Can’t take it with you

Old Lady Senator — one of the very richest ladies in Manila — finally passed away after many years of seclusion.  We were informed by her sisters-in-law — first cousins of my father — through a text message that she lay in state at her late younger sister’s residence in North Forbes Park.

Wishing to avoid the expected ubersocial crush in the evening since the funeral would be the next day, I chose to pay my respects in the mid-afternoon.  It was a pleasant and breezy sunny afternoon, the gates of the house were open, and there were a few cars parked outside.

Apparently, other people also chose to pay their respects in the quiet mid-afternoon…  I followed in the heels of Madame Imelda Romualdez-Marcos.

# 77  Cambridge Circle, North Forbes Park was a palatial residence [ by Filipino standards, at least ], and there was simply no other way to describe it. It was designed by Architect Gabriel “Gabby” Formoso and was finished in 1978; the interior design and decoration — a prime example of classical, aristocratic Filipino taste — was by Fernando “Pandot” Ocampo Jr..  It was a house of embassy proportions; a place where one could truly entertain in high style.  I had been there a few times, yet I was still charmed with every visit.  It was, for me,  traditional Filipino living at its most elegant and most cosmopolitan, for it was supported by an immense fortune that spanned the globe.  One ascended a short flight of marble steps into a foyer / courtyard with columns and a fountain.  On the left side were the double doors to the living room / drawing room.  It was an elegant, rectangular room with a 12 foot high ceiling and covered in jade green fabric:  it was crowned by a chandelier of Baccarat crystal [ with individual shades in the Edwardian manner ] and furnished with gilded French furniture and Persian rugs, punctuated with antique French, English, German, and Chinese porcelains.  A portrait of the glamorous chatelaine in her youth by National Artist Fernando Amorsolo and paintings by old masters Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo hung at the farthest wall.  Although the room had been photographed several times, its remarkable tone of hushed luxury and high formality, albeit a tad sepulchral, had never been captured on film.

A uniformed valet / steward ushered me inside the house.  The foyer / courtyard was lined with funeral wreaths sent by the most prominent Filipinos, ordered from the city’s most expensive and most elegant florists; I instantly recognized two from Margarita Fores’ “Fiori di M.”  I turned to the left and entered the living room, where people were speaking in murmurs.  I greeted one of the nieces and paused to see if there was anybody else I knew in the room.  At the far end of the room, below the deceased chatelaine’s glamorous Fernando Amorsolo portrait, the elegant, dark casket of the elder sister was closed, draped with a flag;  it was flanked, somewhat oddly, by two uniformed lady guards, perhaps sent from the Senate.  Rows of European-style gilded salon chairs were arranged in front of the casket.  Seated in the front row, to the right, were the only daughter of the deceased, a lawyer by profession, and her banker husband.  So I made my way to the front, passing the right side of the room.

“Our prayers… It happened quickly, didn’t it?”

“Well… yes.  She had pneumonia.  But she had already been ill the past six months.  Even when her sister passed…”


The living room doors opened to an airconditioned, black grills and glass-enclosed, tennis court-size “lanai” with “machuca” tile flooring.

The expert staff of “Le Souffle,” arguably Manila’s best and most expensive restaurant, was busy setting up round tables for an expected crowd of 200 visitors on that last evening of the wake.  The buffet stations, still in preparation, already looked promising.

The large “lanai” faced an undulating, immaculate lawn with impeccably maintained plant borders.  The beautiful garden looked like the work of a premiere landscape artist like I.P. Santos, Shirley Brinas-Sanders, Ponce Veridiano, et. al..  That strip of lawn and its borders gave the impression that there was more to the garden than was immediately visible from the “lanai,” and it really was…

It truly was the clan’s preeminent residence, the place where they were “more Madrigal,” more themselves than anywhere else.  Sadly, its original chatelaine — the fire-breathing dragon lady who gave life and style to the whole establishment — had already passed months ago.

And as I took one last look at that family’s ineffable splendor, I reflected:  “Quo vadis?  Where to?  For all the wealth, for all the style, for all the lives so grandly lived, all shared the same ending as for those with no wealth, no style, and lives so desperately and meaninglessly lived…”  Or so I thought, in an existentialist manner.  I hoped I was mistaken.

Can’t take it with you.  No matter what.

[ It was only proper to pay my respects for four reasons:  1 ]  She was very nice to my late Lola Charing: her thoughtful gifts through the years were valued by my grandmother;  2 ]  She was married to the [ then ] most accomplished paternal first cousin of my father after she was widowed; he was very close to my widowed Lola Charing and successfully waged crucial legal battles on her behalf in the early 1950s;  3 ]   her only daughter is a paternal second cousin and a “madrina” of my sister at her wedding; 4 ]  her only son by her first husband is a fun friend in antique collecting circles and is definitely one of the coolest guys around. ]



  1. Pacita Warns said,

    August 18, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Thank you for the kind words about my dad. He really was a cool guy.

  2. Pacita Warns said,

    August 18, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks for the kind words about my dad. He really was a cool guy.

  3. Louie Howard said,

    March 4, 2010 at 3:19 am

    yeah… Madrigals are powerful monarchs in Philippine society…


  4. charlie said,

    February 27, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    there are the two sons of Jose “Belec” Paterno Madrigal…

  5. bing_a_abad said,

    February 26, 2009 at 5:45 am

    i’m just curious: who among the younger (as in ka-generation ni Jamby) Madrigals make up the male line who will carry on the family name? Seems like the family is mostly women.

    thanks for any info.


  6. talagang tsismoso said,

    November 10, 2008 at 4:50 am

    There is a picture of former DFA Secretary Manuel Collantes in the November issue of the Philippine Tatler Magazine Secretary Collantes was with the debutante Alex Madrigal Eduque daughter of Chu-Chu M. Eduque & Mandy Eduque the Debut Party was held at the home of her beloved late grand-aunt, Doña Consuelo Madrigal Collantes last September 6 2008.for her grand debut, Alex chose to throw a fundraising ball and invited family and friends to donate funds for houses in lieu of gifts.

    Alex desire to help the needy fueled her drive to aim high in her endeavors to provide shelter for the homeless. Alex says, “The longest lasting and the best birthday gift for me is the fulfillment of knowing that on my 18th birthday, hindi lang ako yung masaya, napasaya ko rin yung iba kasi they [get to have] houses and that gift will be there forever and they’ll be able to pass that on to their children.”
    The funds raised that night reached over her P2 million target. As a result of the debutante’s and her guests’ generosity, her birthday wish to build an Alex Habitat Village became a reality.
    Habitat International recently gave Alex the Habitat for Humanity Nehemiah Award for 2008 and a $10,000 donation, which she will use for the Alex Village

  7. talagang tsismoso said,

    November 10, 2008 at 4:49 am

    There is a picture of former DFA Secretary Manuel Collantes in the November issue of the Philippine Tatler Magazine Secretary Collantes was with the debutante Alex Madrigal Eduque daughter of Chu-Chu M. Eduque & Mandy Eduque the Debut Party was held at the home of her beloved late grand-aunt, Doña Consuelo Madrigal Collantes last September 6 2008.for her grand debut, Alex chose to throw a fundraising ball and invited family and friends to donate funds for houses in lieu of gifts.

    Her desire to help the needy fueled her drive to aim high in her endeavors to provide shelter for the homeless. Alex says, “The longest lasting and the best birthday gift for me is the fulfillment of knowing that on my 18th birthday, hindi lang ako yung masaya, napasaya ko rin yung iba kasi they [get to have] houses and that gift will be there forever and they’ll be able to pass that on to their children.”

    The funds raised that night reached over her P2 million target. As a result of the debutante’s and her guests’ generosity, her birthday wish to build an Alex Habitat Village became a reality.

    Habitat International recently gave Alex the Habitat for Humanity Nehemiah Award for 2008 and a $10,000 donation, which she will use for the Alex Village

  8. talagang tsismoso said,

    November 10, 2008 at 4:40 am

    Relatives to Jamby: Collantes well taken care of

    THE Madrigal family finally broke its silence on the accusations of Senator Jamby Madrigal, who launched a public and judicial campaign against her own family after she was disinherited by her late aunt, Doña Consuelo “Chito” Madrigal-Collantes.

    “I am offended and angry at the statements and insinuations made by Jamby Madrigal,” said her causin-in-law Ma. Angeles Warns, referring to Jamby’s claim that her relatives had been neglecting Doña Chito’s 91-year-old husband Manuel Collantes, a former minister of foreign affairs.

    Warns said in a letter to Standard Today that the former foreign minister, whom she called Tito Manny, “continues to be surrounded by family who love and care for him.”

    Warns disputed Jamby’s claim that the Madrigal family could not care for Collantes because “all the heirs have done nothing but go vacationing abroad.”

    “My son Gustav, who has been like a son to Tito Manny since he was born, has never left the country since the death of his Tita Chito and in fact lives with Tito Manny,” Warns said.

    Gustav inherited 40 percent of Doña Chito’s residual estate. Another 40 percent was bequeathed to Jamby’s older sister, Ma. Susana “Chu Chu” Madrigal-Eduque, and the balance of 20 percent went to another niece, lawyer Gizela “Ging” M. Gonzalez-Montinola.

    Montinola is the wife of Bank of the Philippine Islands president Aurelio Montinola III, whom Doña Chito also appointed executor of her estate.

    Besides, Warns said, she, Susana and Gizela always arranged their schedules so that one of them was always available to care for the elderly Collantes at his Forbes Park residence.

    “We continue to hold Sunday Mass and traditional family lunches. In fact, Tito Manny joined us yesterday for family Mass,” Warns said, adding the Madrigal family had also hired four nurses to care for Collantes round the clock. Three doctors were also on call, one of whom visited daily.

    Warns wrote the letter after Jamby announced that she would ask a Makati court to appoint her guardian of her uncle.

    “My concern is the health of my uncle. His health deteriorated so rapidly after the death of my aunt. When she died, he was very strong, of mind and body, although he is 91,” Madrigal said after attending the probate hearing of her late aunt’s last will and testament before Judge Oscar Pimentel of Makati RTC 148. Doña Chito, after whom the senator was named, died in late March.

    “I’m very worried that the health of my uncle, just like the health of my aunt, is being neglected. I don’t know why the health care of my uncle is being neglected, just like what I suspect that they did to my aunt,” the senator said.

    Madrigal said she had long suspected that her aunt had been poisoned slowly, although her cause of death was unknown.

    She also claimed her uncle’s health deteriorated rapidly in the seven months since Doña Chito died.

    Madrigal’s counsel, Ernesto Francisco Jr., said he would file the petition today.

  9. November 8, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    talagang tsismoso:

    How very New York!!! How very Annette Reed-de la Renta and Brooke Astor!!!

    Now, is there a Manila equivalent of Lily Safra?


    Toto Gonzalez

  10. talagang tsismoso said,

    November 8, 2008 at 4:50 am

    Jamby wants guardianship over Collantes
    By Ferdinand Fabella

    SENATOR Jamby Madrigal accused her relatives yesterday of neglecting their 91-year-old uncle, Marcos-era foreign minister Manuel Collantes, whom she said mysteriously fell ill a few months after his wife, the family matriarch, billionaire Doña Consuelo “Chito” Madrigal-Collantes, died.

    Madrigal said she would ask a Makati court to declare her as her bed-ridden uncle’s legal guardian so she could take care of him.

    “My concern is the health of my uncle. His health deteriorated so rapidly after the death of my aunt. When she died, he was very strong of mind and body, although he is 91,” Madrigal told Standard Today after attending the probate hearing of her late aunt’s last will and testament before Judge Oscar Pimentel of Makati RTC 148.

    “All the heirs have done nothing but go vacationing abroad. And so I’m very worried that the health of my uncle, just like the health of my aunt, is being neglected. I don’t know why the health care of my uncle is being neglected, just like what I suspect that they did to my aunt,” the senator said.

    Madrigal said she had long suspected that her aunt had been slowly poisoned, although her cause of death was unknown.

    “My uncle’s health deteriorated rapidly in the seven months since my aunt died. If you have a suspicious mind you would think that they were doing something to my uncle,” she said.

    “My aunt did not want to be cremated and she included it in her will, but my relatives still had her cremated.”

