-Athertonians. I’ll name one

    – Banatao –

    you name 3!! 🙂

    Your turn…


  67. L*ding said,

    February 7, 2008 at 9:07 am


    who is nouveau anyway? how do you draw the line? is 50 year-old money nouveau? lucio tan’s money is less than 50 years old but he’s the richest of them all. Nobody in Mega Manila except “Akong Lucio” ( that’s how I call him ) can claim to ride a chopper going to the office ( Allied Bank Bldg ). Right now, some of the old rich in Manila is considered “was rich”, they were not able to propagate their prewar wealth and just spent, spent, spent until they were left with Php 100 million pesos only. How Sad. I’ve seen fortunes dwindled to that amount from their prewar wealth of gargantuan proportions. The truly wealthy in Manila right now are the Chinese and the Zobels bar none. All of the others are mere second liners. There’s a saying “If you’re not rich in New York, then you’re not rich.” ( The Philippines Forbes wealth list is inaccurate as it only lists wealth holdings in the local bourse ( aka stock exchange ).

  68. February 6, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    As for the native ones, give my regards to the Banatao and to the Concepcions.

    As for the Spanish-Filipino ones, tell Monica to advise her father to pay another Spanish Filipino clan—the Arnaiz—before their little California bank experiences a BANK RUN!

    Also, who owns the old Zob*l house in Atherton now? I heard it was on the market for some time…. And is the Gokon*wei palace in Russian Hill still there? Or has it changed hands too?

  69. periphery said,

    February 6, 2008 at 5:07 pm


    Was just re-reading the Forbes list of “richest Filipinos” recently. According to the article, $30 million is the minimum entry point to reach the Philippine “richest 40” list. Their editors would be surprised at how many ultra-low-profile Pinoys there are who have far more than $30 mil. Just in my little neck of the woods here in Atherton, CA, I count at least 8 Pinoy families who pass that barrier. And out of the 8, members of 5 of them retain their Philippine citizenship. They are dual citizens, to be sure, and some just reclaimed their Philippine passports after the GMA dual citizenship law, but nonetheless they are Pinoys.

    And, in the context of this thread… some of them are really world-class shoppers indeed. Nevertheless, they will not appear in any society pages because of their ultra-low-profiles. A couple of them can be considered noveau-riche, but most have very old, established family trees and wealth than can be traced to Spanish colonial times. Basque, Tsinoy, Native Pinoy… we’ve got ’em all in our little town.

  70. JLB said,

    February 5, 2008 at 7:26 pm


    yes, what a small world. Rose Lacson Porteous copied the famous “eagle” necklace from the mother of her first cousin, Rose’s mother Amparo and Arsenio Lacson being siblings. this is not just a rumor. it’s an old story in the 50’s and 60’s coming from members of the Lacson Family of Negros. Rose’s father, Nicolas, is one of the sons of Gen. Aniceto Ledesma Lacson while Rose’s mother, Amparo, is also a Lacson from a different branch but they are relatives…

  71. Liding said,

    February 5, 2008 at 8:39 am


    Rose Porteous is really a character in Perth, Australia. She is known to own the biggest chandelier in the Southern Hemisphere or the world. Her former husband is of the mining wealth. Fabulous Wealth. She gives hundreds of dollars in tip. She had the famous “Eagle” necklace of Imelda copied and brought to Australia. It was a blast.

  72. Liding said,

    February 5, 2008 at 8:36 am


    Mrs. Yap, I think, was courted by the Sultan of Brunei to be his 2nd wife but Tita Cory refused. Of course, she didn’t want her daughter to be a Muslim as they are very devout. Had that happened, she could have been the “Queen Rania” of Southeast Asia.

