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!!!   😛

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80 Comments

  1. September 12, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Visconti Skeleton Roller:

    Please be reminded:

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

    Please upload your comment again with the pertinent information.

    Thank you.

    Toto Gonzalez

  2. Enrique Bustos said,

    December 7, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    “”President Estrada’s mother Mary Ejercito attended the exclusive Colegio de Sta Rosa for girls and proceeded to enroll at the University of the Philippines’ Faculty of Music. She married a year before receiving her diploma in piano.”

    “After their marriage, the Estrada patriarch brought his wife to take up culinary studies in the United States and Europe, specializing in baking and European dishes.”

    “Being close to the families of Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon and President Elpidio Quirino, Dona Mary was especially asked to do the wedding cakes of their children, and also prepared cakes for the elite ‘Manila’s 400’ at that time. one of her most unforgettable wedding cakes was the one she did for Vicky Quirino, the only child and official hostess of the former president in Malacanang. Her talent in baking and cooking, compelled a family friend to ask for Dona Mary’s advice before opening a bake shop which, in a short while and under her guidance, grew to become the very popular ‘Hizon’s’ since the 1950’s ‘The Hizon family was very grateful to her that later, even in a wheelchair, the Hizon matriarch would come and visit her constantly at her house in San Juan.'”

    “Dona Mary excellence in home making made her children look forward to Sunday as family day when Dona Mary would use her culinary skills to churn excellent Spanish dishes. like ‘paella, bacalao, callos, cocido, and her superior desserts’ and has continued to this day even after her death as their family tradition for Sunday lunch and reunion.””

  3. randy b said,

    November 23, 2008 at 6:20 am

    you bet he is. anyway KS likes money not love. otherwise she would go for single guys. and she could use a 1 or 2 term first lady job contract as entree into politics.

  4. jeremiah said,

    October 18, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    but isn’t mar a “*****” too?

  5. l*ding said,

    October 15, 2008 at 2:39 am

    roxas is choosing between kris aquino or chiz excudero. both young turks, both intelligent and both incorruptible. good choices.

    de castro could chose revilla or santos or pangilinan. they belong to the same breed of politicians (star power)

    villar could get alan cayetano as both of them are from the same party.

    lacson will run and he will choose his twin in the senate, jamby madrigal. these two are “partners in crime” so to speak in terms of exposing government and other senators acts.

    joseph says he will try to run. if that’s the case, baby a. told me fvr will run as well.

  6. victor juarez said,

    October 14, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    on l*ding’s comment in No. 72 “So how would you believe a list from someone written by an outsider. Por favor?”

    I totally agree! Those who prepare those lists must be members of MANILA’s FINEST! …………………….. Western Police District!

    Hahahaha!

  7. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 13, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    All this is kinda remote yet to me but…OK…

    – so Mar Roxas in 1 corner; and Manny Villar and Noli de Castro in the other 2? Anyone else? What about Ping Lacson?

    – Who are the prospective running mates? Villar-Legarda? Roxas-Madrigal? Then the show biz team = de Castro-Vilma Santos? (Peeps, correct me…I don’t know what the possible combos are.)

    – Can there be 3-cornered debates between the Pres and Veep candidates?

  8. October 13, 2008 at 9:08 am

    But L*ding, your graciousness, Can you predict the date of the wedding, will it be in Malacanang after he wins? Or before? Please give your prediction.

    But sayang, Mar who is so charismatic is *** ****-*******. Firsthand, hah, hah, hah.

    Don’t you just love our NOBLESS OBLIGED.

  9. l*ding said,

    October 13, 2008 at 1:48 am

    and larry,

    the queen mother will still have the last say like in england. La Reina Anglaise!

  10. l*ding said,

    October 12, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    larry dear,

    let’s put it this way (my fingers are crossed twice hoping my favorite senator will bag the presidency), Korina “Bandila” Sanchez will be the Queen, while low key deep pocket Judy Araneta-Roxas will be the “Queen Mother”. We will have two queens. I remember Judy’s interview with the Inquirer last month where she guarantees that the Araneta family including their hard earned money will help Mar go to Malacanang. I don’t question that. That’s definitely true. Judy is very astute and very low key. She must have set aside some billions to fund the presidential campaign of her fave son (after dinggoy). I don’t know with other presidential candidates who got their campaign money from dubious means.

    Talking about campaign contributions, my favorite Aquino who goes by the name of Kris contributed more than 10 million pesos to Noynoys campaign. While Cory and Passy Teopaco contributed 5 million each. I hope that Kris will still go for Mar Roxas in the next election. I’m begging Erap not to run anymore. He should give it to the more younger politicians. He should spend more time (not enough time Joseph) to his younger kids instead of trying to run this country.

  11. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 12, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    TalagangT, I just knew someone would bring up the issue of the two sides of the Romualdez coin. Yes, there was the more distinguished side to them.

    It’s just too bad that the 2nd set were less ethical, overly ambitious, and to the detriment of the Philippine nation, uber-rapacious!! Maybe their name should be an asterisked (*) entry.

    * – Beware the evil doppelganger!! 🙂

    Speaking of FM having married into an illustrious political family, I am kinda reminded of Ah-nuld Schwarznegger marrying into the Kennedys. And although Gov. Ah-nuld is probably better educated than Erap, but certainly not as brilliantly devious (or deviously brilliant — take your pick) as FM, the subject of self-made men hitching their wagon to an established clan makes for interesting comparison and study.

    G.I.

  12. talagang tsismoso said,

    October 12, 2008 at 4:39 am

    Becky Garcia did not write the the Manila’s 400 list it was given to her by George Sison who found the list in his father “Carlos Moran Sison’s library.

    For me the Romualdez Family deserves to be on the list even before Ferdinand E.Marcos Became President in 1966 the Romualdez Family was already prominent in their own right, Vicente the father of Imelda and his two brothers Miguel and Norberto studied and graduated from Ateneo Municipal de Manila now the Present Ateneo De Manila University.Miguel Romualdez became Leyte Congressman in 1912 and Manila Mayor from 1924-1927 he was a member of the Philippine Bar, the United States Bar and Shanghai International Bar Norberto Romualdez was appointed in 1921 as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines by United States President Warren Harding then he was elected in 1934 as delegate in the 1935 Constitutional Convention and in 1936 was elected as Congressman of Leyte Miguel sons Daniel and Eduardo Imelda’s 1st cousin Daniel Z. Romualdez was Speaker of the House of Representatives during President Carlos P. Garcia’s term. Eduardo Z. Romualdez was chairman of the Rehabilitation Finance Corporation now know as the Development Bank of the Phil.and was a member of the Monetary board of the Central Bank of the Phil, during President Garcia’s administration.when Ferdinand E. Marcos was elected as President in 1966 it was the time of Imelda’s branch of the Romualdez Family to gain prominence.

  13. October 11, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Please, GIVE ME YOUR PREDICTIONS, friends, Romans and countrymen.

    If Mar and Judy are INDEED eyeing the PRESIDENCY seriously. Would you think Judy will approve of Korina Sanchez as the Purse Lady of the land-now-under, or will we have a bachelor president ?

    Please blog your crystal ball visions for my quandary ?

  14. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 11, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    MeSoHorny wrote:

    ¿ – Signo de apertura de interrogación o Punto de interrogación inicial
    ? – Signo de cierre de interrogación o Punto de interrogación final

    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

    Affirmed — but like any thriving language, there are SEVERAL versions of many ideas. And there is classic Castilian Spanish, there is Mexican Spanish, Nicaraguan Spanish, even South American has various regional shadings, of course Manila Spanish (!Que asco!!), chabacano and Spanglish!! Mother Portuguese is slightly different from Brazilian, as I’m sure Angolan Portuguese is a little different from Macau, East Timorese or Goan Portuguese, etc., etc…

    As the song goes…
    “I say po-tuh-toe, you say po-tEY-to…
    I say to-mah-toe, you say to-mEY-to…

  15. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 11, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Good point, teetah l*ds!! By counting individuals rather than families, a select “400” — in either New York, Paris, Manila or Mumbai — is more comprehensiible.