    Collantes is one of the four heirs named in the matriarch’s will, which Madrigal continues to contest in court.

    As the lone compulsory heir, Mr. Collantes would inherit a Forbes Park mansion in Makati City and another one-hectare property in Ayala-Alabang.

    Madrigal said she learned of her uncle’s poor health through a relative only on Thursday, adding that only a few of the Collanteses even knew the old man’s condition.

    “He is not even in hospital, he is bedridden at home. We neither know the doctor nor his sickness. I’ve been told he had been refusing to eat and living off a feeding tube,” the senator said.

    “I wonder why he has refused to eat. Does he suspect that he is being poisoned? I already suspected that with my aunt because they did not want her autopsied and [she] was cremated against her will.”

    Madrigal said that if she was granted guardianship of her uncle, she would give him all the necessary medical care, and if “something happens” to him she would demand an autopsy.

    Madrigal’s counsel, Ernesto Francisco Jr., said they would file the petition for guardianship not later than Monday next week.

    In her latest move to get her way to her aunt’s estate, Madrigal filed a petition asking the court to appoint her as the administrator of Collantes’ properties that not included in her will, an amount estimated to be worth millions of dollars.

    Madrigal said the named heirs had been plundering her aunt’s properties since those were not covered by the disputed will.

    “There should be an inventory of the properties not included in the will. It’s already in our motion. There’s a long list of properties. The first thing that the court would do, assuming it would issue the letters of administration, is to require the administrator to make an inventory,” Francisco said

    As the administrator, he said, Madrigal would keep the properties of the decedent safe and pay off the debts, and whatever remained that was substantial may be distributed to the legal heirs.

    “It’s very clear that the alleged last will and testament is limited to P26 million and the properties listed. All other properties that we estimated to be in the tens of billions of pesos are not included in the alleged last will and testament. Under the law and pursuant to the order of the court, these should be governed by the rules of legal succession,” Francisco said.

    Madrigal said she was hoping that the court, out of humanitarian consideration, would let her take care of her ailing uncle.

    “I fear for the life of my uncle the way I feared for the life of my aunt,” she said, claiming that she could not go to her uncle’s house.

    “They wouldn’t let me visit. If I go there, there’s no assurance that they would let me in. I don’t want any trouble, I don’t want to be physically harmed. I want to go there with a court order so that I may enter,” she said.

  11. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 5, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Re eeHah l*ding’s propensity to mix-up brands, could it be Cloi’Real? A possible merger in the making?

    Could s/he be on to something that even Richard G*lb doesn’t know? By the by, leeding, did ya see that post on how this G*lb was trying to weasel his way out of his foreign/native expat status at the Int’l School?

  12. periphery said,

    October 5, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Interesting. I wonder if the bloke who’s still on Polhemus is no relation then…

  13. October 5, 2008 at 11:46 am


    On Inheritance, I remember reading about what Gianni Agnelli said when he learned that his friend Jacob de Rothschild had just inherited the palatial, arts and antiques-crammed Waddesdon Manor from his aunt Dolly de Rothschild.

    To paraphrase Gianni Agnelli: “A lot of people say what a great businessman Jacob is. But he got his money the old-fashioned way — the way we all did — He inherited it!!!” 😛 😛 😛

    Toto Gonzalez

  14. zippo said,

    October 5, 2008 at 11:32 am

    My siblings and I don’t worry about inheritance because our mother ( who got everything as she was an only child ) is so fit ( she never gets sick and she has a private gym which she uses everyday ) she’s likely going to outlive me and my siblings anyway.

    When she’s in the mood, she calls me “my baby” ( fortunately, she doesn’t do this in front of her friends — a lot of whom are my clients ). I then tease her back by calling her “Queen Victoria” ( since Queen Victoria outlived 3 of her children and 11 of her grandchildren ).

    My advice to those waiting for their inheritance: stop waiting, get off your big butts, and make your own fortune.

    Z 🙂

  15. l*ding said,

    October 5, 2008 at 9:57 am


    pardon my confusion. with all these beauty products, etc. being sent to me by my nieces in the u.s., i mixed up clairol with l’oreal, clinique with lalique, prada with escada, etcetera, etcetera!

  16. talagang tsismoso said,

    October 5, 2008 at 7:02 am

    Liding Oledan already sold her Atherton House to President Estrada, then bought a new house in 752 Newport Coast Circle, Spring Valley, Las Vegas.

    The son of Liding Oledan sued his mother for the inheritance from the estate of his father Jose Zarate Oledan.

  17. talagang tsismoso said,

    October 5, 2008 at 6:29 am

    The Madrigal Family has a joint venture with Henry Sy’s SM Development Corporation for the development of their 500-hectare Susana Heights Subdivision off the South Luzon Expressway the first phased was launched:on Sept. 25, 2006 called the Lindenwood Residences
    near Ayala-Alabang the 21-hectare property What used to be a section of the expansive mango orchard of the Madrigal Family

  18. periphery said,

    October 4, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Uhm, no, l*ding. The G*lb family is associated with Clairol. L’Oreal is French, and is majority owned by Liliane Bettencourt and Nestlé.

    Toto: I bet the Ol*dan son/nephew/whatever here in Atherton is happy at the fact that he no longer becomes the periodic victim of assault & battery courtesy of someone visiting from the Philippines. 😉

  19. October 4, 2008 at 2:47 pm


    You bet we shouldn’t call you “Dona L*ding”… 🙂

    According to her family, the REAL Erlinda “Liding” Miranda-Oledan is now fast recovering from her grave illness because of the renowned healing priest Fr. Suarez’s prayers. She’s already ******* her household staff!!! 😛 😛 😛


    Toto Gonzalez

  20. l*ding said,

    October 4, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    and please don’t call me dona l*ding. i’m too “young” to be a dona!

  21. l*ding said,

    October 4, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    well, i don’t know if the money is still with h*nry sy but chito invested in tatang’s business for a fixed return annually. why doesn’t someone ask h*nry sy who the beneficiary of chito’s investment in his company is. from what i heard, it’s over Php 1 billion.

    jamby may be reading it wrong, the manhattan apartment was already sold years ago. ask richard g*lb a.k.a. husband of t*na madrigal-g*lb whose family belongs to new york society because of their huge l’oreal business.

  22. talagang tsismoso said,

    October 4, 2008 at 11:21 am

    Ask Benji* B*tanga, the good friend of M*ndy Eduq*e, he is the partner of Dona Chito in the “Shoppers Gold” Mall.

    Here in an atricle from the Manila Standard Today dated September 27 – 28, 2008
    Entitled- Executors: Jamby off the record
    By Ferdinand Fabella

    Among the properties Jamby Madrigal wants the court to protect is her aunt’s apartment at Mayfair Tower, 610 Park Avenue in New York City, which was valued at $15 million; a house and lot in Boston, Massachusetts; another house and lot in Wyndermere, Southborough, Massachusetts; a house and lot situated at 77 Cambridge Circle, North Forbes Park in Makati; and an Augusta Westland Power helicopter worth $3,000,000.

    Also indicated were the deceased’s shares in 18 other corporations along with bank deposits and trust accounts in foreign and local banks. Collantes was the controlling stockholder of Solidbank and CityTrust banks prior to the merger with Metrobank and Bank of the Philippine Islands.

  23. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 4, 2008 at 6:17 am

    L*ding eeHah! 🙂

    Then if the NYC condo was no longer hers, then all the more would her US deposits in Citibank NOT be subject to any estate taxes — since she no longer had any tangible assets (like real estate) in the U.S.

    Nope, she liquidated her holdings not because she was an astute capitalist. She liquidated because she knew she was mortal and could NOT take it with her.

  24. periphery said,

    October 4, 2008 at 5:52 am

    GI, thou art correct.

    The money would not be subject to American estate taxes unless the deceased or the heirs are US citizens (Uncle Sam taxes Americans’ money no matter where it’s made/earned), or legal permanent residents (aka green card holders) who made said money in the US.

    And as an aside, it would probably behoove the heirs of CM-C to seriously think about moving their money to a company other than Citigroup. Even though it is currently the biggest bank in the US (JP Morgan Chase will become bigger once it completes the merger with Washington Mutual), Citi’s financials aren’t in the best shape. Among the largest US banks, they have the biggest negative exposure to bad mortgage debt.

  25. l*ding said,

    October 3, 2008 at 10:12 pm


    hija, chito told me during one of our afternoon teas several years ago that the manhattan apartment has already been sold. this is the same apartment where this hollywood actor named sylvester stallone also has a unit. you know before chito died, she liquidated some of her important invesments because being a lawyer/astute capitalist, she knows when to buy and when to sell. what i forgot to ask her is who gets the building/mall in avenida rizal called “shopper’s gold.” she was busy supervising the construction of that building years ago even going there on a regular basis on a mercedes benz to see the progress of her “last business endeavor”.

  26. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 3, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    I’d just like to comment on 2 things:

    1. Re CMC’s cash holdings with Citibank-NYC…– and maybe periphery can correct me if I’m wrong…but I don’t see why those holdings should be subject to the USA’s inheritance laws. The principal did not die in the US; was not a legal resident of the USA. No real US property passed hands; the estate hasn’t gone into probate; and the will was not filed nor executed in the US. Her deposits are just mere holdings at Citibank — which acts as the fiduciary guardian (of other people’s assets). If no one steps forward to claim them, then they will just sit there, and Citibank shareholders will be happy.

    By the by, who got CMC’s NYC pad (was it a condo, coop or a townouse?)

    2. Why all this high-blown drama, angst and internecine warfare over who gets what to donate to the Foundation? Is it just ‘bragging rights’? I mean whether it’s Jamby who gets her hands on anything that will then go to the CMC Foundation; or Manoling… or whomever…I mean the bottom line is all that matters: that it go to the Foundation so that it can trickle down to benefit the needy!! It just seems utterly ridiculous that when all is said and done, what will the Foundation (and the poor) get? Sixty pesos?



  27. l*ding said,

    October 3, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    yes, i was there in that victory party. and chito was beaming with pride that her niece became a senator considering she was unknown 10 years ago by the filipino people. her position was testament to the family’s service to the filipino people which was started by chito’s father. i remember that night when chito was telling some of her coterie that a portion of her estate will be given to jamby so she can manage it for the poor filipinos. that was the “statement” jamby is now holding on to: that very “statement” of chito during her victory party. but it seems to have evaporated into thin air. i love manoling collantes: he was the “good version of prince phillip” to the queen of the house of madrigal. but let me tell you how some of the friends of chito refer to him as “sampid”. i abhor these hypocrites hitting manoling at the back. manoling may have been a second husband but he was a loving and loyal soldier to his queen bee!

  28. talagang tsismoso said,

    October 3, 2008 at 6:31 am

    1.The bulk of the estate of Consuelo Madrigal Collantes from the Proceeds of the sale of Citytrust Bank,Solid Bank,Rizal Cement ,Etc are deposited in Citibank Private Accounts in New York,Officers of Citibank flew in from New York for the wake to be sure that Mrs Collantes has really passed away and report it to their principals in New York so for the inheritance taxes Jamby is claiming it would be Uncle Sam’s IRS who would benefit the most rather than the Philippine’s BIR even their flagship real estate company of the whole madrigal family Susana Realty has undervalued is Assets based on an article in the Manila Standard Today (Susana Realty based on the documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, has been reduced to a mom-and-pop operation, despite its elitist provenance.
    The real estate company squeaked out a P1.76 million profit in 2006, down from P2.97 million in 2005, out of the P2.2 million rental income received.
    Even the company’s reported asset base in 2006 was a modest P17.9 million) now why does Senator Jamby not Question these figures so that the BIR can get the rightful taxes for the sake of all the Filipino People she is fighting for.she will never Question these Figures because her family the Antonio Madrigal Branch partially own Susana Realty

    2.If it is really true that it was not Mrs Collantes decision to disinherit Senator Jamby why is she not even an officer or even as a shareholder of Mrs Collantes personal real estate companies. most of these companies were established in the early and mid 90’s before she was stricken with emphysema but the senator’s elder sister, Chu Chu, is a stockholder a gift from Dona Chito and Chu-Chu is always the treasurer of all these firms.
    Aquatic Food Center Inc., Ceus Realty Corp., Chela Realty Corp., Chine Realty Corp., Chirpy Realty Corp., C. Hito Realty Corp., Chiton Realty Corp., Chloe Realty Corp., Cicada Realty Corp., Coko Realty Corp., Cumulus Inc., Fuerte Holdings Inc., Marco Realty Corp., Mascot Realty Corp., MCM Realty Corp., Puvis Realty Corp., Rama Realty Co. Inc. and Sumac Real Estate Group.and the last will & testament that was signed by Doña Chito on March 22, 2006, two years and two days before she passed away she gave other relatives & employee’s different properties from her estate
    her husband was left with 34 Banaba St. in South Forbes, as well as a 1-hectare spread at 118 Avocado St. in Ayala Alabang these may not be as opulent as #77 cambridge but it is still substantial and by no means chicken feed

    Dona Chito also bequeathed to her two grand nephews, Juan Vicente de Leon Rufino and Vicente de Leon Rufino, a South Forbes house on 17 Balete St.

