Comedy Relief: Over the Rainbow

A beautiful and intelligent Filipina lady friend in the United States had married a handsome, romantic man who turned out to be an incredibly talented bigtime criminal and she suffered, nay languished, for years in a marriage she could not end, for some strange reason or the other.  Finally, the very opportunity she had been waiting for arose and she was able to leave the very difficult marriage.  It was time to start all over again…

Years later, she met a divorced man who became everything her first husband was not.  He was a hardworking, honest, conservative man who had built up a large fortune from the construction of highrise condominium buildings and housing developments all over California.  He fell head over heels in love with her because she was the only beautiful woman he had ever met with whom he could have the most interesting and most intelligent conversations.  It was a meeting of brains.  He informed his three children, away at college, that he had finally found a lady who could make him happy again.   He proposed that they live together, and she acceded, but she made it clear that it would stop there:  No Marriage.

He piled lavish gifts on her:  jewelry by Graff, Cartier, Verdura, Bulgari, Martin Katz;  watches by Patek Philippe, Vacheron & Constantin, Chopard; dresses by Ghesquiere, Theyskens, and Lhuillier;  shoes from Vivier, Blahnik, Louboutin;  bags by Hermes;  exotic vacations at the ends of the world;  spa weekends;  all the best performances at the Segerstrom Concert Hall and everywhere else; life coaches;  exclusive yogis;  personal trainers;  the works.  He stopped short of buying her a department store!!!  He presented her with three large houses in succession — Carbon Beach in Malibu, Pelican Crest in Newport Beach, and Santa Barbara — all in her name.  He bought a new plane and a new “boat” [ yacht ] expressly for her.  He repeatedly begged her to marry him, and her answer was repeatedly “No.”

One simply couldn’t ask for more.  But then, one could always ask for something else…

“Will you please convince her to marry me???  Please, please, please???  Will you please convince her to marry me???”  He pleaded with her best friend.  Best Friend just shook her head and shrugged.

Later that afternoon, the Filipina Lady and her Best Friend [ a white American lady ] went for a walk at the beach.  Best Friend decided to get to the bottom of the matter…

“Please, why don’t you just marry him so he’ll keep quiet???!!!”  importuned Best Friend.

“No way!!!  Not another divorce!!!”  She countered.

“Divorce???  Who’s talking of Divorce???”  asked Best Friend quizzically.

“Of course!!!  What if I find a Better One???!!!???  There’s always another one at the corner, you know…  What if Brad Pitt dumps Angelina Jolie for Me???!!!”  She joked.

*LOLOLOLSSZZZ!!!*   😛   😛   😛

Comedy Relief: Do us Part

A dear family friend, a beautiful Filipina lady in her early 60s, was nursing her ailing Belgian husband, a much older man in his late 70s, in Northern California.  They had had a wonderful life together, as he was a top executive of a large multinational corporation and they had been assigned to the best cities in Europe, the United States, Asia, and South America.  They had lived very well and had two sons and two daughters, now grown and married.  But as with all good things, it had all started to end…

As the archetypal Filipina wife, She herself took good care of her ailing husband, day in and day out.  She fed him, bathed him, kept him constant company, walked him around, drove him around town, and kept such a wonderful home that he was never in want of anything.  Aside from that, She managed to take care of herself and remain a beautiful woman.  She was the perfect wife!!!

A saintly aunt of mine visited her one day and witnessed all the love and care she was lavishing on her ailing husband.  My aunt admired her and commiserated with her.  My aunt assured her:  “You should know that I’ve been praying for him constantly, everywhere I go:  Guadalupe, Montreal, Lourdes, Fatima, La Salette, Medjugorje…  I always pray for him!!!”

The wife’s facial expression turned quizzical and alarmed, and she very oddly responded:  “Ay, ay, ay!!!  Don’t pray so hard for him, Tita… he might not die anymore!!!  I want to be free of all these troubles soon!!!”   😛   😛   😛

Saintly Aunt’s jaws dropped as She was totally shocked!!!   😛   😛   😛


The Lion at Sunset

He lies in his bed at the Intensive Care Unit of the top hospital in the city.  His final hours approach with mathematical precision, in much the same exact and ordered way he had lived all his life.  He was a strong warrior who had fought all the odds and invariably emerged the victor all throughout his long life.  Always the winner, he now faced the ultimate, unconquerable end…     

The Lion at Sunset.

Thank you Tito *******, for the inspiration.

Note:  The Lion finally passed away 09 November 2008, Sunday, and was laid to rest 13 November 2008, Thursday.

Comedy Relief: Gone like the Wind

An uberrich Chinese-Filipino friend, although a Php billionaire and a USD $ multimillionaire, was [ and still is ] a good saver.  Throughout the years, he simply gathered the cash gifts from his loving father, along with “unexpected” dividends, and deposited these in an account which he simply termed “Savings.”  Someday, he dreamed, he would build a nice house in a nice village for himself with that particular “savings” account.

