Meltdown Lowdown

THE ALARMS ARE RINGING.  EVERYTHING IS CRASHING DOWN.

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!!!   😛   😛   😛

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91 Comments

  1. Ken Latta said,

    August 12, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Hi All, again. Just remembering a couple of things about Diana Lopez and Claudia. Diana did some modelling (renault) in Bogota. Miguel Bermudez and Diana very much a part of the OEA social scene-Miguel’s dad was the Developer of the World Trade Center in Bogota. Diana was absolutely stunning, and probably still is. Last I heard, Claudia was dating Marcos’ son-this goes back a few years obviously. This is all probably old news to the readers of this space, but I really would like to communicate again with Diana. As mentioned above, we were all good friends. Thanks, Ken Latta

  2. Ken Latta said,

    August 12, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Hi All, I’m trying to locate Diana Jean Lopez and daughter Claudia Bermudez. We were close friends and next-door neighbors en El Chico in Bogota, Colombia in the very later 60’s and early 70’s. We used to have to force our boy children to play with Claudia 🙂 How times change. If anyone can put me in touch with Diana, it would be much appreciated. Back then our society circle was fun. We lost contact over the years. I spoke with Diana from San Diego about 10 years ago; she invited me over, but I never made it. If she sees my name, I guarantee she will be very pleased, as we all got along so well. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help. Ken

  3. Me said,

    May 18, 2009 at 8:25 am

    zippo said,
    October 16, 2008 at 5:25 pm
    Maia Lagdameo

    Don’t know if it’s the same person, but I don’t think that’s a super common name…I worked with her (if its her) in the late 80’s/early 90’s I think. Simply stunning…maybe the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in real life.

  4. bing_a_abad said,

    February 23, 2009 at 4:58 am

    Periphery and Ginger:

    yes, that beaauutifuul girl is a Lebron, Lise Lebron.

  5. nonwhere said,

    January 26, 2009 at 8:07 am

    She is not sweet, she’s bitter

  6. October 31, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Menchu Menchaca Soriano is an incredibly sweet person. She hasn.t changed in 30 years. I discovered her in a party in the 70’s, languidly tall and serene with those beautiful eyes. I was moonlighting as a young designer with Auggie Cordero and it was for him that Menchu first modelled at KALIPAYAN, the Imeldific’s resthouse in Olot, Leyte.

    Even that early,Menchu wowed the Agnellis, du Ponts and Princess Luciana Pignatelli bought Menchu’s Joe Salazar’s gold pleated lame gown and wore it the next year in Anthens when she judged Margie Moran as Miss Universe. I think the Imeldific had a hand in that so the pageant would be held in the Philippines the following year.

    Menchu was one of the Gary Flores supermodels at the Hyatt. Here Menchu modelled in luncheon shows and gala shows. She is actually shy and very feminine but can out-tomboy and speak Spanish loudly like the rest of them.

    I may think that Menchu has 3 sons who she introduced to me at Pitoy’s big show at the CCP 2 years ago saying, ” This is your Tito Larry who made Mommy a model a long time ago. ”

    She and Bessie Badilla Castillo hosted a re-union of Hyatt models and designers at Milky Way on Pasay Road some years back. It was a GREAT evening of strolling down memory lane. We all wondered loudly what became of our male models. Jumbo Montelibano, Alain Arnault, Ed Roxas and such.

    No, my sweethearts TRIP to BOUNTIFUL was the title of a movie. Bountiful was HEAVEN in that movie and can described the state of mind I was in last week when I ” disappeared ” with a long lost lover. He lives in San Francisco now and we had a most romantic if hedonistic affair.

    That’s all. Even strawberries need rain. LOLZ

  7. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    October 31, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Gracias G.I.!
    You made me laugh, something I don’t do much of these days. It’s Friday evening so as soon as I recover the 90% of my brain that singed with the amount of work I had this week I’ll try to remember a few cute Spanish names. The first one that springs to mind though is “Dolores Fuertes de Barriga.” No, I didn’t make it up -ever since I’ve been a client of a certain pharmacy she’s been there… Sure, she’s dignified, portly, nice L’Oreal aubergine-ish hair, rather transparent bifocals, and when in dire need she’ll slip me a little box of Valium until I get the prescription. That’s our Dolly!

  8. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 31, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Yeah, Isla, I was’t going to comment on Larry’s side trip…but didn’t the BOUNTIFUL sink off Pitcairn Island (as in “The Mutiny on the Bounty”?

    How was the scuba diving. Larry? 🙂 🙂

    just kidding!! I think Mr. Leviste is referring to — and I am only putting 2 and 2 together since he said he was spending some time in Tacoma, WA — a small town on the US-BC border called Bountiful where errant polygamists from the Mormon Church, established their own community. (They’re no longer welcome in Texas or Utah either.) Hence, it’s called “Bountiful” — not exactly a place I would visit even on the last day of creation. It’s that one, isn’t it, Larry?

    But, once a rabbit; always a rabbit…what can you do?

    Now, about Chacha Champaca and Kenkoy Tweezon… 🙂 🙂 those Manila names are so cute…

    G.I.

  9. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    October 31, 2008 at 12:03 am

    Larry, I don’t know if I’m dumb or just exhausted but where on earth is that?

  10. dina said,

    October 30, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    does anyone here really know about menchu menchaca? is she nice? how many kids has she got? and her sister doody is married to conkoy tuason… is he related to isabel preysler?

  11. October 29, 2008 at 2:46 am

    Sorry blogmates, took a side trip to BOUNTIFUL. Am back !

  12. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    October 27, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Maraming Salamat, G.I.!!! The Majestic Hotel sounds right up my alley. I’ve never been to SF although I have a young cousin working there in hedge funds, for goodness’ sake, and I’m planning to visit next year. In NY I used to stay at the Sherry so you’ll be able to put one and one together as to what style of hotel and personality I am. No, no, my email isn’t remotely connected to the île. Toto can confirm that.

    I see that you enjoy good films as I do. In that case don’t miss ordering from Amazon “Place Vendôme”, also with la Deneuve and “Ladies in Lavender” with Maggy Smith and Judi Dench. All three actresses are superb but I think that la Deneuve and French films always over dramatize everything and stress cinematography over veracity. Having said that, “Indochine” like “The Last Emperor” are visual feasts filled with unadulterated angst.

    Considering that today “the end of the world” is near on CNN, we might as well go down watching a good movie on the couch, eating popcorn. Way to go until 4th November…

    Saludos,

    Isla

  13. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 26, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    Correction on my French film list:

    #1 pala is “Jean de Florette” (chiz: Gerard Depardieu’s actor-son Guillaume, 38, passed away suddenly like 2 weeks ago due to a bout of pneumonia) — TERRIFIC, TERRIFIC, TIMELESS story (the subtitles aren’t even totally necessary)! You guys should rent it if you haven’t already seen it. A great tale of man’s inhunanity to man and the hubris that follows…

    #2 – “Indochine;”

    #3 – “Manon of the Spring”; actually the sequel to and completion of the “Jean de Florette” story. Manon is de Florette’s daughter and is now an adult in the sequel. The pacing is not as good as the first one but it all comes around.

    #4 – :A Very Long Engagement” — I think made by the same guy who made “Amalie” but far better — but also EXTREMELY COMPLICATED. You need a scorecard to follow the plot.

    And so it will not be said na “masyado namang ‘napaka-colonial minded’ itong poster na ito,” (that GI is not a dyed-in-the-wool colonial-minded thinker), my niece has given me a copy of “Oro, Plata, Mata” by Peque Gallaga. I used to know Peque and his brother from our time donning Scottish kilts for Fr. Reuter and the nuns of St. Paul for their “Brigadoon” in 19-so-and-so!!

    BTW, am halfway thru Chitang Guerrero Nakpil’s “Myself, Elsewhere” (yeah, I read several books at the same time). Actually pretty good. But my dad would relate to it more since olde Ermita was his ‘hood!!

    Hasta lluego, palangganas,

    G.I.

  14. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 26, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Isle* (strangely enough, a few days ago, I got an email from someone actually called “Isla”…),

    Yes, “Indochine” — one of my all-time 10 best films…like a tropical “Dr. Zhivago.” My only problem with that film is I still couldn’t accept the ethereal Deneuve being a hands-on rubber plantation owner any more than the late Don Enzo driving a caretela in Manila during the war. And Olivier Martinez seemed just too young for her. Yes, “Indochine” is one of my 2 fave French films — the other being “A Very Long Engagement.”

    Anyway, re the Majestic Hotel in SF… It’s a discreet Victorian (read creaky wooden panels pa, so siguro a little drafty) hotel on the edge of Pacific Heights. However, let me warn you…it’s ‘haunted’ — but that could be part of its charm. 🙂 I once took a ‘ghost’ walking tour of Pacific Heights, and the tour started there. But yes, it is charming on the outside. It also used to have a great restaurant, the Majestic Cafe, that went into decline in the late 90s – early 00s, but has seen a renaissance now and got great reviews.

    There are also a few very charming hotels of the, I think, Kimpton chain – supposedly ’boutique’ hotels (the Hotel Prescott which sits above “Postrio,” Wolfgang Puck’s signature SF restaurant; and the Serrano). The Clift, with its legendary Redwood Room, is still soignee, altho it has this rather ‘outre’ decor. I also like the Donatello and the Pacific Place (altho one or both might’ve since been turned into condo/time shares). And the Sheraton Palace on Market/ New Montgomery is as grand and palatial as they come.