    Vicente M. Warns, son of Pacita Madrigal, inherited parcels of land,in Sitio Parola, Bagong Silang, Calumbayan, Calatagan, Batangas, with an area of nearly 38.7 hectares Bu Warns inherited the Calatagan Batangas properties including Aquatic Food Center; Bu Warns got most, if not nearly all of the properties in Calatagan, Batangas where Chito and her husband Manoling Collantes also had a vacation home, but which they infrequently visited.

    The long-serving board secretary of Doña Chito’s various real estate companies, Gloria Cahulogan, was rewarded with an Ayala Alabang property; No. 511 Batulao, Ayala Alabang .. another aide, Siony Pacardo, also received No 513 Batulao st., Ayala Alabang … in the name of Fuerte Holdings

    One domestic helper Agnes Acoyong was bequeathed with a unit #323 in the Susana Condominium, in San Juan

    Ging,ChuChu & Bu became her ward at some point of their lives they all stayed with their Tita Chito she became their second mom Dona Chito was not blessed to have her own children she treated & loved them as her own when Ging was born from the hospital she was brought straight to Dona Chito’ house because then senator Pacita was very busy with her political career as senator at that time Ging was entrusted to Dona Chito’s care, Bu Warns also spend most of his childhood with Dona Chito, Bu’s Mom then Pacita Warns was immersed with politics as a cabinet member of President Magsaysay Dona Chito saw him through his schooling and his childish pranks..after all the love she gave Him Bu the entrusted his son gustav because at that time bu had a business in Capiz province, gustav was born in Roxas City Capiz he was then just a few months old when Dona Chito took care of him. Chu-Chu Came to her Tita Chito’s When she was a teenager and told her Tita Chito she will be living with her she stayed with Her Tita Chito for years until she got married to Mandy Eduque.and for 4th generation the daughters of Chu-Chu & Mandy Eduque Alexandra and Michaela Eduque and as well as the daughters of Ging & Gigi Montinola Chiara and Gabriella Montinola would stay with their Tita Chito for week and months when their parents go abroad for Business or for a needed vacation Dona Chito became their Surrogate Mother.

    Senator Jamby had already had her share when Dona Chito gave a substantial amount for her election campaign she was lend the rarely used Augusta Westland Power helicopter. and she was given a victory party in #77 Cambrigde Circle hosted by Dona Chito. Dona Chito when she was alive already gave different gifts to all her nephews and nieces she gave a away jewelries to her nieces.someone ask Ising Vasquez about her opinion about these misunderstandings she said i was not given any thing in the will and so does my children but i respect my sister decision so should Jamby

    3.If Former Secretary Collantes is for Senator Jamby why was she told politely she is not invited in the birthday party of Secretary Collantes last Aug. 19 held at #77 Cambridge Circle, Secretary Collantes is displeased in what Senator jamby is doing by not respecting the wishes of her late wife Dona Chito

    4.#77 Cambrige Circle will go to the Consuelo Madrigal Foundation as planned and will be turned into a museum. for along time Ising and chito had not spoken to each other, because of danny vasquez’s feud with the Zobel’s in their Ayala-Alabang property. Liding Oledan knows all of these stories very well because she was the best friend of Dona Chito during her last years. they were always together before both of them got sick.
    another best friend Rosita Ocampo Fernandez the mother of Vicky Zubiri Knows all of these Stories

  29. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 3, 2008 at 5:45 am

    Chito… Jamby…Tana…Chu-Chu…Cha-cha…Manoling… Cava-Cava… blah-blah-blah.

    Buti pa si Leona!! She bequeathed $12 million to Trouble, her beloved Maltese! No one has contested that will. (OK, I haven’t yet caught up on the Vanity Fair article)… As the late Queen of Mean and the Helmsley Palace said: “Only the small people pay taxes!! Not the likes of me!!

    So now, tell me. Who’s the bitch…, errr. witch??

    GI 🙂

  30. l*ding said,

    October 2, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    and mind you, when will manoling leave the 77 cambridge circle? will the other beneficiaries have the guts to ask him to leave the forbes mansion and transfer to the other smaller forbes house given to him by his late wife? i doubt it! heaven and earth will roar if that happens! the people inside forbes are all awaiting for that day! got my point? who will get 77 cambridge circle? not ising of course! definitely not me. who? who? who? this 77 cambridge circle beautifully described by toto gonzalez himself in this article!

  31. liding said,

    October 2, 2008 at 11:15 am

    talagang tsimoso,

    hija you seem to know jamby’s history judging from how in depth your research is. but one thing you failed to point out is how the estate of chito tried to cheat the government of millions of inheritance taxes. and that is the “alas” jamby is trying to play now. to some people jamby is guilty of crab mentality, to others she is sourgraping, to her inner circles she has a vested right. but at the end of the day, she called her relatives “magnanakaw ng bayan”. inheritance tax which would have fed millions of filipinos if properly paid. the machinations of the beneficiaries are clearly evident in this “inheritance feud”. i admire jamby for bringing this issue to the detriment of her relations with her relatives. she could have played coy and just begged for some crumbs from chu chu but jamby you have to realise was named after chito madrigal collantes herself. she has THIS REBEL ATTITUDE FOUND ONLY IN TRUE HEIRESSES SCHOOLED SINCE BIRTH!. tana madrigal gelb who stands to inherit from her super rich loreal husband is apparently supporting jamby on this fight. it was not chito’s decision to disinherit her. it was the machinations of people within her circles. and the facts will all be revealed when the court case goes on trial. if im manoling collantes, i will definitely get mad! imagine i’m the husband but i only got a forbes house (which is not even the grand 77 cambridge circle) and an alabang lot. imagine that, i smell that manoling is secretly helping jamby on this fight. if jamby wins, manoling gets half of all chito’s wealth. that’s how it will be done. according to my lawyers from salcedo village. interesting. i could only gaze in amusement as to how this will end ultimately.

  32. Oliver said,

    October 1, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    I’m shocked to learn of Caye’s passing. He was such a decent and kind fellow. I would see him at PCCI dog shows where we would enter our respective whippets (all from Boysie’s kennel) for competition.

    Whippets are such adorable and devoted pets. But a word of caution, they require lots of exercise and are rather sensitive creatures. Make sure your godson’s personality is suited for caring for the breed. Getting them as puppies would not set you back as much as Zippo had to pay for an adult whippet (Philippine Champion). Boysie has puppies of equally distinguished pedigree. The difference being they haven’t won their championship points yet.

  33. talagang tsismoso said,

    October 1, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    L*ding I beg to Differ:

    Whats the difference between the fortune of the madrigal family & the villar family for me there is none it is all the same, a friend of President Estrada once said weather-weather lang yan. the origin of the madrigal fortune also comes from a not so good means they were given all the breaks by being close to the different presidents of the Philippines. the Patriarch Don Vicente Madrigal Being a close crony & classmate of President Quezon.he was awarded with different government contracts like in a Logging Permit he then set up the Port Lamon Lumber Co in Surigao Province,a mining permit he set up Consolidated Mines the two companies exploited our country’s natural resources.and Gambling permit he set up the Jai_Alai Corp of the Phil which was always rigged in their favor from the profit of these companies they were able to invest in many properties around the country. since the time of President Quezon they befriended all president to protect their businesses. Don Vicente Madrigal supported President Roxas and his running mate Elpidio Quirino he gave P1 million pesos during their campaign a very big sum then and ask his in law Jose Joven De Leon to donate the same amount,during Presidential election between President Quirino versus Ramon Magsaysay his daughter Pacita Warns supported Magsaysay so that who ever wins there businesses are protected. during the presidential election between President Garcia versus Diosdado Macapagal his daughter Macaria Deleon Supported Macapagal again there Businesses were Protected During the Presidential Election Between President Macapagal and Ferdinand Marcos his daughters Macaria & Consuelo were for Macapagal While His two other daughter Pacita & Maria Luisa was For Marcos.While the Villar family got rich because his father in law the late Las Pinas mayor Filemon Aguilar who invested in many properties in Las Pinas which senator Villar In turn made into camella subdivisions fame that’s how he started and after some years he was called the brown Taipan.some of the Madrigal scions are for Villar in 2010 Presidential election i saw the wife of senator villar last month in one of their parties before the road to know where scandal began they even told cynthia villar a story about the comment of Mrs Chito Collantes saying buti nga sa kanya when senator jamby madrigal made some bad comments about martial law and after her speech senator enrile rose from his seat and spoke that during the martial law years Jamby’s Parents Antonio & Mandy Madrigal are always invited guests of the Marcos family in Malacanang Palace After that comment Senator jamby broke into tears.

    Jamby Madrigal is Like her father Antonio Madrigal. Maria Luisa M Vasquez told a blue lady before how she felt that she was cheated on how the estate of her father the late Vicente Madrigal was divided. the late Antonio Madrigal got the bulk of the estate Jamby just wants to get a share from the estate of the late Consuelo M. Collantes.she should respect the last will & testament of Mrs Collantes that stated that 40% of her estate will go to jamby’s sister Susana ‘chu-chu’ Eduque.jamby said on TV what ever she gets she will donate it in the Consuelo Collantes Foundation Mrs Collantes already gave a substantial Amount to her Foundation when she was still alive she even planned then to donate her house to the foundation so that the foundation can turn it to a museum Jamby is making all these legal cases so she can get a share from her aunts estate may be she just wants to support her Policeman Husband the so called royalty from France who’s Family was insulted during their wedding in the vacation house of Chito Collantes in Calatagan Batangas when she lend them some jewelry to wear in their wedding to show off to their guest how rich the Valade Family is the members of the Valade family refused to wear the jewelries because they are secure and proud for who they really are.Jamby made a publicity stunt when she told everybody here in the Philippines that her husband family comes from a rich and noble clan in France.

    here is an atricle by emil jurado in the manila standard today titiled Jamby’s ‘teleserye’

    here’s something for the books. Attempting to explain the P100 million advanced to her by her aunt, Jamby said: “The fact is, there is no campaign, not even for the presidency where a contributor will give as much as P100 million. She did help me, but she laid down clear rules on my spending and she only lent me what I needed. Why only a loan? So that it will be clear that politics is not just for kicks. If I lose, I am obliged to pay her.

    * * *

    When I saw Jamby shedding crocodile tears, I did know whether to laugh or rush to the bathroom to puke. Here’s a disinherited niece, who is not by any chance a forced heir under the law, now taking up the cudgels of her late aunt’s foundation, and going on record that she would immediately turn her legacy to the foundation in full and without any conditions.

    But, the question still is: Can Jamby inherit from the estate by any law on succession? To me, Jamby’s bleeding heart for the poor is an afterthought.

    My, it’s getting curiouser and curiouser.

    * * *

    This may or may not be relevant, but there was this estafa case Jamby filed against two officers of the defunct Far East Bank and Trust Co., which she accused of fraud for supposedly forcing her to assume personal liability for a 1997 $10-million loan of which she was a co-surety as president of Madrigal Transport Inc. and as representative of MLM Logistics International Inc.

    Actually, she had already paid more than P5.9 million to the bank for the loan. This act can only be interpreted as acknowledging responsibility and liability, at least for part of the loan.