    But again, that’s just to FILL a magic number. I’ve seen the 2008 Philippine Tatler list, and certainly I spotted a few rogues, scoundrels and pretenders who shouldn’t be there — or at least should be in a separate gallery. The Tatler should really do a more thorough job of vetting its editorial content!!

    BTW, my niece also brought me a couple of other books: the two Kitty Go tomes, and Carmen Guerrero Nakpil’s new “Myself, Elsewhere” (a book about her reminscences of growing up in old Ermita). So far, so good on the Nakpil book but I’ll get back to you, my “palangganas” 🙂 🙂 here with my reviews…

    G.I.

  16. l*ding said,

    October 11, 2008 at 2:58 am

    the new manila’s 400 is not about families anymore but individuals who gained social prominence through hardwork, wealth, charity and fame. It’s listed on the annual Tatler’s 400 register. So meaning, just because you have an old family name doesnt mean your in the 400 list if you did not contribute anything beneficial or worthy of emulation to Manila Society. The Cojuangcos for example are represented by Danding, Peping, Tony Boy, Ting Ting, Marissa, Lizette but not MaiMai or China. The Aquinos are represented by Cory, Kris, noynoy but not Tessie or Lupita. The Romualdezes are represented by Benjamin, Alfred but not Cristina. The Roxases are represented by Judy and Mar but not Ruby. So only the creme dela creme are there. Even Be*ky Ga*cia is not there. So how would you believe a list from someone written by an outsider. Por favor?

  17. periphery said,

    October 11, 2008 at 12:53 am

    GI:

    wow, ang taray 😉

  18. October 10, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    GREETINGS FROM TACOMA, Washington

    Methinks the term New Yorks 400 was also firt written by Cholly Knickerbocker because 400 people could fit into Mrs. Astor’s new ballroom. George Sison named too many, tapos may meztezillos and la chinas PA. I agree 40 is stretching it. OLD GUARD lives in OLD FORBES.

    Comments and suggestions from my fellow-so smart-blogmates ?

    My best was the looking at our different avatars. Twas truly funny yet telling of our natures. Parang sinadya ! LOLZ

  19. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 10, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Actually (Manila’s) ‘400’ is, again, picked up from New York’s “400” — which was an arbitrary, mythical number the original Mrs. Astor seized upon in her coup d’etat against the older, close-knit New York Dutch-WASP money which initially ostracized her. One can imagine that Mrs. Astor’s list were probably the “A-,” “B” and “C” wannabees, like her, desperate to upgrade to an already standing-room First Class section; so they glommed on to the new Queen of the new arrivistes. Think Imelda Romualdez Marcos being frozen out of the true artistocratic circles, and creating her own set of social power brokers (many of dubious B- and C+ origins). Oh wait, a second … that actually happened. 🙂 [And I would not have included the Romualdezes on that list, Ms. Becky Garcia.]

    Anyway, the point being, there could NOT really have been 400 exclusive families of good breeding, social distinction, etc. in olde Manila. Not even “300.” (I mean in Sparta, yes…oh, but I digress…)

    What a faulty list that is — numbers-wise, that is. (If I were to count them in MY Social Register list, they probably wouldn’t even be more than 30; 40’s stretching it.) And excluding the tony ‘mestizo’ and ‘taipan’ communities, how many would you really have left? 8? 🙂 🙂

    G.I.

  20. talagang tsismoso said,

    October 10, 2008 at 3:00 am

    HI! SOCIETY
    BY Becky Garcia
    Who were Manila’s original 400?

    Hi Society has been barraged by requests from friends to come up with a list of the original old families that compromised Manila Society. What a dilemma. Whom do I ask, where do I research, how does one get such a list? A moment of reflection, then the inspiration­—call the Conde de Makati, who would surely have access to such information. After all, the Conde used to write the most controversial society column of pre-Martial Law days and was arrested upon the declaration of Martial Law.

    True enough, in his father’s library he found such a list published in 1960 and compiled by Tarrosa Subido and several newspaper women, who covered the social beat for at least 20 years. God bless the Conde, I have been saved from the rigors of research.

    Here is their list of Manila’s old families based on: family, wealth, education, influence, prominence, achievement, breeding and “good taste.” If through negligence, Subido added, she failed to include names that should have been included, one should feel free to drop her a note. We wonder whether anyone ever wrote her. Furthermore, she says these families have maintained their status by active social leadership through successive generations. Well, here are the names:

    Abad Santos
    Marquez
    Aguinaldo (the general’s family)
    Montelibano
    Aguinaldo (the businessman’s)
    Moreno
    de las Alas
    Nakpil
    Albert
    Osmena
    Aquino
    Padilla (of Rizal)
    Araneta
    Pardo
    Benitez
    Paterno
    Buencamino
    Prieto
    Cojuangco
    Puyat
    Feria
    Quezon
    Fernandez
    Quirino
    Fortich
    Recto |
    Gabaldon
    Roces
    Gonzalez
    Rodriguez (of Rizal)
    Guerrero
    Romualdez
    Hontiveros
    Romulo
    Jacinto (of steel and banking)
    Del Rosario
    Kalaw
    Roxas
    Katigbak
    Rufino
    Lacson
    De los Santos
    Laurel
    Sevilla
    Ledesma
    Singson-Encarnacion
    Legarda
    Sison (of Pangasinan)
    de Leon
    Sunico
    Lichauco
    Syquia
    Lopez
    Tuason
    Lovina
    Valdez
    Madrigal
    Ysmael
    Magalona
    Yulo

    Tarossa Subido also wrote about the Spanish and Chinese tycoons: “A word about some people of foreign extraction whom we have omitted. As anyone knows who is a consistent reader of the business section, the sports section, the departure and arrival columns, we have among us a tiny colony of Spanish tycoons who are identified with our economic, cultural and humanitarian movements. These are the Briases, the Elizaldes, the Melians, the Roxases, the Sorianos, the Zobels. We consider these families, however, as a class apart: not truly assimilated into our society.”

    Similarly, she did not mention the Palancas, Sycips, Yutivos, and the like because while they are identified with our people in economic and civil areas, they had not truly “lost themselves” amongst us. They were in Philippine Society, but were not of the original 400 old families.

    [The opinions expressed here are exclusively those of the writer.i believe that being Filipino has nothing to do with race, that the value of a person has nothing to do with wealth and that notions of pedigree are best reserved for animals. – Ed]

    This has certainly changed in the last 48 years. These families have found their respective and respected places in Manila’s social structure and register.

    Today, Manila’s 400 has expanded into Metro Manila’s 2,400 and rightly so. Our population has also increased at least 6 times since 1960 and, therefore, it stands to reason that there are more families who have joined the 400 by virtue of their being successful politicians like the Macapagals, the Marcoses, the Ramoses and the Estradas with the exception of President Cory Aquino who was born a Cojuangco and married an Aquino. The members of the first families are easily absorbed in society by virtue of their prominence, power and influence. It doesn’t really matter that they began as “the poor boy from Lubao”, business tycoons like the Sys, Tantocos, Floirendos, Gogongweis, Lucio Tan, etc. and also there are those who are there by virtue of their beauty titles, sports medals, trophies and whatever international recognition is bestowed upon them for culture, the arts and the sciences. Many stay for a while due to their popularity but just as quickly disappear unless they have the education, breeding and refinement of Gloria Diaz and Aurora Pijuan. Some beauty queens are standouts like Margie Moran Floirendo whose paternal grandfather was a Chief Justice and whose mother was related to President Roxas. Gemma Cruz was born a Nakpil and married an Araneta.

    You will still see faces of Manila’s old rich in our society pages today. But many prefer to keep a rather low profile. New money has taken over and projects the highest profile for varied reasons like some need it for business, others for public relations and politics and for many others just for popularity or simply to be considered a “socialite” as if it were a symbol of having arrived.