    Just give a holler if you’re coming this way… You can get my email addy from Toto.

    Best,
    G.I.

  15. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    October 26, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    You’re right G.I., not even those of us used to French cuisine can take in daily doses of “Lobster Frou-Frou in a Coulis of Wild Orchids.” I admit from time to time I need a fix of burgers and KFC although my staple tends to be the simple mediterranean diet; grilled fish, chicken, meat, vegetables, lentils, chick-peas, salads. etc. and then there’s my favourite cuisine of all: Thai.
    I’ll look into your peniche. Thanks. It sounds perfect for the end of August. You went to Honfleur!!! Now that’s beauty and romance!!!

  16. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 26, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Zippo,

    Your last question first: the barge was the ANACOLOUTHE — actually, a 25-cabin converted barge where the cabins are kinda halfway below water level. If you look outside your portholes, the water would be like a foot below it. The rooms are cozy; 2 twin bunks (but not one on top of each other as in trains or some liners). I wouldn’t call it luxurious NOR spacious — but a judicious use of space. And I/we were wise enough to NOT bring a huge suitcase that alone would’ve taken up half the cabin space. So pack small; it was summer after all.

    What was great about that particular cruise was that, OK, a full ship would’ve had 50 passengers. But that time we went, there were ONLY 10 paying passengers (sheer luck!) and a crew of 9 — so almost a 1-on-1 ratio. Thus, because the crew was not stressed out servicing a full complement of passengers, they were quite at ease and able to perform their best service. (Note: the fare did not include ‘French maid’ or ‘valet’ service, if you know what I mean…) As a matter of fact, the boat was actually British-owned and operated; with minority French partners.

    It had its own land coach which as the boat plied the river, either followed, or went ahead to meet the barge at the next day stop for the daytime excursions (as that trip to Ste. Germain-des-pres, or Honfleur, or Giverny, etc.). We had this absolutely pretty, charming guide/hostess, a young, unaffected French gal named Marie (it was her first summer doing the gig so she wasn’t jaded yet or aborrida); and she, Claude (the driver), and the Captain and co-captain were the only French members of the crew. The rest were English (including, strangely enough, the chef — a woman; and the ‘Concierge’ (I forget his exact title now), Scott, who directed the operations of the cruise, i.e., the day-to-day interactions with the passengers, and with his wife (they lived on the boat (as did the rest of the crew) for the better part of the year, who did the daily marketing so EVERYTHING was hot-off-the-land fresh – fresh!!! (With the crew living on board, so that vessel actually had nearly 35 cabins – so 25 revenue ones.) The mix was very egalitarian Euro; but their target market was the Anglo-speaking countries; hence an English-speaking cabin crew. Thus, on this particular cruise, we had 5 Americans (including moi — OK, so 5 American-passport holders), an Australian couple, and 3 Canadian ladies. And of the 5 ‘Yanks,’ one couple was actually half-French — the wife was. The hubby was a US airman who spent a lot of time in France after the war, met Marie-Claude, etc., etc., — and you know the rest of the story. And they have since become good friends because it turns out, they live (now retired) in Alameda, not too far from me. But I digress…

    Even with only 10 paying passengers, the barge nonetheless must keep on schedule, because as in our case, they were to pick up the next boatload of passengers, 48 Brits who, we were told, were the ‘locks’ (for readers who don’t know what that is, since I don’t think we have them in the Philippines, or at least not that I was aware of — those are the chambers where because the river changes elevations, the boat goes in; one end is closed; they fill or drain the enclosure with/of water, depending on whether the boat is going to a higher elevation or lower one; and once you are now on the same level as where you are proceeding, the other set of gates open up, and voila!! you are ready to proceed) experts from the U.K. The barge’s 7-day, 6-night itinerary began at one pickup point (in our case, a small town in Normandy, Andelys), went south and when they disgorged us, picked up the next group doing a reverse route. Of course, there are back-up diversionary routes should some locks not work or due to other unforeseen delays.

    And the food… I alluded to this in a previous post…you couldn’t ask for more. (Well, I don’t reall any “sweetbreads.”) English/American self-service breakfast, a light lunch (great salads!!); and dinner was the sit-down affair which included 2 wines, 3 cheeses PLUS a dessert and sometimes a liquer to top it off. You would never have thought that the chef was English, but of course, she learned the French way of cooking. The portions were, like the dimensions of the boat, only just right. Nonetheless, by the 5th day, I could not take any more of the rich food. I think my tase buds had become anesthetiized and I could barely button my waist despite using the exercise bikes both inside and the one on the sundeck — plus long walks after dinner!!

    The best thing about this particular vessel was that, altho it did not have the bikes that normally accompany the smaller barges that ply the more backroads canals of France, it had a small jacuzzi at the prow of the ship (I think of the 7 days, I was the only one who used it); oh yeah, 2 stationary workout bikes beside the jacuzzi; AND an upright piano in the salon for evening entertainment. The ‘wheelhouse’ (the little room where the boat’s steering wheel was located) would rise and lower as the boat navigated thru the locks and various low-slung bridges of the Seine and its little tributaries.

    I include a link: http://www.bargesinfrance.com/anacoluthe.htm. (I am in no way an agent of the enterprise, but just wanted to share what a wonderful vessel and operation that was. See photos. )

    AND the icing on the gateau of the trip — which was the last week in May – absolutely NO BUGS on the river!! And the complimentary soaps and shampoo — a mix of lemon and sage I had never smelled before and as only the French can concoct!!

    French river barge cruise anyone? I think they now have an exclusive Manila representative based on my suggestion. (Am not sure if they actually made the connection.)

    G.I.

  17. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    October 26, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    G.I.,

    I’ll start with Absinthe; the first time I heard about “La Fée Verte” was in Switzerland in the ’80s when it was forbidden. Speaking about it was akin to saying “Opium.” Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve never taken any drugs but it made me dream of “Indochine” with Catherine Deneuve. En todo caso, having discovered it I think it just tastes like Anís or Pernod, goes down well and if mixed properly with water and sugar gives you a really nice buzz although I prefer Sambuca.

    Yes, the turn of last Century must have been fascinating and very genteel, as long as you moved in the right circles and had proper bathrooms at home and good dental care!!! But… I’ve never seen Paris looking more beautiful, clean and grand than now, although it’s become obscenely expensive. I don’t care how rich one is. I hate feeling ripped-off, especially in the bar of any grand hotel. That’s why I stick to my old haunt – the Café de Flore. I’m sure you know it and loved it. You see ‘Le Tout Paris – Intellectuel’ there whereas next door at Les Deux Magots it’s mostly tourists and it’s more expensive. To top things off, good luck to you if you’re a smoker. The ban is draconean.

    In my gilded youth in the 80’s one could have lunch at the Relais of the Plaza Athénée or L’Espadon at the Ritz, the only hotels that remain truly chic, closely followed by the Crillon, for a reasonable price. Now the prices have been set for the Emirs and Russian oligarchs who’ve just discovered what forks and knives are for. I guess that’s one of the reasons I shut down the old flat and have moved my base to Madrid but I still go regularly to Paris for business and to see my friends.

    The ‘peniches’ are superb – come to think of it I’d see them sail past my little pièd-à-terre on the Île-Saint-Louis. Suffice to have them on your doorstep for your thoughts to roam East or West. BTW, I’d love to visit San Francisco and I’ve been recommended a hotel called The Majestic in Pacific Heights. Do you know if it’s as nice as it looks on the web?

    Saludos,

    Isla

  18. zippo said,

    October 26, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    GI,

    Which barge/boat did you take? I bet you took one of those luxury peniches or, as the French like to call them, “peniche-hotels.” Those are simply wonderful.

    Z 🙂

  19. zippo said,

    October 26, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    GI,

    I just had dinner a few weeks ago at the old Rotisserie at the Manila Pavilion Hotel (which used to be the Hilton). It was just like the late 1960s-early 1970s when I used to eat there my grandparents. They still have table assistants who would light a patron’s cigar by dipping it in brandy and then lighting the cigar with flame from the brandy itself. As far as I know, it’s the only establishment in Manila that does this.

    The Pavilion is gaudy and nothing like the old Hilton. The Rotisserie is the only link to its glorious past.

    Z 🙂

  20. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    October 26, 2008 at 6:41 am

    Garganta,
    Christie’s blew the whistle on Sotheby’s and beside having the world’s top experts in every field also have the market’s lion share. My golden rule is: “Sell at Christie’s, Buy at Sotheby’s.” A few years ago I sold an important piece through Sotheby’s and in their haste to get rid of it they sold it, without telling me, for 10% below the reserve price.
    Zippo,
    Thank God, and Durex, for that!
    How about Frank Sinatra’s “I did it my way”?
    Ciao!
    Isla

  21. l*ding said,

    October 26, 2008 at 6:09 am

    Estupido!

  22. l*ding said,

    October 26, 2008 at 6:08 am

    GARGANTA,

    i’m older than you and nobody tells me what to say or do. as long as it’s not bordering on destroying other people, I WILL SAY IT! i make my own rules!