    * * *

    In February 1998, Jamby filed a complaint with the Manila City Prosecutor’s Office charging the bank officials with estafa through fraud, claiming that she should not be made personally responsible for the loan. The prosecutor ruled in her favor and in June 2000, the decision was upheld by then Justice Secretary Artemio Tuquero, who ordered the filing of the case in court.

    The respondent bank officials petitioned the justice department for a review and in September 2001, the decision of the Manila prosecutors and of Tuquero was reversed and set aside. Jamby’s motion for reconsideration was also denied in March 2005. As a result, the Manila Prosecutor’s Office also filed with the Manila RTC a motion to withdraw the case against the bank officials.

    Jamby then brought the case to the Court of Appeals. Her main arguments centered on the contention the bank officials made her sign blank documents for the loan and that the bank officials made it appear that she obtained the loan in her personal capacity.

    The case was ruled by the 13th Division of the CA which decided against her on May 31, 2005. The court observed that “it is downright incredible for the petitioner, who is evidently intelligent, and a businesswoman of experience to boot, to affix her signature thoughtlessly on a bank instrument or document whose material particulars are lacking.

    At the very least, her business instinct must impel her to first examine the content of the document and obtain full knowledge of its import before affixing her signature thereto—especially in this case, where a huge sum of money (in several millions of dollars at that) is involved.”

    * * *

    Evidence submitted by the respondent bank officials also proved that in at least four separate letters to the bank, Jamby, her co-surety and her lawyer admitted that she freely and voluntarily assumed personal liability for the loan. A motion for reconsideration was denied on July 8, 2006.

    Bank officials charged that the criminal complaint filed against them “was merely a plan by the petitioner (Jamby) to question the due execution of the Comprehensive Surety Agreement in order to evade her personal liability for the MTT’s loan.” The clear implication of this statement is that Jamby was trying to renege on her word as stated in the loan documents she signed.

    Now, as the court pointed out, $10 million is a huge sum of money and I wouldn’t fault Jamby for trying to wiggle out of the fix. Or, even of trying to get back the more than P5.9 million that she paid the bank. She may have believed, as a matter of faith, that the loan should not be considered her personal liability.

    What does this make of Jamby, who is fighting tooth and nail on her late aunt’s multi-billion peso estate? I would not venture an opinion in that regard. Let the evidence and the facts of the case speak for themselves.

  34. zippo said,

    September 29, 2008 at 11:07 am

    Exactly my thoughts Bambina.

    I forgot to add that one of the bereaved is Corinne De San Jose who was supposed to be Caye’s bride this coming January.

    Z 🙂

  35. Babblefish said,

    September 29, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Thanks for the clarification, Zippo! I’m glad to know he wasn’t totally in the dark during his wedding night. : )

    Good grief! He should issue a public announcement right away! My girlfriends and I still refer to him as “that virgin”. Hahaha.

  36. zippo said,

    September 29, 2008 at 2:15 am


    I saw that episode of Debate (the Oscar Orbos-Winnie Monsod show) a few years ago. I just want to correct you. Senator Cayetano did NOT say he was a virgin. He said that because he became a born-again Christian, he wished that he did not indulge in pre-marital sex earlier in his life. He then added that if he could turn back the hands of time, he would want to be a virgin at the time of his (at that time) forthcoming marriage.

    Please take it in the context that the topic of the show was about sex.

    Z 🙂

  37. September 28, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    zippo, thanks for sharing the news about mario’s son. how devastating. maybe after some time has passed he might liike to read joan didion’s eloquent memoir of grief, A Year of Magical Thinking.

  38. Babblefish said,

    September 28, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Well, Allan Peter (jeez do we have to use BOTH names?) fails to surprise me anymore. What kind of guy would announce to all and sundry that he’s a virgin at 30 years old? (Yup he did that shortly before getting married). Nothing wrong with keeping yourself pure and everything – it’s a personal choice, but, maaann, do you really have to say it on TV?

    Let’s just hope he knew his, uh, C5 from his South Expressway on his wedding night.

  39. zippo said,

    September 28, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Since we’re talking about death, I just got off the phone with my best friend. One of our childhood friends and a schoolmate from La Salle just passed away. Caye Katigbak, son of Mario Katigbak and brother to Anya, died of a massive heart attack while playing poker with some friends last night.

    What a pity. Caye was such a good and fun guy and he was preparing for his forthcoming wedding in January next year.

    Heart attack at our age. Caye wasn’t even 40. I’m definitely getting a physical exam this coming week.

    Z 😦

  40. September 26, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Ah……….. who was it who said, ” I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like dogs. ” I own a brindle striped mini-pinch and a PUG who I miss so much. Don’t worry darlings, Momma’s coming home early next month. 5 months of jet-setting has me too fagged-out ” Wink LOLZ

  41. l*ding said,

    September 26, 2008 at 11:46 am


    dahling, why dont you go to brittany land and inquire there. they will harp on the c5 road that will give access to their “expresssway side” property to go to makati without using the southexpressway. and guess who owns brittany? and guess who initiated the c5 road? how convenient~!

    and my message to this ********-looking al*an ca*etano who happens to be called a senator:\ :

    al*an my dear, my little respect for you is lost. how can you attack the m*drigals saying they benefited by way of the m*drigal business park because of the road projects. hijo, they are different because they are private citizens. it’s corruption if the person benefiting from a road project is a public official himself. don’t compare the vil*ars to the m*drigals. it’s like comparing a camel*a house to a forbes house. how cheap!

  42. zippo said,

    September 26, 2008 at 11:40 am


    Sorry. I don’t breed. My whippet was already a 2 yr old Philippine champion when I bought her from Boysie but I still had her spayed. I leave the breeding to the experts.

    Boysie is by far the best breeder of whippets in the country. A good pair from Boysie (right pedigree, exceptional looks, very good temperament) can cost you anywhere between 150,000 to 200,000 (Pesos).

    This is a very clean breed. No doggy odor. Easy to potty train.

    Z 🙂

  43. +YouthLeader said,

    September 26, 2008 at 8:21 am

    I was able to read most of Dommick Dunne’s novels and certainly glad they were made available in the 2nd hand store as most are not available in the bookstore these days….

    Imelda was featured in one of those books and it was certainly entertaining, the way Dommick Dunne would describe her party after parties…..i forgot the name of one of the novel though, also those scandals and intrigues as captured by him were all hilariously concocted to the one of those the wedding of an Australian Socialite to a fake Italian Royalty who happened to be gay and eloped to one of the groomsmen. before the wedding day..the 2 Mrs Greenvilles is such a fun thing trully common “kirida’ eksena so everyone here could relate to it.

    Hmmm about Jamby what sort or piece of legislation has she crafted that improved the lives of many? NONE!!! To expose about Villar, that double insertion has yet to be checked properly it was well explained already but they anti Villar refuse to see the light)…

    Nice weekend!!!

  44. September 25, 2008 at 2:34 pm



    OMG. That’s too funny!!!

    Toto Gonzalez 😛

  45. zippo said,

    September 25, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    I found this:

    Taking potshots at Senate President Villar, Sen. Jamby Madrigal said, “Bumaba ka rito. Harapin mo at ipagtanggol mo ang sarili mo. Magpakalalaki ka!” to which Senator Villar said, “Sure! Magpapakalalaki ako… kung magpapakababae ka!”

    at — a blog which was just adjudged winner of the 2008 Philippine Blog Award.

  46. l*ding said,

    September 25, 2008 at 11:38 am


    do you breed as well? how much would it cost me for a pair? i want to give a pair to my godson for the holidays. he needs those as he is too stressed running their family business with all the exposure to these “casino runned” investment houses in the u.s..

  47. zippo said,

    September 25, 2008 at 1:12 am


    I’m not much into Dominick Dunne novels. I’m more of a fan of his sister-in-law, Joan Didion (widow of his brother) — especially “Democracy” and “The Last Thing He Wanted”.

    I do remember though that he wrote a puff piece on Mrs. Marcos and the Manila International Film Festival for Vanity Fair sometime in 1983 before the Aquino assassination.

    Z 🙂

  48. zippo said,

    September 25, 2008 at 1:01 am


    That’s probably the only thing Jamby and I have in common — a love for Whippets. I have a nice one I purchased from Boysie Villavicencio (Manila’s top breeder of Whippets).

    Z 🙂

  49. September 24, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Thank you TOTO,

    I re-read the TWO MRS. GRENVILLES 3 months ago after many years. I adore your PHOTOGRAPHIC memory. I was watching the veddy vintage VALLEY OF THE DOLLS last night, how strange I remembered the punch lines too.

    May I say I visit this blog daily and if you don’t turn it into a novel, I SHALL. LOLZ

  50. chocolate cake said,

    September 24, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    as if those surveys matter…

  51. l*ding said,

    September 24, 2008 at 1:39 am

    chocolate cake,

    hija, i beg to differ. jamby is popular with the masses. look at the surveys, she is the 7th most trusted politican today. that’s a feat considering she was a nobody 10 years ago. i point to her “cocker spaniel” looks that made her endear herself to the masses. they can trust the lady because they know she was born rich and won’t steal from the country’s fledging pockets. she has it all. i’ll give you a little anecdote about jamby: when politicians where scrambling to join this congressional forum in europe, jamby opted not to go. her reason: she has already seen europe in all its glory since she was a kid. meaning these politicians now are just having the taste of their life so they will grab every opportunity to travel. jamby saved government money by not joining that useless trip. i like her. i respect her. i will vote for her. my coterie loves her as well. btw, she breeds this kind of dog, the only kind of its breed in manila. how purplish!

  52. September 24, 2008 at 1:16 am

    Killer blog. I love it!

  53. September 23, 2008 at 11:00 pm


    My favorite Dominick Dunne novel is, hands down, “The Two Mrs. Grenvilles.”

    Favorite lines [ the ones I still remember ]:

    “A mansion! It’s one of my favorite words!” [ Anne Arden ]
    “I’m so glad you could come, Miss Arden. As you can see, it’s just us, just family. These are my daughters: Cordelia, Grace, and Felicity…” [ Alice Grenville ]

    “Has this been featured in ‘Town & Country’?” [ Anne Arden ]

    “But this is my home, Miss Arden, not a magazine layout.” [ Alice Grenville ]

    “So what did you think of Miss Arden?” [ Alice Grenville ]

    “Grace says golddigger and you saw Felicity’s performance…” [ Cordelia Grenville ]

    “I wasn’t proud of Felicity!” [ Alice Grenville ]
    “Bratsie, what does ‘N.O.C.D.’ mean?” [ Anne Arden-Grenville ]

    “‘N.O.C.D.’? ‘Not Our Class Darling’. Why do you ask?” [ Bratsie Bleeker ]

    “I’m sure your dinner parties will be great successes one day, Anne. A little less ostentation though… You know, understatement is a virtue, that can hide many things…” [ Alice Grenville ]
    “You remember Mother, don’t you?” [ Anne Arden-Grenville ]

    “Of course I remember your mother, but who’s the broad in the picture?” [ Babette van Degan ]
    “Mrs. Bleeker, were there people that entered your library that evening?” [ Prosecutor ]

    “Many people did! It’s a beautiful library…” [ Edith Bleeker ]
    “For putting together all kinds of people in a party, I have never known anyone to equal Anne Grenville… She mixes people like a cocktail, and the result is sheer genius!” [ the Duchess of Windsor ]

    Toto Gonzalez

  54. September 23, 2008 at 7:48 pm


    Of all the novels by Mr. Dunne, let me as you all, which would be your favorite? Would it be THE TWO MRS. GRENVILLES or PEOPLE LIKE US. My vote will go to Dominick’s SEASON IN PURGATORY with his references to the Kennedy family.

  55. chocolate cake said,

    September 23, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    jamby was never miss congeniality even in her younger years. but i do feel that she is qualified in her current post and if ever she would aspire to be vice-president. media doesn’t like her much. well, media would only show what would benefit them. maybe if she would commend either abs-cbn-2 or gma-7 then maybe they’ll give a mutual nod. or she could befriend kris aquino and annabelle rama to become more popular and get a better response.

  56. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    September 23, 2008 at 10:06 am


    I do agree with you that Dunne’s reporting on the O.J. Simpson “trial” was journalism at its best, less so Edmund Safra’s death. Had Lily Safra invited him for a little tête à tête at her villa in Cap Ferrat he would’ve changed his tune, and that’s what I don’t like about him.