The years went by, and because he never withdrew anything from that account, indeed he just kept on depositing into it, the amount just grew larger and larger.  The bank managers were characteristically all over him, not only for that large “savings” account, not only because he was a signatory to dozens of corporate accounts that totaled in the Php hundred millions, but because his family owned a considerable stake in the bank.

The time came when the bank was merged with another bank.  And a year later, the merged bank was merged with an even bigger bank.

His banker advised him to put his “savings” account into an instrument that would yield a tidy interest.  He declined because he was a conservative investor.  A year later, another banker advised him to put his “savings” account into another instrument that would yield an even better interest.  Again he declined, because he was a conservative investor.  Another year later in 2007, yet another banker, this time a handsome, audacious wiz kid from Wall Street, advised him to put his “savings” account into another instrument that would yield a fantastic interest.

Despite his better judgment, he uncharacteristically agreed.

He felt that his USD $ 50 million was safe with Lehman Brothers in New York.  He believed that he would have more than enough to build his nice house in a nice village in the near future…

Well, everyone knows what happened next…




“How could you let this happen to me???  ~@#$%^&*()_+!!!  Why didn’t you even warn me???  ~@#$%^&*()_+!!!  How could you be sooooo SSSTTTUUUPPPIIIDDD???!!!???!!!  ~@#$%^&*()_+!!!  He cried out to his young banker.

“Sir, we had no idea…!!!”  protested the young banker.

“I’m going to KKKIIILLL you!!!”  He threatened.

The young banker — fully aware that the universal bank he worked for had also lost USD $ multimillions with Lehman Brothers — completely lost his Wall Street strut and panache and reverted to his true Pinoy self:  “Ser!!!  Nawala ho eh!!!  Wah na!!!  Waz, wez… wiz woz wuz!!!  Wizhing na eh!!!  Goodbye and Baboo!!!”


As the Warner “Merrie Melodies” cartoons say:  “That’s all, Folks!!!”   😛   😛   😛

Meltdown Lowdown


All over the city, from the chicest restaurants to the coffee bars, Everyone is talking about only one thing…

A top finance executive, well-known in banking and insurance circles, had lunch with his siblings and discussed the current worldwide financial malaise…

“For Washington Mutual to collapse… one of the biggest in the US…”

“Lehman Brothers…  unbelievable!!!  I can already see that the repercussions will be widespread, even here!!!

“I cannot believe what happened to AIG, for them to let go of PhilAm here which is so lucrative…!!!”

“The way they’re laying off people there [ in the US ]:  10,000;  20,000;  30,000 !!!  Scary…”

“Those of you in the US, your 401 Ks are in danger:  the time may come when you will only get 10 % of what you’re currently receiving…!!!” 

At a recent dinner, a beautiful heiress stockbroker, a very rich lady both by inheritance and her own hard work, laid out the current financial cards to her friends… 

“Of course, all of us in this table will survive this crisis intact, we’re all financially solid after all, but it’s creating havoc worldwide!!!  OhmyGod, I can’t even begin to describe it…”

“I don’t even want to see the markets!!!  I don’t even want to see the markets!!!  Awful, awful!!!  That’s why I’m just gallivanting all over the place!”

“You must remember:  When the United States develops a ‘cold,’  the Philippines contracts ‘pneumonia’!!!”

“There’s a friend of mine in Tokyo who was with a very big [ international ] bank.  Wiz kid.  Brought USD $$$ millions into the company during the good days.  One would think that he was a prized asset of the company.  Well, just last week they told him:  “Thank you, it’s been a pleasure.  You can now pack your bags and go home.  We no longer have work for you.”  Can you imagine that???  What more of regular employees???     

“They’re all talking about Gold.  I really don’t believe it will go from USD $ 900 to 1,500 per ounce.  But I’m getting ready to melt all my gold jewelry, just in case…  ala Louis XIV!!!  Goodbye to all that!!!  I’m not kidding!!!”

“We’ve been looking at the statistics:  there has been a spike of 15 – 20  % of nonpayment on housing amortizations by OFWs since January 2008.  That was because of the currency exchange:  from a high of Php 56 to USD $ 1 to a low of Php 40.  They are having difficult meeting their payments.  What more now???

“You know, what’s scary is when all these OFWs get laid off and come home.  There will be no jobs, no money, no food.  There may be riots!!!”

“Let’s just drink, drink, drink!!!”

As they say in Pilipino:  “Ay nakuuuuu!!!”

So, should we all end up selling fishballs by the sidewalk, no one should be surprised!!!   😛   😛   😛

Comedy Relief: Art and Ignorance

For all the beauty and elegance I desire in my life, I have never been a cultural brahmin and I’ve never pretended to be one.  In fact, I can be quite the crude philistine.  So when faced with the unfamiliar, I tend to take on the catatonic countenance of Tom Hanks’ “Forrest Gump” character and remind myself:  “Stupid is as stupid does.”