  23. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 25, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Have always thought — and Isla, you might understand this better..since you spent some time in the City of Lights — that if I could’ve chosen a period or epoch in history to have lived in and be a part of, it would’ve been the 1870-1900s..in the City of Lights. I would’ve wanted to have personally known the likes of Renoir, Manet, Monet, Caillebotte, Degas, Bazille, Cezanne, maybe Gauguin; but not necessarily Vincent. I think he would’ve been too crazy to know. The others were only mildly mad but not the Dutchman; too mad and volatile. Probably would’ve avoided him.

    Anyway, the point is, the whole period is attractive to me…and I’ve been curious about this absinthe. But knowing how it looks and described, it seems like a terribly putrid drink that would just knock one out for a loop.

    Isla, two summers ago, I took that 7-day barge (actually it was a reconverted luxurious 20-cabin vessel) cruise along the Seine (NOT the bateaux mouches; but the smaller ones where you can actually sleep on board); and we made an unexpected overnight stop on the isle de Chatou…you know…where the Maison Fournaise stands and on whose balcony Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted his immortal “The Luncheon of the Boating Party”…and I was transported into another world. I was so transfixed by the whole ambience and being in the moment that I forsook the extended sidetrip to the supposedly chic village of Ste. Germain-des-pres (sp?) and just soaked in the time around the Fournaise and the shack housing the headquarters of the Canotiers Preservation Society founded by Caillebotte. And this past June, a historical recreation group here in the SF Bay Area that I belong to, staged their own Impressionists’ picnic at an Alameda park. Close but no cigar as they say…

    Speaking of cigars and outre drinks, a friend just told me of dipping cigars (so, Zippo, why did you pick this brand of lighters as your pseudonym?) into brandy…hmmmmm. Brandies/cognac/port (especially Grand Marnier and Courvoisier) are more my speed. So I think I am going to try this new m.o. tonight…

    BTW, there is a so-so bistro in SF called Absinthe…in the Opera district and beside another eatery called Citizen Cake.

    Salute…

    G.I.

  24. zippo said,

    October 25, 2008 at 1:33 am

    it’s not the taste of absinthe i’m after. it’s the effect after imbibing a shot of its louche hahahaha (but of course i drink it in moderation and only when there are special occasions — like during once-in-a-century financial meltdowns ).

    islp, yes absinthe is legal in manila. i’ve been drinking it for years but, thankfully, i haven’t been acting like henri de toulouse-lautrec (i’m tall, i can neither draw nor paint, and i haven’t contracted syphilis).

    Z 🙂

  25. syzygy said,

    October 24, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    “I made it through the rain” is a pretty nice song.

    A nice relaxing walk and/or humor can affect your brain wave to lift your spirits up.

  26. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    October 24, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Larry,

    Where have you been? You too into the “Green Fairy”?

    Periphery,

    I like Absinthe but can understand that it’s an acquired taste. Nothing wrong with that. But the results as a mood enhancer are …Wow… It’s like trance or whatever that music at Embajada in Manila is. Can’t stand it. I’m too old for that.

  27. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 24, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Re the El Greco story, thanks for sharing that, Talagang T. At least breaking that story has some legitimate social (OK, even if tabloid-level 🙂 ) significance than some of the recent weird, disjointed reminiscences of some people here… **rolls eyes**

    Anyway… connecting the Marcos name to an El Greco painting and that object d’art now being repatriated to Greece is really quite revealing. I mean, if one steps back and reviews the situation, of what relevance did an Asian despot who was known more for having that roving eye for the fairer sex rather than the elongated figures of an ascetic artist who might have painted under the influence of the Green Fairy :-), have? None other than sheer unmitigated, rapacious greed. If it was Hitler who obtained this El Greco (which is but an early study of a larger work — so not even a final, major product) for his personal collection, it would’ve been understandable since that sociopath was a failed artist in his youth. But the uber-ambitious, one-time Ilocano lad named Ferdinand Marcos and the Artist with bad cataract, formerly known as Domenikos Theotokopoulos, in the same sentence and breath, just don’t connect. And it wasn’t like the Marcoses nailed the purchase just to spite Steve Psin*kis, the only other Greek in their vicinity. It had to be something more.

    Of course, anyone in the know knows that it was Mrs. Marcos who engineered the acquisition. And of course, whomever was hawking the picture at the time, also knew that Mme. Marcos and her ‘art’ agent-kuno/alalay-at-the-time, Greasy Tant*co, were such easy marks who would snap up a picture SIGHT UNSEEN so long as you uttered the magic words “… OLD WORLD master…” and a bathroom wall in any of the Imelda New York properties was vacant and needed a ‘pretty’ picture.

    The point is the provenance of a Marcos once owning a rare piece is more matter-of-fact and notorious rather than appreciative. Notice that it was never mentioned where this rare painting might’ve once hung, as is sometimes mentioned with rare pieces that have been in generations of families of more ‘legitimate’ owners. It has such an overtone of notoriety like the piece has finally been rescued from some pirate booty trove, which in a way it was, considering the wholesale purchase of art, both quality and drek, the Missus made in that compressed period of time when they were flush with the Filipino people’s cash, the stealth and urgency to convert the cash into prestigious investments, and the thought that nobody could touch them at the time.

    And the fact that this minor work finally returns to the homeland of the artist who had left to make his career in Spain, only underscores that whole predatory, shameful and shameless, rapacious chapter in Philippine history and the painting’s unfortunate fling with it.

    [It is surprising that Ambassador Lhu*llier (or even eclectic collector and one-time ‘Remebrances’ poster, Man*ling M*rato) didn’t grab this piece for his ‘religious art’ collection. Or better yet, maybe one can understand that he (Lhuillier) didn’t want this piece to ‘stain’ an otherwise non-controversial, pristine collection. But I just did a little research on more provenance of this piece and it turns out that it was one of 3 artworks purchased sometime in the mid-70s from Manhattan art dealer, Marco Grassi, for “more than $3 million…” (whatever the ‘more than’ means — $1,000 or $70 million more? But probably rounded off to $3,000,000.22 on paper to skirt the New York City sales tax — altho maybe like $5 mil actually changed hands.) The other 2 paintings at that sale were…again, minor works…but since they were available, GRAB ‘EM…Francois Boucher’s “Apotheosis of Aeneas” (like were these “B” List artists really serious with those titles??) and Zurbaran’s “David and Goliath.” In its first liquidation sale, post-Marcos-ownership, the El Greco supposedly sold for $2.1 mil, although appraised at $300,000 by Sotheby’s. Given its rarity but minor worth in the El Greco oevure, and the stressed financial times, I’m curious as to what the piece eventially went for this time, considering it was a private sale.]

    And speaking of Man*ling M*rato and Sotheby’s, am trying to finish “The Art of the Steal” by Christopher Mason — an expose of the Christie’s-Sotheby’s price-fixing scandals. Will try to give a report when I am done. Or did I mention that already?

    G.I.

  28. October 24, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    I feel like Tallulah Bankhead in this stimulating SALON of such smart scintillating scenarios and sinners. Simply SENSATIONAL.

    Toto, I think I’m not in Washington anymore.

  29. talagang tsismoso said,

    October 24, 2008 at 3:19 am

    El Greco piece once owned by late President Marcos to return to Greece
    Agence France-Presse | 10/23/2008 12:59 AM

    ATHENS – A private foundation said Wednesday it had bought a painting by Greek-born Spanish Renaissance master El Greco, once owned by Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, in order to return it to Greece.

    The painting is to be given to the national gallery in Greece by the foundation on long-term loan.

    “The Crowning of the Virgin,” an early 17th century draft for a larger work by El Greco was bought from an unidentified US art dealer in the summer, said Alexander S. Onassis foundation chairman Anthony Papadimitriou.

    “We were informed the painting was for sale and acted quickly… because very few El Greco works are sold on the market,” Papadimitriou said.

    El Greco painting formerly owned by Marcos on display in Athens
    10/22/2008 | 10:22 PM

    ATHENS, Greece – An important El Greco painting that once belonged to Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos has gone on display at the National Art Gallery in Athens.

    The Coronation of the Virgin was bought for an undisclosed sum this summer by the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, foundation president Anthony Papadimitriou said. He said the seller was a U.S. dealer.

    Papadimitriou said the oval shaped oil painting, which dates to 1603-1604, will be displayed at the National Gallery for the next two years before being moved to a new cultural center the foundation is building in Athens.

    “This is a unique work from Greco’s mature period,” he said. It is one of only nine paintings by the Cretan-born El Greco displayed in Greece. – AP
    He declined to name the sum paid.

    The piece had originally been found among El Greco’s belongings when he died and was then owned by several collectors including Marcos before it was seized and auctioned by the US government around 12 years ago, director of the national gallery Marina Lambraki-Plaka told journalists.

    The work painted between 1603 and 1605 was a draft for a painting now in a monastery in the Spanish town of Illescas.

    The national gallery already has three of the nine El Greco paintings now on public display in the country: the 16th century “St Peter” and “The Burial of Christ” and the early 17th century “Concert of the Angels.”

    Born Domenikos Theotokopoulos on the Greek island of Crete, El Greco (1541-1614) achieved renown as one of the most respected masters of the Spanish Renaissance.