  57. met&chandon said,

    September 23, 2008 at 8:01 am

    who here saw chito m. on tv patrol, shortly before her demise, to show that she was a fan of the abs-cbn series kokey? she even kissed the character!

  58. l*ding said,

    September 22, 2008 at 11:28 pm


    not all. i love jamby madrigal. maybe those who are against her, are those from the “other” madrigal side. look at jamby in the senate. she has the balls to expose this shameless vil*ar who sold his lots to the government, benefiting his company by hundreds of Php millions. pity the filipinos… i admire jamby!!! my respect and adoration is to her!!!

  59. September 22, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    My question for today is, wouldn’t one want to grab a chunk of the inheritance if one has ambitions to run for VICE PRESIDENT of the land in 2010 ?

  60. Garganta Inflamada said,

    September 22, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    IslaSanLuisParis wrote:

    … I have yet to read anything written by him that isn’t sugarcoated bile.


    While he does drip with sarcasm and bile most of the time, that’s what makes him an interesting journalist to read. I mean how exciting would it be to read everything sweet and hunky-dory with the worlds of the rich, famous and in- when you know that all is not what it seems on the surface. It’s nice to see them brought down a notch or two. Otherwise, you might as well dote on such fluff publications as HOLA and People magazines.

    And in all fairness to Dunne’s reporting years at VANITY FAIR, I thought his stories on the untimely demise of Edmund Safra in Monte Carlo (the one with his Fil-American personal nurse Vivian Torrente), the fallout with his enigmatic widow, Lily; the bungling of the Monte Carlo police/judicial system, and the framing of the male nurse (Ted Maher was his name, I think) were very succinct and worthwhile. (You live in France, you would’ve gotten the entire lowdow on that saga.) Not to mention Dunne left no stone unturned in his reportage of the gross miscarriage of justice in the sensational O.J. Simpson farce…, err, case. It’s good to have journalists expose things for what they are and be unafraid to speak their minds and state what is right. He’ll call a spade a spade.

    @talagingtismoso: Thanks for reprinting that 1986 article. I would never have the patience nor the inclination to reproduce such a lengthy thing about detritus of the earth like the M’s. Which is why I only hinted at the much shorter recent VF write-up on la Viuda Loca. Art is long but life is short; all too short.


  61. zippo said,

    September 22, 2008 at 3:24 pm


    I guess you must be mis-reading the comments. The negative comments were not targeting the Madrigal family — only Jamby.


  62. chocolate cake said,

    September 22, 2008 at 8:12 am

    hmmm… so people still loathe the m*drigals, or so it seems.

    i think it’s unfair that they are being judged for having been included in the inner circle of the marcoses; i’m sure everybody else during that time would have killed for the same preferential treatment.

    over the years ( post-marcos era ), the m*drigals have kept their integrity as “una buena familia” and not as socialites.

  63. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    September 21, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    In general, Vanity Fair ranks up there with magazines such as The New Yorker and the UK’s Spectator, but if there’s one journalist who makes my blood boil it’s Dominick Dunne. All things considered, the above article is very tame but to date I have yet to read anything written by him that isn’t sugarcoated bile.

  64. talagang tsismoso said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    The third rate beach house in Honolulu that was written in Vanity Fair by Dominick Dunne on its August 1986 issue is on 5577 Kalanianaole Highway Niu Valley on the Easter edge of Honolulu it is not the Makiki Heights house that became Famous here in Manila .President Marcos had lived in three different house during their exile in Hawaii the first one is on Hickam Air base then after a few months they transferred to Niu Valley his last Residence was on 2338 Makiki Heights this was were he lived out the last three years of his life.he left Niu Valley in October of 1986 it was owned by Ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco Across the house was another house owned by Antonio Floirendo 2443 Makiki Heights it is know as the Helen Knudsen a Honolulu socialite who used to own the house.the 2338 Makiki Heights was bought for $717,000 on July 17 1977 & the 2443 Makiki Heights was bought for $1million dollars in 1977 both house was actually owned by the marcos family but they were placed under the care of two of their most trusted cronies during that time. both houses was acquired during a visit of then First Lady Imelda Marcos in Honolulu on 1977. both houses estimated value in the article of Dominick Dunne in the year 1986 was for the 2338 Makiki Heights was valued at $1.5 million and the 2443 Makiki Heights was for $2million

    Here is the whole Article of Imelda Marcos by Dominick Dunne in Vanity Fair 1986 August Issue. one of the highlight in the interview was when Mrs Marcos showed Dominick Dunne one of her jewelry a ring one of the world’s most famous diamonds, called the Star of the South, which she said the president had given her for their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. She said it was listed in the Harry Winston book, and it is. The kite-shaped 14.37-carat D-color diamond it used to belonged to the late Evalyn Walsh McLean, the owner of the ill-fated Hope diamond, as well as to the Duchess of Windsor’s great friend Mrs. George F. Baker