  73. JLB said,

    February 5, 2008 at 5:19 am

    Pity Kris… She should have married a Zobel or any of the founding families of Philippine Society. A cousin told me Kris was set up by Tessa Prieto-Valdes with her younger brother but… She should have married her kind or at least someone who can hold a candle to her intelligence, aristocratic lineage, and her family’s old wealth… It would have been interesting if Kris had been born during the time of her great grandaunt, Ysidra Cojuangco. She had a daughter who died a few years after birth; the father was unknown. After that, Ysidra just concentrated on her family’s business and her life just revolved around it and the holy activities of the Church. She did not show much of her human side… it must have been hard to be in love against the wishes of the elders. In Ysidra’s case, her father, Incung Jose…

  74. February 5, 2008 at 3:27 am


    Nobody saw you guys either!!! None of the other batches saw Batch ’83 because you guys were up on your own stage at the back!!! 😛 😛 😛


    Toto Gonzalez

  75. zippo said,

    February 4, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    And speaking of “cojones,” I didn’t see you at the “Laking Verde” Homecoming last Saturday, Toto. It was a riot!!!! I know your batch will be the host batch next year so I expect to see you there.

    Z 🙂

  76. zippo said,

    February 4, 2008 at 4:41 pm


    If the assistant of Vicky Belo is to be believed ( the one who went on TV claiming she had an affair with Mr. Yap ), if you say that Mr. Yap’s brain is the size of his “cojones,” then he must be a nuclear physicist!

    Z 🙂

  77. trfdasdfaasd said,

    February 4, 2008 at 6:35 am

    I stand my ground guys. ******* is very “matapobre.” And I would have liked ********. She really is down to earth but she is also a *******. You should check her “aparador.” It has the small little stones and tortoiseshell little trinkets from the Malacanang Palace when it was ransacked in 1986.

    If any thing I truly love Imelda Ongsiako-Cojuangco. The Queen of Thailand knows much about her. Imelda Ongsiako’s enduring twiggy figure reminds me of the Princess Ubol Ratana.

  78. JLB said,

    February 3, 2008 at 6:55 pm


    just like you, i’m also disappointed about Mrs. Yap’s choice of a husband… his brain is the size of his balls. it’s a matter of class loves trash for Mrs. Yap. When Mrs. Yap went with her mother, during the enthronement of Emperor Akihito in Japan, a Prince from a Scandinavian country wanted to court her but i think she turned him down. There were also some other princes who took a fancy on her… she was personally introduced to Princess Diana by no less than Queen Fabiola of Belgium.

  79. JLB said,

    February 3, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    The only time i saw Meldy Cojuangco and the President-tita together was during the latter’s 60th birthday in January of 1993 held at Palm Avenue. Meldy Cojuangco ( a former blue lady of Madame Imelda Romualdez-Marcos ) was invited and she came… Did you know that the PLDT was first offered to the family of Don Pepe Cojuangco [ Cory’s father ]? Negotiations were already under way with Cory’s husband Ninoy Aquino and Pete Cojuangco going to New York… Malacanang, under President Marcos, found out about it… so it fizzled out… President Marcos told the PLDT owners he would give them a “better” Cojuangco in Monching, Meldy’s husband… They just don’t show it, but the senior members of the Cojuangco family have hidden resentments…

  80. curious george said,

    February 3, 2008 at 4:37 pm


    Ah CM-C no less! She and IO-C are two of the very few surviving members of the legitimate, Old Guard Heiresses! The others are simply poor paste copies!!!

  81. zippo said,

    February 3, 2008 at 1:55 pm


    You’re right. Nando Cojuangco has been the brains behind Hacienda Luisita lately. He has really stepped up to the plate to take over the management of the Hacienda when his Kuya L.A. suddenly passed away a few years back.

    Nando is, of course, the law school fraternity brod of Toto’s youngest brother — as with Mikey Arroyo. Right, Toto?

    Z 🙂

  82. zippo said,

    February 3, 2008 at 1:49 pm


    “Dacion en Pago” is a mode of payment wherein property (instead of cash) is given by a debtor to a creditor. This means that GB’s lawyer is making at appear that she lent a considerable sum of money to TBC and that TBC is “paying” her in the form of property.

    This scheme is laughable. How can TBC have been indebted to GB and what kind of indebtedness was this? May I just quote my late father’s driver? Ever since I was in High School, he (the driver, not my dad) would always utter this hilarious phrase: “aba ang mahal naman ng **** ng babaeng yan!”

    Z 🙂

  83. zippo said,

    February 3, 2008 at 1:43 pm


    The question that should be asked is if Miguel Zubiri or Adel Tamano would marry her.