    The Onassis foundation was founded by Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis in his son’s memory

  30. periphery said,

    October 24, 2008 at 2:13 am

    zippo…

    i still say yuck. tried it exactly the way one is supposed to have it. absinthe from france, absinthe from portugal.. both gross. way grosser than pernod, which incidentally i also hate. lol.

  31. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    October 23, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Zippo, you’re a champion! At last, at last someone who knows exactly what it’s all about. Absinthe isn’t a drink, it’s what I imagine an opium den would have been at the turn of the century in Saigon.

    I don’t know if the ‘Green Fairy’ is legal in the Philippines or not. Until recently it wasn’t in Europe or we’d all behave like Toulouse-Lautrec, but now one can find it reformulated and it’s as pleasant as chartreuse and gives you a nice buzz.

    When in Manila, nothing relaxes me more than having late night sambucca’s at a place I think is called Café Havana that has a really nice terrace.

  32. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 23, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    I think if it’s posted on the net, it’s ‘fair game’ and ‘public domain.’ Why post it if you want it for certain eyes only — even if it’s password protected?

    Quote…quote…quote!!

    G.I.

  33. October 23, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    talagang tsismoso:

    Thank you for the Ongsiako and Tantoco blog excerpts. I have asked our editors to decide on whether it is OK to quote seemingly private information from other people’s blogs. 🙂

    Toto Gonzalez

  34. talagang tsismoso said,

    October 23, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    From a post in the blog of Dino Tantoco Pineda
    http://aurora-noted.blogspot.com/2008/09/surprised-by-love-sorrow-filled-dinos.html

    Friday, September 12, 2008
    Surprised by Love

    Sorrow filled Dino’s mind. . After working with his family’s firm for five years, Dino had become very active in the corporate planning department of Rustan’s. Sadly, a disagreement between his grandfather, Lolo Benny Tantoco, and his mother, Merl Tantoco Pineda, caused a rift in the family.

    “ My brother, Eman, opened a boutique called Adora . It was a niche that Rustan’s did not want to enter and my Lolo Benny wanted us to close Adora. On the Pineda’s side, we believed that Eman was just trying to fulfill what he felt was his God – given talent. We decided to support my brother.” In September , 2007, Dino was forced to leave the Rustan’s family corporation.

    Dino was in a quandary. He felt justified about wanting to fight. His sorrow turned to anger when he pleaded with his relatives to give him a chance to keep his job. He was denied. This was his only means of earning a living. All of a sudden, Dino felt fear. How was he to feed his family and send his children to school ?

    “Immediately after, I created a plan on how to act and hurt them. In my initial plan, my success was going to be dependent on how I would hurt my relatives. Then I remembered my cousin, Manong Joel , who died at 38 years old. “ Dino used to meet with his Manong Joel Tantoco in Rustan’s every day. “His death made me realize that I also could die anytime and if I spend my time trying to fight the family then , what if tomorrow I got hit by a bus , I would have died angry at my family. “ Dino, 37, tried to convince himself that life is not worth living if it is ruined by hate.

    He knew he had to make a choice : either to live with anger against his family or to spend his time doing something else.

    It happened that Eddie Pineda, Dino’s dad, was also evaluating his own direction in life. A succesful sugar trader, Eddie was thinking about retiring and wondering what else he could do. “The thought that kept coming back to my mind was ‘when I go, what have I done ? “ Eddie felt the need to leave a legacy.

    Giving something to someone seemed like the easiest option. Eddie thought about how his parents’ dreams to provide education for their six children made them so happy. He felt inspired by his mother’s dedication as an educator, teaching Cathecism for 36 years . Even now, at 102 yrs old, his mom, Caring Pineda, wanted him to build a school. It seemed to Eddie that his legacy would be to establish a school.

    “When my dad said ‘I want to start something, ‘ I said, ‘ Dad, I want to do something good. At least it is better than doing something bad. “ and that is how Dino committed himself to working with his dad on a school project.

    The Learned leading the Blind

    “ Dino and I were discussing about our school; somehow we started talking to Gawad Kalinga (GK) and members of Couples for Christ . GK offered their place and suggested that we put up the school in one of their villages. “ Eddie was thrilled with the idea of setting up within the GK community.

    With 650 families living in the GK community of Pandi, Bulacan, the place desperately needed its own education facility. Most of the families living there do not have the money to pay for their children’s transportation to school. Eddie and Dino values formation and shown their spirit in helping to build their own homes.

    Now that they had a 1000 sq m. site, the details of setting up a school faced them. Every day became an exercise in discovering what else needed to be done. Dino took care of the paper works to establish their foundation, which they named Caring Jesus Educational Foundation (CJEF) in honor of Eddie’s parents, Caring and Jesus Pineda. A curriculum was developed initially with the help of the teacher’s association they met through the Metrobank Foundation’s Ten Outstanding Teachers awards.

    Dino started meeting with officials from the Dept. of Education, nuns running schools for children of scavengers and companies like ABS CBN Foundation who ran “an amazing school for the best and the brightest in Pampanga. “

    The CJEF supplied the design and materials needed to build the first phase of the school and the residents built it in time for the school opening in June, 2008.

    A Model School for GK Communities

    From the small plan of opening up a grade 1 classroom with the GK Community of Pandi, the vision evolved into having this school serve as a template which can be replicated in any of the 2000 GK communities around the Philippines. For the first time, GK members sit on the board of the school; guidelines are being formed which would make it easier for other companies and families to set up GK schools, sometimes with a tax rebate on the funds that donors spend.

    “The classroom was about 300,000 Pesos; then there are operating costs like salaries of the teachers. The parents are active , cleaning and maintaining the school and now they are getting involved with feeding. A nun who is guiding us, Sister Cora, tells us that there is no way an undernourished child can accept a level of cognition and so we have to give them some food, “ Eddie says.

    “You want them educated, you have to give them whatever they need. If they need paper, you have to give them paper. Those are the very minimal things that you have to give. I am not really scared because now we are just doing it one grade at a time. Next year, we will set up Grade 2. Whether it fails or is successful, the important part is that I am sharing something that I believe is good. “ Eddie’s philosophical attitude strenghtens him. “ Win or lose, we are getting it done. “

    One year after the dispute in Rustan’s, Dino reflects on how his life and values have transformed. “ When I realized that there was so much anger between their side and ours, I thought about how would love come in ? I rationalized that it was my duty to fight for the future of the bank account for my kids but I realized that I was wrong. My duty was not financial first but to teach my children acts of love.”

    In his reconciliation with his Lolo Benny and other relatives in the Rustan’s corporation, Dino shared with them the thrill of his new life. “ I am so happy now. I have discovered so many treasures and goodness in the Filipino people. I can only thank you.” Lolo Benny smiled.

    Bold : Win or lose, we are getting it done.

    Photo caption : ( Flag photo ) Not knowing much about how to set up a school created many challenges for Eddie Pineda and his son, Dino. When a school adviser asked Eddie what time would their flag ceremony be, Dino realized ,
    “Oh, no.We do not even have a flag pole ! Buy the flag. “

    Photo caption : ( Dino with wheel chair ) Dino first saw Diane when she looked longingly at the school in their GK community. Diane told him that she could not attend school because she could not walk. A week later, Dino received a call from his friend who wanted to donate a wheelchair.

  35. zippo said,

    October 23, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    ahhhhh, the green fairy. but periphery, absinthe should never be taken straight up. there is a proper way of preparing it (i’m sure you already know that you would need a slotted spoon, iced water, and a sugar cube). unfortunately, of late, i’ve been having a hard time looking for sugar cubes in manila (even rustan’s doesn’t sell cubed sugar anymore).

  36. periphery said,

    October 22, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    ick. i can’t stand the taste of absinthe.

    as for legal mood enhancers, give me fine french or belgian chocolates any day of the week. and twice on sunday.

    🙂

  37. talagang tsismoso said,

    October 22, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    From a post in the blog of Tonyboy Tambunting Ongsiako about the Ongsiako Family
    http://cutebalddiver.blogspot.com/2005_04_01_archive.html

    Friday, April 22, 2005

    FAMILY FUN
    There’s a saying that you can’t choose your relatives. Yeah, I agree with that. There are relatives though that I get fairly well along with. There are those that I’d rather not see. We all come from one extended family, sharing traits and yet are so different from one another.

    Got a text from my sister yesterday at about 6:30PM just as I was about to leave the gym that the Ongsiako cousins are coming over for scotch and kobe/wagyu beef. I called her to tell her I was on my way. Wouldn’t miss that kobe/wagyu beef for the world! Well that was the motivation. I do enjoy though their company.

    You see my father’s side comes from a wealthy land owning family. Most of us end up as doctors or lawyers or politicians. During the Spanish time(like mid 19th century), a Intsik trader from Shanghai came over to trade in these islands. He fell in love with a half breed spanish lady and married her. He then brought her back to Shanghai but his family couldn’t accept a gweilo (foreign barbarian). So he came back and burned his ships. He then settled with his wife and foounded a trading firm that eventually lent out money. His father in law was a gambler. One day his father in law gambled away the family hacienda. He bought it back from the debtor and found himself in possession of more than 10,000 hectares of land stretching from three provinces of Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Pangasinan. He had 2 children. His children were considered mestizos. But they couldn’t figure out if they were mestizo intsik or espanol. They grew up speaking 4 languages, Spanish, Intsik, Tagalog and English.