    We, in the Hi Society accept one and all without prejudice or judgment. If you have the beauty, the brains, the talent and the money, we welcome you to a world that a vast majority considers, the good life. Beso to the left, beso to the right. Old rich, new rich, they are now friends. Till next week. Have a rich weekend.

    Conde de Makati is George Moran Sison

    1.(Gemma Cruz was born a Nakpil and married an Araneta).
    Gemma Cruz is not a Nakpil her mother remarried to a Nakpil when her father died during world war 2

    2.(Margie Moran Floirendo whose paternal grandfather was a Chief Justice and whose mother was related to President Roxas.)
    The mother of Margie Moran is a daughter of President Roxas.

    3. (the exception of President Cory Aquino who was born a Cojuangco and married an Aquino)
    President Marcos Married a Romualdez. he then became some what related with the other Prominent Relatives of her Wife.

  21. MeSoHorny said,

    October 9, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    ~G.I.
    “…..entonces no tiene el punto arroga….eeeeh, interrogante invertido.”

    ¿ – Signo de apertura de interrogación o Punto de interrogación inicial
    ? – Signo de cierre de interrogación o Punto de interrogación final
    ———————————————————–

    ~IslaSanLuisParis
    “No me lo puedo creer, esto parece un cocktail en Madrid!”

    O puede ser en Manila, ¡durante la época dorada! 😉

  22. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    October 9, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    Wow Larry,

    Loved your post. I have both Beaton Diaries (Unexpurgated and Beaton in the Sixties) as well as How Proust Can Change Your Life (It really hasn’t).

    Your account of shopping in San Francisco makes the mind boggle, all things considered, especially now that the DOW Jones ended today below 9000. It makes me think of Mr. Guggenheim going down on the Titanic in full dress. Let’s wait and see. Tonight CNN interviewed a lady on the street in Beijing and she stated that she believes this is fundamentally psychological. CNN-Money’s editor-at-large agreed with her but that Becky Anderson in London would have none of it. I think we must be careful of what the media feeds us.

    BTW, are you in DC? I’m an alumnus of American University and have family both in Virginia and in San Francisco.

    All the best,

    Isla

  23. liding said,

    October 9, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    garganta,

    the tuasons are richer than the tuazons. With the “s”. My compadre Mike Arroyo is a Tuason. They used to own practically all of Marikina and major parts of the Metro given by the Spanish friars. The story according to Mike is when his great great grandfather was given the right by the Spanish govt. the right to claim lands in Manila, the condition is he can claim any land as far as his horse can reach and so the story goes that he let his horse ride all of Marikina and its environs making him the biggest landowner in the capital. The tuasons forefather is “Son-Tua”. A rich chinese immigrant.

  24. periphery said,

    October 9, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    And yes, a lot of members of the Marcos government crony set sent their children to UP. The aforementioned Benedictos, Peñas, Benitezes, Ongpins, and the upper-echelon miltary goons like the Vers, Abadillas, Limjocos, Custodios, etc. Not sure about Irene, but Imee did in fact attend UP Law.

    Most of those people were there before my era, mind you. 😉

  25. periphery said,

    October 9, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Oh, yeah, P*toy. Wasn’t he an Upsilonian? Ha. P*toy. Upsilon. Funny, that.

  26. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 9, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    And of course, even the venerable Mercy Ar*astia-T*ason ( Toto, what is the marked difference between the TuaSons and the TuaZons? ) was a UP fixture when I was there. She was the “yin” to my “yang”!! 🙂 I mean, how much more exclusive could a university have gotten?? 🙂 🙂

    periphery, tambien, Pitoy Moreno, the Laurels, the Sincos, Sisons, the Anselmo Trinidads, etc., are all products of UP… even, I believe Irene Marcos-Araneta. Yes, UP — The School of the Bad and the Beautiful, the Proud and the Profane… the Young and the Restless!!!

    G.I.

  27. October 9, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    Toto et. al., YOU and only VOUS has established the 21st SALON ala Algonquin, where the conversational intercourse bristles, captivates, titi-lates but most of all, IS STIMULATIING and invigorating. This Comments portion at the turn-of-our-brand-new century celebrates the minds and hearts of our intelligentsia bloggers. SARAP.

    G.I., zippo, IslaSanLuis, l*ding, and bambina’s mother tongue. Bravo for the cyberspace living room or SALON that we have, unwittingly, created. I haven’t been online for 2 daze. Sayang we could have low TEA, I was in SF over the weekend since GINA had me as a personal shopper in Union Square. We were stalking the favorite haunts. Gina for Chanel things since mas mura than Sydney and I to look at the FALLEN offerings.

    I was shocked even amazed that at l0 a.m. sharp at Saks, Neiman’s, Chanel and Wilkes Bashford opened, the fitting rooms were already being hastily prepared with long gowns for Les Toute Matronas de San Francisco to pour into.

    Alexander McQueen, Issey Miyake, Carolina Herrera, and Oscar de la Renta FORMALS were being snapped like TARGET t-shirts. I guess the season of Autumn balls and the Opera is upon them. Do you guys remember the label ZORAN and AZZEDINE, my idols of the 80’s are still alive and GLAMOUR soaked. They had lovely stuff still. The Chanel Boutique had only 2 gowns left. And there’s the GREAT DEPRESSION PART TWO this X’mas in these United States! Well, let me tell you, their ladies were shopping like it wouldn’t matter. We know, it REALLY won’t. Like the people who populate this BLOG, there are no winners or losers, only survivors.

    Look for these books I bought. page turning delighful, The Loveliest Woman in America by William Morrow, The Unexpurgated Beaton, Girls Like Us by Sheila Weller, and How Proust Can Change Your Life by Alain de Bottom.

    Look at the time, it’s l0 a.m. and I’ve got to get my “Frasier ‘ and “Will and Grace” FIX on the tele. Read you again later, animal haters. Hah Hah!!!

  28. periphery said,

    October 9, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    GI writes…

    Oye, Bambina,

    Cuidate. Yo soy un alumno de la universidad del estado; mis padres son de la misma; tambien algunos miembros de la familia de Sr. Gonzalez, et. al..

    ++++++++
    add to that, people from the following families (and i’m only talking about the people that i myself knew at one point or another in college)…

    Roxas, Lopez, Sarmiento, Pelaez, Araneta, Ladao, Reyes, Hidalgo, Padilla, Benedicto, Montinola, Lazaro, Yulo, Sandejas, Fernandez, Rufino, Tanjuatco, Lagdameo, Pedrosa, Ibazeta, … the list goes on…

    Diliman had more “marquee names” in its student roster than ISM ever did. Then again, it’s also 100x as big, so maybe that’s not a fair comparison. LOL.

  29. zippo said,

    October 9, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    G.I.,

    We can switch avatars if you wish. For some reason, your present avatar reminds me of the Habsburg Coat of Arms (the Double Eagle) while my avatar looks like a vision from an Acid Trip 🙂

    MeSoHorny’s, ironically, reminds of the Holy Cross, agua’s reminds me of a Chessboard (this is my favorite avatar), bambina’s reminds me of the New York Times’ Sunday Crossword, and Larry L’s reminds me of a pattern on an Hermes Scarf.

    Toto, can’t the regulars choose their own patterns for their avatars 🙂

    Z

  30. October 9, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Garganta Inflamada:

    I have nothing to do with those “avatars” / “icons.” They are an automatic feature of wordpress.com .

    Yes, I rather like “Adolfo’s” icon. Lucky guy.

    Toto Gonzalez

  31. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 9, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Snr. Toto,

    I have just been noticing those little square…avatars(?)/square stars? after our names…

    I don’t like mine. Too dull; too understated. Gusto ko iyong kay…Adolfo. Maganda iyong kanya or iyong kay ….rfvdvdsvcsaedxwdc (alphabet soup)! Mas estrambotico!!

    ?Que signifca esos cojones…eeeh, cajones…o cajonitos? (Estoy usando un keyboard Anglo-Saxon, entonces no tiene el punto arroga….eeeeh, interrogante invertido.

