“… and unto dust thou shalt return…”

You would think that immense wealth and great power would, could, and should confer immortality on an individual.  I, for one, have always thought so.

But there she rested in her elegant manse amidst everyone and everything she treasured most…   After all, she was one of the very grandest ladies Manila had ever known:  Consuelo Alejandra “Chito” Paterno Madrigal-Vazquez-Collantes.

Her ashes were finally interred at the Madrigal mausoleum in Alabang in a very elegant box of “kamagong” ebony wood decorated with ivory inlays made by Osmundo “Omeng” Esguerra, the antiquaire and furnituremaker to Manila high society. However, the expense and the elegance of it all did not change the fact that they were just ashes in a wooden box.

Food for thought…

“Sic transit gloria mundi”…



  1. September 8, 2010 at 6:21 am

    Super High Society:

    Please be reminded:

    From now on, comments with no real names, no email addresses that can be confirmed, and no reliable identity checks will no longer be allowed.

    Thank you.

    Toto Gonzalez

  2. Cri Manzano-Florentino said,

    January 28, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Lola Pil Tuason Manzano was an AWESOME woman!!

  3. Enrique Bustos said,

    January 15, 2010 at 6:07 am

    from Larry Henares’ “Philippine Folio”:

    “”Pil Manzano & Bebe Virata were schoolmates in Sta. Scholastica

    Bebe Lammoglia was one of the brightest in the remarkable class of 1941 Sta. Scholastica,They were the last one to graduate just before the war — 18 women, among them: Miss Amada Katigbak, the perennial valedictorian of the class; Maria de los Angeles Manzano de los Reyes, whom everyone knows as Lita, the mother of Ting Ting Cojuangco; Carmeling “Pichay” Crisologo, widow of Floring Crisologo, and long time Governor of Ilocos Sur; Bebe Lammoglia Virata, widow of Commerce Secretary Leonides Virata; Lourdes Segundo de Leon, daughter of the General, married to Ricardo de Leon of the AG&P; Lucilla Martelino Diaz de Rivera, sister of Abdul Latif of Jabidah fame;
    Rosie Tomas Flor whose family helped Marcos escape after the Nalundasan murder; Eliza Felix Nicandro, wife of Honesto, special assistant to the CB Governor; Dr. Dolly Ablaza Osmeńa of Moning Osmena; Letty Lacson Montelibano of Freddie; Consuelo Chanco Dominado; Pet Manotok Bocanegra, aunt of Tommy; Cecilia Singson de Leon; Cora Sison Florendo; Ester Arzadon Filart; Elsa Uytiepo Torrejon; Azucena Verzosa Alfo; Eufrosina Querol Nisce; Josefa Rivera Yuson; Angeles Mercado Marasigan; Lydia Alcantara de la Paz, mother of the martyr Bobby de la Paz; and Rosario Carlos Africa, cousin of Monching Cojuangco and wife of Oscar, the president of PLDT.

    Rosalinda Tomas, whose grandfather Laki Vicente Benito was the half brother of Pelagia “Piao” Garcia, married Major Nilo Flor of the Philippine Airforce. A brilliant pilot trained in Randolph Field and Clark where he earned a “green card” for all-weather flying, he was aide-de-camp to General Pelagio Cruz and subordinate of General Pedro Quezon Molina, he died in a useless tragedy in a Catalina PBY plane crash near Senator Avelino’s Samar hacienda, while ferrying spurious ballots during the Quirino-Magsaysay election campaign.
    Rosie’s in-laws Leon and Victoria Flor, close relatives of Ferdinand Marcos, were living in Bauang, La Union, when Assemblyman Nalundasan of Ilocos Norte was assassinated while brushing his teeth. Victoria (Nana Toyang), a pharmacist, had a Botica and a Bazaar, and was the exclusive distributor of Nestle products in that area.
    The day of the Nalundasan murder, Ferdie and two companions arrived at the Flor residence, all ragged and travel weary, and swearing the Flors to secrecy, asked help to enable them to escape unnoticed to Manila. They hid inside a freightcar (bagon) that was used for the transport of Nestlé products and coupled to the train going to Manila.
    This secret escape enabled Marcos to establish an airtight alibi that he was somewhere else at the time of the murder. He was exonerated by the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Jose Laurel, father of Doy, in 1939

    Dona Josefa, the mother of Ferdie, never wanted to be reminded of this particular incident, and probably had nightmares of what-might-have-been, had Nana Toyang Flor not chosen to keep the secret of the bagon on that day when Nalundasan died with fresh Colgate breath from a 22 caliber bullet in the brain. And proud Rosie Tomas, one of her children, through all these years was buried in the Exchange Department of the Central Bank, away from the sight of the Marcoses.
    Rosie’s father, Colonel Gabriel Tomas was a graduate of PMA in the 1920s, when PMA was still Philippine Constabulary Academy, and the course was only two years instead of four. But he stayed only 10 months in that school because he got second place in a competitive examination to commission officers for the Mindanao Moro Campaigns. Valedictorian all the way in grade school and high school in his hometown Solano in the Enrile province of Cagayan, Col. Tomas was one of the many distinguished soldiers from Cagayan: Eulogio Balao, Romeo Gatan, Willie Sotelo.
    Serving in Mindanao, and as company commander in Mindoro, Tayabas, Cavite, Pampanga, Dagupan and Tayug in Pangasinan, and in Manila, he wound up as the Paymaster General of the Army in Bataan during the war. He ended up in the Death March and in Capas with Marcos. His wife Narcisa and Josefa Marcos shared the same room in Capas as they ministered to their men.

    Carmeling Pichay was one of the shyest in the class of 1941, but when she married politician Floro Crisologo of Vigan, she became a outgoing politician herself serving as Ilocos Sur Governor from 1963 to 1971.
    Her husband Floring was in the guerrilla unit USAFFE/NL under Col. Volkmann, together with Marcos and Antonio Raquiza. Floring representing Ilocos Sur, Antonio Raquiza of Ilocos Norte, and Manuel Cases of La Union were the famous CRC Ilocano troika in the Congress of the 1960s.
    Floring was quite a fellow, he had a kind of boisterous camaraderie that disarms and offends at the same time once in the foyer of Malacanang as Speaker Laurel came down with his group, complaining that Marcos refused his urgent request. Congressman Floring Crisologo, arrived in his car, asked what Laurel was complaining about, and dragged him back upstairs.
    Floring Crisologo burst into the office of Marcos together with Laurel and his group. He said something in Ilocano, gesturing expansively towards Laurel, and insisting that Marcos grant whatever it was Laurel wanted. Marcos was entertaining some foreign visitors at the time, and was painfully embarrassed. But Floring just can not be denied, and to get rid of him, Marcos gritted his teeth and acquiesced. That was what Floring was, a friend who will go to any lengths to please a friend.

    On October 18th, 1970, Carmeling’s husband Floring was assassinated at high mass in the Vigan Cathedral. As he stood up to receive communion, a gunman a pew behind shot him twice at the back of the head, and escaped in the ensuing confusion. Very much like the way Ninoy Aquino was killed.
    The assassins were never caught, and it was rumored that the killing was ordered by President Marcos and executed by hired killers of General Fabian Ver. The motive according to the scuttlebutt was the leadership of Ilocandia which Floring challenging; or that Floring was the type that would never accede to the planned Martial Law; or that Floring was instituting a tobacco monopoly by blocking tobacco shipments from the north and taxing them.
    The talk about Tobacco Monopoly was a canard, according to Carmeling Crisologo. Seventy percent of the tobacco grown in the Philippines were grown in Ilocos Sur. The Crisologos merely wanted to see to it that the tax of some P600 per truckload was collected by the BIR, because the Chinese buyers were evading the tax to hide the amount of cigarettes they were making, which is also subject to a higher specific tax. Secondly, the Crisologos, having borrowed P6 million from the DBP to set up a re-drying plant, wanted to have the tobacco redried, and eventually made into cigarettes in Ilocos Sur itself.