    Z 🙂

  84. Liding said,

    February 3, 2008 at 11:27 am

    “”SECURITY guards and mall workers were shocked and awed when a gleaming black stretch Mercedes Benz pulled up by the “Serendra” driveway Tuesday afternoon.

    Behind the Benz, not really a backup, was a showroom-shiny silver Range Rover, followed by another late model Volvo wagon. In an instant, the real estate value of the “Serendra” driveway rose by P20 million.

    Three more zeros were added to the eight-figure estimate as soon as the doors opened, disgorging members of the Madrigal family, led no less than by the matriarch, Chito Madrigal-Collantes.

    Despite being now wheeled around just like taipan Henry Sy, the increasingly reclusive Madrigal matriarch ventured out of her Forbes palace to lend her presence to the book launching of her good friend, Carmen Guerrero Nakpil, at the nearby “Abe” restaurant.””


    I saw Ising M*drigal in Serendra last December with her husband and Baby Cruz ( Jewelmer and Provost Lady ) walking towards the driveway. Lo and behold, the M*drigal heiress owns a new gleaming black BMW Series 7 without tint. She’s weak now, I think she has scoliosis ( sad ) maybe because of old age. Upon seeing her, I remembered their numerous buildings everywhere in the city… I laugh upon hearing of her story being denied of a US visa by an inexperienced consul. Que Horror! She practically owns Alabang and Calatagan. Love that woman. Very low-key and respectable.

  85. Liding said,

    February 3, 2008 at 10:24 am


    hija, the Php 2 billion in suitcases is true. It is meant to appease the Iron Butterfly so she won’t contest the Coj*angco shares in PLDT which is estimated at 25 billion pesos. *melda Marc*s was supposed to file a counter claim against the PTIC shares of the Coj*angcos which control PLDT. When Erap became president, the Coj*angcos sold their PLDT shares for a whopping USD $$$ 500 million. That’s a windfall for the Antonio branch. It was said that haute jewelers in Manila and Hong Kong had their quota for the month fixed by the gargantuan sales to IO-C, Lizet*e C., the Y*lo Sisters, Maris*a C. ( Not counting the orders of La G*eta ) !!!

  86. Liding said,

    February 3, 2008 at 1:32 am


    IO-C is friends with Thai Royalty. I remember when she went to the Royal Palace for a private visit, Queen Sirikit called a famous Manila jeweller to have IO-C’s jewels copied for her. She liked IO-C’s fabulous dripping bling-blings. Very Thai-ish design. Colorful.

    Yes Tita Cory is the most famous Cojuangco. She is known from Australia to Zimbabwe. Most foreigner housewives I know admire her. Her “end” ( of course not soon; Mrs. Yap is asking for 15 more years ) will rival that of Ninoy Aquino’s and Fernando Poe’s. You will see all the branches of the Cojuangcos.

    She’s more famous than her national hero husband abroad. I think if you ask any foreigner only three Filipino names will surface (Ferdinand, Imelda & Cory)… Did you know that she sold her Wack-Wack lot and Forbes Park lot in the 1960s for the love of Ninoy. He needed the money to campaign, she gave him part of her inheritance. That’s unconditional love.

  87. JLB said,

    February 2, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    Among the Cojuangco ladies, it is Tingting who is really the most down-to-earth, she is just nice to almost anyone and everyone from all walks of life… her being nice is not a put-on, it’s just the way she is, always concerned about others and the willingness to serve… she doesn’t cloister herself in the safe confines of their family’s properties but she really goes down to the people and feels comfortable among them… and she can do anything: ride a tiny boat on a secluded island in Southern Mindanao, cook and eat by the beach, visit the MILF camp… use the “washrooms” of the common people in the barangays and in Mindanao… always interested in Muslim culture and the artifacts of Southern Philippines… she is like the female “Indiana Jones”…

  88. February 2, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    Garganta Inflamada (?) wrote about “escudos” in your previous entries, Toto.

    Yes, the B*yots are questionable people who benefit from the Spanish military’s enduring pensions.

    I know because some B*yots used to raise their eyebrows at my family in Spain. They said we were social climbers. But all they had then and all they have now are “escudos.”

    The blood of the man they claim to be from and the same man who fathered princesses for Isabel II of Spain does not run in their veins.