    Que es el otro punto interrogante? El garrote? 🙂 🙂 )

    G.I.

  32. Babblefish said,

    October 9, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Jeez, people, you’re only proving them right.

    on another note:
    IO-C is still a bit frail, though she’s joined forces with Mariet*a Santos (quotable quote: “Virlanie has enough money. They don’t need my help.”) in what seems to be a pissing contest on who can raise more money for charity. Hurrah.

  33. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 9, 2008 at 6:31 am

    Oye, Bambina,

    Cuidate. Yo soy un alumno de la universidad del estado; mis padres son de la misma; tambien algunos miembros de la familia de Sr. Gonzalez, et. al..

    Entonces, I take STRONG exception with your statement. Let’s watch it. “Adolfo” does make a few points — but I reserve addressing those for perhaps some other time… or not at all. In the meantime, I suggest… uhmmm …you and I and the rest of us go slow on this “elitist” path we are taking… Not everyone is “to the manor born” and one should be mindful of that. And after all, it is ONE whole century past colonial-era Hispanic Philippines.

    Some of the responses to “Adolfo’s” post ( yeah, maybe even my #41 ) are bordering on the petty…

  34. MeSoHorny said,

    October 9, 2008 at 4:41 am

    ~bambinawrites…..
    ¿Le devolvieron el favor a tu amiga? O sea, ¿le convidaron a cenar en casa de ellos también? ¡Qué vergüenza si hubiese rechazado la invitación!

  35. October 9, 2008 at 4:30 am

    agua:

    Maraming salamat po sa inyong nakakatabang-pusong tugon.

    Sa blog page na “Mistaken Impressions,” nabanggit at nabigyang-diin na po namin na ang munting blog na “Remembrance of Things Awry” ay hindi tungkol sa “alta sociedad” ng Maynila, Pilipinas ngunit tungkol sa Buhay Pilipino na madalas lumilihis sa takda at inaasam-asam na landas — mapataas, kalagitnaan, o mapababa man. Nangyari po lamang na natuwa ang iilang tao — na galing sa mga mabuti, at minsa’y nakaririwasang pamilya — sa blog at patuloy silang lumalahok sa mga usap-usapin. Ito po ang dahilan kung bakit nagkaroon ng sabay na karangalan, at kabiglaanan, ang aming munting blog bilang isang salaysay at pag-uusap ng mga nakaririwasang Pilipino.

    Ang inyong abang lingkod ay wala pong ipinagmamalaki sa buhay. Sa aming apatnapu’t isang taon, nasaksihan at naranasan na po namin ang maraming kasiyahan, ngunit mas maraming pahirap, sa buhay — ang pagsasapalaran — katulad ng ating mga nakararaming kapatid na Pilipino. Halos nawala po ang lahat sa amin — ang matinding trabaho at sakripisyo ng mga naunang henerasyon — noong Martial Law 1972-86; nakakabangon na po noong pamunuang Cory Aquino ngunit maraming naudlot ng 1989 “coup d’ etat” ni Ponce Enrile at Honasan; naging mahirap ang trabaho at pangangalakal noong krisis pinansyal ng Asia noong 1997 na siya ring nakapinsala sa mahinang pamunuang Estrada; at ngayon po ay hinaharap ang matinding krisis pinansyal na nagsimula sa Estados Unidos na sinasabing sisira sa pandaigdigang ekonomiya at sa maraming mga pangarap ng ating mga kahabag-habag na OFW.

    Tama po ang inyong nabanggit na “huwag kalimutang ang buhay ay parang gulong at ang lahat ay pansamantala lamang.”

    Inuulit po namin, maraming salamat sa inyo.

    Toto Gonzalez

  36. agua said,

    October 9, 2008 at 3:46 am

    gusto ko ang blog na ito.

    sumasang-ayon ako sa sagot ni G. Toto Gonzalez (#35) sa maanghang na komento ni Adolfo.

    Sa sagot ni G. Gonzalez malalaman mo na nakakaangat siya hindi lamang sa paraang pinansyal kundi sa ASAL at KARUNUNGAN. alam niya kung paano sumagot ng TAMA, batikos man ito, pagpupunyagi, o sa mga saloobin pakikiramay man o panggagatong ( sa anumang lengguwaheng nais gamitin ).

    salamat G. Gonzalez at napapanatili mong malinaw ang iyong kinatatayuan bilang moderator at may-ari ng blog na ito at nagagawa mong isantabi ang anumang saloobin para lamang mapanatili ang kaaya-ayang blog mo.

    sana lang mag-ingat sa pagkokomento ang ilan. hindi kailangang ipamukha ang katayuan sa buhay o pribilehiyong tinatamasa upang mabigyang punto ang anumang nais.

    huwag kalimutang ang buhay ay parang gulong at ang lahat ay pansamantala lamang.

    salamat muli Ginoo!

  37. zippo said,

    October 9, 2008 at 12:42 am

    bambina,

    “noblesse oblige” en español = ‘nobleza obliga’ o ‘buen deseo’ o ‘buena voluntad’

    Z 🙂

  38. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    October 8, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    No me lo puedo creer, esto parece un cocktail en Madrid! A lo mejor Isabel Preysler está entre nosotros. Qué maravilla.

    G.I. I had to laugh out so loud with your opening line in post 42. En todo caso, your wit is increíble. Regarding the original COCO, waste no time: get hold of Cecil Beaton’s Diaries edited by Hugo Vickers on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk. I’m sure that you’ll love them.

    Saludos para todos desde la fría Europa.

    Isla

  39. MeSoHorny said,

    October 8, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    ~bambinawrites….
    ¿Le devolvieron el favor? O sea ¿convidaron a tu amiga a cenar en casa de ellos? ¡Qué vergüenza si hubiera rechazado la invitación!

  40. l*ding said,

    October 8, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    i’m not going to dignify that man’s rant. i pay all my household and employees the proper wages. i may curse sometimes but that’s normal. blame the humidity of manille! i send kids to school. i cannot be the tita of all poor filipinos. it will take more than one l*ding to do that. and hijo, this little talk within the “matronas” and “solteras” here are harmless. leave us in peace. let us relax a little bit… what with all our stocks going down faster than you can utter the word “pretenscious”!!! so find your peace elsewhere. we are good citizens, more than what you think we are. adios!

  41. Ramon Lagtapon said,

    October 8, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    bambina:

    Tu comentario tambien me hace recordar algo…en este caso, la dieta de la clase alta/media filipina. Comen demasiada carne, especialmente carne de res. Les falta comer mas verduras y pescado.

    Last summer, a cousin of mine, his wife (from a prominent Pangasinan family), and their 3 kids visited my family and me in Chicago. I could not believe the quantity of T-bone steaks that they consumed during a picnic we had! My cousin alone ate two slabs! They barely touched the other food.

    En cambio, durante el ano que pase’ en Madrid, aprendi’ a comer cosas que nunca me hubiera imaginado a comer cuando era nino en Filipinas y Estados Unidos: sopa de zanahoria, berenjena con salsa de bechamel y bacon, pizza de calabacin, esparrago, pisto (ratatouille), espinacas con pasas y jamon, etc. Que sana es la dieta mediterranea!

  42. October 8, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    MeSoHorny – su comentario me hizo recordar la cena en cual una amiga que estudiaba en UP en esta epoca (despues de cumplir el secondario en Inglaterra y finishing school en Suiza, claro) ha invitado unos compañeros de clase … hmmm… como lo puedo decir… activistas y poco sofisticados. Llegaron a su casa en Forbes Park y por la primera vez en su vida comieron cosas como pesto, porcini y mozzarella que nunca han probado. Ademas la comida fue servido en platos de porcelana y cubiertos de plata… Los pobrecitos no supieron que hacer…

    Como esta cena supongo que su consejo de escribir en español es una manera de noblesse oblige?

