Gowned and Catty

It was with undiluted pleasure that I was surrounded with various real-life versions of those memorable fictional characters:  Edith Wharton’s “Sillerton Jackson” and “Lawrence Lefferts,” Lev Tolstoy’s “Princess Yelena Kouragin,” Jane Austen’s “Mrs. Bennet,” Oscar Wilde’s “Lady Augusta Bracknell,” not to mention Truman Capote’s “Holly Golightly” and “Mag Wildwood” at a recent “society” gala at the Manila Peninsula hotel.  Although all was elegance and politesse during the affair, the cast of characters made it a veritable vicious comedy by their incessant carping about every noteworthy personality that had the fortune — or rather the misfortune — to enter the Rigodon ballroom amidst the flashes of the paparazzi…

“Dahling!!!  Hellohowareyou???”  And as soon as she passed, the tongues started wagging their inflammatory fires…

“Lovely dress but far lovelier earrings…”

“Where does she stand in the family quarrel???  Of course, her branch was never close to her aunt.  They didn’t even bother to attend the reading of the last will and testament.  Not that they need to inherit anything, they’re terribly rich.”

“It’s not a family quarrel.  It’s only her politician cousin quarreling with the cousins who inherited from their bitchy old aunt.  And that politician cousin will not quarrel with her — at least for now — because she didn’t get anything, much less bother to get anything.  They were never really close.  You know, everyone thinks she is a woman of style… but she is also a woman of substance:  after she separated from her husband, her parents refused to have anything to do with her.  She only had Php 5,000 left but built herself up from there.  Now, she is a self-made multimillionairess without the help of her family.  Remarkable lady.”

“Politician cousin is just pouring out all her sexual frustrations by creating this mess, you know.  They used to say she was a lesbian, until she married someone whom they used to say was gay.  Now, she’s correctly described as a politician;  she excels at it as she’s completely incomprehensible.  So really, politician cousin is just after some big money from her simple cousin.”

“You know, their simple cousin couldn’t care less if she inherited or not.  She is the richest one of them all because her Hetty Green of a mother has never lost a single cent in all her life!!!  The story of the one light bulb is true, you know.   And simple cousin’s husband is just getting progressively richer by the day.  Among family in private, she says that there are far too many properties and too many assets to manage, and manage well.  Nice, very nice problem to have, don’t you think???”

A not-so-pretty young thing entered with a posse of passably attractive ingenues doing “the attitude.”

“That girl, despite her airs, is actually illegitimate.  She shouldn’t even be carrying her father’s surname.  Her father had a relationship which his parents didn’t approve, his girlfriend was ‘pobrecita’ but very ambitious and determined to bear his child, come hell or high water.  And so there she goes…  But you can still see all that insecurity  in her, don’t you???”

“They’re educating her very well.  She is to be sent to the US for schooling.  Her father says she has the grades to be admitted to an Ivy League university.  Of course, he’s got the connections.  So there…”

“Poor lady.  Her playboy husband is bedding her best friend.  Always the case, isn’t it???”

“Does she know?  She must already know.  I mean, if the whole town knows…”

“Well, nobody expected their marriage to last in the first place.  Not with a husband like that, however handsome.  He’d sooner stick it into an SM salesgirl.”

And “Christina of Sweden” appeared…

“And whooooo made that horrible dress???”

“Bad taffeta.  Very bad taffeta.  Her designer took her for a ride!!!”

“A bad dress on a bad figure.”

“I predict that she will trip with that dress anytime now…”

“‘Hija,’ look at your ex-boyfriend.  Sooooo handsome…  And it’s that little ‘feissima’ mongrel who has taken your place!!!  My goodness, ‘hija, ‘look at all that you’ve given up!!!  He is going to inherit the bulk of his Papa’s estate:  the corporations, the banks, the houses, the boat, the helicopter, and everything else!!!  If I were you I would have never let him go!!!”  carped mestiza mama.

Mestiza daughter snapped:  “Mom, he can’t even get it up, OK???  Forget it!!!”


“I’ve seen that dress twice already…”  fashion observer murmured.

“Saw that in Chatuchak.  1,500 baht.”

“I’m sure she beat you to it.”

A handsome and macho “politico” strode into the room.  “Ssshhh… Rumor control says that he is a ‘Size 12’…”

“Really???  12 inches???  Impressive!!!”

“No, 12 years old!!!”

And the ascendant one glided into the ballroom…


“Wow… How was she able to afford that dress???  I’ll bet it’s a fake!!!  Where did she steal the gas to get here???  Or did she walk???  All those debts…!!!”

“I’m sure she hasn’t paid for that dress yet.  And she never will.”

“Such lovely girls.  So sweet.  They’re always together…”

“That’s because they are together.  What did you think???  And there’s more of them over there.  Sapphic is in.”

And John Travolta as Tony Manero strutted sexily into the crowd at full swing…

“Hi, dude!!!  What’s up???”


“Rent boy.  You pay his rent.”


“She left him already.  Caught him setting a date with her cousin.”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“Male cousin, dahling.  He likes it from all directions, you see.”

“She is the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen…”

“Dahling, I love your minaudiere!!!”  Where’d you get it???”

“Greenhills ‘tiangge’!!!”

Fashion model hissed:  “He’s the guy I was telling you about…  He’s rich:  several companies, houses in Ayala Alabang, Punta Fuego, Boracay, a yacht… He can have me anytime.  Better yet, marry me.  But I hear he is ‘not endowed’ down there…”

“Hey babe, small bulge, big pocket.  Can’t win ’em all.”  declared young fashion designer.