    I don’t think the Arevalo heirs would get the recognition they deserve ( and can prove through their own DNA ) straight to the “La Zarzuela.” The present King may not approve of it — he who has weaker claims to the throne than other sidestepped senior branches of the Borbon-Dos-Sicilias royal relatives… unless, of course, he and Primo Ministro Zapatero would like to capitalize on their “Asian” relations ( i.e. Philippines! ) for the benefit of the Spanish economy. But I am very sure the Libraries in Sevilla and Cadiz, the Doctors of Letters and the Archivos and the Spanish Military will make a big public splash about this pending fight because it will further strengthen the fact that the present Bourbons are military descendants ( sort of like the present Chakri dynasty of Thailand ) and heroes. ( Before, the royal family was looked upon as indolent and excessive and the younger family members — those who had to ship themselves abroad because the title and the riches always went to the eldest in the family — were the true pioneers who brought greatness for Spain. )

    *It didn’t matter if it were in the Philippine courts but the treachery happened in Spanish-controlled Philippines meaning it may be litigated in Spanish courts now… and the Courts of Spain will side with the Arevalos. Also, the Arevalos will sue in the U.S. which may mean more prospective money involved!!!

  89. periphery said,

    February 2, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    What a fun, juicy thread this is. 🙂

    I feel I have to voice my opinion about class, though. Specifically, class vis-a-vis money / wealth. It works both ways.

    Just as having money/wealth does not necessarily mean one has class, the lack of money / wealth does not necessarily mean one lacks class, either. It’s all in one’s upbringing, education, and deportment.

  90. Garganta Inflamada said,

    February 2, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Liding wrote:

    RE: IO-C, how true is the rumor that she gave two billion pesos to the other Im*lda in 2000 and personally delivered it to her flat in Pacific Plaza? My comadres tell me it was delivered in suitcases. Is that a loan or help? Or should I say she’s just returning some “borrowed” things?


    Wow! How baduy naman. Did she bring them up in “bilaos” and “tampipis” as in the ‘glory days’ in Malacanang? BWAAHHHHH!

    Granted that that was the amount — what is the biggest denomination of the Philippine Php peso in paper? If it were P1,000, it would still take boxloads to deliver to the Pacific Plaza. ( Like the help and the drivers wouldn’t know? )

    And then what? A rational person would I guess then have to haul all that loot back to the Bank, right? However, we are talking of the other M*ldy. So, would she keep the stash under her bed… or God forbid, in the icebox? Double BWAAHHHHH!!!

    This tale of two addled (i.e., “nasi-sira na” ) *meldas is just too funny.


  91. February 2, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Sin Verguenza that ******** ********!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m just so upset right now. I can just imagine the stares in the Sanctuario these past Sundays!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  92. February 2, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Yes, I heard the *melda-*melda transaction’s true.

    But I’m not sure that it all happened at the Pacific Plaza along Ayala Avenue, near the Gilarmi Apartmentts ( or should I say, the ex-Hilario apartments that *mee the Marcos daughter bought for a song and now sold to some up-and-coming Chinese family of real estate developers for a mountain of dollars transacted abroad! )

    … I also heard it was AT LEAST USD 40 million.

    You see, the Flower Empress has UTANG NA LOOB. She’s not the ugly dowager the Via Mare niece-in-law portraits her to be.

    That’s why everybody likes her. Even Iren* M*rcos-Ar*neta loves her ninang!

    It was unknown to the Cofradia Queen that the Chinese-blood Soedono Salims had intensified their quest to move their investments outside of Indonesia ( this was the time that Suharto, their good friend, was falling from power ) and use the cash they put in Singaporean and Hong Kong banks for lucrative enterprises in the Philippines ( courtesy of Ateneo-blood Man*el “Manny” Pan*ilinan ) and that her son AOC ( together with the Meers ) was selling because they were also worried that if they didn’t cash out, some ugly winner in the Presidential elections of the 1990s would remove them from the PLDT board.

    That or she plainly did not understand ( she’s never been good in businesses, that was her dead husband’s specialty ).

    But she knew and she, with her husband, SIGNED documents in the palace together with her “balaes” and relatives ( i.e. the Y*los and the Rivil*as)… that I will not expound on in deference to the Anton*o Coj*angcos.