  43. divina said,

    October 8, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Ang salitang “pretenscious” ay wala sa English dictionary . Suriin ang website ng Merriam-Webster. Gamitin na lamang salitang “magpagkunwari” kundi sigurado sa ibig ipahiwatig.

    At siguraduhin nating na mayroon tayong naitutulong sa pag-unlad ng bansang dukha bago manghusga ng kapwa… mahirap o mayaman. Dahil kung wala din naman, mas mabuti pang manahimik na lang.

  44. October 8, 2008 at 11:02 am

    MeSoHorny:

    Muchas gracias por el consejo. Lo ara en el futuro.

    Toto Gonzalez

  45. MeSoHorny said,

    October 8, 2008 at 7:42 am

    ¿Por qué no seguís vosotros a escribir en Español durante las proximas dos semanas? De esa manera, la gentuza se va aburriendo y ojalá volverá a su vida insulsa.

  46. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 7, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    Testing… testing… is it safe to come out now? Wala na ba iyong mga Bolsheviks out there? (Trans: are the Bolsheviks gone?)

    AA /\ /\ Re your post #40, I wasn’t aware there was another biopic on Doris (and Bernard). I didn’t think the story needed another retelling — much less on a pay-for-cable network. Interesting how in the 2nd version, ‘Bernard’ gets top billing over Ms. Duke. Now you’ve made me all the more curious to seek out this version to compare vs. the Bacall-Chamberlain version.

    Also, on the COCO saga — and listen up, Adolfo, so you can learn a few things 🙂 — there was an earlier French film with, and i’m too lazy to check it outon IMDB, but I think Sylvia Kristel — but it was a more straight-forward telling. I think I caught part of it one night on some late show — kinda boring. And a few months ago, I saw a revival of the Broadway musical version of COCO’s life, called…what else? COCO with lyrics by the great Alan Jay Lerner. Altho the show is like 40 years old now (it appeared originally on Broadway in 1969), it is rarely revived. One reason for its poor provenance is that it starred the frog-voiced, non-singing Katherine Hepburn in the title role. The ‘talking on pitch’ technique might’ve worked for Rex Harrison, but it certainly failed disastrously and in spades with K. Hepburn attemting a musical. So, some non-singer stage actress in Manila might do it…to no great damage to her career, as it had already been done.

    BTW, the Dow-Jones slumped another 500 points today. Que lastima!!

  47. AA said,

    October 7, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Garganta wrote: … TV-movie re Doris Duke w/ that sleazy-looking Richard Chamberlain playing the equally-sleazy Swiiss butler, Bernard, starred Lauren Bacall as the steely Doris Duke, not Susan Sarandon…

    **********************************

    There are (at least) 2 Doris Duke TV movies.

    2007 HBO film – “Bernard and Doris,” with Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes

    1999 – “Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke,” with Lauren Bacall and Richard Chamberlain

  48. l*ding said,

    October 7, 2008 at 1:57 am

    ma*rice a*cache is a shame compared to this website ( i’m sorry palangga but your column is full of promotions, weddings/events/parties you attended and only got to write 5 years after, i still love you but i like it that you’re injecting some blind items in your columns nowadays ). toto’s brilliance simply cannot be compared to the society writers in broadsheets and magazines we have today. let’s give it to toto for having the pedigree and a writer’s photographic memory to tell manila’s million stories in an enchanting way.

    my message to toto:

    where were you when irene martel was looking for a good editor for manila’s tatler? you could give asian editors a run for their money! brilliance! brilliance!

    to garganta:

    hijo, what i can honestly say is my admiration ( i love him ) for the “casanova” of the 70s by the name of m*ndy eduq*e. this tall dashing debonair son of the original blabbermouth la elvira manahan. he got to date society’s heiresses like tes*ie aquino, ruby q*irino gonzalez-m*yer, and of course, ch*chu madrigal.

    but who could ever forget the little romance between m*r r*xas and josin* el*zalde. a may-june affair. nice but short.

    and of course, this movie actor named eddie gutier*ez was a hit among society ladies as well.

  49. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 6, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Larry L wrote: Find the dvds of Doris and Bernard about Doris Duke and the gay majordomo who inherited most of her fortune. Played by Susan Sarandon and Richard Chamberlain. Also COCO played by Shirley McLaine as the aging Chanel.

    ***********************************

    #1 – Larry, glad to hear you’re back in Washington because earlier, you had inquired about — going on and on about Hizon’s Bakery — some Hizon brothers. I don’t believe he’s the same one you’re referring too but I had another classmate at A, a Noel Hizon, who right after high school, moved to Amerika. And LAST I heard he was a documentary film-maker based right there, outside Washington, DC.

    #2 – The TV-movie re Doris Duke w/ that sleazy-looking Richard Chamberlain playing the equally-sleazy Swiiss butler, Bernard, starred Lauren Bacall as the steely Doris Duke, not Susan Sarandon. Of course, in real life, you do know who supplied the (weak and pliable) Filipino doctor whom that scheming Bernard was able to maneuver and overrule re medical decisions in DD’s final days? Why, none other than DD’s ‘bosom friend,’ the Philippines’ very own IRM!! Thank deposed First Ladies for small favors.

    Re Bernard’s final fate…I don’t know if it was touched on at the end of the biopic or not, but the directors of the Duke Foundation went after him. The bottom line was that he settled for something like $5.2 mil but died a few months after this. Not a bad settlement for dismal service, but still, he couldn’t take it with him.

    #3 – Yes, the recent Shirley MacLaine-COCO on the Lifetime channel; very ‘La Vie en Rose.’ It was ok; but the young Czech actress, Barbara somethig-or-other, who played the younger Chanel, really carried the film. Of course, THAT bio did not touch on Coco’s days as a collaboratrix with the Nazi regime since she also kept a Nazi officer for a wartime lover at her suite in the Ritz. Coco’s roses don’t smell as sweet in France. (But I guess we all msut survive somehow during war. Speaking of which, I recently rented Ang Lee’s LUST, CAUTION about goings on the Japanese-occupied Shanghai of the 40s. A little slow but quite engrossing and compelling.)

    Zippo, Carlos Y (& wife Marta) returned to Spain a few years ago.

    BTW, Larry (I’m sure I thought you were the Leviste a few years before me in Loyola Heights, but I was mistaken…) if you’re stopping over in SF on your back west and you have time and are so inclined, give a holler…I might have time for a cuppa chai. You can get my email from Mister T.

    Hasta lluego,
    G.I.

  50. October 6, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Garganta Inflamada:

    “Paquito” hangs out at the Comments section of the blog post “The Elegance of Old Spanish Manila.”

    Toto Gonzalez

  51. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 6, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Re Hizon’s, TalagangT, thanx for confirming the history of Hizon’s. I thought I was going crazy with my memories — but I knew it was on that sidestreet in Quiapo, Raon. So it was just yards away from all those guitarra shops. It was such an oasis from the even-then building-maelstrom that Quiapo already was.

    Yes, zippo, I stand — err, sit, corrected. It was Country Bake Shop (not Manila) AND its Coffee Shop where the leading columnists of the day (Joe Quirino, the other shrivelled but sharp guy with the pipsqueak voice — in other words, the boys of Chino Roces of The Manila Times), would gather and hold court and get their soundings from what was shakin’ in the corridors of power then.

    – A&W Root Beer. But I remember the main one in Cubao, in front of the Big Dome, because that is where the owner’s daughter, Judi Guthertz, who was a classmate in UP, would hang out outside of Diliman. And I seem to think they had the servers on roller skates, a la USA.

    – And then also, new movie theatres were opening up all over the Cubao area. (And the first ice-skating rink ever in the RP; thanks to Don Amado. After a few months, it was converted into the Nation Cinerama.)