    To attend the monthly luncheon of Saint Scho’s Class of 1941 is tantamount to visiting the Tower of Babel. .
    The girls would listen to Lydia de la Paz, whose son Bobby de la Paz, a doctor with agape for his fellowmen, went with his wife to Samar, to attend to the needs of the poor, only to be shot in the head by military assassins, because he treated the wounded of the NPA, as any doctor faithful to the Hippocratic Oath would do.
    Lita de los Reyes would be complaining bitterly about the false rumors about her daughter Ting Ting Cojuangco. Lourdes de Leon would repeat for the nth time the stories about her American student brats at the International School, recounting with a sigh of resignation that she retired from International School, only to take on another set of American brats at the Brent School.
    Lucille Diaz de Rivera in her own wheel chair would wonder what happened to her brother Eddie Martelino, the handsome dashing adventurer who was assigned by Marcos to head Operation Jabidah to invade Sabah, only to be exposed by Senator Ninoy Aquino, who recounted how Muslims being trained in Corregidor were shot to prevent the secret operation from being exposed. And Eddie was in the center of it all, no longer our Eddie, but Abdul Latif, a converted Muslim with a harem of beauties. What happened to Eddie? Rumors persist that he is still alive, his tongue cut out to keep him from talking, and cruelly castrated for some unforgivable crime. Oh Martial Law, what terrible crimes are perpetrated in thy name?

    * * *

    Dolly would complain about her husband Ramon M. Osmeńa, Bebe Virata would wish there were enough spaghetti for an Italian rumble, and everyone else would pick on Rosario Africa for all their troubles with the PLDT of which her husband is the president.
    There would the thousandth retelling of the story about their favorite teacher, Sister Benita, daughter of the famous labor leader Isabelo de los Reyes, who taught them in Spanish, punctuating her lecture with “Intendeis? Intendeis? (Do you understand?)”. And next day, no homework was submitted by the class, “But Sister Benita, did you not say `in ten days’?
    And so we leave the Class of 1941 of Sta. Scholastica, secure in the belief that in spite of the economic recession, life will go on its merry, weary way, and that when day is done, the darkness will fall from the wings of the night, as the feather is wafted downward from an eagle in its flight, and the cares that infest the day, shall fold their tents like Arabs, and as silently steal away.

    Probably the greatest brat in St. Scholastican history is Pilar Tuason of High School class of 1947, in this class they have seven sisters or religious nuns.Among them, are two sister sisters: Sister Gloria Gonzalez of the order of the Good Shepherd, now in Buhi, Camarines Sur (where is found the smallest fish in the world) as a missionary; and Sister Yolanda Gonzalez of the Franciscan Order, who used to work in the Tala Leper Colony.
    Then there is Sister Teresita Fernandez and Sister Leonora Ng, both Pink Sisters, of the Contemplative Order of the Holy Spirit, dedicated to Silence and 24-hour devotions. And my wife’s sister Luisa, a Maryknoll nun renamed Sister Marissa, now assigned to Tahanan na Walang Hagdanan, a rehabilitation center for the disabled. Also Lourdes Villaluz, now Sister Marie Ezperanza of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, a Dutch congregation located in Slotklavster, Steyl, province of Limburg, Holland.
    Of course, the class had its quota of spinsters… er, bachelor girls… Maring Feria, sister of Supreme Court Justice Jose Feria and of Teresa Nieva, bastion of conservatives in the ConCom… Ambassador Luz del Mundo, formerly assigned to Vancouver, and Lumen Tiaoqui, one of the best friends of Dońa Aurora Aquino, mother of Ninoy.
    And a quota of sirens with a string of husbands to prove it. There is Estella Arrastia of the famous Arrastia sisters, at last count having had four legal spouses: American pilot Jack Shanahan with whom she has 2 children; Spanish druggist Miguel Perez; Mexican American heart doctor named Martinez; and someone else her classmate Pilar Tuason cannot remember. There is also Carmen Guillermo, the valedictorian of the class who also had four husbands: a fellow named Corpus, a Peace Corps member, and two other Americans. And the famous Nora Villanueva Daza, cook and restaurateur, who married Gabriel Daza Jr., and later, an Air France exec named Pappan.
    Her Highness, Lady Hedford
    There is one member of Royalty in the class of 1947. She is Nena Nable, now known as Lady Hedford, married to Marquis of Hedford of her Majesty’s Cavalry, and living in a fabulous castle in the Isle of Man, a British dependency of 227 square miles, located in the Irish Sea, equidistant from Scotland, Ireland and England. It is administered according to its own laws by one of the most ancient legislatures in the world. Chief exports are beef and lamb, fish and livestock, and if Nena can manage it at this late stage, pretty little St. Scholasticans.
    Of course there is the sort of royalty that comes from being closely related to the President. One was the late Norma Quirino, daughter of President Elpidio Quirino, who was bayoneted by the Japanese during the war in Paco, along with mother Alicia Syquia, brother Dody and a baby sister — and was survived by her father who became 2nd president of the 3rd Republic, sister Vicky and brother Tommy.
    Another was a very quiet girl Teresita Cojuangco (Lopa) nicknamed Tere, who came to class on a horse-drawn Dokar (a classy four wheeled vehicle only the rich could afford), along with another quiet girl her sister, Cory Cojuangco who became the wife of a national hero and the president of the 5th Philippine Republic.
    And still another was Potenciana “Nita” Laurel (Yupangco), daughter of President Jose P. Laurel of the 2nd Republic during the Japanese Occupation and sister of Vice President Doy Laurel. She was the only one in school who came to class in an automobile.
    Another shrew was Nena Castillejos (Albert Marquez) who tore off the headgear of a bald German nun, and pestered her husband into giving her 9 children.
    There was a unique one, the daughter of the founder of the University of the East and the sister of Baby Dalupan, the famous Crispa coach: Estella Dalupan (Pacquing de Leon) who had 11 children, among them triplets. The triplets achieve a measure of fame. One, Luli is the secretary of “Godfather” director Francis Ford Copolla. Another, Estelle, is the secretary of TV superstar Cindy Williams. And the other is housewife to Dick Johnson who is famous for something or other.
    The St. Scho class of HS 1947 was a big class because it included many students who were not able to finish high school during the war. Among the others are: Josephine Barredo (Pocholo Manzano), sister of actress Baby Barredo; Viring Espinosa (Eddie Villongco), daughter of Madame X; Pachot Diaz (Jose Ma. Mendieta), wife of the president of Tabacalera; Linda Kipping (Torres), grand-daughter of Leonor Rivera, Rizal’s girlfriend, and niece of Romulo; Fe Sarmiento (Panlilio), the famous international jeweler.
    Letty Tabora (Frankie Teodoro) married to Ang Tibay shoes; Lulu Cojuangco (Tirso Revilla); Linda Hidalgo (Aquiles Lopez); Pat Garcia (Bobby Montemayor), married to a brilliant blind radio commentator in Davao; Josephine Bautista (Geraldez); Christine Chuidian (Baltazar); Gloria Dizon (Daniel Mercado); Amparo Eugenio (Ildefonso Santos) of Ace Secretarial School, mother of Gigi; Presen de Guia (Mayor Vic Novales); Lita de Guzman (Rupert Villongco.
    Tita Lagman (Escalona) of Escala Lingerie; Lourdes Leonor (Aboitiz); Connie Reyes (Eddie Lopez); Tessie Rosales (Abelardo Pajarillo); Dra. Corazon Santos (Fidel Estrada); Enciang Santos (Nepomoceno); Dolores Sevilla of Sevilla Wines; Vins Sevilla (Rupert Clemente) 24 years head of Pasay Montessori; Perla Trinidad (Gudoco); Pachot de Leon (Antonio Fernandez); Josephine Borromeo (Villar); Aleg Sanchez (Aris Francisco); Rosemarie Munoz (Panopio); Alma Gray (Oscar Tańedo).””