    The girl ended up marrying a spanish mestizo and so this is where the de Santos, Orosa, Olegario lines are descended from. While Lucio (my great grandfather) fathered 3 daughters and three sons. His daughters married a de los Reyes, Gallego and yes a de Santos (1st cousin–this will be a normal occurence within the family–marrying cousins). My grandfather, Ramon, married my grandmother, Carmen de la Paz (a former Ms. Markina) from Marikina. He had 6 children with her and 6 children with other women, including an actress by the name of Naty Bernardo (grandmother of singer Jo Anne Lorenzana–yes she is a half 1st cousin). Pacita de los Reyes-Philipps, a 1st cousin of Dad, became Ms. Philippines in the 1930’s and became the 1st woman lawyer to graduate from UP and top the bar. She also made a splash of some sort when she sued Wack Wack Golf for not allowing her to become a member of the golf club. She won the case.

    My Lolo loved women. He was a handsome fellow. He was also an eye, nose and throat doctor. He also put up an insurance and tobbacco firm before the outbreak of World War II. He was intensely nationalsitic and got angry when people called him intsik. He was also eccentric. He burned his house in the farm because Pacita’s dad kept on using his house for months to conduct business in their hacienda. He was also jailed by the Japs in Fort Santiago. Unfortunately he died in 1949 of cancer. My grandmother, CArmen, was a businesswoman. She expanded the family wealth by buying up foreclosed properties from the banks. Together, they had 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls.

    The girls married well. Imelda, married Ramon Cojuangco (mother of Tonyboy C. and Gretchen Barretto’s favorite peeve), Carmen, married Edmundo Reyes from Marinduque (she is governor of Marinduque and her son (my cousin) is congressman from that province) and Myriam, married Rodolfo Montelibano from Bacolod.

    The boys married well too. My Dad’s eldest brother, Oscar, a lawyer married twice. He married his 1st cousin, Violet Gallego who unfortunately died during childbirth. He married Noemi Villanueva. He founded also the Siguion-Reyna, Montecillo and Ongsiako Law Offices. He liked to brag that he wrote the Coporation Code and the Labor Code in the Philippines.

    Ramon, a doctor married Cecille Hidalgo, a descendant of Tomas Morato.

    My father married Hideliza Paraiso Tambunting. He married rich.

    The Ongsiako’s are an eccentric, intelligent, cultured, refined and horny bunch of people. They have this sense of noblesse oblige (with great wealth comes great responsibility). They have a social conscience. While the Tambunting’s are a shrewed, money grubbing and pretentious bunch of people who only looked out for themselves and their status in society. My mother was the complete opposite of her siblings. I think she got it from the Paraiso side of the family. Gentle, refined and very principle oriented. She also had this soft spot for poor people that we always have to restrain her from donating to any poor priest or nun.

    I have more fun with the Ongsiako’s. They are very natural people. What you see is what you get. They like to drink. They like good food and they know how to have fun. And they love to flirt. Men and women. They’re perpetually horny. That’s why the Ongsiako’s die of lifestyle diseases like heart attacks, strokes etc. And they do it in a very classy way. Even when they die, they seem to do it with aplomb and class.

    Last night, we had caesar salad, kobe/wagyu beef and tanguinge washed down with Johnny Walker Black. We had pulutan of chicharon with laman, beef tapa and tofu. The conversations were free flowing and we talked about cars, places, ideas and as it got rowdier, their female conquests.

    Last night, we bonded. Family bonding is good for the soul. Wife though had to clean up the mess.

  38. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    October 22, 2008 at 12:51 am

    l*ding,

    If we’re into legal and alternative natural mood ‘enhancers’ how about a glass or two of the “Green Fairy” – Absinthe? Tonight I’m in the mood.

  39. l*ding said,

    October 21, 2008 at 5:18 am

    GARGANTA,

    hijo, shabu is no longer the bargain it was before according to my friends in the pnp. it is more expensive than cocaine now. but don’t get me wrong, i’m not into those chemicals. i’m an advocate of organic food and anything natural. i recommend the organic cafe in serendra for you.

  40. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    October 20, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    I beg to differ with the above and I’m not being a chauvinist because I’m not French but the one(s) who are going to redress this mess are numero uno President Sarkozy who is the one who called for the meeting and numero dos Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the thoroughbred economist with the full backing of the EU, and not Bush or Paulson. They’ll be there to print dollars galore to finance this mess of their own making since for all the good things the USA has it has also practiced voodoo economics for 30 years. The dollar will remain a very important currency but so are Sterling, the Euro, the Swiss Franc and Yen. As a firm believer in Asia as the most dynamic emerging economy in the world because you’re even more hardworking than Germans) I applaud President Sarkozy’s initiative to demand that Asian nations, and I hope all members of ASEAN as well, will join in the worldwide summit to redefine how financial markets are run. It’s sickening to see how the media is having a field day just to sell lots of papers by scaring many of us. I’ll never forget a young blade at CBS news telling me once with glee that made me sick “You know, we journalists have the power to bring down politicians we PERSONALLY dislike.” That’s not responsible journalism the way Peter Jennings handled things or in the Philippines I was very impressed by Che Lazaro of Probe.
    It’s up to us as well to say enough is enough of this crisis, we’re not going to let the boat drift rudderless and we should opine.
    Ah, got that of my chest! I feel feisty today. I guess it’s because I felt ripped off by Federal Express when sending a small package to Manila. Let them eat Balut which to me is as tasty as the Iguana Soup of the country I was born in. I’ll have a San Miguel instead with a side of chicken wings and lumpia and watch the sun set at El Nido while listening to good ‘ol Pilita songs.

  41. periphery said,

    October 20, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Uhm… the original Bretton Woods system has been dead for 37 years. This is not news.

  42. Babblefish said,

    October 20, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Holy guacamole! Germany is calling to convene and update the Bretton Woods convention. Is it really happening? Are we going to see the almighty dollar humbled? Everybody now…
    HOW. DOES. IT. FEEL!

  43. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 19, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    l*ding, are you on something… ???

  44. l*ding said,

    October 19, 2008 at 3:35 am

    plus:

    oif couse elvira manahan- who would think her Glossy Life filled with songs and laughter will end so tragically! What a Waste! She could still be in television now singing Two for The Road! I miss that lady!

  45. l*ding said,

    October 19, 2008 at 3:32 am

    larry dear,

    very well thank you. when i think of the 80s in Manille, the name Larry Leviste comes out as one of the biggest names which defined that era of excess.

    zippo hijo,

    thank you for that wonderful song although i’m too old to be head banging my way for that song. i still adore Diana Ross’ It’s my turn.

    I love your Hubris musings. I totally agree. very Astute.
    The biggest names in Philippine Politics and Society have experienced Hubris:

    Imelda Marcos-1986 revolutione
    Ninoy Aquino-Fort Bonifacio incarceration
    Ferdie Marcos-1986 Revolutione
    Cory Aquino-Kris Aquino (before) I love Kris Aquino, don’t get me wrong
    Andres Soriano-when he was kicked out of the San Miguel Board by the Danding/Joseph group
    Jaime Zobel/Ayala- Glorietta bombing, this really made a dent to a sterling and crystal clear name. I feel for Jaime. Before this bombing, their name was untarnished. Although its still ok, that will never be forgotten by others.
    GMA-the Garci tapes (that must have really be more than enough for her to cry privately after saying sorry to the nation. I feel for her. I like GMA as she is very hardworking etc. I just hope she will be judged by history very kindly. Leave her in peace! Let her finish her term and leave the presidency gracefully!
    Susan Roces-when FPJ died
    Joseph Estrada-the 2001 edsa dos , that must have really broken his mother’s heart, i like joseph as well. some things are not bound to last.
    kris aquino- the joey marquez/philip salvador era plus the philandering younghusband of his several years ago.
    imee marcos- borgy manotoc, i love imee but i prefer irene as irene is the epitomy of UNDERSTATED CLASSe’! Irene is a walking “filipina with the penultimate breeding”! No wonder she gets to have a very handsome husband named Greggy Araneta and a beautiful manse in Mckinley!
    Lopez- the Meralco, ABS tragedies recently plus the MArtial LAw era. A proud clan who fell several times but managed to rise like a White Phoeniz from the ashes.!
    finally,
    AMERIca- who would think their biggest creation aside from Democracy which is Capitalism will kill them in less than a year! The eagle is wounded! and it is wounded fatally! I pity the next president who will lead them!

  46. October 19, 2008 at 2:46 am

    YES ZIPITTY DO DAH,

    That song HAS pathos without cynicism. Deep but tugs at your tides. It’s a humbling song, right old boy. I agree everyone should hereby contribute their favorite song on this space.

  47. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    October 18, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Cousin Paz,

    I’ve barely landed in Madrid today, where my parents live, and where I’ll be based from now on, and hasten to react on your concerns about Pinoy nurses and doctors being layed off. This is a matter of great concern to me, because although far removed from my own professional activities, I sometimes do voluntary work with terminal patients, hence I know that the Filipino medical community is very highly regarded in Europe and there should be enough opportunities in the EU and in the UK. Particularly in France, Filipina nurses are sought and not long ago I read that the French Embassy in Manila had work permits available for these highly skilled professionals, within the framework of a treaty signed by President Arroyo, but very few people in Pi knew about it or had applied. I really don’t know where it stands at this time, but if there are any professionals reading this blog and are interested, perhaps they should ring the French Embassy in Manila to inquire.