    – United Supermarket. Yes, I remember that one, too. I always liked that one; I believe the 2nd flagship supermarket of the Ngs (before Makati and Unimart in Greenhills). I don’t know which came first for the Ngs though — Stop’n’Shop in Sta. Mesa or United in A. Mabini. But I remember the juicy burgers and shakes they served at Stop’n’Shop in Sta. Mesa. (It felt so very U.S.A. then.) 🙂

    – Jade Vine (yes, my classmate-in-Ateneo’s family used to own this. Father was, if memory serves me right, a Court of Appeals judge.) I remember a ‘porksap’ dish which was awash in a sweet-n-sour sauce. They had a very grand house in the P. Guevara section of San Juan. Is JV still there?

    – I don’t recall Old Europa but I do remember the Swiss Inn because old man Huenefeld used to run that place. The Huenefelds were originally from San Juan, too (not too far from the Ejercito house); and the lady who returned from Madrid after 30 or so years there, and was murdered a few months ago at the Zaragoza apt bldg, was Mr. Huenefeld’s daughter-in-law. Lovely lady.

    On to other topics….

    Since this discussion section has now become a mish-mash of things, one other family/force that I’ve never seen mentioned here — and we’ve of course discussed and dissed 🙂 all the movers and shakers of Feelipeen (how come it’s never been spelled that way?) society — are the founders of the INK (or what’s it called now? The Philippine Independent Church? Or are those Aglipays?)

    Anyway, I am talking about the Man*los (another San Juan family) with their palaces (or ‘temples of worship’) who, for many a year, wielded probably what was the swing vote in many a tight election in the RP; and therefore was a force to be reckoned with, in the fate of the country. (I hold them responsible for bringing the Dark Forces from Ilocos and Leyte to power in 1965. Grrrrrr…) I’ve always wondered about them. I know they were ‘religious’ leaders, but I believe they lived an ultra-luxurious life behind those palace gates. And all things being equal, they would probably rank up there with the 10 richest families in the RP, real estate holdings et al. (They have a few prime pieces of real estate in California, too. I’m sure in Hawaii as well.)

    Whaddya know about dem, TT? Any dirt, tita bLeeding, clean or otherwise? 🙂

    BTW, Toto, where’s Paquito?

    G.I.

  52. zippo said,

    October 6, 2008 at 10:12 am

    I remember Betsy Brias-W used to live at the Penthouse of the Excelsior along Roxas Boulevard and I used to see her often at the old Casa Marcos restaurant. One of the Brias gentlemen (Betsy’s nephew) was one of my Philosophy professors at La Salle in the early 80s.

    Carlos Ygoa was a few batches ahead of me at La Salle Taft-Grade School (we were under Sra. Ofelia Estrada in the boy’s choir together with the likes of Juan Miguel Ongsiako, Frederick Scheerer, Manolo Nieto, Pepot Aldaba, and Perry Ronquillo [who ironically became the head coach of the Ateneo Blue Eagles basketball team a few years ago]) and at La Salle Green Hills High School. He had distinct Basque features, curly hair, and a hearty laugh. His elder brother, Jose Mari or “Yogi”, was a former La Salle Brother and was one of my high school teachers.

    Z 🙂

  53. October 6, 2008 at 3:48 am

    Here I am back in Washington which is becoming rather chilly. And yet the vibrant exchange of thoughts and gossip TRULY warms my popsicle toes and make me giddy with giggles.

    Lino Brocka made a Chicos-Chito movie in the 70’s called TUBOG SA GINTO. Eddie Garcia was the closet case husband who was PORKING a very gorgeous young JAY ILAGAN. It was done well and had Manila’s cafe society going to watch a Tagalog movie. I was but a young fraulein but I remember the rich wife ( was it Gloria Romero ) catching the husband with the pogi driver or houseboy in flagrante delicto.

    Toto, G.I. Liding and Zippo please find the time to view Luchino Visconti’s 12 part documentary on his fantastic life done by BBC on You Tube. His lovers included Roberto Rosellini, Franco Zeferelli, Alain Delon and Helmut Berger. Find the dvds of Doris and Bernard about Doris Duke and the gay majordomo who inherited most of her fortune. Played by Susan Sarandon and Richard Chamberlin. Also COCO played by Shirley McLaine as the aging Chanel.

  54. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 5, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    I don’t know if I’m seeing things or what but, unless you edited yourself, Toto, I swear I saw that name Betsy Brias in this thread. Now I don’t know who she is/was, but I knew the surname (Brias) because the Brias family were my grandparents’ neighbors in Ermita, so I Googled her. And whaddyaknow — and since the topic of this thread started out as “art’ — I feel it only relevant to share what I found:

    Something from Conchitina Sevilla Bernardo: http://betsywestendorp.com/collection/press/metrosociety/metrosociety.htm
    (Warning: it’s terrible to read it against that grey background.)

    And then from Ms. Brias’ more Official website… http://betsywestendorp.com/

    The portraits of the Manila matronas look ***********. And, Toto, apparently in Spain, she got her connections to Madrid’s “alta sociedad” via your relative, Ambassador Luis Gonzalez, when he was tenured over there. So, it’s who you know…

    Strangely, too, on those websites, you’d think whoever was responsible would have better judgment that to use grey in the background..considering the subject is…ART???? (I much prefer Carlos Ygoa’s art –his secular artwork…not his religious stuff. )

    But I’ll sit for Klimt anytime. 🙂 (Actually, I have a pocket-sized portrait by Peter Max.)

    G.I.

  55. HRH said,

    October 5, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    speaking of IO-C,just wondering, is she friends with Tingting C.? i remember during mikee’s wedding a few years ago where the former president JE-E is a godfather too,i saw a picture of IO-C and Tingting.together.

  56. talagang tsismoso said,

    October 5, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Hizon’s Cakes & Pastries first opened its bakeshop along Raon St Quiapo then later transfered to J.Bocobo St Ermita

    There were rumors before that Dr Luis Vasquez was G*y but i cant tell if it is really true.what i know is when they separated Dr Vasquez sued Chito for adultery and his part of the conjugal assets.but both later settled amicably.

  57. zippo said,

    October 5, 2008 at 11:04 am

    I’m glad IO-C is finally up and about. If reports are to be believed, she’s finally rid of her mysterious illness called “Barretto-titis.”

    Z 🙂

  58. zippo said,

    October 5, 2008 at 11:02 am

    G.I.

    I only remember the Hizon’s Bakeshop at Bocobo in Ermita (and the adjoining Za’s Cafe which was famous for its Lengua Picante). Also along Bocobo was the old Bob’s Studio.

    On Isaac Peral (U.N. Avenue) were the Country Bake Shop, A&W Burger and Rootbeer place, D’ Marks Pizza, Jade Vine (for Chinese food), and the Hilton which had the Rotisserie (famous for its Roast Prime Rib and Caesar’s Salad) and the Patisserie. There was also the old Europa.

    Ermita also had La Cibeles, Gloria’s, United Supermarket, Dulcinea, and the venerable Ronnie’s — all along A. Mabini. There was Gaiety Theater (which Rene Knecht turned into a disco) along M.H. Del Pilar. For fried chicken, there was Savory along T.M. Kalaw (across the National Library). For Japanese food, there was Miyako on Aurelio Hotel along Padre Faura which had all-you-can-eat tempura.

    Does anyone here still remember those “combos” playing on the ledge of the old Caltex Building (also along Padre Faura)?

    Z 🙂

  59. talagang tsismoso said,

    October 5, 2008 at 6:50 am

    Mrs Imelda Ongsiako,Cojuangco has recovered from her grave illness. she is back as the Doyenne of Philippine Society. the last time i saw her was at the Fernando Amorsolo Seven Museum Gala Benefit held last Sept 19 at the Makati Shangri-la she is co -chairing another fund raising event entitled Beloved Encore on Oct 17 at the Makati Shangri-la.

  60. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 5, 2008 at 6:47 am

    OK, since the matter of the late CMC’s first ‘marriage’ to Chichos V*squez has been brought up. I always wondered about that. It all seems to have been so well arranged…2 Madrigal boys wed the 2 Abad-Santos sisters; then the 2 younger Madrigal girls snag 2 Vasquez brothers. Wow! What an alignment of wealth and power. But apparently one did not work out well — and had to be annulled.