  4. January 14, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Pilar “Pil” Lim Tuason-Manzano was a good friend of Marie-Theresa “Bebe” Gallardo Lammoglia-Virata.

  5. Enrique Bustos said,

    January 14, 2010 at 5:57 am

    “”Probably the greatest brat in St. Scholastican history is Pilar Tuason ( Mrs. Ramon Manzano ), who figured in more hair-pulling contests than anyone we know. She was of course expelled from St. Scholastica, but not before fighting tooth and nail with Helen Boyer, Nena Castillejos (Marquez) and Nora Villanueva (Daza), engaging in shouting matches with the nuns, smoking cigarettes, and playing hookey. Pilar was to dedicate her life to making miserable a classmate who became the mistress of her father, and lived to engage Chito Madrigal in what was billed in society circles as the ‘Fight of the Century.'””

  6. konanti said,

    May 21, 2009 at 7:11 am

    Larrylevi said: “… you can’t take it with you.”

    And have you read this article?


    BPI’s curious take on ‘Chito’ Madrigal estate

    By Random Jottings
    The Manila Times

    INCREASINGLY curious gets the saga of the will left behind by the late, great and much lamented businesswoman/philanthropist Consuelo “Chito” Madrigal. And if one goes by talk on the corporate and diplomatic cocktail circuit (not to mention dinner table tattle in gated enclaves) it would seem that the circumstances leading up to it contain all the elements for a storyline that Agatha Christie would have relished.

    To recap on the drama that has riveted this town for months. After her death in early 2008, the declared value of Chito’s estate— as prescribed in the now disputed will—was put at a meager P26 million—with, most surprisingly, just three relatives named as heirs by the matriarch who laid great store in keeping the extended Madrigal clan together.

    Besides the matter of the select heirs, what really arched eyebrows heavenward was the paltry declared worth of the Chito Madrigal estate, since everybody who was anybody knew she was a multimillionaire many times over in pesos, dollars, euros or any other currency one cares to mention.

    Suspecting that something was amiss since, quite glaringly, Chito’s charity foundation that was her pride and joy—and the love of her life for the past several decades—had been left out of the will, her niece Sen. Jamby Madrigal took to the corridors of justice to question the authenticity of the will.

    For several months since the case has progressed through the justice system (and concurrently through juicy newspaper columns!) until February this year when the courts, with finality, ruled that the heirs named would only bequeath the P26 million that was declared, while the rules of mixed succession would apply to the rest of the estate that is worth several billions. In laymen’s language, it meant that other close Madrigal relatives had also been legally declared as heirs to the greater Chito Madrigal estate.

    Which brings us to the present, with the polemic matter taking an intriguing twist after several banks were sent letters informing them of the February court ruling and requesting that all accounts they may hold for Chito Madrigal be frozen.

    Nearly all the banks responded that they didn’t hold any accounts of Chito, but pointed out that in the event they did they would have been ready to comply. But it was generally believed that Chito had standing accounts in only two local banks, Metro-bank and the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).

    Suffice it to say that how the country’s biggest bank (Metro-bank) and its oldest (BPI) choose to act in their own differing ways on the court ruling is the talk of the banking community.

    Metrobank’s stand was that in “pursuant to and in compliance with the Orders dated 2 July 2008 and 12 February 2009 issued by the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 148, the bank was constrained to place the accounts of the late Consuelo P. Madrigal on hold, including the accounts of certain corporations over which she had interest.”

    BPI, on the other hand, appeared to shroud itself in chalk-dry legalese, declaring that the bank’s position was that the directive of the court not to dispose of property belonging to Chito Madrigal only referred to accounts specifically bearing her name.

    In so doing BPI appeared to have brushed off the salient fact that it holds at least 18 accounts of corporations which Chito owned or controlled, with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) records showing the corporations are still listed under Chito’s name with her designated as chairman or president of 16 of them. (Executing a neat foxtrot, an executor of the contested will alleged that these accounts were transferred to other names sometime in 2003. But it seems no one had got around to fixing it with the SEC).

    Conventional wisdom is that when it comes to good governance, corporate ethics and accepted procedures, the banking community acts as one.

    But considering the manner in which BPI choose to take a position diametrically opposite to other banks on the same clear issue is a glaring indictment of the apparent dents in the Philippine banking system.

    And here’s the interesting part. A key personality in the saga is Aurelio Luis R. Mon-tinola III, who is an executor of the will, a contesting party and a beneficiary by family affiliation. Oh yeah . . . we almost forgot—he also happens to be the President of BPI.

    Given those telling circumstances, BPI’s stand (that could well be precedent setting) begs several questions, the most important of which is whether Mon-tinola—because of the serious conflict of interest issue that is so apparent—reclused himself from the decision making process in this particular instance?

    Furthermore, was the stand taken by BPI less to do with safeguarding the interests (and conversely, integrity) of the bank, and more to do with coming up with a decision that gave utmost consideration to the interests (and broad sentiments) of its highest ranked executive?

    There is another burning question sizzling around the banking community. Has the Ayala clan who control BPI been kept abreast of this high profile case? If so, would they be going along with the decision of the bank, even though it does appear to compromise BPI’s rigid code of ethics—something its revered patriarch Jaime Zobel de Ayala and his two highly respected sons Augusto and Fernando have devoted their working lives to maintaining at the highest corporate level.

  7. Lex said,

    April 3, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Hey guys check out this new website celebmemorial.com In memory all the celebrities that died it’s got videos and stuff really nice!

  8. randy b said,

    September 9, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Property in the name of an individual is subject to estate tax. Property in the name of a corporation or partnership is exempt from estate taxes but subject to corp transfer tax. (same tax with different names). Currently, yearly penalty for late estate tax payment is 20%. Most examiners and many lawyers will not tell, but estate taxes are now payable in installments at 20% int/yr.
    The reason the examiner won’t tell is they prefer the usual way where the local and regional personnel (estate tax is a regional office-controlled matter) agree to a ‘discount’ on a onetime payment, give a receipt for half or a third of what’s paid, then split the difference among themselves. Obviously a lawyer can bite off more on a onetime pay deal.

  9. Jules said,

    July 27, 2008 at 2:22 am

    My subscription to the Prieto’s Phil.Daily Inquirer
    Internet Edition had this for its 25th of July issue:

    “Madriga* lawyers question court’s Php26-M cap on estate.”

    Php26-M ONLY?

    In that case,
    I’m richer than her…



    Php26,134,137.23 to be exact?

    Tell that to sweeney!

    Taxes, taxes and more iNHERiTANCE taxes.


  10. L*ding said,

    July 11, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    did you hijas and hjios see tv patrol on channel 2 last night? meldy c. was featured and was even interviewed for an upcoming concert of this new york opera with martin nievera. when nievera sang “kahit isang saglit”, the grande dame of the ramon cojuangco branch started to shed tears. when asked, she said it was because she remembered her husband. the reporter even noted that she was the “mother-in-law” of “la gr*ta.”

    also last night were the “blabbermouth” revelations of senadora jamby madrigal…
    her expose on chito’s wealth made the BIR open their ears enough to fit a whole nokia cellphone ( estate taxes here we come!!! )… among her revelations that shocked the forbes park ladies were: ( these were not included in the will )

    php 100 million peso earrings of my tita chito ( just one of the many )
    php 700 million peso house in forbes
    18 corporations with php billions of properties
    3 usd $ bank accounts in america
    etc., etc..

    the makati judge then held that jamby was a legal heir beyond the php 26 million will so senadora jamby can inherit!!! i understand manoling collantes is supporting jamby in this fight as well as her other sister tana madrigal-gelb ( married to a l’oreal heir )… manoling was just given a forbes house in the “questioned will”… Where are the the jewelry and the cash???

    jamby has called her other cousins “magnanakaw ng bayan” maybe because they tried to cheat the government of the correct taxes…

    the easiest way to cheat is to buy jewelry because these are not titled and can easily pass to another person.