    Letter from Honolulu
    Imelda in Exile
    She had it all, and lost it all—or did she? The author penetrated the Marcos hideout in Hawaii for a Vanity Fair exclusive.
    by Dominick Dunne August 1986
    Directly under my balcony at the Kahala Hilton hotel, porpoises frolicked in a pool. Beyond them, past the palm trees blowing in the breeze, a Secret Service man was patrolling the beach with a bomb-sniffing dog. Out in the calm Pacific, flanked by two more Secret Service men in bathing attire, Secretary of State George Shultz was enjoying a 6:30 a.m. swim. Two other Secret Service men, in blue blazers and beige slacks, carried walkie-talkies and stared back at the balconies of the hotel.
    After a few moments the secretary of state came out of the water, dried himself with a towel, and walked back to the hotel, encircled by his attendants, one of whom let his surveillance of the balconies flag long enough to observe the playful activities of the porpoises in the pool. In Honolulu on a two-night stopover, Mr. Shultz was on his way back to Washington from the summit meeting in Tokyo, via Manila, where he had called on the new president of the Philippines, Corazon Aquino. The previous day a reporter had asked him if he intended, while he was in Honolulu, to call on the former president of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, and his wife, Imelda, who were in temporary residence less than two miles down the beach from the Kahala Hilton. “No!” the secretary of state had snapped.
    Later Mr. Shultz went further and publicly rebuked Ferdinand Marcos for using his safe haven in Hawaii as a base from which to foment difficulties for President Aquino’s government. “He is causing trouble,” said Shultz, and Jaime Cardinal Sin, the Archbishop of Manila, echoed the secretary of state’s remarks. The cardinal said that Marcos was financing demonstrations against Mrs. Aquino, and in some cases paying people 100 to 150 pesos ($5 or $7.50) to dress up as priests and nuns in order to attract favorable press attention for him abroad. The Marcoses were definitely in Dutch.
    For four days I had sat on my balcony over the porpoises, waiting for Imelda Marcos to respond to my request for an interview. Contact with the former First Lady of the Philippines had been made for me, not through political or diplomatic connections, but through friends of hers in high society. For as everyone now knows, in addition to being the First Lady for twenty-one years and the chatelaine of Malacañang Palace, Imelda Marcos had been a card-carrying member of the jet set, numbering among her friends Lord and Lady Glenconner, the British Aristocrats, who are friends of the royal family; the Count and Countess of Romanones, members of the Spanish nobility; Princess Firyal of Jordan; the Agnelli and Niarchos families; and American multimillionaires like David Rockefeller and Malcolm Forbes. In recent years, however, those closest to her had been less socialy exalted; Adnan Khashoggi, the Arabian billionaire, for whom she entertained extravagantly in her New York mansion; Cristina Ford, the Italian-born former wife of Henry Ford; George Hamilton, the suave and debonair Hollywood actor, and his mother, Anne; Van Cliburn, the acclaimed pianist; and Franco Rossellini, of the New York and Rome film world.
    On my arrival in Honolulu, I had written her a personal note. For four days it had gone unheeded. I had seen Mrs. Marcos once during that time, but from a distance. The previous Sunday, Mother’s Day, also happened to be the thirty-second wedding anniversary of the Marcoses, and a real-estate broker in Honolulu, had been instrumental in finding a house for them to live in told me that the local pro-Marcos Filipino-American community was planning a celebration in their honor. I arrived at the Blaisdell auditorium at eleven a.m. to ensure getting a seat and stayed until the program ended, at five in the afternoon.
    Of the 115,000 Filipinos in Hawaii, approximately 15,000 are pro-Marcos, and most of those are from Ferdinand Marcos’s home providence of Ilocos Norte. The crowd of cheering Filipinos in the auditorium that day was estimated at between four and five thousand, and the event was long and tedious. Children from the Hawaii Talent Searchers Club sang Cyndi Lauper and Huey Lewis vocals to instrumental tracks recorded on cassettes. There was a demonstration of ballroom dancing by a gray-haired woman and younger female partner. Following that was a magic act, and then, to the delight of the audience, a leading pop star called Anthony Castillo, who had arrived from Manila the day before to take part in the festivities, sang a medley of songs.
    When Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos arrived, about an hour before the end of the celebration, the crowd waved V-for-victory signs to them and broke into song:
    We love you, Mr. President,
    First Lady, and family.
    We thank God for you again,
    For what you are and what you’ll be.
    Our country is more beautiful
    Because of you and what you did.
    We who are here will be with you.
    Despite all the cheering, the Marcoses appeared subdued. Mrs. Marcos, dressed in the same green dress, black patent-leather shoes, and matching pearl costume jewelry that she had worn for every public appearance since her arrival in Hawaii, blew desultory kisses at the crowd. Then she took the microphone like a nightclub artiste and began to sing. She knew how to work the stage, playing first to one side, then to the other, and even though her famous singing voice was woefully out of tune, she did not seem to care. Her eyes had a distant look. Next the president came forward and joined her in a Philippine love song. Taller than her husband, Mrs. Marcos easily upstaged him. There seemed to be no intimacy between them; they were together only in the sense of being side by side.
    Before the speeches became political and the anniversary celebration turned into what sounded like the opening of a campaign to return Marcos to power, a speaker rose and told a long and rambling anecdote about longevity in marriage. He said that once when Henry Ford was asked to what he attributed the success of his long and happy marriage, he replied, “I have never changed models.” The speaker added triumphantly that Mr. Marcos had never changed models either. The speaker was, it turned out, talking about the grandfather of the present, thrice married Henry Ford. One of international society’s favorite and most persistent rumors over the years has been about Mrs. Marcos’s supposed romantic attachment to a member of the Ford clan, on whom she is said to have showered gifts of jewelry, but obviously the rumor was unknown to both the teller of the Ford anecdote and the audience that delighted in his story. In a country where poverty is endemic, the Marcoses’ wealth—their real-estate holdings, their jewels and paintings, their extravagant entertaining—has always been an extremely sensitive issue. Yet, for the most part, the people cheering for them that day were the poor of the Philippine community in Honolulu. The comparison of Imelda Marcos to Evita Perón is said to distress Mrs. Marcos, because Evita Perón started her rise as a prostitute, but the fact remains that Imelda Marcos inspires a similar adoration in some of her subjects.
    When Mrs. Marcos moved to the microphone to speak, her listlessness evaporated. She spoke in her native language, sprinkled with occasional English words, like security guards and television crews. After a few moments she was crying, and many in the audience were crying too. She extended her arms above her head and, with tears streaming down her face, said in English, “When I hurt, I do not cry, but I cry when you overwhelm me, and you have overwhelmed me.” As theater, it was a magnificent moment.
    Then Mr. Marcos made a speech in the dialect of his province, Ilocos Norte. “As your elected president,” he began, and when that brought cheers he reiterated: “As your elected president … ” But he had already been completely overshadowed by his wife.
    On my fifth morning in Honolulu I received a call from Mrs. George Ariyoshi, the beautiful Japanese-American wife of the governor of Hawaii. Old friends of the Marcoses’, the Ariyoshis had placed friendship before political considerations in going to Hickam Air Force Base in February to greet and place leis around the necks of Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos when they arrived from Guam after being forced to flee the Philippines. The gesture brought criticism down on Mr. Ariyoshi, and if he had not been a lame-duck governor it might have proved disastrous; the people of Hawaii did not want the Marcoses to settle there and did not let up in their demands for them to leave. Although the two couples ceased to see each other publicly, Mrs. Marcos and Mrs. Ariyoshi remained friends and talked every day on the telephone. I had been invited to lunch with Mrs. Ariyoshi the day after I arrived, and I was hoping that she had been able to appeal to Mrs. Marcos on my behalf.
    Mrs. Ariyoshi informed me instead that Mrs. Marcos would not see me. She assured me it had nothing to do with me personally; it was just that a policy had been made against interviews. She said that Mrs. Marcos was sorry I had made the trip from New York for nothing. If I called the Marcos house immediately, she said, Mrs. Marcos herself would explain why it was impossible. Mrs. Ariyoshi had done all thaWhen I called, Mrs. Marcos came immediately to the telephone. She was strong-voiced and definite. She had not, she reminded me correctly, ever promised me an interview. “The problem,” she said, “is that it is premature for me to give interviews at this point in time. With all these cases pending against us all over the world, an interview might prejudice people against me. This is not the right time for me to give my side of the story. There is such an overwhelming force against us. As much as possible we would like to keep our silence for the time being.”
    “I’m sorry, First Lady,” I replied. (I had been told to address her as either First Lady or Ma’am by someone better acquainted with protocol than I.)
    “Our life is so disorganized,” she added, and the finality in her voice sounded a bit less final.
    “At least I can say when I go back that I saw you, First Lady,” I said.
    “But I don’t go out. Where did you see me?” she asked.
    “I went to the celebration of your thirty-second wedding anniversary at the Blaisdell auditorium on Sunday.”
    “You did?”
    “I wanted to see you and the president.”
    “When were you there?”
    “I was there for all five hours.”
    “But we didn’t come until the end.”
    “I had no way of knowing that.”
    She hesitated for a moment, then asked, “Where are you staying?”
    “At the Kahala Hilton.”
    “It’s down the beach from where we are.”
    “I know.”
    She hesitated again. “I will meet you,” she said. “What time is it?”
    “It’s twenty past nine.”
    “At ten o’clock. There must be no pictures.”
    “No tape recorder.”
    “No questions. This is not an interview.”
    “And only,” she concluded, “for ten minutes.”
    She gave me the address: 5577 Kalanianaole Highway. Of course, I already knew where she lived; everyone in Honolulu knew. I had driven by the house every day since I had been there, and once I had parked my car nearby and walked along the beach to the Marcos place. I was able to look through the shrubbery and stare at the house for fully five minutes before two guards, sitting on chairs and chatting together, noticed me. The security provided by the state had been taken away from the Marcoses three and a half weeks after they arrived in Hawaii; these guards were part of a volunteer security force made up of pro-Marcos members of the Filipino colony in Honolulu. They had walkie-talkies but no guns that I could see; however, when I realized that they had spotted me, I quickly turned and walked away.
    A Hawaiian real-estate agent claimed to me that the Marcoses owned two homes in the fashionable Makiki Heights section of Honolulu, one worth $1.5 million and the other worth $2 million. The houses are said to be in the names of two well-to-do Filipinos. The Marcoses cannot admit owning the houses, for fear the present Philippine government will put a claim on them. Because of the Marcoses’ political un-popularity, it had been hard to find anybody anywhere who would rent to them. For example, an approach had been made through an emissary for the Marcoses to rent one of the great houses on the fashionable Caribbean island of Mustique, but because Mustique is a favorite vacation retreat for members of the British royal family, it was thought that the Marcos presence might prove embarrassing. However, according to a prominent resident of the island, if the United States were to request that they be given haven, or if the Marcoses were to make a proper gesture, such as building a $65 million airstrip on nearby Saint Vincent, new consideration for their future welfare in Mustique might be taken into account.
    They pay $8,000 a month for the house they finally did find, and since they have a severe cash-flow problem, brokers are on the lookout for a house at half that rent in case the Marcoses are forced to remain in Honolulu. Each Sunday after Mass, which is said privately for them in the house, members of the pro-Marcos Filipino community in Honolulu arrive with food, flowers, and money for the couple and their entourage.
    In the beginning of their stay, demonstrators collected in front of the house with signs saying, marcos, murderer, go home or honk if you want the marcoses to leave. To the distress of the neighbors, the honking went on all day and all night. Since the bombing attack of Libya and the nuclear fallout of Chernobyl, however, the press has turned its attention away from them, and the demonstrations have stopped, but the former First Family remain in a sense incarcerated, behind locked gates.
    In a sane real-estate market, the Marcos house would be described as an $80,000 or $90,000 single-family dwelling on valuable beachfront property. There are neighbors close by on both sides, with no walls or fences between the houses. Shrubbery and a high wooden fence with two gates that are kept locked at all times protect the house from the highway. I waved and yelled through the fence, and the gate was finally opened when I made it clear that Mrs. Marcos was expecting me. Five or six old cars littered the short driveway. Parking was difficult, and the guards were unhelpful. The entrance to the single-story, shingle-roofed, ranch-style house was visually marred by an electric-blue tarpaulin strung up haphazardly between two trees to protect the guards from the sun. Beneath it stood a wooden table and a couple of chairs. On the table were a plate of ripening mangoes and several empty Pepsi-Cola cans. One had a sense of “there goes the neighborhood” about the place.
    Entering the small front hallway, a visitor is immediately confronted with the presidential seal, which fills an entire wall. Next to it on a pole is the flag of the Philippines. The house consists of a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, three bedrooms, and a lanai, a sort of porch furnished like a living room which is a feature of most Hawaiian houses. Next to the house is a separate one-room guesthouse. There are, I learned, more than forty people living here. Most of the original furniture has been removed or replace by rented furniture. A plain wooden table on the terrace was covered with a white plastic tablecloth and surrounded by card-table chairs with mgn rental stenciled on the back. In the living room were several television sets, a VCR, and both audio and video recording equipment. (A Honolulu rumor has it that the Marcoses ruined their friendship with President and Mrs. Reagan by videotaping a private telephone conversation they had with them and later giving the tape to television stations.) An upright piano and a synthesizer were pushed against the wall of the lanai. On practically every table surface there were mismatched bouquets of tropical flowers, many wrapped in aluminum foil or tied with homemade bows, unwatered, dying or dead. There were flies everywhere. All the books on the tables, with the single exception of David Stockman’s The Triumph of Politics, were by Ferdinand Marcos, including The Ideology of the Philippines.
    About a dozen men in Hawaiian shirts were seated about the room. In a gray suit, shirt, and tie, I felt overcitified. President Marcos, we were told, had a toothache and was at the dentist, but the First Lady would be with us presently. For the first time it occurred to me that all the people there had been summoned, as I had, to see her. I made conversation with a Filipino journalist from New York who had worked in the consulate when Marcos was in power, and with Anthony Castillo, the pop singer from Manila, who told me that one of the first things Corazon Aquino had done was abolish all the cultural programs started by Imelda Marcos. All the artists in the country, he said, stood behind the Marcoses.
    And then the First Lady entered the room, the strong scent of heady perfume preceding her. She moves in an extraordinarily graceful manner; even in those simple rooms she was like a queen in a palace. All of those seated jumped to their feet the moment her presence was felt. As if a party like of “stay poor and lie low” were in force to counteract the stories of excess that had dominated the media for months, Mrs. Marcos was again dressed as she had been dressed for every public appearance since she arrived in Hawaii: the green dress, black patent-leather shoes, and pearl earrings and ring which were obviously costume jewelry. Her black hair was majestically coiffed.
    She gave instructions to a servant to offer coffee to everyone. She greeted a university professor and discussed briefly a paper he was preparing. She exchanged affectionate words with a group of Filipinos who had come from California and New York to participate in the wedding-anniversary celebration. People addressed her as either First Lady or Ma’am. She pointed out to another visitor a huge color photograph in an ornate gilt frame of the president and her with their children and grandchildren which had been an anniversary gift. I understood before she came to greet me that I was part of a morning levee, one of a group being given an audience and a few words of greeting. She offered her hand. Her crimson fingernails had been carefully manicured with white moons and white tips. She is, at fifty-seven, still a beautiful woman. We exchanged a few unmemorable words. When I conveyed greetings from the people who had brought me into contact with her, she indicated that I should take a seat on the lanai. Then, on instructions from her that I was not aware of, the room cleared and we were alone.
    Imelda Marcos had been described to me by a friend who knew her well as a woman who understood luxury better than anyone in the world. Flies buzzed around us in great profusion, but she seemed not to notice them. She never waved them away. I had the feeling that she had simply ceased to pay any attention to the surroundings in which she was living. There is a sense of tremendous sadness about her, but if she is at times despondent, she manages to shake herself into positive pursuits. Was this the same woman who had boogied the nights away in the various private discotheques with her jet-set friends, wearing a king’s ransom in jewels on her wrists, fingers, neck, and bosom?
    Stories of Imelda Marcos’s extravagance abound. “Please, for God’s sake, don’t use my name,” several of her former friends said to me. People in society are notoriously loath to have their names quoted in stories about events in which they have participated, although they don’t mind filling you in on the details. Former houseguests at Malacañang Palace tell how the streets of Manila were cleared of people when Imelda took them about the city, and how the guest bathrooms in the palace were so well equipped down to the smallest luxury items that ladies even found packages of false eyelashes in their medicine cabinets. They tell how Imelda abolished mechanized street cleaning in Manila and dressed the homeless of the city in yellow-and-red uniforms and provided them with brooms and the title Metro Aide—instead of street cleaner—so that the streets would be immaculate around the clock.