    Hmmmm. So how ‘weird’ was Chichos? Was he g*y? C’mon, TT, you seem to know all these skeletons in the….uhmm, ‘closets.’ 🙂

    (BTW, Hizon Bakery — or at least the one I knew as a kid — was in the Quiapo area — on that side street. I remember that well because a maternal aunt would take me there; but the paternal side would take me to Las Cibeles in Ermita. And then of course, Manila Bakeshop on Isaac Peral was the other ‘in’ bakery for beautfilly-themed cakes. But I digress…)

    C’mon, TT, DISH it out baby!! U know u wanna do it!!

    G.I.

  61. talagang tsismoso said,

    October 5, 2008 at 6:07 am

    I agree with you Toto, President Estrada comes a very respectable old family. I had a chance to visit the Ejercito ancestral mansion on Cosme Street, Pagsanjan, Laguna after its renovation by Ramon Antonio. President Estrada told us how difficult it was to compete with his elder brothers & sisters: the elder Ejercito boys who were tall, handsome, and fair-skinned mestizos who were very good students from good schools while the girls were very religious, well-behaved and always got good grades. He said he was the black sheep of the family. when lunch was served by the Ejercito staff, President Estrada praised the cooks that his mother trained; he said they were able to copy the dishes his mom would serve to all her guests. then he said: “you know my mom is a very good cook. she was the one who baked the wedding cake of Vicky Quirino when she married Chito Gonzalez.” he then said that the owner of Hizon Bakeshop in Ermita, Mrs. Cecing Hizon-Zamora, used to go to their house in San Juan because his mother would teach her how to bake other kinds of cakes & pastries. he said that up to this day, when Mrs. Ejercito’s birthday is celebrated, the daughter of Mrs. Cecing Hizon-Zamora, Mrs. Mila Zamora-Roasa, always sends a variety of cakes and pastries to Mrs. Mary Ejercito as their gratitude to her.

  62. l*ding said,

    October 5, 2008 at 5:35 am

    the chito madrigal clan is hot news these days in this website. very interesting anecdotes. meldy c. seems to have gone in our radar. how is she nowadays? i haven’t seen her lately.

  63. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 4, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    /\ /\

    Toto,

    I think if “Erap” were not “El Presidente” then, the late Chito Madrigal-Collantes would not have erupted in such a display of joy.

    I mean the Madrigals ( as with countless others ) certainly have years of experience in knowing how to “get along” with whomever are the present occupants of Malacanang… if you know what I mean…

    G.I.

  64. October 4, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    I think We should all get it straight once and for all…

    Yes, former President Joseph “Estrada” Ejercito may have that “Erap-para-sa-Mahirap” image, but He is Defintely NOT One of Them, not in origins anyway.

    The Ejercitos are a very respectable old family from Pagsanjan, Laguna. Dona Maria viuda de Ejercito was a grand old lady. Joseph’s two sisters are elegant and dignified ladies. Even his two senior ladies are elegant women.

    I vividly remember the mammoth evening reception at the Malacanang Palace the day of President Estrada’s inauguration in 1998. It was catered by “Elar’s” for what my gourmet uncle derisively described as “The ‘Lechon’ Crowd.” My uncle Brother Andrew [ newly-appointed Secretary of Education ] and I were seated at a round table very near the entrance along with Chinese billionaire Emilio Yap, Filipina billionairess Chito Madrigal-Collantes, and her “politico” husband Manoling Collantes. When President Estrada entered the hall accompanied by his aides, Chito — in plain view of the entire assemblage — stood up and rushed to him with a victorious and exultant “Joseph!!!” embraced, and kissed him loudly on the cheek [ smacked, actually ], and laughed jubilantly — all the while with her right leg raised [ nice shoes! 😛 ].

    Given who She was, I don’t think Chito Madrigal-Collantes would have accorded that “familiarity” to someone “not of her kind.” 😛

    Toto Gonzalez

  65. talagang tsismoso said,

    October 4, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    check this site http://www.pep.ph/photos/586/Joseph-Estrada-with-friends-in-his-Tanay-resthouse for some pictures of the Tanay estate

    I forgot to add the Chapel in Tanay was designed also by architect Francisco Manosa

  66. talagang tsismoso said,

    October 4, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    I totally agree with what Liding said, President Estrada Portrays that he is a man for the filipino masses but loves the good things in life he only uses Limoges plates & Christofle tableware for his daily meals i have been to both his #1Polk St Greenhills and His Tanay Detention este Vacation Estate both was well designed tastefully by our leading architects the Polk St Mansion by Ramon Antonio and the Tanay Estate by Francisco Manosa for the Clubhouse beside the Lagoon.The President Estrada Museum by Bong Recio. President Estrada was a 3rd Year Engineering Student in Mapua before he became an actor,he loves designing beautiful structures like the FPJ Museum and the Muslim Pavilion in his Tanay Estate. he also collects famous filipino contemporary artists like Romulo Olazo Betsy Brias & Bencab etc as well as Baccarat,Murano, Bernardaux,& Lalique i remember when he was elected President in 1998 he ask Ramon Antonio to renovate the Premiere Guest House across Malacanang Palace. Ramon Antonio describes President Estrada Style as Comfortable but very Luxurious.

    here is an article of the “PCIJ” Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism dated November 2000 by Sheila S. Coronel, Yvonne T. Chua, Luz Rimban, and Vinia M. Datinguinoo:

    “”President Estrada’s dream retirement home but was not finished because of the Edsa Two Uprising.
    .
    There is a grand mansion in the making being constructed at 796-800 Harvard St. in Wack-Wack. That house’s planned floor area spans 2,800 square meters,

    The land alone has a fair market value of P192 million. The structure is conservatively estimated at another P90 million and excludes the cost of site development. Backhoes were used to excavate the property, which has a basement and car park.

    The Wack-Wack house was designed by architect Ruben Payumo’s firm RR Payumo and Partners. Payumo, a close friend of businessman Manuel Zamora, is also the architect of the log cabin at 30 Paterno St. in Baguio City, said to be the President’s, and the log cabins at Camp John Hay that Estrada and his buddies have purchased.

    Up until a few weeks ago, workers of Madera Construction, owned by Payumo’s brother Alberto, were still busy putting together what was said to be the President and Enriquez’s “dream retirement home.” But construction there came to a dead stop shortly after the PCIJ’s October exposé on presidential mansions, and efforts were made to alter the interiors.

    “It’s clear from the plan that it’s a politician’s house,” said a contractor, pointing out the 350-square-meter public area on the Wack-Wack mansion’s ground floor that looks like a hotel lobby with several meeting areas and a sunken bar. Other contractors also described the house’s design as “scandalous.”

    The master’s bedroom, along with the master’s lounge, walk-in-closets and bathroom, is 255 square meters. The 90-square-meter bathroom within it features a jacuzzi six feet in diameter, the size of a small wading pool, and a sauna, one of two found in the house. The second sauna is situated in a 60-square-meter area next to the master’s bedroom where a massage room, full-sized gym and beauty parlor are also located.

    The kitchen, which takes up another 90 square meters, is industrial-type with areas for hot and cold preparation, similar to those in hotels. A smaller kitchen is located on the second floor while a pantry is found at the basement near the family theater.

    The mini-theater is 153 square meters, about the same size as ABS-CBN’s preview room that can hold 30 people. The doors are nine feet tall.

    The electrical works, including those for the centralized air-conditioning, are as complicated as a shopping mall’s. Contractors said the house is fitted with a 125kva generator, enough to light a small barrio, and a big balcony that can hold an orchestra.

    The contract for the interior structural work is said to be about P50 million, and covers only floors, walls, ceilings, cabinets and partitions, all done in solid narra. Contractors said most of the materials were owner-supplied. If the contractors were to supply both labor and materials, the contract would have reached P150 million.

    The sum excludes the acoustics work done on the theater at the basement, which runs at P4 million, without the architectural finishes such as carpeting.