  11. L*ding said,

    July 11, 2008 at 4:10 am

    did you hijas and hjios see tv patrol on channel 2 last night? meldy c. was featured and was even interviewed for an upcoming concert of this new york opera with martin nievera. when nievera sang “kahit isang saglit”, the grande dame of the ramon cojuangco branch started to shed tears. when asked, she said it was because she remembered her husband. the reporter even noted that she was the “mother-in-law” of “la gr*ta.”

    also last night were the “blabbermouth” revelations of senadora jamby madrigal…
    her expose on chito’s wealth made the BIR open their ears enough to fit a whole nokia cellphone ( estate taxes here we come!!! )… among her revelations that shocked the forbes park ladies were: ( these were not included in the will )

    php 100 million peso earrings of my tita chito ( just one of the many )
    php 700 million peso house in forbes
    18 corporations with php billions of properties
    3 usd $ bank accounts in america
    etc., etc..

    the makati judge then held that jamby was a legal heir beyond the php 26 million will so senadora jamby can inherit!!! i understand manoling collantes is supporting jamby in this fight as well as her other sister tana madrigal-gelb ( married to a l’oreal heir )… manoling was just given a forbes house in the “questioned will”… Where are the the jewelry and the cash???

    jamby has called her other cousins “magnanakaw ng bayan” maybe because they tried to cheat the government of the correct taxes…

    the easiest way to cheat is to buy jewelry because these are not titled and can easily pass to another person.

  12. Lidia Pamontjak said,

    July 8, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    dear toto, i once wrote you, and you immensely helped me find my childhood classmates back. i read your blog all the time, and i hope to meet you when i come to manila for the assumption’s jubileum next year. i just want to set something straight, which may not be of important interest to you or your kababayans, but to me (i’m an indonesian), is of principle importance. madame dewi soekarno was NOT a geisha. she was a night club hostess in tokyo, when she was introduced to president soekarno by a japanese businessman (i forgot his name). a geisha, as you very well know, is a highly-appreciated profession, with many years of intensely disciplined years of training (beginning at an early age) in the arts, tradition and manner, with enough knowledge of history and current events, etc etc. madame dewi was a young, fresh, innocent-like beauty at 19 when president soekarno was infatuated by her. sweet and soft-spoken when she chooses to be, she can also lash out in fisherwoman’s (excuse the expression, i don’t mean to discredit fisherwomen, a cousin of mine being one) manner and language. because of the name dewi soekarno (the president gave her the name ‘dewi’ which means ‘goddess’, her real name is naoko), fate forced her to be pushed up to a level she is not worthy of. we were shockingly embarassed by her attack on minnie osmena.

  13. chuchucaracas said,

    April 23, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    she really is one great woman whose character and values should be made known to younger generations. tita chito has always been generous to all her relatives.

  14. L*ding said,

    April 23, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Whatever they say about the Montinolas, Ging may look like a simple office lady but, lo and behold, she is a partner in the biggest and most prestigious law firm in the country: “Romulo Mabanta.” Everytime Ging attends high brow parties, she is known for her simplicity ( ala Cory Aquino ) wearing the simplest of clothes, simple jewelry, and sometimes her hair is not even touched by Frank Provost Salon but she owns one of the grandest houses in Forbes Park — “Tropical Modern Meets Japanese Design.” I love her meditation room adjacent to the main hall ( FYI for people who do not know, one cannot build several houses in a Forbes lot)… She is not just a mere wife but she contributes serious wealth to the Montinola Family. I like Ging.

    I also like Jamby. She has this rebel attitude found only in true heiresses. She knows her language and speaks it with wit shaped only by someone schooled since birth!!!

    To Jamby: Hija, you have a great new house on Hemady already, a goodlooking husband, several nice imported dogs, etc., etc., etc. I heard Chito gave you a substantial amount last 2004 that was the envy of your cousins. That’s already enough, hija. Chito only gave a Forbes house and Alabang lot to her husband, Manoling. Chito gave 40% to Gustav ( well this boy is like their own son ). Don’t worry about it since all the residuary wealth stays with the Madrigal side and not the Collantes side. Chuchu, for all the faults of her husband ( Chito helped Mandy E., according to one poster), will be the Chito Madrigal of the 21st century. Jamby, you are to be the next Pacita Madrigal, the senator.

    I admire Chuchu’s works in Bicol especially donating Php 10 million to one Bicol University. Chuchu with all her Filipina Classic Beauty will bring the Madrigal name to the next era of Philippine Society. Lovely!

  15. xdwaxdesarpmtaiuvap said,

    April 22, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    rdsfcfzrsdvczsdfcsedxawdx said,

    I always get a copy because our family is within that thresh hold.


    Still trying to get in after all these years? >rolls eyes<


    Sometimes Fate plays a funny games in our lives.


    So what’s so funny about that? And are you the same one complaining about another ‘faux nom de plume’? Well, what about your scribbled, mish-mash of letters, gibberish IDs either, hmmm?


    The latter was much prettier, much innovative, much generous.


    Actually, it’s… MORE innovative, MORE generous…


    May I say though that I am just itching to see….


    Please scratch in private.

    Thank you.

  16. Sabin Arranz said,

    April 22, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    G.I.: I saw a clip of the senator saying “it’s not about the money. It’s about transparency and justice.” Whatever that means.

    Alphabet soup: The biggest block of shares in BPI has ownership obscured via the PCD. However, among direct holders of certificates of stock, Xavier Loinaz is the biggest individual shareholder. A handful of others, including members of the Madrigal-Paterno and Ortoll-Zaragoza families are bigger shareholders than Aurelio “GG” Reyes Montinola III.

    Of course, because ownership through securities firms effectively removes one’s name from the Top 100 list, it could very well be that the Montinolas’ ownership is far greater than meets the eye. But then again, the Top 100 list won’t provide that information anyway.

  17. Garganta Inflamada said,

    April 22, 2008 at 5:30 am

    I saw a news clip of the senadora issuing a statement re her contesting her aunt’s will. She replied to the press that “… in time all will be revealed, and it will unfold (raw) like the juiciest of ‘telenovelas’…” (in so many words).

    I never noticed before that she is somewhat stooped — I mean posture-wise. And when she sat down beside Legarda, LL seemed to be totally oblivious of what JM was saying to her.

  18. April 22, 2008 at 1:10 am

    The Montinolas are one of the biggest non-Zobel shareholders of the ever-reliable and well-managed BPI. You should check the top 100 shareholders listed all these years. I always get a copy because our family is within that thresh hold.

    Sometimes Fate plays a funny games in our lives. I remember one person who surmised that A. Consuelo Madrigal is the same as Consuelo A. Madrigal.

    But Ana Consuelo and Consuelo Alejandra are never one and the same. The latter was much prettier, much innovative, much generous.

    May I say though that I am just itching to see who among the Madrigal girls will emerge one night wearing the gigantic emeralds and rubbies and perfect South Sea pearls of the recently deceased Consuelo A. Madrigal.

  19. periphery said,

    April 21, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Yes, Nenuca, “BPI” Bank of the Philippine Islands is Zobel de Ayala-controlled. The family maintains its grip on it through directly owned shares as well as indirectly through the Ayala Corporation conglomerate. Aurelio “GG” Reyes Montinola III has been its president for some time now [ succeeding Xavier P.T. Loinaz ], and he is a significant shareholder as well, but at the end of the day is he an employee of the Zobel de Ayala.

  20. Nenuca Valderrama said,

    April 21, 2008 at 7:22 am

    Why, is it Eve Harrington-time all over again?