“Sir, would you like some foie gras?”

“Uhm, is that really foie gras?  Or is that ‘faux’ gras?”

“It isn’t foie gras.  Just be honest and say it’s liver spread.”

With characteristic naughtiness, I decided that I would step on every single long dress with a train in the ballroom during the course of the evening.  Just for kicks.  One, two, three…  Once, twice, thrice… I even managed to step on a particular gown [ guess who??? ] no less than fifteen times!!!  Bwahahah!!!   😛   😛   😛


  1. moet&chandon said,

    September 16, 2008 at 7:45 am

    Am*lia “Mel*ie” Abl*za is the honorary consul of Guatemala while her husband Louie, who manages the Abl*za Pawnshop chain and is the incumbent president of the Association of Pawnbrokers, is the honorary consul of Zambia. They are known for hosting lavish theme parties that are usually planned by their son Jun-Jun. The Abl*za couple are current members of “Manila’s 400,” players of the scene and the “exclusive circle,” and regulars of the party pages of the social “Philippine T*tler” magazine.

    They live in a mansion in New Manila, maintain a vacation house in Tagaytay, and acquired a property and built a grander house in Forbes Park a few years back. While Louie loves flashy and sporty cars, Mel*ie is steadily amassing her own collection of “crown jewels” and is known for wearing extravagant Ben Farrales gowns.

  2. moet&chandon said,

    September 16, 2008 at 7:30 am

    “Millionaires’ daughters do not steal.”

    — Maria Paz “Pacita” Paterno Madrigal-Warns-Gonzalez

  3. talagang tsismoso said,

    September 13, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    The Hetty Green mother who has never lost a single cent in all her life with The Story of the One Light Bulb has just passed away yesterday: Former Senator MPPM-WG.

  4. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    September 13, 2008 at 1:01 am


    Thank you so much. I just looked up Mabolo Flowers in Google and indeed it looks absolutely fabulous. The site shows that they not only do beautiful flower arrangements but also sell all sorts of gifts and accessories.

  5. zippo said,

    September 12, 2008 at 7:03 am


    My mom, sisters, and aunts always rely on Antonio Garcia of Mabolo Flowers ( be it a party, a funeral, etc.; Mabolo’s floral designs are always tasteful ).

    Z 🙂

  6. Nikki Ballesteros said,

    September 10, 2008 at 5:15 pm


    As always, your blog entries are so hilarious..hihihi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Babblefish said,

    September 10, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Maybe Parvenu was posing a rhetorical question? : ) : ) : )

    Anyway, if you want catty on a regular basis, the Fashion Watch Quartet at the Makati Shang might be interesting to you. Heard Mariet*a Santos threw a fit at a last FWQ, Something to do with the younger Grimaldis and their recent visit here.

  8. parvenu said,

    September 10, 2008 at 8:29 am

    uhm, i know who she is but, er, she seems to have appeared outta nowhere. hehe.

  9. Garganta Inflamada said,

    September 9, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Isn’t she also like the Honorary Consul of Timbuktu or Burkina Fasso or something like that…? And her hubby is the same for some other banana republic…or Burkha-bourkhizstan?

  10. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    September 9, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Moi aussi off-topic… Toto, a friend of mine has just been operated in Makati and I’d like to send her a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Furthermore, I’ve been asked to find out about Manila’s most exclusive PR firm to explore the possibility of holding a big, elegant event there. (I’m the one who suggested Manila should be put on the global glamour map). Could you please help me, perhaps send me a private e-mail with suggestions for the florist and PR person or company?
    Please forgive me for bothering you about this and merci in advance.

  11. September 9, 2008 at 4:37 pm


    She is a Queen Bee of Contemporary Manila Society.

    Where have you been, dear???

    Toto Gonzalez

  12. parvenu said,

    September 8, 2008 at 7:37 am

    a tad off-topic… but who is Mel*ie Abl*za?

  13. Ipe Nazareno said,

    September 8, 2008 at 7:05 am

    Hi Toto. I saw China and your nephew Gino in today’s Inquirer. They look like a cute couple. Cheers to them and to young love.

    Z 🙂

  14. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    September 4, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Cher Toto,
    Since I visited the Philippines last year I’m hooked on your blog and only now, under the influence of a couple of flutes of Taittinger Comtes de Champagne have the courage of writing to you. The mind boggles that considering
    the Philippines’ movie industry, you haven’t written a script for a movie that would be shown at the Cannes Film Festival, and your above entry made my cup run over. Bravo, mille fois! Your line about Faux Gras will be used all over Paris: I will plagiarise it.
    I love the Philippines although what I know of the country seems to be limited to the vast geography of the Mandarin Oriental, Pacific PlazaTowers, The Peninsula and some very nice homes where I was very kindly entertained.
    Do keep us who have been (and hope to return) to Manila enthralled and feel free to write to me on my private email address if I can provide you with tidbits from ‘la vieille Europe.’

  15. September 1, 2008 at 5:39 am

    Garganta Inflamada:


    Good one, good one!!!


    Toto Gonzalez

  16. Garganta Inflamada said,

    August 31, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    A very appropriate line just came to mind: “If you can’t say anything nice about anyone…

    then come sit next to me.” 🙂 🙂


  17. August 31, 2008 at 11:48 am


    I transferred your interesting comment about Kr*s Aq*ino to the blog post “Stand by Me” where it belongs.

    Thank you!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  18. August 31, 2008 at 9:42 am


    I transferred your interesting comment about Kr*s Aq*ino to the blog post “Stand by Me” where it belongs.

    Thank you!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

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