    The landscaping, involving 2,000 square meters and done by renowned landscape artist Shirley Sanders, cost another P4 million. The “Class A” project made use of expensive plants, including full-grown royal palm trees.

    Sources said fabrics used for the interior cost as much as P7,000 a yard. The imported Spanish clay roofing tiles, supplied by Rodclay Roofing Inc., were bought for under P1 million and were hauled from the ground to the roof with an electronic ladder.

    Work at the Wack-Wack property was so massive that KB Space Holdings deposited P500,000 with the Wack-Wack Homeowners Association to cover an estimated 500 trips by trucks, including those of Centech, hauling materials to the posh subdivision.

    But several contractors now say that workers still allowed in the Wack-Wack property have been busy moving things out of the house and tearing down improvements already installed. Even window frames were taken out in an apparent attempt to make the mansion appear less grand. “Binabakbak na (They’re tearing it down),” said one contractor of the activities there.

    Barangay officials in New Manila, Quezon City also said that two weeks ago, there were sightings of trucks hauling things out of the infamous “Boracay” property at 100 11th Street in the dead of the night. According to the officials, they have not had a chance to inspect the house.

    Contractors said among the first thing Interior Secretary Afredo Lim ought to have done after being ordered by Estrada to “investigate” the mansions was to have the properties in question sealed off. By the time the President’s impeachment trial begins in two weeks, they said, the mansions may have already become less opulent at the very least.

    Getting rid of the paper trail, however, may prove more complicated than tearing down interiors and trucking away furniture and the white sand from which the Boracay house got its name.

    The President himself told radio listeners on Nov. 20 that Enriquez had merely brokered the Wack-Wack lot’s sale to jewelers Carlos and Mariquita ‘Mariquita’ Yeung, and was helping them look after it. But a detailed furniture layout prepared by Steven J. Leach Associates, which was hired to do the interior design of the house, prominently displays the names of the President’s three children by Enriquez—Jerika, Jake (Juan Emilio) and Jacob—on the spaces that were to become their second-floor bedrooms.

    Sources close to the interior design firm said the bigger-than-normal color boards prepared for the Wack-Wack project also bore the names of the children, who were consulted about the design plans. They said 15-year-old Jerika even requested several revisions.

    Steven J. Leach Associates is famous for designing interiors of clubhouses and offices, among the few residences it has handled is that of Iñigo and Maricris Zobel.””

  67. periphery said,

    October 4, 2008 at 5:33 am

    (kinda off-topic)

    Gina Leviste? Wow, that name brings back some memories of the past. Does she live in Sydney now?

    I remember, back in the day, when we used to see her occasionally in and around “Makati Commercial Center” (as it was called back then) and Urdaneta. One of my best friends (a lesbian) and I were totally smitten with Gina. 🙂

  68. n5ydp said,

    October 4, 2008 at 3:33 am

    Art is the artist’s expression of feelings, emotions, or the desire to capture in a chosen medium an experience that has touched the heart and the soul. In the end, its interpretation is subjective.

    I stumbled upon this blog by accident. I CANNOT SEEM TO GET ENOUGH OF IT…….

  69. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    October 4, 2008 at 1:48 am

    Larry,

    I believe the only way to appreciate art is with our E.Q. Like you said, some one loves and others one hates; be it old masters or modern art. There’s no harm in liking both.

    Saludos,

    Isla

  70. October 3, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    NOW READ THIS! NOW READ THIS!

    ATTENTION TO ALL my CYBER amiga cerados… On my way to San Francisco yesterday ( please try the new VIRGIN AMERICANA airlines, it’s so modern and hip. Same owner of Virgin Records so the audio visuals inflight is so state-of-the-urge ) I came across a story you must google or buy pronto. Anyway I digress.

    The October ish of Vanity Fair has the saddest expose of the late Brooke Astor whose only son ( a former ambassador ) is being tried for elder abuse and neglect. Annette Reed-de la Renta exposes the cruelty and theft of this unico hijo of the billions in assets, stock and properties of Mrs. Astor and his purportedly evil wife who took advantage of Mrs. Astor’s Alzheimers condition and kept her in tattered La Perla night gowns on urine-stained Porthault sheets.

    Her USD $ 30 million emerald necklace was willed to Mrs. Oscar de la Renta and yet was flagrantly worn by the wife of the Mrs. Astor’s son’s wife at the last Met Museum bash. This story is written by John Richardson and it is JUICY, SPICY if tragic and at times unbelievable.

    Didn’t I read a post or comment on this OUR FAVORITE blog about an aging grande dame in similar conditions? Oh the reversal of fortune, the paradox, the irony. Who will play Brooke in the HBO movie soon to be filmed. Helen Mirren daw. WOW!

    Oh yes OJ, I am currently finishing HUGE wall sized acrylics for my sister Gina in Sydney. You do great oils, I remember your orchids. Sell me one please.

    Oh Toto, a day without visiting your BLOG is a day without sunshine.

  71. ojhofer said,

    October 3, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    hi larry, have you been pursuing your muses in the visual arts? i hope so because i’m sure you paint passionate pictures.

    toto, I had a professor when I was a painting student back in UP diliman named CHABET who is billed as the father of Philippine avant garde art. Would you know if he’s still in the country? He was a great teacher who didn’t mince words when he found your work too mundane. Fortunately he like most of the things I painted back then ☺

  72. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 3, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    So (and I’ve only been to US art exhibit openings…with canapes and finger foods)…why do they have those buffet tables at Manila art openings? Not enough food for the soul? 🙂

    And then, what follows?

    So they’ll lay out blank canvases in the next room — so that if one pukes at the art on the walls, at least ma-sa-save iyong mga droppings (trans: the barf effluvia does not go to waste) as new paintings! Voila!! Jackson Pollack Redux…

    or Reflux??? 🙂 🙂

    G.I.

  73. liding said,

    October 3, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    larry hijo,

    i totally agree. e.q. more than i.q.. to quote csc-a “erap has the highest e.q.” among philippine presidents. look at his polk residence, did you know he was the brains behind the interiors of this house. not the doctora. in hues of yellow and blue. erap’s house is tastefully decorated. a isabel diaz self portrait of erap is in the great room. his collection of baccarat crystals is to die for as well.

  74. October 3, 2008 at 7:27 am

    My epicurean connoisseur Toto,

    Our tribe should look at contemporary, albeit abstract, expressionism pieces as emotional, rather than with our Old World intellect. With our E.Q. rather than our I.Q.

    Art now evokes instant emotion. You either like it or hate it. No in-between feelings. Does it soothe your senses or arouse energetic passion or even rage? I too end up at the buffet where our nasal and tastebud sensibilities are easier to please. Besides, we’re such closet royalists we only recognize the Old Masters, Neo-Classical, the formal, precise renditions our forefathers collected.

    Now I request l*ding, zippo, G.I., and all regular CANTEENERS to comment?

  75. victor juarez said,

    October 2, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    toto, do you mean she has pushed her luck too much this time and tried to make society swallow “art”?

    is this the case of “the emperor’s new clothes”?

  76. October 2, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    monchito:

    Oh yes, the incessant heavy rains that evening!!! And the subsequent, impossibly heavy traffic along EDSA!!! Despite car airconditioning, I almost choked while under the southbound Makati underpass for an eternity… a Nazi gas chamber at Auschwitz!!! Hay…

    Toto Gonzalez

  77. monchito said,

    October 2, 2008 at 9:16 am

    was at said gallery and at said exhibit opening. stayed till late despite of or because of the rains. liked the space a lot. saw ramon v., p. que and j, laya, among others there.

  78. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 1, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    ojhofer asked:

    how does one paint a bodega bound picture?

    *******************************************

    Like there’s no tomorrow?

    Anonymously? 🙂

  79. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    October 1, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Toto,

    Couldn’t agree more with you. Am always also far more concerned with the culinary arts.
    LOL!!!

    Isla

  80. ojhofer said,

    October 1, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    :)) hilarious, how does one paint a bodega bound picture? :))


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