    On a balmy evening a little over a year ago, Malcolm Forbes gave a dinner cruise around Manhattan aboard his yacht, The Highlander, in honor of Mrs. Marcos. While the party was still in progress, a lady-in-waiting went around the ship and issued impromptu invitations to a select number of Mr. Forbes’s guests to continue the party back at the First Lady’s New York town house on East Sixty-sixth Street. On arriving there, guest were taken up to the sixth-floor discotheque, where an enormous supper had been laid. The amount of food on display was said to be embarrassing—ten entrées to choose from, including lobster and steak. Since they had all just eaten Malcolm Forbes’s sumptuous buffet, they had to pass up Mrs. Marcos’s food, choosing instead to dance to the live orchestra that awaited them. As the festivities came to an end and guests started leaving, Mrs. Marcos proved again that there were inner circles within inner circles by asking a few people to stay behind so that she could show them the private floor of her mansion, where her bedroom and sitting room were. Two large leather caskets, each about the size of half a desk, were brought out by maids. Each contained seven or eight drawers filled with jewelry, which were emptied onto the floor so that the remaining guests could try them on. That was said to be her favorite late-night entertainment, to forestall going to bed. A Madison Avenue jeweler who specializes in estate jewelry told me that Mrs. Marcos had a passion for canary diamonds until last year, when the color yellow became associated with the ascendancy of Corazon Aquino. The town house was furnished out of a Park Avenue triplex maisonette that had belonged to the late philanthropists Mr. and Mrs. Leslie R. Samuels. Mrs. Marcos had tried to buy the triplex for $9 million, but she was turned down by the co-op board of that building because her presence would have posed too great a security risk. Instead she bought the entire contents of the enormous apartment so that she could do up the Sixty-sixth Street town house in just a few days in order to be ready for a party she was giving for Adnan Khashoggi.
    Although she was reverential about royalty, she had been known to upstage the crowned heads she revered. She once arrived at a party for the shy and retiring Queen of Thailand, for example, with her own television crew to film her being received by the queen. On another occasion, at a small private party at Claridge’s in London attended by the former king Constantine of Greece, Mrs. Marcos arrived to the cheers of London’s Filipino community, who mysteriously materialized outside the hotel right on cue.
    ‘The last two and a half months,” Mrs. Marcos said, looking around the plain rooms filled with rented furniture, “have been so enriching. This is a good period for enlightenment. I have no bitterness in my heart.”
    Disinclined to be questioned, she was more than inclined to talk, and for the three and a half hours that the promised ten minutes eventually stretched into, she talked nonstop on a variety of topics as if she had been starved for conversation. If I sometimes asked things that she did not wish to comment on, she kept talking as if she had not heard me. Thirty minutes into our visit, I asked if she minded if I wrote down something she had said so that I would be able to record her words accurately. She didn’t respond yes or no, but she didn’t ask me to stop writing either, and from that moment on her whole manner and delivery changed. I felt I was watching a well-rehearsed performance as she expounded at great length on the subject of love, couched in a series of mystical, Rajneesh-sounding philosophical phrases.
    “Beauty is love made real,” she said. “Beauty, love, and God are happiness and peace. Love has only one opposite. The opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is selfishness. A human being has three levels: his body, his mind, and his spirit. In the spiritual world, you find peace, and none of this matters.” She gestured expansively with her hands and arms to indicate her surroundings. “I am completely devoid of basic human rights, but I am blessed. Everything we have here comes from the people. All our valuables were impounded. We do not have a single dollar. What can you pick up in an hour’s time when you are told to pack up and leave? Your whole lifetime is exposed to the world.
    “Peace is a transcendent state. I was a soldier for beauty and love. I was completely selfless. They say about me that I was extravagant, but I gave. Your magazines and papers say that I bought art. It is true. I bought art, but I bought art to fill our museums so that people could enjoy beauty.
    “I was born in a family that gave much of themselves in love. There were eleven children. I married a president. I was the First Lady for twenty-one years. Very few have been as privileged as I have. If you are successful and have everything, destiny has a way of imposing money, power, and privilege on you.
    “Across the sea is my country, and sometimes when I sit here I think that I can see it. This house is very modest, but your real home is the home within. I am so glad that I have one good dress and one good pair of shoes. Now I don’t have all that hassle about clothes and what to wear.”
    Long stretches of this material I had seen her deliver on tapes left behind in the Sixty-sixth Street house in New York. The irony was that on the tapes she had been expounding her philosophy in a champagne toast to the munitions entrepreneur Adnan Khashoggi.
    Her face is unlined and looked to me unlifted. “People say I have spent a fortune on plastic surgery,” she said, understanding my stare, “but I have not. The only time I thought of having it done was to cover this scar from the assassination attempt on my life.” She held up her arm and showed me the ugly scar from a knife wound inflicted on her in 1972. “My husband said to me at the time, ‘Don’t have it covered. Wear it as your badge of courage.’ Once Queen Elizabeth said to me, ‘Imelda, how did you live through it?’ ”
    Mrs. Marcos looked past me but continued talking. I assumed that I had lost her attention and that it was time to leave. She was, in fact, looking at her daughter Irene and indicated by gesture that there was a telephone call for her. “This is my beautiful daughter,” she said, her face filled with love as she looked at her. They exchanged a few words in Pilipino. “I’m so sorry,” she said. “I must take this call. It’s Margot Fonteyn.” Dame Margot Fonteyn had helped Mrs. Marcos found the ballet company of Manila. For that, Mrs. Marcos had given her an award with a pension attached to it. She gave a similar award and pension to Van Cliburn.
    Several times she evinced a mildly gallows-type humor. Speaking of the tsunami, a tidal wave from the Aleutian Islands that had threatened to devastate Honolulu a few days earlier, she told how a helicopter had hovered over the house while a man inside shouted orders on a bullhorn to them: “Pack your clothes and get out!” “But we just did that in Manila,” she said she had told her family, and she laughed as she recalled the story.
    Trapped in a Catch-22 situation, the Marcoses were broke. Their tangible assets, including the money and jewelry they entered Hawaii with, had been frozen by the U.S. government. Talking about the generous Filipinos in Honolulu who bring them food and clothing, she said, “They even bring me shoes.” In the manner of an expert storyteller, she let a few seconds pass and then added, “Who knows, soon I may have three thousand pairs.”
    She suddenly smiled and said, “Oh, here comes the president.” Out onto the lanai walked Ferdinand Marcos, surrounded by aides. He no longer looked the way he had during his last days in office or when he got off the plane at Hickam Air Force Base outside Honolulu, as if he were going to die later in the day. His color was healthy, his step was sure. He was wearing a three-piece suit of beige gabardine with a white shirt, cuff links, and tie. Of course, he was still a far cry from the world leader who had held total control over 50 million people for twenty-one years. Mrs. Marcos rose and walked toward him.
    “How is your tooth, Ferdinand?” asked the First Lady, like any wife concerned with her husband’s welfare.
    “You know, Imelda,” he replied, speaking in English in a high-pitched, singsong fashion and pointing to his mouth, “it wasn’t my tooth after all. There was a fish bone in my tooth. The dentist took out the fish bone, but he didn’t take the tooth.” The president was delighted with his story, and all his aides laughed appreciatively. Mrs. Marcos joined in. They actually seemed for a moment like a Filipino Ma and Pa Kettle. Then the president excused himself, saying he had to return to work with his lawyers.
    After he left, she spoke proudly of him. Sometimes she called him Marcos, sometimes “the president,” sometimes just “my husband.” “My husband wrote two or three dozen books,” she said, “including The Ideology of the Philippines—the only world leader to write an ideology of his country. Your media,” she said, in the scoffing tone she used every time she mentioned the U.S. press and television coverage of their downfall, “said that Marcos’s medals from World War II were fake. But his medals were awarded to him by General Douglas MacArthur. Is General Douglas MacArthur a fake too? Your media says that my husband had no money when he became the president, that he became rich in office by stealing from the Treasury. That is completely untrue. My husband was a flourishing lawyer in Manila for years before he became president.” She walked out of the lanai into the living room, disappeared down a short hallway, and returned almost immediately. “Let me show you the only thing I kept,” she said, placing a large diamond ring in my hand. “This is my engagement ring from thirty-two years ago, eleven years before he became president. You can see from this ring that my husband wasn’t exactly poor then.” She told me that the jewelry firm of Harry Winston had appraised the ring several years ago at $300,000.
    After I handed the diamond ring back to her, she again left the lanai. This time she returned with another thing she had obviously kept, one of the world’s most famous diamonds, called the Star of the South, which she said the president had given her for their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. She said it was listed in the Harry Winston book, and it is. The kite-shaped 14.37-carat D-color diamond has belonged to the late Evalyn Walsh McLean, the owner of the ill-fated Hope diamond, as well as to the Duchess of Windsor’s great friend Mrs. George F. Baker. The Winston book says that the jeweler sold it again in 1981—two years after the Marcoses’ twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.
    It had been widely reported that the gangs of international social figures who had danced in her discotheques and been recipients of her bounty had, for business or social reasons, deserted her in her decline and disgrace. A host of one of the major upcoming international society balls said, “We were going to invite Imelda, but, you know, it’s less easy now.” Another onetime friend said, “I’d like to call her, but it’s bad for business.”
    “Have you been disappointed by your friends?” I asked. She looked at me but did not answer. “Have you heard from them?”
    She replied slowly, choosing her words. “Those who had our telephone number in Hawaii, yes. Those who had the time, yes. But this is when you find out who are your real friends, and this is when you cut out the fakes.” Again she thought for a time and then added, “I have no bitterness in my heart.”
    “Do you suffer when you read what is said about you in the press?”
    “I don’t read anymore what they say about me. I only read straight news. I am not a masochist. I am a very positive human being. I have so much energy that I sleep only two hours a night. In the end we will be judged by history, not what they write about us now.”
    “I want to show you something,” she said. She called inside to have a television-and-VCR set rolled out onto the lanai. Anthony Castillo, the pop singer, operated the machine for her. She wanted to watch a tape that had arrived a few days before from the Philippines, showing pro-Marcos demonstrations in Manila, which, she said, had become daily occurrences in the city even though the Aquino government would not grant permits for such demonstrations. She obviously knew every frame of the hour-long tape and, snapping her fingers, gave frequent, excited instructions to Castillo. It was suddenly easy to see her as a woman used to giving orders and used to having them obeyed. “Go forward. More. More! Stop here. Listen to what these people are singing: ‘You can imprison us, but you cannot imprison our spirits.’ That’s their song. There are a million people in that crowd. Go forward. More. Go to the demonstration for Mrs. Aquino. Stop! Look at her crowds. The people are just not there for her. Mrs. Aquino is an out-and-out Communist. America doesn’t want to believe this, but it is true. The minister of labor is a Communist. Go forward. To the nuns and the priests. Look at them. ‘Marcos,’ they are yelling. Nuns. Look here, Mr. Dunne, do you see that woman? She is a famous film star. All those people there are artists and writers. All the creative people are for Marcos. Go forward. Watch here. See that child on the shoulders of his mother? The Communist Mrs. Aquino’s soldiers are going to shoot that child. Watch. Listen to what they’re saying about Cardinal Sin. They say, ‘Cardinal Sin is the officer in charge of hell!’ ”
    When the tape ended, we sat for a few moments in silence. “Would you like to see my house?” she asked. In the kitchen a half-dozen women were preparing lunch, setting out big plates of mismatched food, like a potluck dinner. “The people here bring us our food,” she said, exchanging greetings with the women. “Two people sleep on the floor of this room,” she said, opening the door of a tiny laundry room with a washer and dryer. She then opened the door of the maid’s room. Lined up on the floor were canvas cots, and there were women asleep on several of them. She walked in and stood in the small space between two of the cots. “Sixteen women sleep in here,” she said. “In shifts. The nurses and the women in the kitchen and the others.” The sleeping women slept through her talking. We next walked through the garage. On a shelf were a pile of unopened legal-looking envelopes. “Look,” she said, pointing to them and then holding them up for ridicule. “Do you know what these are? They’re subpoenas. We’re being sued by people all over the world. Even my daughter is being sued. Even my baby grandchild! Someone thinks valuables and Philippine currency were smuggled out in the baby’s clothes.” She shook her head at the lunacy of it. I followed her as she walked along a cement walkway between the garage and the one-room guesthouse next to it. “Forty-two men sleep in this room,” she said, indicating it with a toss of her head.
    “There were forty-two, Ma’am,” said the chief of the guards. “There are only fifteen here now.”
    Inside were rows of cots with clothes piled on the floor beside each one. Some men were eating, some were sitting on their cots, some were sleeping. It was hot, and the room smelled. It looked like an enlisted men’s barracks badly in need of inspection. The men started out as we stared in.
    Mrs. Marcos moved on across the lawn, stopping to look for a moment at a neighbor next door. No greeting passed between them. We went in the side entrance of the house and were in the hallway of the three main bedrooms. One bedroom was his. One was hers. Six people slept in the third bedroom, including the Marcoses’ eight-year-old adopted daughter, Aimee, the grandchild of Mrs. Marcos’s late brother and sister-in-law. A vibrant personality in the beleaguered household, Aimee had the previous Sunday patiently fanned Ferdinand Marcos in the hot auditorium during the anniversary proceedings. Their daughter Irene and her husband and children have their own house elsewhere. When I asked where her daughter Imee, a former member of Parliament, and her son, Ferdinand junior, the former governor of the province of Ilocos Norte, who is known as Bongbong, were, she did not answer. I had heard rumors that they were in Mexico seeking a haven for the family. The hallway was full of suitcases, piled high one on top of the other, cheap blue plastic cases next to expensive Louis Vuitton cases—the old kind of Louis Vuitton cases, before they were mass-marketed. On one bag was a tag saying “Mink Coat.”
    “We won the election by a million and a half votes,” she said, becoming impassioned again, “but the world media makes Mrs. Aquino look like Joan of Arc.” Her loathing of Corazon Aquino was evident in every word. “Even the people in her own province voted for my husband. She was the underdog because of Karma. She has abolished the constitution. What she is is a dictator. They are beginning to discover just how far to the left she is.”
    She found a book about herself that she had been searching for. Page after page of it was filled with her cultural and political accomplishments. “I have been in more corridors of power than any woman in history,” she said. “I have been received by every head of state. Only five months ago I was received by Gorbachev. I went to Tripoli and personally made a treaty with Qaddafi, the only treaty he has ever honored.”
    She turned the pages of the book. “I had this building built in a hundred days,” she said. “Our Cultural Center, which I commissioned, was built before the Kennedy Center and the Sydney Opera House. Reagan, when he was still the governor of California, came over to dedicate the center. I founded the University of Life. President Giscard d’Estaing came himself to see my University of Life so that he could build one in France. Today the literacy rate of the Philippines is 90 percent, and the literacy rate of the city of Manila is 100 percent!” A further litany of her accomplishments followed: “I planted … I founded … I built … I commissioned … I opened … I had composed … I began … ”
    She paused dramatically. “Do you read about any of that in your papers? No. Your magazines showed a picture of me saying, ‘Mrs. Marcos was blazing in diamonds and rubies.’ ” Her voice was filled with scorn. “What they don’t understand was that the necklace was false. They are pop-in beads. I’ll show you. I’ve got them here. Most of the jewelry I wear is imitation, made by the artisans and craftsmen of my country.” A maid passed through the front hall, where we were standing, and Mrs. Marcos spoke to her in Pilipino. When the maid returned, she was carrying six or seven necklaces. Each in a stiff plastic case with snaps. “Look at these,” said Mrs. Marcos. She handed me the cases of necklaces, and I put them on the seat of a chair and knelt down to look at them. I do not know if they were imitation or not. Certainly they were beautiful, and the workmanship was extraordinary. On one necklace, canary diamonds alternated with pink diamonds. She said that the settings had been dipped in gold so that they would not turn her neck black.
    Mrs. Marcos said that because these necklaces were imitation she had left them behind in Malacañang Palace when they fled. Later they were stolen from the palace. A friend of hers in Manila recognized them, bought them for 20,000 pesos, or about $1,000, and sent them to her in Honolulu.
    At that moment a small louver window looking out from the hall onto the front porch opened vertically, and Ferdinand Marcos was framed in it. “I’m listening, Imelda,” he said. In an instant the First Lady threw a cloth over the cases of necklaces. “He doesn’t like me to show the jewelry,” she whispered. The president came out the door, and I felt ridiculous as I stood up in front of the chair to block his view. In another instant Mrs. Marcos was at his side. She took his hand affectionately. “Do you know, Ferdinand,” she said, “Mr. Dunne has written a best-selling novel that is going to be made into a film in Hollywood?”
    “Oh?” he said, smiling. “In Hollywood!”
    In a wonderfully complex moment of stunning social pyrotechnics, Mrs. Marcos had diverted her husband’s attention and also acknowledged for the first time that she knew things about me. We chatted pleasantly, and then the president excused himself, saying he had to get back to work on one of the many lawsuits pending against them.
    “How much is this one for, Ferdinand?” she asked.
    “Oh, 24 billion,” he joked, and they both laughed.
    It was time to leave. We shook hands good-bye. “For four hundred years we were a subject people,” she said. “When Marcos became president, we had been independent for only twenty years. We were a mixture of races. We had to identify who we were. We helped our people to understand what it meant to be Filipino.”
    Dominick Dunne is a best-selling author and special correspondent for Vanity Fair. His diary is a mainstay of the magazine.