  48. zippo said,

    October 18, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    l*ding,

    I’m sorry but that’s a really really really lousy song. Terrible. Really sappy. Heck, it’s cheesier than the Velveeta factory!

    At this time, people should be listening to that Rock classic “Like a Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan.

    It has been said that Greek Tragedies are the best mirror of human life. Greek Tragedies gave us one word which best describes the actions of those who are rich and powerful and dared put himself/herself above the gods and laws – “hubris.” Hubris speaks of overweening pride, of over-confidence, of arrogance. All Greek Tragedies which presented a protagonist guilty of hubris always, without exception, ended in the protagonist’s painful downfall – from Odyseus, to Achilles, to Agamemnon, to Oedipus.

    There are days I feel like Superman – I feel invincible. On those days I feel like I am King of the World, I can achieve anything. Those days are scary because those are the days that, if one is not careful, hubris can set in. When I feel I am dangerously teetering into that perilous path, I usually play “Like A Rolling Stone” to wake me up to reality.

    Bob Dylan’s brilliance lies in the fact that he is an excellent provider of both music and social commentary – maybe because he was, at first, a folk singer who made the successful cross to rock. “Like a Rolling Stone” tells the story of a narcissistic woman who was at the top of the social ladder but her egotistical ways got the better of her. Dylan based this song on the tragic life of the American socialite, heiress, and Warhol-sidekick Edie Sedgwick

    Dylan’s lyrics hits at your soul. It burns like radiation on society’s cancers. It slams you without warning on the very first verse and onto the immediate chorus:

    Once upon a time you dressed so fine
    You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you?
    Peopled call, say, beware doll, you’re bound to fall
    You thought they were all kiddin’ you
    You used to laugh about
    Everybody that was hangin’ out
    Now you don’t talk so loud
    Now you don’t seem so proud
    About having to be scrounging for your next meal.

    How does it feel
    How does it feel
    To be without a home
    Like a complete unknown
    Like a rolling stone?

    You’ve gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely
    But you know you only used to get juiced in it
    And nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street
    And now you find out you’re gonna have to get used to it
    You said you’d never compromise
    With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
    Hes not selling any alibis
    As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
    And ask him do you want to make a deal?

    How does it feel
    How does it feel
    To be on your own
    With no direction home
    Like a complete unknown
    Like a rolling stone?

    You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
    When they all come down and did tricks for you
    You never understood that it ain’t no good
    You shouldn’t let other people get your kicks for you
    You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
    Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
    Ain’t it hard when you discover that
    He really wasn’t where its at
    After he took from you everything he could steal.

    How does it feel
    How does it feel
    To be on your own
    With no direction home
    Like a complete unknown
    Like a rolling stone?

    Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
    They’re drinkin’, thinkin’ that they got it made
    Exchanging all kinds of precious gifts and things
    But you’d better lift your diamond ring, you’d better pawn it babe
    You used to be so amused
    At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
    Go to him now, he calls you, you can’t refuse
    When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
    You’re invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.

    How does it feel
    How does it feel
    To be on your own
    With no direction home
    Like a complete unknown
    Like a rolling stone?

    Sic transit gloria mundi. No wonder the venerable Rolling Stone Magazine named “Like a Rolling Stone” the Greatest Song – ever.

    Maybe politicians, bankers, and fund managers should listen to this song at least once a day.

    Listen to Dylan’s original recording of “Like a Rolling Stone” on vinyl here:

    Maybe a CD of this song is what you should include in your Christmas hampers for your friends.

    Z 🙂

  49. October 18, 2008 at 3:04 am

    Au contraire, it’s nice to show the dyed in the wool, die hard ROMANTIC side of Ms. L*ding. I too suffer from bouts of COUTURE BADUY once in a while. We all have our guilty pleasures. And our swan songs, USUALLY dripping with saccharine, mediocre but IT MAKES US CONTENT. Thanks for the lyrics, it was the theme song too of Ri*ky P*nzalan, Mrs. B*nay’s personal adviser. He sang it to me as he was making AHAS Patric* S*lcedo son of a Tuazon and the orig Leopoldo Salcedo. I finally read the lyrics and LOLSMIH. lol so much, it hurts. I miss Patric* as a lover.

  50. abc said,

    October 18, 2008 at 1:26 am

    bakit di po nasama ang mga pamilyang m*drigal at il*sorio?

  51. l*ding said,

    October 17, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    garganta,

    that’s a lovely song. it defined the early 80s sad years not just in manille but in america as well. in fact, i’m buying several pieces to put in my xmas hampers to be given to my select depressed “comadres” nowadays.

  52. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 17, 2008 at 6:37 am

    Oh, l*ding… such a waste of bandwidth… 😦

  53. taitai said,

    October 17, 2008 at 3:03 am

    21 Menardo Jimenez & family – $129M
    22 Gilberto Duavit & family – $127M
    23 Alfredo Ramos – $126M
    24 Jon Ramon Aboitiz & family – $125M
    25 Felipe Gozon & family – $110M
    26 David Consunji & family – $105M
    27 Rolando & Rosalinda Hortaleza – $90M
    28 Eugenio Lopez III & family – $85M
    29 Betty Ang – $80M
    30 Tomas Alcantara & family – $75M
    31 Lourdes Montinola & family – $68M
    32 Salvador Zamora – $67M
    33 Philip Ang – $63M
    34 Wilfred Steven Uytengsu Sr. & family – $55M
    35 Enrique Aboitiz & family – $50M
    36 Frederick Dy – $49M
    37 Bienvenido R. Tantoco Sr. & family – $45M
    38 Jesus Tambunting – $40M
    39 Manuel Pangilinan – $39M
    40 Marixi Rufino-Prieto & family – $30M

  54. taitai said,

    October 17, 2008 at 2:58 am

    Richest Pinoys 2008
    (Forbes.com)

    1 Henry Sy & family – $3.1B
    2 Lucio Tan & family – $1.5B
    3 Jaime Zobel de Ayala & family – $1.2B
    4 Andrew Tan – $700M
    5 Tony Tan Caktiong & family – $690M
    6 John Gokongwei Jr. & family – $680M
    7 Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. – $610M
    8 Enrique Razon Jr. – $525M
    9 George Ty & family – $435M
    10 Inigo & Mercedes Zobel – $430M
    11 Manuel Villar – $425M
    12 Emilio Yap & family – $420M
    13 Vivian Que Azcona & family – $360M
    14 Beatrice Campos & family – $325M
    15 Luis Virata – $270M
    16 Oscar Lopez & family – $240M
    17 Andrew Gotianun – $235M
    18 Alfonso Yuchengco & family – $200M
    19 Mariano Tan & family – $195M
    20 Manuel Zamora – $130M

  55. zippo said,

    October 16, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    La Salle really had beautiful coeds during my time. Gina Leviste, Vicky Veloso, and Toni Gonzales in the late 70s and then Claudia Bermudez, Cli De Leon, Wendy Klein, Maia Lagdameo, Neni Montinola, and Ellen Rodriguez in the early 80s.

    Z 🙂

  56. October 16, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Paz:

    See, I know I will finally be able to afford a house in Malibu!!! *LOLSZ!!!*

    As if…

    Cheers!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  57. Paz Cacnio Atienza said,

    October 16, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Toto,
    Just received an email from our cousin, Nerina Cacnio from San Francisco. She works at a bank and is in charge of foreclosures. She said that if anyone has the money now, now is the time to buy real estate. It is a buyer’s market in the US. But the problem is, who will rent? She said that they have foreclosed properties which used to cost US 800,000 and can now be sold at US$250,000 to US$300,000! It’s that bad!

    A lot of Pinoys are losing their jobs… even nurses because some hospitals have also closed. Really bad…

    Paz

  58. l*ding said,

    October 16, 2008 at 11:13 am

    I can’t cover up my feelings
    In the name of love
    Or play it safe
    For a while that was easy
    And if living for myself
    Is what I’m guilty of
    Go on and sentence me
    I’ll still be free

    It’s my turn
    To see what I can see
    I hope you’ll understand
    This time’s just for me

    Because it’s my turn
    With no apologies
    I’ve given up the truth
    To those I’ve tried to please

    But now it’s my turn
    If I don’t have all the answers
    At least I know I’ll take my share of chances
    Ain’t no use in holding on
    When nothing stays the same

    So I’ll let it rain
    ‘Cause the rain ain’t gonna hurt me
    And I’ll let you go
    ‘Though I know it won’t be easy

    It’s my turn
    With no more room for lies
    FOR YEARS I`VE SEEN MY LIFE
    Through someone else’s eyes

    And now it’s my turn
    To try and find my way
    And if I should get lost
    At least I’ll own today

    It’s my turn
    Yes, it’s my turn
    And there ain’t no use in holding of
    When nothing stays the same

    So I’ll let it rain
    ‘Cause the rain ain’t gonna hurt me
    And I’ll let you go
    ‘Though I know it won’t be easy

    It’s my turn
    To see what I can see
    I hope you’ll understand
    This time’s just for me

    Because it’s my turn
    To turn and say goodbye
    I sure would like to know
    That you’re still on my side

    Because it’s my turn
    It’s my turn

    It’s my turn
    To start from number one
    Trying to undo
    Some damage that’s been done

    But now it’s my turn
    To reach and touch the sky
    No one’s gonna say
    At least I didn’t try

    It’s my turn
    Yes, it’s my turn
    It’s my turn
    It’s my turn
    It’s my turn

  59. l*ding said,

    October 16, 2008 at 9:34 am

    talking about the 80s, i have played It’s My Turn by Diana Ross in my player for more than 10 times today. It brings me back my days when I had to leave my husband for several days. That song is immortal!