So I ended up that early Thursday evening at a good friend’s new art gallery in Makati.  She is Manila’s top art dealer and her gallery is the place to acquire the best Filipino Art, bar none.  Everybody who was Anybody even a Nobody was there, including I who wasn’t anybody in particular…

It was an opening exhibition of the newest, brightest, and best Filipino artists of the new generation.  Contemporary Filipino Art hung all over the place, indeed, some even lay down on the floor.

There were hanging gymnasts with hooks on their chests; a brooding tree; a lady who looked like she survived the Holocaust or was just being pushed to the gas chamber; one of an Italian nobleman [ a Venetian Doge? ] with his face obscured by a big rose; a little girl playing on a rug; a small black door which led to nowhere; a girl vomiting into a toilet bowl [ or appreciating the toilet bowl, dunno ] with neon lights around; one was of roses, roses, and roses; there was a big canvas with childlike scribbles; there were small black and white works, one of them showed an extremely filthy, tiled shower enclosure.

Awed by the huge sizes of the artworks hung on the big white walls, I looked at them from the bottom, from the left, from the right, and finally from the top when I went upstairs to the mezzanine with five chicken lollipops in hand.  Back in the ground floor with only the bones of the five chicken lollipops in my hand, I was tempted to create my own bit of “installation art.”   I also wanted to lie down flat on the cement floor to further appreciate the works but was afraid to squash a mountainous installation of painted paper plates and another of white garden stones and blue “forget-me-not” flowers.

And so I looked at all the new art.  And I tried so hard to understand all the new art.  Then I realized that I probably lack intelligence of some sort because I couldn’t recognize the art in the new art.  Realizing the hopelessness of my artistic dullness, I walked over to the buffet and took a heaping, almost obscene, serving of the gleaming golden “lechon” from “Belen’s,” which for some reason was the favorite “lechon” source of “le tout Forbes Park”… yes, it was delicious and I chompedchompedchomped…

After chomping down the small plateful of “lechon” doused with a liter of liver sauce, I sidled up to a good collector friend.  He was pleased as a plum because he had already managed to take his pick of the artworks the previous evening.

“Buti ka pa, naiintindihan mo ang mga ito…”  [ “Lucky you, you understand all of these…” ]  I told him with a burp.

“Maganda!!!”  [ “Nice!!!” ]  he replied with a big grin.

“Nagagandahan ka ba sa mga ito?”  [ “Do you find all of these beautiful?” ]  I asked.

“Maganda…”  [ “Nice…” ]  he replied with a naughty grin.

“Tataas kaya ang halaga ng mga ito?”  [  “Will these appreciate in value?” ]  I asked.

“Maganda…???”  [ “Nice…???” ]  he replied as he began to snicker.

“Saan mo naman ilalagay ang mga ito?”  [ “Where will you put all of these?” ]  I asked.

“Sa magandang… bodega!!!  Heeheehee!!!”  [ “In a nice… storeroom!!!  Heeheehee!!!” ]  his pretty wife replied, breaking into a giggle.

LAUGHOUTLOUD!!!   😛   😛   😛


Someday, I know I will regret my lack of art investment foresight [ let’s not even talk of art appreciation 😛 ] because, like it or not, the works of these contemporary artists will be worth a mint!!!  I regret that I did not purchase the works of BenCab and Lao Lian Ben in the late 1980s before a dear uberrich friend collected them and drove prices up the roof.  I do rue my lack of persistence twenty five years ago [ 1983 ] when I did not really force my parents to buy the works of Ang Kiukok [ Vicente Manansala’s protege ] and other contemporaries. Had I been an adult in the 1950s, I would have pestered my parents and Lola Charing to buy the works of Vicente Manansala.  I wish that I was already of age when a young Fernando Cueto Amorsolo was offering to paint large history scenes and full portraits of my Lolo Augusto and Lola Charing in the early 1930s.  I wish I had already been alive from the 1870s-90s when Juan Luna y Novicio and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo y Padilla used to visit their friend Macario Arnedo y Sioco [ my paternal great-grandfather ] in Sulipan, Apalit, Pampanga; I would have insisted that they paint me as a Chinese merchant, a Chinese hopia baker, a Pekingese, whathaveyou.  Finally, I wish I had already been alive when Simon Flores y de la Rosa painted Cirilo Quiason and Ceferina Henson and their two elder sons Aureo and Jose [ my maternal Quiason great great grandparents in San Fernando ] in 1875 and Olegario Rodriguez [ my paternal Rodriguez great great great grandfather in Bacolor ] in 1856 and his children afterwards; I would have asked him to paint me in various guises as well!!!   😀

On second thought, I will start acquiring contemporary art even if I don’t understand a whit of it.  Just to make sure!!!   😛