    “Kid, you’re going out there an ingenue, but you’re coming back a senator!!”

    On the side: I thought “BPI” was an Ayala-controlled bank?

  21. April 21, 2008 at 1:41 am

    I agree. J*mby is the ugliest because she has the ugliest of hearts. Everything has a purpose and that purpose is to her own benefit alone.

    Probably in Dona Chito’s conscience she saw through that. Chuchu follows her heart like when Dona Chito dumped the Vasquez brother without any guilt for Ising and her husband. Dona Chito followed her heart to marry the genteel Batangueno Manoling Collantes. Susana represented her youth, her morena beauty, her childlike and chic side.

    Tana follows her quiet resolution to do things without grandstanding manners. Tana may not be as sharp as Dona Chito with businesses ( that goes to Ging and her husband owning a substantial part of the Bank of Philippine Islands. That also goes to the de Leon-Madrigal who are always good about money ) but she “flows like water” unannounced and soft yet affecting people within the family.

    While J*mby — J*mby I feel represents Dona Chito’s and any other human’s primeval trait for advancement. A Ruthless Ambition. To be the best. To marry on top even if the impoverished French count does not love her. Even when it was clear he married only to save his signet ring and other dilapidated holdings back in France. To marry because of a name. To be a Senator because of the power that surrounds the position and not the real service it gave during her aunt Pacita Madrigal-Gonzalez’s time.

  22. zippo said,

    April 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    G.I. said: “Hasn’t she heard of ’short and sweet’?”

    G.I., if there’s something about Jamby, she ain’t short and neither is she sweet

    Z 🙂

  23. L*ding said,

    April 18, 2008 at 10:33 am

    The Collantes are from Batangas. Manoling Collantes’ marriage to Chito Madrigal upped the status of the family.

  24. Garganta Inflamada said,

    April 18, 2008 at 5:37 am

    Liding, it’s LocA hija Mia. 🙂

    Anyway, que haba noong eulogy ni Jamby. She lost me halfway thru. Are her speeches on the Senate floor always that florid and wordy? Hasn’t she heard of ‘short and sweet’?

    Also, I wonder if her tribute would’ve changed once she realized the true contents of the will?

    But here’s my one memory of CMC. It was one last Sunday afternoon mass at Mary the Queen church in San Juan; this was in 70s. The church was packed. And who should be standing off in the side aisle just like the rest of the people, because they came a little late, were Tita Chito and her beau at the time, Manoling Collantes.

    (BTW, where does he come from? I have never heard of other Collantes-es. Am just curious.)


  25. Liding said,

    April 17, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Que Barbaridad!!! Loco hija Mia!!!

    Hijo Toto Can you put this Chito Section in the latest area or make it a special section. Those people who miss her reads this and I’ve been telling my amigas to put their two cents worth regarding Chito. Your website will be read by future generations and this is a good way of telling them the past. Buenas Noches!

  26. Il Gatopardo said,

    April 16, 2008 at 6:36 am

    Chu-Chu, Chi-Chi, Che-Che, Cha-Cha, Cucuracha….I want the villa in Ibiza or Lugano!!

  27. Chi Chi said,

    April 15, 2008 at 11:50 am


    Senator questions disinheritance

    AN INHERITANCE feud threatens to erupt over the fabulous fortune left by Consuelo “Chito” Madrigal-Collantes, with no less than her niece Senator Maria Ana Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal questioning her being left out in the last will and testament of the late billionairess.

    The senator has hired a lawyer, Ernesto Francisco Jr., who last week sent a letter to the beneficiaries of the late society icon questioning the validity of the will and how the estate was partitioned, according to sources close to the family.

    The childless Doña Chito, 87, died on March 24, leaving her husband, Marcos-era Foreign Minister Manuel Collantes, as the lone compulsory heir.

    According to a copy of the will obtained by Standard Today, his late wife left Collantes a South Forbes Park house and another house in Ayala Alabang.

    But a far larger chunk of the Madrigal fortune, 40 percent of Doña Chito’s undetermined residuary estate, was bequeathed to Ma. Susana Madrigal, the senator’s elder sister.

    Another 40 percent was bequeathed to a still minor grandchild, Vicente P. Gustav Warns, and the remaining 20 percent to another niece, lawyer Gizela M. Gonzalez-Montinola, wife of Aurelio Montinola III, president of the Bank of the Philippine Islands.

    Doña Chito appointed the BPI president two years ago to become the executor and trustee of her last will and testament along with corporate lawyer Perry Pe. Pe and Gonzalez-Montinola are partners in the Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc and De Los Angeles law firm.

    The Madrigal will was probated by the Makati Regional Trial Court in 2006, and it is not clear what legal grounds, if any, Senator Madrigal could invoke to invalidate it to presumably include herself among her aunt’s beneficiaries.

    According to sources close to the Madrigals, Doña Chito had already advanced her niece’s share of the Madrigal fortune—P100 million, according to one account—when she underwrote Jamby’s senatorial campaign in 2004.

    Ironically, the Madrigal matriarch detailed specific instructions in her will that she would not brook any inheritance feud about her undisclosed fortune even in her after-life.

    “I do not wish any conflict between my beneficiaries involving my estate after my death,” Doña Chito, a top corporate lawyer in her younger days, said.

    “Anyone of the beneficiaries, who should contest or question the acts or decisions of my executor/trustee in any proceedings, whether judicial or otherwise, shall be disqualified to be a beneficiary of my residuary estate.”

  28. spendaholic said,

    April 15, 2008 at 3:57 am

    So, Jamby didnt get anything from her Aunt’s estate?

  29. rita said,

    April 14, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    I told you guys, I’m correct: Chuchu Madrigal will be the next Chito Madrigal. She will be the torchbearer of her family and not Ising Vasquez or Jamby Madrigal. But how come the children of Ising, Jamby, and the other cousins didn’t get a dime? Maybe the jewelry, huh? You don’t really declare jewelry right…??? I want to be Chuchu now: She has a basketball player for a husband ( the dashing Mandy Eduque ) and the billions of her aunt. Love it!!! In 20 years time, watch Chuchu as she uses all the fabulous bling blings of Chito.

  30. taitai said,

    April 14, 2008 at 6:36 am

    From Victor Agustin’s Cocktales
    (www. cocktales.com.ph)


    Madrigal’s billions? Make that P26m

    THE famed fortune of the recently departed Consuelo “Chito” Madrigal-Collantes has been reduced to P26 million two years before her death, apparently thanks to a careful tax planning regimen.

    According to the last will and testament of the billionairess, Doña Chito, whose landed family at one time controlled banking and cement interests, left two houses in South Forbes, three in Ayala Alabang, another in San Juan and eight parcels of land in Calatagan, Batangas, the latter with a combined area of nearly 38.7 hectares.

    Doña Chito also declared as owning a unit in the family-built Susana Condominium in Manila’s San Juan del 2Monte, three Mercedes-Benzes of unknown make and year, a Manila Polo Club share, and minority, almost negligible shareholdings in 15 both and publicly listed corporations. There was no mention of the ownership of 77 Cambridge Circle, North Forbes, the house she shared with her surviving husband, former Foreign Minister Manuel Collantes, nor of the rarely used Agusta Westland Power helicopter, nor of her house in San Francisco, nor of her upper Eastside New York apartment, nor of the rumored Citibank New York private banking account.

    Collantes, now being wheeled around in wheelchair, was left with the house on 34 Banaba St. in South Forbes, as well as the 1-hectare spread at 118 Avocado St. in Ayala Alabang, but the will made no mention of any financial bequeaths.