  60. Buang2 said,

    October 16, 2008 at 8:09 am

    I so loooove this blog! Thank you Toto for keeping us entertained amid the gloom and doom of the global economic crisis. Btw, I studied at De La Salle and knew Bro. Andrew quite well. My belated condolences on his passing.

    I too feel nostalgic over those beauties (w/ brains) back in the day. I was such a fan of Gina Leviste! Gorgeous, gorgeous! And whoa, a great comedienne as well. I loved it whenever she would appear on those old TV shows.

    All we have now are just idiots and socialite wanna-be’s who think they are God’s gifts to the entertainment industry. The gall to sing w/o knowing how to carry a tune, or to dance like a spastic robot. Btw, did you hear that one of these beauties w/ no brains (except her lover’s jewelry) just landed a new show on her supposed ex’s TV network. Que horror! Ang pagbabalik ng mga walang ka-class class!

  61. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    October 16, 2008 at 8:05 am

    Crisis, what crisis?
    Am in Paris and in between meetings went to visit a friend on the Place Vendôme and could not believe my eyes: carats (in multiples and on suede trays set as the most magnificent jewels) flowed into the ‘salons privés’ of one of the world’s most fabulous jewellers as the uberrich from Argentina to Zambia seek alternative investments and, after all, large gems of the highest quality only increase in value over time.
    This city is fabulous, but mon Dieu, soooo expensive. I’m moving my base to Madrid. It’s the Manila of Europe.

  62. Ginger said,

    October 16, 2008 at 3:04 am

    Madspartan, last name is Lebron not Libron

  63. HRH said,

    October 15, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    where’s claudia now by the way? …. i do hope we could provide pics of these golden years and the spectacle it brought to everyone… by the way, who is that young, blonde mestizo guy i always spot with diana jean lopez in the society pages? i recall that his last name is de leon? not sure though…

  64. talagang tsismoso said,

    October 15, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Menchu Menchaca is not the wife of Andy Soriano: She is married to his brother Ed Soriano. Andy Soriano WAS married to Vicky Hagedorn.

  65. randy b said,

    October 15, 2008 at 6:13 am

    Can’t blame her, after the previous guy who wasn’t such a good provider insisted after their breakup he wanted a share of the house they lived in. Alleging he had helped build it, when his career was on the wane while the girl’s was at its zenith. And when you get a good provider, he/she’s usually followed by someone who’s not. And vice versa. Anyway, the better-endowed people always feel they’re giving value for mooching on someone.

  66. periphery said,

    October 15, 2008 at 6:10 am

    Crispy, I remember ( as a person, not a model, haha ). My grandma and Ingrid Sala Santamaria were friends before my grandma moved to Spain permanently.

    As for the Coj*angco girls not going to clubs and bars… ha. Tell that to my brother, who used to hang out with M*kee back in the day. But you’re right in that she never made a spectacle of herself.

    Lisl Libron! Yep, that’s the pretty girl!! And yes, Claudia Bermudez was also super beautiful.

  67. l*ding said,

    October 15, 2008 at 3:02 am

    River,

    hija, you must be referring to claudia bermudez, the muchas beautiful daughter of diana jean lopez. She was the it girl of the 80’s. I think Dawn Zulueta was the it girl of the 90s to some. Did you know that the Coj*angco girls are not really the type who would go to bars and clubs. It must be the strict upbringing of the Coj*angco Men. With D*nding, P*ping, T*nyboy, et. al. I don’t think a Cojuangco girl would dare go out to display herself in bars and clubs. That’s a mark of good upbringing: very reserved and decent! Only an outsider gave indecency to the Coj*angco name and she is a scene in all tony bars in the city. Que Horror! I hope she changes because she could have used her position as a force of good. She could have been the Diana of Manila, helping the poor like her almost “mother-in-law”. Meanwhile, the Coj*angco Men are known to marry beautiful mestizas.

  68. October 14, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    River, run through it. A BREATHER FROM THE CRASHING WORLD ECONOMIES.

    Yes to a bit of trivia and nostalgia about the beauties then: I was in the thick of that SMALL world since I was once a flashion designer. And Gina was my sister and muse, who temporarily quit when she went to La Salle, graduating Summa Cum Laude and Valedictorian with 2 Degrees, Lia Honors and Lia Com. We still laugh to this day because I designed this very KARMA orange one sided gown for her Valedictory speech.

    I also discovered Anna Bayle and followed her to the UP bathroom where she hid from me. She graduated top of the class at Philippine Science High School. And won first runner-up sa Miss RP. We still keep in touch. Saw here this year at her apartment on 5 Fifth Avenue, next door to Dustin Hoffman.

    Yes, the divas of those halycon daze were from de buen famille. Pitoy’s mestizillas were always modelling in Malacanang for visiting dignitaries. I was dragged my Melanie Marquez who won Face of the Year for Ford one night, I pulled aside Kuh Ledesma who was about to serenade the IMELDIFIC’s guests the Agnellis and Principessa Luciana Pignatelli apres dessert and I said: “Sing ‘Don’t Cry for Me, Marikina’… ” She shot back: “You want us both killed?”

    I discovered Menchu Menchaca in a party in Forbes wearing a batik maxi skirt. She married Andy Soriano. Her older mother edgy sister Doodie married a Tuason. I was so aliw when she introduced me to her 3 sons at Pitoy’s big show at CCP as “This is your Tito Larry. He gave your mom her start as a fashion model.”

    Oh those days when they had BRAINS and beauty in spades. Let us not forget the tall, dark and unhandsome models of DANTE RAMIREZ who lives in San Fo now. His models were named Elektrika, Dardanella, Diwata, Xipoteka, Hyacinth and Luningning.

    We watched fashion shows for lunch in the Hyatt or the Top of the Hilton. Monet Recio was our social directress at the Hyatt. She just resigned from her post of Director of Louis Vuitton of all ASIA, gave the position to her equally bright sister, Peachy.

    Other beauties of that time were Lani Aquino, Marilen Ojeda, Susan Reyes, Missy Clarke, Petty Benitez, Cheng Bernardez and of course Margie Moran who sent me a post card from Athens, a week before she was crowned. It read: “Relax ka lang Larry, total panalo na ako.” I framed that post card.

  69. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 14, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    See what this financial meltdown has induced? Feverish dreams of a safer, more innocent past. Was it all real? Made up?

    Snap outta it, fellas. That’s the past.

    just kidding! 😉

  70. River said,

    October 14, 2008 at 9:30 am

    periphery, we all need a break from this madness. I read from newspaper a Dutch guy who was able to withdraw his money a few hours before IceSave closed shop. Just made you feel nervous, would my bank be next to go down in this side of the Atlantic?

    I so loved the 70’s and early 80’s: Dawn Zulueta was then just starting in showbiz. When Maricris Cardenas [ now Zobel ] was still modelling for Pitoy and at the same time a commercial model. Who would forget that black/white tv commercial she did for palmolive soap.. “this is a dry leaf””. And her Johnson baby lotion print ads are all over the boticas in our town. And there were the other topmodels of the time, the very mestiza Crispy Santamaria, Lolie Imperial, Grace Serrano, Malou Ramos, Menchu Menchaca, Gina Leviste, Bessie Badilla. I also remember a print ad wherein Diana Jean Lopez appeared with her daughter. TingTing Cojuangco also did print ad for Ponds. Oh the 70’s, when you wore your bellbottom pants dancing to the tune of “El Bimbo”…… I was still too young then to go to disco, but just like most of the chicken girls my age, Mike Monserrat was the cutest guy in all the world. And what a small world that was.

  71. madspartan said,

    October 13, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    periphery: her last name was Libron, she’s married now to a Montelibano and has 6 or 7 kids. She and her family run that school on McKinley in Forbes.

  72. October 13, 2008 at 8:57 am

    WITHOUT THIS BLOG, WE ARE BORED………..

    Paris, my sweet. Thank you for your input on OUR slumber party in VIRTUAL reality. The pajamas in NOIR et BLANC looks fine although I will wear a kaftan. We haven’t heard from our fellow post-its. KFC seems fine but we must have the BUBBLY, please.

    ISAGANIE, Truly this MONEY MELT-IN-OUR-MOUTHS moment is the harbinger of a WW3, but should we bother? According to Mayan and Aztec predictions, the globe will EXPLODE in 2012. A meteor collision of some sort. So let’s SLUMBER PARTY like it’s l969.

    PERIPHERY, loved your disco dream. I immediately had some sense memory of STARGAZER. I was a FACE VALUE girl and would bring with me ALVIN LIM of GAITA FORES ( Alvin was mga l7 yrs old then ) who was loitering by the inside elevators. I wonder if he remembers that?

