Apalit Fiesta 2008 Advisory

“FIESTA” ADVISORY: ON 28 JUNE 2008, SATURDAY, AT EXACTLY 11:00 A.M., “APUNG IRO” WILL LEAVE HIS SHRINE IN BARANGAY CAPALANGAN IN A JOYOUS PROCESSION TO THE PAMPANGA RIVER — THE “RIO GRANDE DE PAMPANGA” —FOR THE ANNUAL “LIBAD” FLUVIAL FESTIVAL IN HIS HONOR. AT 4:00 P.M., THERE WILL BE A PROCESSION THROUGH THE APALIT TOWN PROPER IN HIS HONOR.

ON 29 JUNE 2008, SUNDAY, THERE WILL BE DAY-LONG CEREMONIES AT THE APALIT CHURCH WHICH WILL CULMINATE IN A LATE AFTERNOON PROCESSION IN HONOR OF “APUNG IRO.”

FIESTAGOERS CAN ALSO GO SHOPPING FOR EVERYTHING AS THE APALIT TOWN PROPER BECOMES ONE BIG “TIANGGE” SELLING EVERYTHING IMAGINABLE — “DIVISORIA SA PAMPANGA”!!!

ON 30 JUNE 2008, MONDAY, “APUNG IRO” WILL RETURN TO HIS SHRINE IN BARANGAY CAPALANGAN. THE JOYOUS AND RAUCOUS PROCESSION — ACCOMPANIED BY WATER DRENCHING — ARRIVES AT THE SHRINE BETWEEN 3:00 TO 5:00 P.M..

BE ADVISED THAT SAINT PETER’S SHRINE IN BARANGAY CAPALANGAN, APALIT, PAMPANGA WILL BE THE CENTER OF ACTIVITIES SPECIFICALLY ON THE MORNING OF 28 JUNE 2008, SATURDAY, AND THE AFTERNOON OF 30 JUNE 2008, MONDAY.

COME AND EXPERIENCE THE BIGGEST “FIESTA” IN ALL OF PAMPANGA!!! ūüėÄ

[ TIP: MAKE A GENEROUS TIME ALLOWANCE FOR YOUR ARRIVAL IN APALIT.¬†¬†TRAFFIC WILL BE VERY HEAVY ALONG MACARTHUR HIGHWAY IN¬†APALIT TOWN AND ENVIRONS¬†{ OUTSKIRTS OF CALUMPIT, BULACAN, AND MACABEBE¬†&¬†SAN SIMON, PAMPANGA }.¬† PARKING WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT ANYWHERE IN THE TOWN.¬†¬†DO NOT BRING EXPENSIVE AND NEW VEHICLES SO AS NOT TO ATTRACT BAD ELEMENTS.¬† HAVE YOUR DRIVERS GUARD¬†YOUR VEHICLES.¬†¬†WASHROOMS CAN BE VERY CHALLENGING; RUNNING WATER IS IN DEMAND AND WATER SYSTEMS INEVITABLY BREAK DOWN.¬† EVERYONE IS WELCOME: YOU CAN WALK INTO ANY GOOD HOUSE AND YOU WILL BE FED A NICE MEAL IN HONOR OF “APUNG IRO.” ]

 

 

 

 

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Bluer than Blue

It has already been twenty-two years since the end of the Marcos regime in February 1986, but all aspects of it still make for interesting conversations…

I sat down to lunch recently¬†with a former, leading “Blue Lady,” and I thoroughly enjoyed the memories she shared with me.

“Oh, those were the days…”

“Basically, we were there to help Mrs. Marcos with her various activities.”

“Meldy [ Imelda de la Paz Ongsiako-Cojuangco ], Zita [ Zita Bartolome Fernandez-Feliciano ], and Lulu [ Lourdes Tiaoqui Hidalgo-Tinio ]¬†were the ones closest to Mrs. Marcos.¬† Meldy Cojuangco liked to¬†say:¬† ‘I’m ”the other Meldy”.’¬†¬†But the truth was that Meldy Cojuangco was ‘the only Meldy who mattered’ in Manila society¬†until Mrs. Marcos sallied forth from ‘nowhere.’¬† The ladies¬†formed a ‘cordon sanitaire’ around¬†Mrs. Marcos¬†which made access to her quite difficult.¬† You couldn’t get near her just like that.¬† She was really like a queen.”