    Basically, without Apo’s blessing the Flower Empress and her debonaire of a hubby would never attain the same level of wealth that the Eduardo Cojuangcos now enjoy.

    And so she delivered the money even when in essence, even if the other *melda squealed, there would be no evidence.

    She did it all out of UTANG NA LOOB. And that is something that Via Mare niece-in-law clearly does not have.

  93. February 2, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Oh, I forgot to ask… I heard a rumor that some Forbes Park heiress back in the 1960s was head over heels with actor Ed*ie Gutier*ez. Apparently, another girl smitten with Ed*ie Gutier*ez, ********* ****, went straight to Forbes Park scantily clad and warned the mother of the Forbes Park heiress, which ended Ed*ie Gutier*ez’s marrying rich and living within Forbes-Dasmarinas area ( it doesn’t matter now, I also hear the Gutier*ez children bought a small lot in Dasmarinas and are almost done with the construction of their house )… who is this 1960s heiress? Do you know?

  94. February 2, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Toto, I was planning to go to Boracay. A friend booked us in ****’* boracay resort this year but the prospects of me seeing his “matapobre” wife revolts me. So we cancelled out. Just an FYI.

  95. February 2, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    And by the way, the ex-Princess of Brunei doesn’t only have a billion pesos. She definitely has five or eight times that amount. Please don’t compare her to the Via Mare niece-in-law. The humble and sexy ex-Princess may come from the ***** middle-class but she has a heart of gold. She is very kind and very loving. And very nice to her family. She did not change from the time she left Manila for the Istana Nurul Iman and back to her entire-block-of-a-mansion in Ayala Alabang.

  96. February 2, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    “once glorietta is out, a kinder president can be nicer to the cojuangco family and they can have whole “hacienda” back!”

    Madame la petite Presidente is kind to the Cojuangcos but no longer to the senior branch… but the junior branch. That branch allied to the Oppen-Montillas, Lagdameos, Suntays… that branch of the Cojuangcos who are now making a mark in Canada and Australia and whose granddaughters hobnob with the Zobels. Toto will agree. And everybody could very well describe them as the “Josephine” branch, the beautiful Eurasian branch.

  97. February 2, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Romeo, you should have seen Manhattan when Dona Chito arrived to put her USD $$$ millions ( in dollars ) into Citibank after the sale of their Solidbank to George Ty and his brothers. The Citibank analysts and yuppies were agog — reduced to concierge people as Dona Chito stepped into the private annals of Citibank’s VIP room filled with champagne and pashminas and doormen. The agenda for the day: Welcome the Madrigal Millions into Citibank and have a string of mini-meetings to ensure that the Madrigal Millions ( just from the sale of Solidbank the Madrigals yielded between a third to a half a billion dollars — that doesn’t count their other sources of income) are put into LOC accounts. LOC? Yes, LIVING ON INTEREST. The Madrigal nieces — from the banker to the artist to the senator and their own children are ensured for life ( just like the Marcos grandsons). Heck, even the lovable senator Madrigal (who is [still?] married to that ************ French Catholic “blueblood” ) already has the cache and the financial muscle to bankroll her family’s ambitions for her to become Vice-President of our dear Philippines!

  98. February 2, 2008 at 4:59 pm


    Um, you got that totally wrong, sweets. The Luisita has dwindled. It still is a major piece of a parcel but it was never 10,000 hectares when the Cojuangcos purchased it. If anything, the combined landholdings of the Cojuangco-Oppen-Montilla families from Pangasinan to Negros to Australia would surpass the 10,000 hectare mark. Make that double! Or triple!

  99. Romeo said,

    February 2, 2008 at 11:59 am

    “”SECURITY guards and mall workers were shocked and awed when a gleaming black stretch Mercedes Benz pulled up by the “Serendra” driveway Tuesday afternoon.

    Behind the Benz, not really a backup, was a showroom-shiny silver Range Rover, followed by another late model Volvo wagon. In an instant, the real estate value of the “Serendra” driveway rose by P20 million.

    Three more zeros were added to the eight-figure estimate as soon as the doors opened, disgorging members of the Madrigal family, led no less than by the matriarch, Chito Madrigal-Collantes.