    Eighty percent of the undisclosed residuary estate were left in equal parts to Doña Chito’s niece, Ma. Susana “Chu-Chu” Madrigal- Eduque, and grandson Vicente Gustav Warns. The balance of 20 percent was bequeathed to another niece, corporate lawyer Gizela M. Gonzalez-Montinola. Gizela’s husband, BPI president Aurelio Montinola III, was named the will’s executor and the estate trustee, along with Perry Pe, Gizela’s partner in the Romulo Mabanta law firm. Since the grandson is still a minor, the inheritance has been directed to be held in trust by his parents, Vicente M. Warns and Maria Angeles P. Warns, until Gustav reaches the age of 35. But should Gustav fail to reach 35, his inheritance will be transferred not to his parents but to the Consuelo “Chito” Madrigal Foundation Inc.

    “Furthermore, it is my wish that any person who is not related to me by consanguinity within the second civil degree, except as herein provided, shall not, in any manner, inherit or acquire ownership of any property that come from my estate,” Doña Chito said in her will.

    The Madrigal matriarch also bequeathed two nephews, Juan Vicente de Leon Rufino and Vicente de Leon Rufino, the third South Forbes house on 17 Balete St.

    The long-serving board secretary of Doña Chito’s various real estate companies, Gloria Cahulogan, was rewarded with an Ayala Alabang property; another aide, Siony Pacardo, also received another house and lot in the same subdivision.

    One domestic helper was bequeathed with a unit in the Susana Condominium, while the rest of a dozen domestic help and drivers each received P50,000 cash.

    The petition for the probate of the Doña Chito’s will was heard and granted by Judge Oscar Pimentel of the Makati Regional Trial Court in September 2006. The eight-page typewritten will was itself signed by Doña Chito on March 22, 2006, two years and two days before she passed away, suffering from emphysema.

    Following her will, Doña Chito’s remains were interred in the family mausoleum in Ayala Alabang.

  31. taitai said,

    April 14, 2008 at 6:33 am

    From Victor Agustin’s Cocktales (online)

  32. April 13, 2008 at 9:50 am


    Thank you for that. Very interesting, coming from Senator Madrigal herself.

    Toto Gonzalez

  33. L*ding said,

    April 13, 2008 at 7:54 am

    Eulogy delivered by Senator Maria Ana “Jamby” Madrigal during the necrological services for her aunt, industrialist, philanthropist, and Madrigal matriarch Consuelo “Chito” Madrigal-Collantes:

    “In paying loving tribute to Tita Chito ( Madrigal-Collantes ) we pay tribute, too, to an entire generation — her generation.

    “Hers was a generation different from that of her elder brother Antonio, my father. If he was the exemplar of the old world courtesies of “urbanidad,” Tita Chito was modernity personified.

    “I ask you to reflect on what it was, that enabled Tita Chito to be both glamorous, and dismissive of glamour, who could flout tradition, yet represent, for all of us, the finest traditions of our lineage.

    “Hers was the swashbuckling elan of the cavalier, the derring-do of the rebel who would take risks for God and country, yet never tarnish the good name of family.

    “Allow me to tell you a story.

    “Once, there was a glittering dinner at the Tuileries, and at that dinner were Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the Emperor Napoleon III and his empress, Eugenie.

    “And at that dinner, one diplomat said to another, “do you know how you can tell the parvenu from someone born to the purple?”

    ““How,” the second diplomat asked.

    ““Observe,” the first diplomat said, as the banquet began.

    “Footmen brought forward the chairs for Victoria and Eugenie, but as they sat down, Eugenie looked back to make sure her seat was there, while Victoria with Hanoverian certainty, simply sat down.

    ““La reine Anglaise,” the first diplomat said, “has never faced the uncertainty of wondering if someone is attending to her chair.”

    “Tita Chito had that Victorian certainty. It was the kind of certainty that had Tita Chito attend to a starving great, great great-grandson of Victoria, Prince Charles, when they were in Nepal and the cuisine was deplorable, as they shared boiled eggs and beer for breakfast.

    “It was that certainty, too, which had her slap him on the back with a breezy “Hi, Charles” which scandalized a fussy equerry.

    “Prince Charles brushed aside the prissy equerry’s protestations of lese majeste and proceeded to enthusiastically greet Tita Chito.

    “‘Lese-majeste’ was too fussy a convention to matter, to her; she was, if we can stereotype her, a brash New Yorker. Accomplished, modern, confident.

    “It was that certainty, that confidence, that allowed Tita Chito to challenge authority and then, to wield it.

    “Hers were the sinews of personal conviction, strengthened by adversity, and tempered, even relaxed, at times by self-awareness and even compassion for the plight of others, that turned her into such a source of strength for the family, and for her friends.

    “For the transition from rebel to matriarch enabled her to avoid turning her authority into familial tyranny.

    “She would have approved of what G.K. Chesterton wrote when he observed, “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around.”

    “If tradition was the skeleton that held our family upright, then her strength of will and singlemindedness of family purpose, provided our family’s muscle.

    “But she knew, too, that tradition is something that deserves not only a nudge, but the healthy counterpoint of defiance, if it is to have meaning.

    “Her generation, in particular, members of her sex, were raised to believe that their role in life was to nurture, but never to lead. Women of her generation expected their husbands to be the professionals.

    “Yet she proved herself capable of acquiring all the accoutrements of professional life by means of her own hard work, her own intellectual ability. We forget what a rare thing it was, for her to be called to the bar, to be a lawyer: a rare thing not just for a Filipina of her generation, but a woman of her generation in the District of Columbia, too.

    “She once said that if she could live her life again, perhaps she would have chosen the law as her full-time occupation. Yet she lived her life as few lawyers ever have: by being fair.

    “We all have our stories of how strong her personality was, how her will –and willfulness, at times- could be so daunting, her remarks, so untypical of the Filipina, then or now, in their bluntness. We forget how at the core of even her most cutting remarks was the truth.

    “She said it, as she saw it; and what she saw was, unerringly, what was really at the heart of any matter — whether a matter of the heart or of the moment in the boardroom.

    “Hers was a generation that grew up in halcyon days, only to be molded, in the crucible of war, into tough individuals. Men and women who experienced, in a very real and painful way, the transitory nature of privilege and wealth.

    “Hers was an unabashed -and deserved- pride in family; hers was a life lived well, with no apologies to make to her peers and society as a whole.

    “Later on, she answered the call of duty of her country by working for the political and industrial advancement of our nation.

    “She never succumbed to the sort of despair that overwhelmed Roman patricians in the 4th century; instead of retreating into misty memories, she reiterated her resolve, time and again, to be more productive than ever, at a time when many of her peers might have been thinking of turning their back on society as it is at present.

    “There too were, the joys of childhood, of enduring friendships made, and the pain and gore of war, which claimed many friends and which resulted in a purgatory on earth for her father, who was slandered for doing his duty but who reclaimed his honor, which has been jealously guarded by his descendants ever since.

    “In the pages of ‘Picture Me’ she chronicled the things that truly count – of love gained and lost, of families linked by ties of affection, of friendships nurtured by her ‘joie de vivre.’

    “There was politics: the razzle-dazzle of the campaigns of the Fifties and Sixties when our democracy was in its last stages of innocence.

    “There was business: for her life was never one of idle extravagance, of foolish frippery, but one devoted to making industries flourish, thereby providing genuine hope for progress in the form of jobs.

    “And yes, society life, of those who lived fast and well, but ahead of most, she acknowledged that times have changed and have changed their lifestyles accordingly.

    “Tita Chito proved that while she enjoyed life to the fullest, she was no slave to the glitter of the good life. For she realized that all lives touch each other; that the thing to do is to find your happiness without it being a cause for misery on the part of others, though your choices at the time, require self-fulfillment at the expense of your peers’ approval.

    “No one appreciated the finer things in life, and that includes the finesse that makes life so much smoother, in so many, often little ways, than Tita Chito.

    “Best of all, hers was a life devoid of false modesty: “Some people say that I have lived a charmed life but I prefer to think of it as an engaged life,” she wrote.