“The others who belonged to that inner circle were Ising [ Maria Luisa Paterno Madrigal-Vazquez ], Eloi [ Eloisa Bartolome Fernandez-Revilla, later -Yan ], Nitang [ Erundina Bartolome Fernandez-Lim ], whom we called ‘O-lay,’…”

“No, Chito [ Consuelo Paterno Madrigal-Collantes ] was not part of that inner circle.¬† Although Chito, by her sheer wealth, belonged to every high circle there was.¬† Liding [ Erlinda Salgado Miranda-Oledan ], not initially, but later on.”

“Oh yes, Teyet [ Dr. Eleuterio Pascual ] controlled all matters artistic in that circle.¬† He and Liding¬†were constantly at each other’s throats.¬† The way he and Marietta are now [ Meldy Cojuangco’s close friend, Marietta Santos ].¬†¬†He and everyone for that matter!¬† And of course, he poked fun at everybody else.¬† Poor ladies, no one was spared!”

“Ronnie Laing was the favorite for flowers and party arrangements.¬† But poor Ronnie¬†always had to hear the carping of ‘everybody’ even before Mrs. Marcos¬†got to see what he had done for the upcoming party.¬† Yackity yackity yack…”

“Ileana Maramag… she was Mrs. Marcos’ secretary.¬† I just forget the name, but Mrs. Marcos had this secretary of sorts, a former¬†member of the household¬†staff¬†who was very trustworthy.¬† She¬†was in charge of Mrs. Marcos’ jewelry.”

“When we were abroad and at a gala, say the opera, Mrs. Marcos wanted all of us dressed to the nines.¬† She would lend us fantastic jewelry and all we had to do was to return it to that trustworthy secretary of hers.¬† The crowd’s jaws would literally drop at the sight of Mrs. Marcos and her glittering retinue!!!”

“Did you know that Mrs. Marcos was very “hands-on”?¬† Whenever we would be at any of her houses, she would be busy moving plants, carrying cachepots, transferring vases.¬† Of course, we would help her.¬† Some of us anyway, specially Loleng [ Dolores Arguelles-Panlilio ].¬† Many of the ‘Blue Ladies’ would just sit down, eat, fan endlessly and gossip the day away.¬† However, Mrs. Marcos never complained.”

“Of course, I was there at the MIFF Manila International Film Festival.¬† I was assigned to entertain a whole European delegation.¬† Sooooo goodlooking!¬† We brought them to the beach and then to the discos at night.”

“You know, Malacanang was not the first time I saw Mrs. Marcos, but I never told her nor anyone else…”

“I first saw her in the house of her cousin, Danieling [ Speaker of the House Daniel Zialcita Romualdez;¬† son of former Manila Mayor Miguel Romualdez and Brigida Zialcita;¬† Miguel was an elder brother of Vicente Orestes Romualdez, Imelda’s father ] and Pacing / Pacita [ Paz Gueco-Romualdez ], along Speaker Perez street¬†[ in Santa Mesa Heights near the Santo Domingo church¬†in Quezon city ].¬† She was pretty, and simple.¬† Pacing said that she was Danieling’s [ first ] cousin from Leyte.”

“The elder Romualdez first cousins had concurred that it was a terrible waste for their undeniably beautiful cousin Meldy to stay in the Leyte backwash ( where her father Vicente Orestes Romualdez had brought his second set of children after the death of their mother, Remedios Trinidad ) and they arranged for her to come to Manila, where her beauty¬†could probably lead to a ‘good marriage’ with an accomplished¬†gentleman and thus secure for herself a good future…”¬†

“I also saw her through the window of that piano store in Manila where she worked.¬† Sometimes, she would be posed beside the piano, perhaps to make it sell.¬† Difficult work, I thought.”

“‘Meldy’ would take the jeepney everyday going to and from work.¬† Sometimes, the poor girl would have no money and would have to borrow her transportation money from¬†Pacing’s maids.”