    Despite being now wheeled around just like taipan Henry Sy, the increasingly reclusive Madrigal matriarch ventured out of her Forbes palace to lend her presence to the book launching of her good friend, Carmen Guerrero Nakpil, at the nearby “Abe” restaurant.””

  100. Liding said,

    February 2, 2008 at 10:40 am


    hijo, a big chunk of the “hacienda” was converted to a corporation now managed by n*ndo cojuangco. there are the “hacienda” villages named after the cojuangco women (like “corazon village,” “josephine village,” etc. ). once glorietta is out, a kinder president can be nicer to the cojuangco family and they can have whole “hacienda” back!

  101. Juancho L. Baylon said,

    February 2, 2008 at 10:39 am


    Yes, you’re right, President Aquino is the most famous Cojuangco among all of them… she was “Time” Magazine’s “Woman of the Year” for 1986. She was featured in several articles in “Vanity Fair” Magazine and other major publications. She dined and made friendly ties with royalty around the world like Queen Fabiola and the late King Baudouin of Belgium, the late Emperor Hirohito and the present Emperor Akihito of Japan among others… no offense meant, but not even Imelda Ongsiako-Cojuangco or Danding Cojuangco, with their Php billions, can top that kind of feat or achievement.

  102. JLB said,

    February 2, 2008 at 10:21 am

    “Hacienda Luisita” is NOT 10,000 hectares… it’s down to only about ++ 4,000 plus hectares from the ++ 6,000 plus hectares it originally was when the owner ( Don Jose “Pepe” Cojuangco, the father of President Cory Aquino ) first acquired it in the late 1950s… He has about 36 grandchildren ( hope i got that right ) including Kris Aquino. So based on the 36 grandchildren of Don Pepe, you will have an idea how much share the cousins will get in the future… There is also the JCS corner lot building along de la Rosa Street in Makati and the house of Don Pepe and Dona Metring on Palm Avenue in Dasmarinas Village, among others.

  103. February 2, 2008 at 10:05 am

    Hasn’t the entire “Hacienda Lu*sita” been subjected to “”Agrarian Reform”””??? As in forcibly ceded to the tenant farmers, who will then conveniently sell it to real estate developers???

    Toto Gonzalez

  104. Liding said,

    February 2, 2008 at 9:46 am


    How true Mrs. Yap is giving a new van to the most famous Coj*angco who happens to be her mother? What van is that? That girl must be earning tons, ha? She’s a good daughter. I like her! But I don’t like her husband. She should have married someone like Mig*el Zub*ri or Ad*l T*mano. I’m just wondering how much the Coj*angco cousins will get in the future? If you calculate the Hacienda which is roughly 10,000 hectares ( the biggest single landholding in Luzon ) that’s a lot of cash, ha!

  105. Liding said,

    February 2, 2008 at 9:41 am


    Thanks for the info, Compadre. A lawyer friend of mine mentioned the “dacion en pago” last year in a gathering at # 32 McKinley Road. We have to give it to this Gr*ta girl, she effortlessly made the “Coj*angco” name a household item from the Manila Polo Club to the Malabon Market. I’m amazed and shocked. It has added glitter to the “Coj*angco” name. Did you know that IO-C is known in every parlor in the small streets in Manila? They read magazines!

    RE: IO-C, how true is the rumor that she gave two billion pesos to the other Im*lda in 2000 and personally delivered it to her flat in Pacific Plaza? My comadres tell me it was delivered in suitcases. Is that a loan or help? Or should I say she’s just returning some “borrowed” things?

    The Empress is truly the Empress.


  106. zippo said,

    February 1, 2008 at 5:59 pm


    Dom*nique is staying with her dad. She refuses to stay with her mom, GB. As such, TBC is under no obligation to give any financial support or any “donation” to GB.

    There can, there should, and (thank God) there will only be ONE Gretch*n Cojuangco — and that Gretch*n has class.

    As I’ve always said, class can never be bought. You can fly coach and still be first class.

    Z 🙂

  107. Liding said,

    February 1, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Is it true that La Gr*ta stands to get Php 1 billion from AC? To sustain their daughter DC? That even though they’re not married, it is by way of donation “en pago”? She will rival the wealth of the Princess of Brunei living in Alabang then, huh?