    “How true: the engaged life. The useful life; a life worthy of commemoration.””

  34. April 11, 2008 at 3:57 am


    But that “Picture Me” autobiography is sooooo ten years ago…

    It’s probably still available in the more chichi bookshops in Manila. Or at the flea markets in and around Bangkal Street, Makati.

    Have you tried http://www.amazon.com?

    Good Luck!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  35. AVK said,

    April 10, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Can someone please tell me where I can get a copy of her coffee-table book “Picture Me” ?

    Maraming salamat.

  36. Sabin Arranz said,

    April 2, 2008 at 4:52 am

    Whoops… forgot that Inquirer online loves to make old articles disappear. Here is Manolo’s column in its entirety:

    The Long View
    Testimonial of a matriarch

    By Manuel L. Quezon III
    Philippine Daily Inquirer
    First Posted 00:25:00 03/27/2008

    WHEN NEWS came of the passing of Chito Madrigal Collantes–and who could have failed to notice she was gone?–the first thing that entered my mind was a story told by Harold MacMillan.

    MacMillan, of the publishing family and a former prime minister of the United Kingdom, recounted a story he’d heard about one of his predecessors, Benjamin Disraeli. To give him the status of a gentleman, the aristocratic Bentinck family bought a country estate for him to use; but they didn’t give it to him until 18 years had passed and Disraeli had already been ennobled.

    Near the end of Disraeli’s life, one of the Bentinck heirs, just 23 and who’d just succeeded to the title of Duke of Portland, received an invitation from the (by then) ex-prime minister.

    MacMillan narrated: “To his horror he discovered he was the only guest…. When he came down to dinner, there were just three of them, Disraeli, the private secretary, and himself. Disraeli said good evening to him, and not a single word was spoken by anyone throughout that long Victorian dinner, not one single word. Disraeli sat there impassive, glittering with all his orders, wearing the lot–the Star of India and all the rest. His face was white, and tight like a drum; he was an old, old man.

    “Then at the end of the dinner he spoke, and he said: ‘My lord duke, I have asked you here tonight because I belong to a race that never forgives an insult and never forgets a benefit. Everything I have I owe to the house of Bentinck. I thank you.”

    Madrigal lived a long enough life, a grand life, but managed to do so without turning it into a parody of her past. That is to say, she lived long enough to witness the passing of her own era without becoming a living museum piece, the chief mourner at the funeral of a vanished way of life.

    Which is not to say she didn’t pay eloquent tribute to her generation.

    In the prologue of her autobiographical coffee-table book, “Picture Me,” she wrote: “I have become acutely aware that many of those I grew up with and with whom I spent many years, are going, will soon be gone, like in some inexorable death auction. Soon there will be nobody left to bear witness to the truly interesting times we lived through. I do not agree with that well-known Chinese curse about interesting times being a burden. They are a gift from God. But I am not here to dwell on the past, to regret what is no more, or even to point out how much better our lives were. I am here to fulfill a task I have imposed on myself, which is, to tell it as I saw it.”

    Reviewing her book, I saw on its pages something quite remarkable–it was not only a testimonial to an individual life now gone, but in a sense, a continuing dialogue with the present. Having been a columnist herself, Madrigal knew the virtue of the written word: it offers up a permanent way to have the last word–a matriarch can continue laying down the law from beyond the grave.

    She made this observation, circa 1997, when her book came out: “As for high society, which took much of my time in the past, I must say that its days are over. Finished. Society, as we knew it in the 1950s till the 1980s is dead. It has been killed by new contending forces and has sunk without a trace. The rise of new classes, a drastic change in public ideology and the social contract, the expanding economy have done it in. It’s almost as if there had been a revolution. The detritus is the new cafe and club society we see parlayed and hyped up in the lifestyle sections of the press today.”

    Ten years later, Reuters quoted “eventologist” Tim Yap’s “Detritus Manifesto:” “There is this mind-set, which I think is so passé, that says: ‘The country is in shambles and the country is having a hard time and you are out there partying.’ But this generation is guiltless when it comes to that.”

    He might as well have directly engaged the Madrigal matriarch in a dialogue.

    For Madrigal observed, “I miss the good manners of the good old times, the sense of well-being and sure-footed security that growing up in a nice home, in a proper family atmosphere provided. I regret the ostentation and pushiness that today go with being ‘in society,’ the quasi-vulgarity of taste, the maneuvering to get your photo in the papers, the bribery and cultivation of society reporters and columnists.”

    Yap (also, incidentally, a columnist) also told Reuters, “Right now, the young generation is a generation that works really hard and wants to reward itself.”

    No stranger to the joys of the rewards of effort herself, Madrigal offered up a blunt observation: a reward is best savored as a private pleasure, not a communal trophy, and not as an advertisement.

    “One good thing about martial law was the abolition of society pages…. Call me old-fashioned, but I continue to be shocked by people who aggressively seek the limelight and even corrupt media to achieve their self-aggrandizement. In my time good form demanded that we avoid too much exposure,” she wrote.

    Perhaps the only person who cheered the publication of this passage was Carmen Guerrero Nakpil for whom the idea of being passé is just another vulgarity at par with newfangled terms like “eventologist.”

    Indeed, it was in the closing pages of her book, in her valedictory, so to speak, to younger generations, that Madrigal imparted a clear-headed advice: “Especially in the context of prevalent conditions, widespread poverty, crime and social injustice, it behooves us all not to give scandal by conspicuous consumption. I am upset by the contemporary lack of restraint, the excessive display in clothes, entertainment …. And then they complain about being burglarized, mugged and kidnapped!”

    Perhaps she would have said, what is truly passé is to refuse to recognize that things become passé for good reason.

  37. Sabin Arranz said,

    April 2, 2008 at 4:50 am

    I just stumbled upon Manolo’s column about Chito Madrigal-Collantes. A very well-written piece.


  38. Ipe Nazareno said,

    April 1, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Speaking of which, I was at Starbucks this afternoon. One of their magazines was ROGUE. It had Cherie Gil on the cover. She was holding a martini glass the contents of which she was throwing towards the reader.

    Z 🙂

  39. Ipe Nazareno said,

    April 1, 2008 at 4:15 am

    “You’re nothing but a second-rate, trying-hard copycat!!!”

    [ from THAT 1980s Sharon Cuneta movie ]

    Z 🙂

  40. JLB said,

    March 31, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    What the New York Times failed to mention was the nasty comment Minnie Osmena made against Madame Imelda which irked Dewi Sukarno. I don’t know whether this comment was made in Aspen or in Ibiza. Dewi and Minnie already had a longstanding feud. Dewi is friends with Madame Imelda while Minnie isn’t. After the Aspen incident, Dewi published a book with her semi-nude photos in it. Minnie said Dewi came out with that book since she’s broke.

    Minnie’s father Sergio Jr. comes from the Osmena-Chiong Veloso family of Cebu. Her mother Lourdes comes from the de la Rama family of Bacolod.

  41. lse77 said,

    March 31, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    By the way, I like the title of this post “…and unto dust thou shalt return…” Here’s a couple of Biblical passages that clearly shows one of the basic principles of life : “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither …” (Job 1:12) “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” (I Timothy 6:7)

  42. lse77 said,

    March 31, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    I came across your blog while trying to get some news about the death of the grand dame. Did read some of your posts and I must say, you rock! Very interesting and entertaining! 🙂 Will definitely bookmark your site. Mabuhay ang Pinoy!

  43. Garganta Inflamada said,

    March 30, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Sabin Arranz said,

    The Indonesian slit the Filipina’s face.


    Oh. So that accounts for MO’s visits to the plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills.

    Yes, Dewi was a 19-year old geisha when she met Sukaro.