    I left aboard an oligarch’s jet in Feb l986 and slummed in the States for a brief stint. The clubs there didn’t have that VIBE that EuWHOREia, Feces and Culture Klab had. It wasn’t couture BADUY at all. It was just Baduy in America. Keep on posting even the OFF TOPIC musings. We can’t be catty and serious all the time. Cheers.

  73. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 13, 2008 at 6:42 am

    Yes, isagani, I just got a call on my cell from the Four Horsemen of the …

  74. steve betts said,

    October 13, 2008 at 6:30 am

    GREED and DECEPTION. A vitriolic pair. The regulators turned a blind eye while the perpetrators continued to camouflage. The players pay in the end.

    To their merit, the conservative and prudent will pick up the remains. A new regime will take over.

    That is the way of the world. Its something that’s been there throughout human history. We can only do what we can and live through it.

  75. isagani said,

    October 13, 2008 at 3:13 am

    this financial meltdown in america could be a precursor to world war III. with the perceived weakness of america, russia, china and other countries angling for world domination and influence might be tempted to test the waters. naturally america will strike back, dragging its client states like the philippines into the valley of catastrophe and disaster.

  76. Sabin Arranz said,

    October 13, 2008 at 12:40 am

    So I just awoke from a nap. For some strange reason, I dreamed about Faces.

    Yep, waaaay before Embassy there was Faces. Right outside SanLo. ‘T was the era after Stargazer, after Louie Y, the same time as Euphoria.

    Anybody ever go there in their youth? The place for the young and young-at-heart to party the night away while seeing and being seen. Dolly Duran was dancing on the ledge, young Paolo Prieto was jiggying it up on the dance floor with a very pretty Dawn Zulueta, Patricia Borromeo was turning heads near the vestibule, Samantha Eduque was sort of a now-you-see-her-now-you-don’t mystery, and Johnny Litton, for some inexplicable reason, was holding court in one of the “VIP” alcoves… but the most beautiful sight anyone would have been lucky to witness was that girl de buena familia who appeared in some TV commercial. Her name escapes me now. Liesl or something. The TV ad’s soundtrack was Kenny G’s “Silhouette”.

    I always managed to work my way across the dance floor to be near Dawn Zulueta, even though she didn’t know me from Adam. So pretty, eh. haha.

    Cool points if you could afford the cover charge and got past the gatekeepers. Even more cool points if you got in without paying, on “face value” alone, and you actually knew some of the people inside. LOL.

    My friends and I had a very predictable routine for some time… Wednesdays at Euphoria, Fridays at Faces, and Saturdays split between the two. Faces was a lot more fun, but Euphoria hosted cool fashion shows and high-concept “performance art”. Anybody remember that dude who splashed glowstick ink all over the dancefloor? It became so slippery after the performance, it took a while before people dared to start dancing. 🙂

    Haha. Sorry, I just had to share my naptime dream. And apologies if it’s off-topic. I didn’t know where else to post it.

  77. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 12, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    San Andreas-san, /\ /\, LOL!!! Tres, tres clever!!!

    But you forgot the Tsunami Bank of Taipan. Swept away in the wave of foreclosures; and is now all washed up.

    U shud post more often!!

  78. San Andreas said,

    October 12, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Following the problems in the financial markets around the US and Europe, uncertainty has now hit Japan. In the last seven days Origami Bank has folded. Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches. Yesterday, it was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song, while today, shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived. While Samurai Bank is soldiering on following sharp cutbacks, Ninja Bank is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black. Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where itis feared that staff may get a raw deal.

    I love your blog TOTO!!

  79. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    October 11, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    Larry,

    You’ve got me all psyched up for the cyber-slumber party. What do you think of black and white silk pijamas from Shanghai Tang, chicken hash and Taittinger Blanc des Blancs at midnight? Does it remind you of anything at all?

    Those were the days!

    In times of crisis we’ll have to settle for Stanley Market pj’s, KFC and Freixenet. It’s the conversation that matters, no?

  80. zippo said,

    October 11, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Hands down, Plaza Athenee.

    But did you hear about what Ingrid Betancourt did when she was released from captivity after being kidnapped and then held for years by the FARC rebels? She gave a press conference in Bogota then immediately flew to Paris where she locked herself up in a suite at Le Meurice for weeks. Wise woman.

    Z 🙂

  81. +YouthLeader said,

    October 11, 2008 at 3:24 am

    these Americans have been teaching us to diversify investments….never put your eggs in one basket and with the subprime mess came along…….indeed a rotten basket of eggs there is!!!

    portfolio management turning to mess and by the way Larry, Obama did received much from Frediemae and mac….

  82. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    October 11, 2008 at 12:25 am

    G.I,

    They’re very near one another but I prefer, sans doute, the Plaza Athénée. However, I agree with Periphery about the Hôtel de Crillon. It’s so elegant and understated. The George V is very opulent but it’s just that: a very expensive and luxurious hotel. In my opinion, Four Seasons did to the George V what it did to the Hôtel des Bergues in Geneva; it stripped it of its soul.

    I’m not in Paris right now but will be returning on Tuesday and hope to have lunch or tea at the Meurice which has been completely renovated. The bar at the Ritz is quite good.

  83. October 10, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    G.I. and all amigas cerado,

    Did you ever read that account of Candy Cruz ( sis of Louie ) who had an affair with pre -pre-Diana’s Dodi. Regulat lang daw. Ahhh. shucks.

    My type was the one who played BOY the great love of Coco Chanel. I go for tall dark slightly of the swarthy persuasion. Must have been that Aubusson rug that was put in my room when I was still very young.

    So you see, not by choice but by design I kinda vote for the George V.

    It’s getting into the HIGH 40’s here in Tacoma, oh for the pleasure of cashmere socks.

    A slumber party at our ripening ages would be WONDERFUL, even here in virtual reality of Cyberspace. G.i. will host. Zippo will come up with parlor games. Paris will suggest midnight snacks. Smart Periphery will make the gate list. And Toto will regale and start the ultimate spin-the-bottle.

    Shall we start !!!!!!!

  84. Garganta Inflamada said,

    October 10, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Speaking of Parisian speakea…errr, hotels,

    peri and isla, what r your views on the Plaza Athenee v. the George V? (P, I know you don’t like the smell of all that oil money….wink, wink. I’ve had haute te at Le Ritz, pre-Diana and Dodie, and I found it quite stuffy.) Which (of the Athenee or the V) is in a better arrondissement?

  85. Sabin Arranz said,

    October 10, 2008 at 8:02 am

    /tangent

    I prefer Hôtel de Crillon, anyway. Seems to me that George V has too many Arabs.

    tee hee

  86. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    October 10, 2008 at 6:09 am

    Zippo,

    Although I agree completely with you that this is all about greed, and nothing but greed, we have no choice but to keep a stiff upper lip and weather the storm. I remember the crash of 1987 as if it was yesterday; I had just returned from a business lunch and was a bit giddy on wine when I saw the pale faces around me. The first thing our boss, a very seasoned Chase Manhattan man, did was call us to the board room and coolly he told us “whatever does down, goes up again – we’re not selling anything.” I’ll never forget that. I’ve since switched careers and my banking days are over but it was a great lesson and it makes you take things in stride.

    G.I., Indeed, I think we’ve reached a point in which five star holidays will be replaced by slumber parties.

    Saludos,

    Isla

  87. Babblefish said,

    October 10, 2008 at 5:58 am

    Did you hear about the 750 Ferraris put on the second-hand market in London a week after Lehman went pfffft? And about AIG’s $400,000 party after getting that $85 billion bailout? You bet it’s about greed!

  88. zippo said,

    October 10, 2008 at 12:04 am

    This sub-prime mess is all about GREED.

    For the 1st time since late 1997, I am really REALLY scared.

    Z

  89. IslaSanLuisParis said,

    October 9, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Larry,

    Venezuela, for a change. That would turn into what in Latin America is called “Un arroz con mango.”

    I commented extensively in Toto’s previous post about your most enjoyable last account but I guess we’ve moved on.

  90. Myles Garcia said,

    October 9, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    /\ /\ If anybody Uncle Sam should take out, it’s the likes of Venezuela’s Chavez, Mugabe, and Iran’s Ahmadinejad ( or however you spell that guy’s name ). But it ain’t gonna happen, Larry. There are more important thigs happening, and everybody is suffering anyway.

    Everybody’s interlocked into this financial mess. That’s how complicated and interwoven the world economy is. But the world will get thru this alright, as it has worse disasters. And it only makes one stronger; if not poorer for awhile — as my 401(k) (as has everybody’s investments) has contracted a bit. Merde!!

    So I guess one night at the George V next summer instead of 5 (and the other 4 at Le Crillon instead). “Oh, Isla, tienes espacio en tu sofa?”

    G.I.

  91. October 9, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Pobrecito Obama, he will inherit this LEVIATHAN money mess. Or he could turn it around like Roosevelt after the Depression. War is usually America’s answer to a money meltdown, my quintessential TOTO.

    WAR is the battlecry of the NOT-ANYMORE superpower, KUNO protector of DEMOCRACY in the world. What a paradox.

    War on CHINA, KOREA or the old standbys the ARABS for their pipelines, KANO ?


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