  108. February 1, 2008 at 7:10 am


    Thank you for the news.

    Ghastly, as the Brits would say.

    Toto Gonzalez

  109. January 31, 2008 at 7:15 pm


    Thank you for the news.

    I attended some nice lunches and dinners in the previous days [ Essensa, Pacific Plaza Towers, Forbes, Dasma ] and there were only passing arched eyebrows, eye rolls, stares, smirks, frowns, scowls, and snorts about the subject among those in the inner circles.

    Toto Gonzalez

  110. zippo said,

    January 31, 2008 at 6:14 pm


    Everyone ( as in EVERYONE ) has been talking about it for the past 2 days.

    The story goes that GB had been seeing DP (Dong and Ronnie’s younger brother) on the sly. GB was content seeing DP on the sly until DP actually proposed marriage — something TBC couldn’t offer her. Because of the “offer”, GB began to take her relationship with DP seriously — so serious that GB threw discretion out the window. Naturally, TBC found out about this.

    It is unclear whether TBC threw GB out of their Dasma digs OR GB voluntarily left but what is certain is that GB is no longer living in TBC’s Dasma house. DB ( GB’s daughter ) reportedly got so mad with her mom that she purposely refused to go with GB. DB has chosen to stay with TBC.

    GB is said to be seeing a lawyer to see what she can “take with her” ( any Freshman law student can tell her that she gets nothing because TBC is still very much married and whatever “gifts” TBC may have given her is, in accordance with the Family Code, in the form of an “unlawful and immoral donation” ).

    The P*no family is said to have accepted GB with the sole exception of the strong-willed matriarch who refuses to give her youngest son her blessings to any union with GB.

    All this while IO-C is recuperating from her latest bout of illness.

    Sad. Really sad.

    Z 🙂

  111. JLB said,

    January 31, 2008 at 9:02 am

    Don’t you think it would be a relief for Meldy Cojuangco that her son didn’t marry the actress? The legal wife is still Denise Yabut… so the son has three “herederas”… the two daughters and the legal wife? Old world aristocracy really differs from the uppity nouveau riche crowd…

  112. JLB said,

    January 31, 2008 at 6:55 am

    I’m in town right now and i saw Meldy Cojuangco recently at the wedding reception of her grandson. She was in an all-white gown, glamorous as always, and looking every inch the Queen, as usual… i spotted Bingbing Gonzalez… although i didn’t see her ex-husband and the partner of the actress, Tonyboy… zippo, i think Meldy does not know since the family does not allow her access to any news about the actress for health reasons…

  113. January 31, 2008 at 5:15 am


    What happened??? Tell us, tell us!!!

    I don’t watch TV.

    Toto Gonzalez

  114. zippo said,

    January 31, 2008 at 4:21 am

    It’s all over town now. The latest chapter of the Gr*tchen Bar*etto saga. Nakakahiya. IO-C must be having a heart attack by now.

    Z 😦

  115. esdcwedxwasx said,

    January 31, 2008 at 1:12 am

    Can’t we turn the discussion on Patty? Is she married? And did the Floral Empress give some part of her father’s fat inheritance to her???

  116. esdcwedxwasx said,

    January 31, 2008 at 1:11 am

    Good God, Why do people still talk about that “Via Mare” niece ( -in-law ) !!!!????

  117. January 30, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    curious george:

    The OTHER ******** deserves an entire blog post all her own.

    Toto Gonzalez

  118. curious george said,

    January 28, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    ah! so where does this leave the OTHER ******** “*********” who so boldly proclaimed that she never goes to trunk shows in Manila because she can’t be bothered to mingle with people who just look but don’t shop ( which of course is a not so subtle way of saying that she shops ).

    anyone care to comment…

  119. Garganta Inflamada said,

    January 28, 2008 at 7:53 am

    So many shoppers.

    NY Doctora – does her maiden name begin with a “V”?


  120. January 26, 2008 at 3:55 pm


    I agree 1,000 % !!!

    But it will never happen. Emperor Kangxi is extremely private. 😦

    Toto Gonzalez

  121. lurker said,

    January 26, 2008 at 12:35 am

    A lavish coffee table book should be produced featuring Emperor Kangxi’s splendid collection.

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