  65. talagang tsismoso said,

    September 21, 2008 at 6:06 am

    # 100 11th St., New Manila was the residence of Belec and Vicky Madrigal and was sold to President Estrada by their sons, Gerard & Vincent, because both at that time lived in the US, Gerard in Boston and Vincent in New York. Jamby never benefited from the proceeds of the sale of Belec’s house; the Php *** million paid by President Estrada was divided by Gerard & Vincent equally. Chito’s house on the same street was sold a long time ago and was bought by Zeny Tengco; Chito sold the house after she transferred to the Urdaneta Apartments when she separated from her “eccentric” first husband Chichos Vazquez. the other Madrigals still lived on the same street. the one of Tony and Mandy Madrigal, the parents of Jamby, is still there. Jamby built her new house on one end of that property, Jamby’s sister T*na Madrigal-G*lb has her house in front of the old house. T*na married Richard G*lb, the grandson of Lawrence G*lb, founder of Clairol. Richard’s father Bruce was the former United States Ambassador to Belgium. the house of Pinang Madrigal-Bayot, another sister of Chito’s, is still there. The postwar house of Don Vicente Madrigal on Balete drive is still there.

    M*ndy Eduq*e has a minor stake in Makati Medical Center. M*ndy needed a huge amount of capital is for his failed investment bank East Asia Capital Corporation, not for Makati Med.

  66. Garganta Inflamada said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:42 pm


    Who was, out of all the social “sipsips” and hangers-on, the chosen one singled out to act as Madame’s traveling companion ( OK, handmaiden ) to the very exclusive 1971 bash at Persepolis? Why, none other than her remaining, surviving aunt — *sing.

    And the new gold mine of the M*drigal fortune, Alabang? Began, flourished and was untouched during the latter Marcos years.

    BTW, in the latest issue of VANITY FAIR magazine, yes, the 25th anniversary issue, jet set tattle-tale Dominick Dunne recalls how he managed to snag a little one-on-one time with Imelda during her Hawaiian exile time…

    A few tidbits:

    * “I called her residence many times, a third-rate beach house in Honolulu.

    * She had a queen-in-exile look about her…

    * They (FM had returned from the dentist) had a fight in front of me. I kept thinking, I can’t believe I’m in a room all alone with two exiled despots going at each other over me.” (Probably like a fight between a king cobra and a black mamba…)

    There’s a bit more…all on page 222, about half a page. See ya…


  67. l*ding said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:35 am

    chuchu had always been the favorite of chito. in fact, she often referred to chuchu as her right hand / only daughter. i remember one time when m*ndy had problems with additional capital for his investment [ in makati med ] and chito had to help them with hundreds of millions of additional investments to keep the ball rolling. that’s how generous chito was to her nieces and nephews. when the family sold that new manila lot to erap in the late 90s, a big portion of the proceeds [ went to jamby to fund her campaign ]. that’s how supportive they were to each other. i’m just flabbergasted that these family ties had to end so tragically with this “inheritance feud”. chito, with all her lawyer’s wit and astute business sense, would not have wanted this to happen. she must be very sad. i’m sure her elder sister pacita was full of stories when they met in the next life — about their family feud. i haven’t seen *sing vazquez lately. i want to know what’s her position in all of these issues.

  68. zippo said,

    September 19, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Yeah right l*ding.

    Jamby claimed that her family were victims during the Marcos administration. Enrile put her in her right spot when he recalled that her parents and aunts were always invited to social functions at the Palace. And what did she do to refute Enrile? Nothing…..except to cry while on the lectern in the Senate Hall.

    Sorry, l*ding. She may WANT to have balls, she may ACT as if she had balls, but she ain’t got any.


  69. l*ding said,

    September 19, 2008 at 8:56 am

    you may call jamby many names but she is one of the few senators with the “balls” to fight the corrupt and she even exposed her relatives who wanted to evade their inheritance taxes. let’s give it to her. my respect will always be with jamby. she has no hidden agenda.

  70. parvenu said,

    September 19, 2008 at 4:10 am

    I wonder who inherited Chito Madrigal’s chopper: a Agusta 109 Power Elite. She hardly used it, although she did lend it to Jamby for her campaign.

  71. +YouthLeader said,

    September 19, 2008 at 2:28 am

    Jamby to become VP? Gosh that is just too much for one’s soul to take, the way she manages herself as a leader never demonstrated any leadership traits at all, do forget any p.r scam here…….

  72. zippo said,

    September 18, 2008 at 4:40 pm


    Are you sure it wasn’t Judy Ann Santos on the list?

    Z 🙂 🙂 🙂

  73. l*ding said,

    September 17, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    let’s congratulate senator jamby madrigal-de valade for being no. 7 of the most trusted public servants in town. i read this morning in the philippine star. how nice. she can be vice-president, i think. bravo jamby!

  74. talagang tsismoso said,

    September 17, 2008 at 4:27 am

    Tita Adela Gatlin is very much alive, i just spoke with her today. she told me that all her magnificent ******* are with her and she will see to it that a certain **** will never benefit from her family’s fortune. she said that she’d rather donate it all to the charity causes of the catholic church.

  75. September 16, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Oh hello all you sophisticated sexy blogmates,

    Thank you for the sincere greetings. I am presently in Washington with my youngest sister IVI Leviste-Gabales. It is a beautiful autumn and this BLOG keeps me warm and cozy. But the COMMENTS really titi -late me.

    Irene is fine and dandy for sure but haven’t seen her in 5 months as my vacation has been loooong but lovely. Been slumming in Hollywood then Sydney and now here.

    YES please give me some crumbs about J*dith or J*mby of late ? The leaves are turning scarlet, gold and purple but I turn green with envy that you girls know all the latest.

    I shall be home for the holidays, let’s have “salabat” and “castanas”!

  76. l*ding said,

    September 16, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    what’s the problem with j*dith d*avit-vasquez? i think she’s now trying to recover from her issues with t*nyboy coj*angco’s bank. tell us, talagang tsimoso. i have no idea.

  77. Babblefish said,

    September 16, 2008 at 9:46 am

    “Millionaires don’t steal.”

    *sigh* How I wish that were true. Nowadays, it’s “Millionaires don’t steal small. They steal big.”

  78. chinita said,

    September 16, 2008 at 8:55 am

    l*ding at 5:29 am: “after all, she (jamby) will be the next pacita madrigal.”

    Good Lord! heaven help us all!

  79. l*ding said,

    September 16, 2008 at 6:25 am

    my dear larry,

    i saw you long ago with irene marcos-araneta jogging at the manila polo club. so how is irene now? i love her renditions of the “achuete” as table decorations in her mckinley road house. send my regards to her.

  80. talagang tsismoso said,

    September 16, 2008 at 4:45 am

    Adela Salas-Gatlin and Chito Madrigal-Collantes were classmates at the Assumption Convent. Adela’s only living heir is her granddaughter Sasha Elizalde and she is not even close to her stepmother Lisa Macuja-Elizalde. She considers Fred Elizalde’s first wife Josine Loinaz as her second mom so I think it would be improbable that Lisa would benefit from the Katigbak-Salas fortune because there was even a court battle between Fred Elizalde & Adela Gatlin about Fred Elizalde being the administrator of the Katigbak-Salas fortune.

    Ising Vazquez needs to address tensions within her own family caused by a certain “lady-in-waiting”; just ask Marivic, Miguel & Judy, Bea, & Bela about it.

  81. September 15, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Ah, Tita Chito. She asked me once to touch a mahjong tile-sized Bogota emerald she wore as a pendant in an ADO ESCUDERO ball. As I did, I said “You’re too magnificent.” Tita Chito said, “Well Larry, would you have me any other way?”

    Joan Gatlin’s mom, Tita Adela Salas-Gatlin had an even greener one that she wore as a ring. I got to try that square rock once with Louie Cruz, mi amiga cerado LOLZ.

    Now they are both in heaven but who posseses those traffic-light green beauties. Chu Chu and Liza Nacuja, respectively daw.

  82. September 15, 2008 at 8:48 am

    may she rest in peace.

    she has always been the most disciplined — to put it nicely —
    but definitely one of the best and most accomplished filipinas.

  83. l*ding said,

    September 15, 2008 at 5:37 am

    and lastly, i was watching channel 2 last friday night with my coterie, and “betty la fea” reminded me of b*la vasquez, the younger daughter of ising madrigal-vasquez. very “betty la fea”… she must have been the inspiration!

  84. l*ding said,

    September 15, 2008 at 5:34 am

    my comadres have told me that ging and chuchu are really mad with jamby. because the estate of chito is now being managed by the court: meaning no property or assets can be disposed of without court approval. that’s sad. the question is: will this drag for ages? my advice to them is just to mend the broken fence by donating a substantial portion to the chito madrigal foundation as what jamby has been insisting all this time.

  85. l*ding said,

    September 15, 2008 at 5:29 am

    yes, perfecto. ising is the lone survivor. i pity her position now considering that she was left with nieces and nephews quarreling over the great wealth of her late sister, chito madrigal-collantes. she must be asking the high heavens to help her ease the tension within the family as it drags the name to the gutter because of the inheritance tax issues. of course, jamby didn’t go the wake. that’s a given but jamby should have at least showed up when ging or chuchu were not around so she could have said adieu to pacita. after all, she will be the next pacita madrigal.

  86. Garganta Inflamada said,

    September 13, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    So this leaves the youngest, Maria Luisa “Ising” Madrigal-Vazquez, as the sole survivor of the seven Madrigal-Paterno siblings…

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