“In those postwar years, at least before the¬†‘activistas’ and Mayor Villegas came along and spoiled all the fun,¬†we would have practices for the ‘rigodon de honor’ of the ‘Kahirup’ and the ‘Mancomunidad Pampanguena’ at Danieling’s and Pacing’s Speaker Perez street house.¬† But ‘Meldy’ just watched¬†behind the doors of the kitchen and those of the¬†staff quarters.¬†¬†¬† The men, who were all¬†attracted by ‘Meldy’s’ fresh¬†beauty,¬†would¬†ask Pacing for¬†the girl¬†to join us in the practice — saying all she needed was a dress —¬†but¬†Pacing declined.”

“But Pacing, despite what is commonly thought,¬†was not all that bad to ‘Meldy.’¬† She would¬†request the “Kahirup” and “Mancomunidad Pampanguena” organizers to let ‘Danieling’s cousin’ sing at their annual balls, because ‘Meldy’ really did have a beautiful singing voice.¬† Afterwards, Pacing would call her rich ‘comadres’ to lend ‘Meldy’ an evening gown, preferably by a top couturier like Ramoning Valera.¬†¬†Of course,¬†Danieling and Pacing had ambitions for ‘Meldy,’ marrying up certainly being one of them.”

“‘Society’ was so small¬†then.¬† Everyone really did know, or at least knew about, everybody else.¬† One could hide money but of course not financial difficulty.¬† It didn’t matter that¬†someone¬†impecunious¬†was related to someone rich, because everyone knew the difference!!!¬† It was cruel in a way.¬† And that was the case with ‘Meldy.’¬† Everyone knew that she was the prominent Danieling’s cousin, but well…¬†Several rich people were ‘not nice’ to her, to say the least.¬† I felt for her.¬† Then of course she became Mrs. Ferdinand Marcos and nothing was ever the same again.¬† I couldn’t blame her for turning the tables on those who had offended her in the past; she was just giving them a dose of their own medicine.”

“Years later when ‘Meldy,’ against all odds,¬†finally became the First Lady of the Philippines, Madame Imelda Romualdez-Marcos,¬†she invited Danieling’s and Pacing’s daughters [ Danieling’s actual daughters ] to come to the Malacanang palace.¬† They initially did not know how to comport themselves because, as spoiled children who blurted out whatever they thought without restraint,¬†they used to order ‘Meldy’ around, well,¬†like household help:¬† “Meldy,¬†ikuha mo ako ng tubig.”¬† “Meldy, kunin mo iyong¬†sapatos ko.”¬† “Meldy, ayusin mo yung mga damit ko.”¬† “Meldy, sabihin mo sa chofer na aalis na ako.”¬†¬† They were¬†being entertained by¬†the most powerful lady in the land!”

“And after all these years, hijo, I still think¬†that Imelda Romualdez-Marcos¬†was a good First Lady.¬† Not only good, make that GREAT!!!¬† Look at what she achieved during her days of power!!!¬† Do you remember the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Philippine International Convention Center, the Folk Arts Theater, the Manila Film Center, the Manila Hotel, the Philippine Plaza Hotel,¬† the Coconut Palace, the Philippine General Hospital, the Heart Center, the Lung Center, the Kidney Center, and all those other institutions IN THEIR PRIME???¬† Not to mention the Malacanang palace,¬†Antique I & II [ the presidential guesthouses ], “Balay ti¬†Amianan” in Paoay, the Santo Nino shrine in Olot, and the others.¬† We had so much to show to the world!!!¬† Now, we only have the cheapest scandal after the cheaper scandal after the cheap scandal…¬† We Filipinos no longer have¬†a face to show to the world!!!¬† Embarrassing!!!”

“I also think that Ferdinand Marcos was¬†the greatest¬†president we ever had.¬† Tell me honestly, did we have anything better after him???¬†¬†NO!!!¬† Not Corazon¬†Cojuangco-Aquino with her mahjong quorums, nor Fidel Ramos and his under-the-table deals, Joseph Estrada and his quarreling mistresses, not even Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and¬†her thieving¬†husband with his cheap, cheaper, and cheapest “queridas”!!!¬† Call me a Marcos loyalist, because I am proud to be one!!!”

Oh, O… K…¬† Whatever you say, Tita…¬†¬† ūüôā