    I did a little research and this is The New York Times’ account of the Aspen prize fight:

    “Much more sensational was her spat with the Philippine socialite Minnie Osmena at a party in Aspen in early January 1992, when — she cannot deny it — she hit Ms. Osmena in the face with a wine glass, causing a wound that took 37 stitches to close.

    ”It was like the old Western word: lynch,” Mrs. Sukarno said. ”How can you charge me with second-degree assault with intent to kill? You don’t go to a New Year’s party thinking to kill Minnie Osmena! In any party a glass can break.”

    Relations with Ms. Osmena had been poor since she had announced a few months earlier, at a party on the Spanish island of Ibiza, her intention to run for vice president of the Philippines and Mrs. Sukarno had burst out laughing.

    Mrs. Sukarno is fuzzy about the details of her assault in Aspen, but she is still shocked at what happened next.

    ”In front of me I saw a little, little line on her forehead,” she recalled. ”Then blood started to come, very little. I was stunned. I didn’t even know the glass touched her. I saw it like a slow-motion movie. You want to see her photo? I can blow it up for you. You can see her face has nothing, nothing.”

    In a plea bargain, Mrs. Sukarno was sent to jail for disorderly conduct, and to her surprise, she said, ”I was very happy in jail.”

    ”I felt like I was in a dormitory — I felt like a student,” she said. ”I made my room so beautiful, with little animals, with paintings, everything was so nice. It was fun for me. I could have stayed longer.”

    I suppose there are worse places to be calaboosed than pristine Aspen, Colorado. Like Jakarta or Manila.

    I love this line of hers: “You don’t go to a New Year’s party thinking to kill Minnie Osmena! In any party a glass can break.” So Minnie’s face just happened to stop the breaking glass. It’s so…”CSI”-meets-Zsa Zsa Gabor!!

    Any more of these celebrity, specially involving Manila socialites, catfights?


  44. Sabin Arranz said,

    March 30, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    bambinawrites: Yep, you’re correct. She was a “geisha.” 🙂

  45. March 30, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Wasn’t Dewi Japanese? Didn’t she become an Indonesian citizen when she married Sukarno?

  46. March 30, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Mea culpa, Sabin.

    Toto Gonzalez

  47. Sabin Arranz said,

    March 30, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    The Indonesian slit the Filipina’s face.

  48. Ritard Goliamco said,

    March 30, 2008 at 4:51 am

    The modern version of the Chito Madrigal versus Pilar Tuason-Manzano catfight at the old Hilton happened in the 1990s: It was between Gr*tchen Barret*o versus D*nise Y*but-Coj*angco. D*nise threw a piece of cake at Gr*tchen’s face at “Giraffe” ( bar owned by TBC ) and “all hell broke loose.” Also comparable was the Minnie Osmena versus Dewi Sukarno in the 1990s in Aspen, Colorado. Dewi slit Minnie’s face with a champagne glass because of jealousy. The *********** fight well. Like monkeys in the jungle…

  49. Nenuca (Chi-Chi) Valderrama said,

    March 30, 2008 at 3:36 am

    Oh? So that’s how it started.

    Frankly, Paolo, I also never knew the true reason for their animosity towards each other. I learned about it through poor Amelita Reysio-Cruz’s columns in the Manila Bulletin. It was, is, quite titillating because it was, as you said, a “spat” — between two AAA List heavyweights of Manila’s “alta sociedad,” with a lot of might and muscle to bear, and it endured for a while.

    It was a high society catfight with one feline probably decked out in Patou’s “Joy,” and the other smelling of Guerlain’s “Ode,” the likes of which soignee Manille has not seen in awhile. And at one of Manila’s top watering holes no less. It was “Dynasty” in real-life!!! I could almost see your Abuelita as “Alexis” ( Joan Collins ) and Tita Chito as “Krystle” ( Linda Evans ) ( or the other way around if you prefer 🙂 ), going at it tooth-and-nail, at the Top of the Hilton no less! What I would’ve given to have been present that night!!!

    Sorry, not meaning to demean your grandmother but it was delicious when it was raging hot. Perhaps you can ask any of your remaining elders to shed some light on this — the two principals having moved on to even more rarefied climes — and share that with us?


  50. Paolo Sotto Manzano said,

    March 29, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    I have heard about Tita Chito and my Grandmother’s spat at the Hilton a long time ago when she threw a cocktail (and glass) at CM-C from my Grandfather.

    He never told me the reasons behind this though. Nenuca, care to enlighten me a bit?

  51. Nenuca (Chi-Chi) Valderrama said,

    March 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    So, Tita Chito [ Madrigal-Collantes ] has now joined her beloved arch-enemy, Tita Pilar [ Tuason-Manzano ], with whom she waged many a battle galore, in the Great Beyond.

    Will the sparks continue in the afterlife?

    Speaking of Imelda Marcos, I just saw her on a recent clip shedding copious “crocodile tears” for Tita Cory’s affliction. She’s really looking quite grotesque. I wonder when those puffy cheeks will finally burst?

  52. Alicia Perez said,

    March 28, 2008 at 12:32 pm


    You missed something…

    At one point in time after Ging and before Chuchu, Marivic ( Maria Victoria Madrigal Vazquez; daughter of Maria Luisa “Ising” Madrigal and Dr. Daniel “Danny” Vazquez ) became a ward of Chito’s.

    Throughout her married, unmarried, and remarried life, Chito informally adopted a series of three nieces and a grandnephew. The sequence was: Ging, Marivic, Chuchu, then Gustav.

    She wanted to legally adopt Ging and Marivic but their parents refused. Chuchu was already a young lady by the time she came to live with Chito.

    Alicia Perez

  53. Enrique Bustos said,

    March 28, 2008 at 6:20 am

    the reason why Ging and ChuChu were listed as bereaved nieces but Jamby and the Vazquez kids weren’t even mentioned is both Ging, ChuChu & Bu as well, became her ward at some point of their lives they all stayed with their tita chito who became their second mom because chito was not blessed to have her own children she treated them as her own children she even adopted the son of Bu, Gustav.

  54. March 28, 2008 at 3:47 am

    Hmm…seems to me somebody’s imitating my nom-de-plume. Anyway, I was very shocked to hear about Dona Chito Madrigal-Collantes passing away. Somehow her death makes me think of the near-brushes of Meldy Ongsiako-Cojuangco back in 2005 and Meldy Romualdez-Marcos back in November-ish 2007.

  55. Rita said,

    March 27, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    Chito Madrigal’s passing marks the end of an era. The torch has now been passed to her favorite niece, the sophisticated Chu-Chu Madrigal. She will be the next Chito Madrigal!!! Chito’s Citibank accounts will be accessed only by ******. Her Emeralds may go to *****. Her Diamonds to the **** grandniece.

  56. Ipe Nazareno said,

    March 27, 2008 at 1:04 am

    Just wondering why Ging and ChuChu were listed as “bereaved nieces” in the obituary notice but Jamby and the Vazquez kids weren’t even mentioned?


  57. HRH said,

    March 26, 2008 at 11:54 am

    truly an end of an era…

  58. Alicia Perez said,

    March 26, 2008 at 8:31 am

    From the blog post “Slurping Soup”:

    Brother Andrew often related, and mimicked, these lines — about slurping soup — of a grand Manila heiress towards her “pendejo” wimp of a “politico” husband, which he had witnessed on at least three social occasions…

    “Honey!!! How many times do I have to remind you not to slurp your soup… especially in public???!!!”

    “If not for MY MONEY, you would have never amounted to anything!!!” she declared.

    Well said.

    Guess who? Chito and Manoling!

    Alicia Perez

  59. rgdrgfrturdfriedfrogslegs said,

    March 26, 2008 at 5:44 am

    So…… who gets the helicopter?

  60. March 25, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    I am utterly devastated about Tita Chito’s passing. A grande dame in every sense of the word – in carriage, demeanor, graciousness and generosity. She had a lovely sense of humor too…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: