Problems in Paradise

When I was in my early teens at the onset of the Reagan 1980s, the most popular television shows were “Dallas,”  “Dynasty,” and “Falcon Crest,” probably in keeping with the zeitgeist of materialism and excess.  All three series were about rich and powerful families and all the sordid and distasteful things that happened to them.

Also in those days, I very much enjoyed the novels and articles of the American writer Dominick Dunne:  “The Two Mrs. Grenvilles,”  “Fatal Charms:  And Other Tales of Today,”  “People Like Us,”  “An Inconvenient Woman,”  “The Mansions of Limbo,”  and the others.  I so delighted in them that I could easily visualize the characters in real life and effortlessly remember entire passages in the books.

As I grew older and as my circles grew ever wider, I realized that I did not need to watch American television nor read American books for that sort of entertainment [ not that I have stopped  😛 ].  It was all happening in Manila all along.  And it was happening right before my very eyes…

Over lunch for two, the matriarch of a grand clan spoke plainly of her many problems…

“My brother wants to run for mayor of our hometown next year and he is demanding that we release Php 500 million from the family funds to totally ensure his victory.  I think he is going to buy every single vote.  Oh, the money is there, no problem, but why should we release it just like that?  He is not the only one in the family.  We work hard and honestly for our money.  It shouldn’t be wasted.”

“My sisters and I went to our lawyers yesterday.  We want to know how we can effectively block his unreasonable demand for funding.  TOO MUCH!!!  The next step is to hire bodyguards, perhaps Ex-Army straightshooters, for us and most everyone else in the family.  If he doesn’t get what he wants, he’s perfectly capable of shooting and killing even us, his siblings.”

“And then he got into big trouble with four of his business partners.  He is threatening to kill them and they are threatening the same.  They already sent him a “barong tagalog” and a coffin.  But he is fearless, really fearless!!!  In fact, I don’t know what planet he came from.  I had to act before it all blows out of proportion and we all get killed.  I called Gloria, Mike, Noli, Manny, Johnny, and several others to help me smooth it out.  Thankfully they did.  I called the political favors back so now it is I who owe them favors.  Hay…”

“And then there was this one government official who would not back down.  He even refused to grant me an appointment.  It was a good thing that mutual friends knew he had the hots for this young actress.  But she was playing “hard to get” and refused to have anything to do with him.  I sent an emissary to her, with the message that I would pay anything, any amount she wanted, for her to entertain the official’s attentions and if necessary to go to bed with him with the condition that she must get him to decide IN MY FAVOR.  She quoted Php 40 million and I agreed.   She not only got him to decide in my favor, she even became his mistress and enjoyed his largesse.  She made money from both of us!!!  But then, both the official and I got what we wanted.  So all’s well that ends well.”

“And the matter of all those illegitimate children!!!  My God, he’s like a dog in heat:  children in every corner of town!!!  He has many more illegitimate children than his legitimate ones.  My poor legitimate nephews and nieces… what will be left of his estate to them, practically “nada”!!!  Can you imagine all these exotic creatures — some of them are sooooo dark!  Eeewww! —greeting and kissing me “Tita!”???  “Esas son hijas de las criadas, nada mas!!!” Worse, they will be carrying our family name!!!  Ay, just thinking about it will give me a cerebral aneurysm!!!”




  1. Thundernut said,

    September 14, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Hey Toto, is everthing OK? What’s causing this 10 days of silence? I getting worried for not having seen new postings sing Sept. 4.

    Hoping for the best for you and your fans.

  2. gshaw said,

    September 4, 2009 at 11:57 am

    the 4th one is the acknowledged MANANG of that clan in Cubao.
    everyone should follow her or else.
    the aging husband was trained well they say…

  3. Jules said,

    August 27, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    If Armida luvs the Big Apple,
    so does the half-brod,
    who in fact (the latter),
    gifted this Society lady
    an apartment in Nueva Yorka…


  4. JAA said,

    July 27, 2009 at 7:15 am

    maybe it should be four fierce matronas – though the 4th is not quite one yet: r*a ro*as oj*da

  5. Diego Mqz C said,

    July 8, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    “Esas son hijas de las criadas, nada mas!!!” HAHAHA, I love it…this language is close to my heart and music to my ears….dame más!

  6. Diego Mqz C said,

    July 8, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Armida is very much alive, she’s only in her late 70’s. And she’s still acerbic. Her daughter Monique SR Villonco is editor-in-chief of the local Town & Country, which in my opinion is the only respectable “glossy” published around here.

  7. rafhorm said,

    June 29, 2009 at 3:13 am

    and who are the protagonists and other characters in the story above? grand dame? govt official…and young hot actress?

  8. June 24, 2009 at 1:56 pm


    I transferred your comment to the post “The Heir and the Hair-Raiser” where it belongs.

    Thank you. 🙂

  9. Babblefish said,

    June 23, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Ha? Has Tita Midz passed on?

  10. onlysecond said,

    June 23, 2009 at 2:23 am

    “although i dont find any wrong with being imelda”

    — please tell me you’re joking.

  11. l*ding said,

    June 23, 2009 at 12:28 am

    fellow matronas and solteras,

    i dont think korina sanchez will be like imelda (although i dont find any wrong with being imelda, she is just for ensuring the philippines is not treated like garbage to the outside world like it is today)because mar will be guarded by the three fiercest society matrons of today namely judy roxas, baby fores, and ruby roxas. in short “isang tingin lang kay korina and she will melt like butter in tropical manila”. so she should be aware, instead she should play the wife she long wanted to be and not share in the power, the filipino people will entrust her husband.

    to those who want to support mar, i think the makati neighborhood will create something like “friends of mar”. join if you like. this is getting exciting as the election draws near.

  12. PCA said,

    June 22, 2009 at 6:20 am

    Some network insiders claim that Ms. K can no longer have a baby. She already had a hysterectomy many years ago. She also lived in with a guy surnamed Oca and they stayed at Crisanta Tower right across the Valle Verde Country Club.

  13. maritina said,

    June 21, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    similarly, ms.armida siguion reyna, the doyenne of philippine music had a bad experience with new york immigration authorities. when asked why she keeps coming back to america/new york almost every 6 months that time, she answered back:

    BECAUSE IM RICH! IM VERY VERY RICH! (true because she has a house in new york and she wants to spend time there)

    i love her kasupladahan. her wit! truly only midz can get away with it unscathed. i miss her! incidentally, she was divine when she went to la scala opera decades ago. with her is the little monique.

  14. fatima153 said,

    June 20, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    A stepladder is not a stepdown, it’s steps up to the top of the ladder.

  15. brownie said,

    June 20, 2009 at 5:36 am

    I guess the reason they postponed the pamamanhikan was to wait for the hayden kho sex scandal to die down so as not to be overshadowed by it.

  16. isabella said,

    June 20, 2009 at 4:38 am

    I know a gentleman in Forbes… According to him, the live-in partner of Korina during the Maid Scandal was his cousin. To be direct to the point, the man’s name was Paul Aq*ino. They were living together in Bel-Air Mansions. And here comes Korina parading herself as if she is a virgin. So much hypocrisy and pretensions.

    I know that for the past years…… Mar was really not bent on marrying her, because his mother Judy was not happy about Korina.

    If people hated Imelda, I think Korina will be far worse than her!

  17. l*ding said,

    June 20, 2009 at 4:06 am

    mauricette dahling,

    korina has not been introduced to me personally, but based on the litany of names you mentioned (save for doris ho and josine) who cares? korina is on top of her game! can you say the same to the others you mentioned?

    i recall a conversation i had years ago with someone from the lopez family and she told me about this funny incident involving korina at guam immigration, the office was asking her if she’s really what she is , that is a broadcaster. she had to defend herself and told the officer “to call any house in the philippines, they know me”.

    what does that tell you? she is a national figure, a household name. in the philippines, wealth is second to fame. ask any children and theyll tell you they want to be kris aquino and not gabby lopez. fame begets wealth but wealth does not necessarily translates to fame. itsl ike style, its either you have it or you dont.

    with fame you can influence the destiny of a nation, with wealth you can only influence the destiny of your children.

    i say korina is the yang of mar. she completes him. they look good together. its good that korina is not as wealthy as mar, otherwise she would eclipse him. mar should be the star. korina this time is content on becoming mrs. roxas. i agree with the union.

    re: that maid battery, larry hijo,im sure you know we had worst than that inside forbes.

    i agree with mar’s choice. korina has the tv appeal. had she chosen someone like claudia or doris, it will not click with the population. they would look too aristocratico! majority of the filipinos want someone who is one of them.

  18. mauricette said,

    June 19, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    i haven’t seen mar and korina together and pardon me for saying so but she’s kind of a step down for him, isn’t she? his roster of ex-girlfriends includes meg paris, maricris floirendo, doris ho, christine jacob, not to mention the hush-hush affairs with the likes of josine elizalde and claudia bermudez. one girl who had an affair with him said he was really “marunong”. she was very satisfied, to say the least.

  19. l*ding said,

    June 19, 2009 at 3:44 am

    zippo hijo,

    without batting my md lash factor conditioned eyelash, i say yes! they are in love! the kind of love we saw when dr. manahan fell for the charm and wit of elvira!

    korina served this country for decades, what did the other first lady wannabes done for this country? i say we check their public service history. you will know if one is worthy or not.

    the sons and daughters of my servidoras would vote for mar as well. they are the so called fiesta carnival/holiday on ice generation. they all had fond memories of araneta center. if only for that, they would like to return the favor to mar.

    i would like to have joseph campaign for mar.

  20. larrylevi said,

    June 19, 2009 at 1:35 am

    IN LOVE with the fruits of moving into Malacanang, their eyes bright on the prize’ Like it’s within their reach…… the look of love of POWER PRIVILEDGE and FORTUNE in masa’s eyes. Or men’s eyes.

    WHY am I the only one who sees this. KORINA is evil just like LOREN, ask their staff, the true barometer of a person’s characters. Don’t ask their friends, ASK THEIR MAIDS. Staff and household help have filed cases against Korina. Do your homework .

  21. zippo said,

    June 19, 2009 at 1:00 am

    you know that feeling when you are in love? that spark you have in your eye? that extra spring you have when you walk? when everything makes you smile?
    question: do they (mar and korina) look like they’re in love?

  22. Cousin Paz said,

    June 18, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Overkill ang pamanhikan!!!! First it’s wowowee, now it’s this super OA na pamanhikan. Haaaaay…..

  23. l*ding said,

    June 18, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    whether we like it or not, mar roxas remains to be the cleanest presidentiable today! i will vote for muy simpatico mar. korina whether shes evil or not should be given the benefit of the doubt. clearly from being this country’s no. 1 soltera to hopefully the next first lady, i can see reform politics coming from this two. i see genuine love between the two. the kind of love that puts companionship above lust.

    i saw the news coverage last monday night and it looks like the whole araneta clan was there including stella marquez. even the now recluse baby fores came dressed in black. judy was in her mood that night, she wore some pearls and maybe pucci if im not mistaken. i can see a big turnout if ever they held it in quiapo or baclaran. a wedding that will rival that of pablo’s daughter in the early 80s whose principal sponsor happens to be ferdie.

    im 80% sure mar will be the next president. he’s climb in the surveys maybe slow but it is sure. the top ranking candidates now have all stagnated. loren even went down. i told you, she overheated too early.

    problems in paradise no matter how varied and severe could be managed if we elect someone like mar. he will not steal. he is not pragmatic like the others.

    they should get cory, dolphy, and jaime as wedding sponsors…all respected in their fields…

    i think gloria as her time nears its end is getting confused what to do with her life. she is still young and retirement is out of the question. a compadre once told me that she should be adviced to live in a place where she can be airlifted easily for her protection after her term. i agree. she may had her mistakes but i dont approve of her being hauled to jail. she’s a woman and a mother. she should be protected if only for the legacy left by dadong her father. i still consider her not gloria the president but gloria the little presidentiable daughter. let her leave the presidency in peace. if you can forgive marcos and estrada, why not glo?

  24. Garganta Inflamada said,

    June 18, 2009 at 6:16 am

    Similarly, cory’s best friend (and our family friend as well), dr. a. trinidad-reyes, was there trying to protect madame lefarge’s “stolen” loot from the looters. These ladies, have their own considerable net worth and self-esteem, and are not worthy of the cheap, muck-racking slime hurled by loose, ditzy and flippant tongues.

  25. Babblefish said,

    June 18, 2009 at 4:36 am

    It’s pretty obvious Mar is pandering to the masses. Worked for the Pigmy before, why shouldn’t it work again? Remember the posters where she posed ala Nora Aunor, rose and all – played it to the hilt, too. Serves us right that the popular vote will come and bite us in the ass. You keep people poor and uneducated, it will reflect in how things will turn our later.

  26. orosa_clan said,

    June 18, 2009 at 1:34 am

    yes, those rumors about t*ngting being seen in anita chan’s shop in hongkong to have some of the jewelries reset plus imelda seeing her wear one of the former’s earrings in a function are all fabrications of a wandering mind. hallucinating mind i should say. that’s out of character for t*ngting.

    her style is totally understated in contrast with the dowager empress who is ostentatious to the hilt. she wore simple but heavy diamond earrings in her famous daughter’s wedding years ago. no necklace whatsoever.

    let me get myself invited to her maranao-inspired house in dasmarinas and look for those aubusson rugs. maybe because those alfombras are the payment for her diligently counting and noting all jewelries left at the palace. if i remember correctly, mercy tuason was also there so it was not only her who did the inventory. t*ngting, after all these years, remains to be one of manila’s most elegant and aristocratic ladies we have. she is one classy lady. i don’t believe meldy’s “pasaring.” blame it on old age.

  27. isabella said,

    June 18, 2009 at 12:06 am

    you can see how far mar could go…just to win the masa’s vote. How baduy,how
    tasteless,how infuriating to us with some decency left.

  28. larrylevi said,

    June 17, 2009 at 10:53 am

    IRM told me she has it on great authority Ting2 has some of her Abusson rugs.

    The looting of Malacanyoung is a telenovela itself.I was there on the night they fled and saw the horror ala the ransacking of Versailles.

    I shall never forget the storming of the Palace by the river.

    Horrific. HISTORIC, where have all the biblots gone, long, time passing, where have all the jewels gone, long time ago, when will THEY ever learn, when will they ever RETURN.

    What IRM supposedly bought with the People\’s Money is pittance to the grand scale looting, stealing and kleptocrazy of the AYOKOS. IRM is Mother Teresa next to AYOKOS, they dont want jewels JUST HARD CURRRENCY from OUR country\’s blood, sweat and tears.

    SHALL WE have a no tax HOLIDAY ?

    Getting scarier yet exciting everyday…. in every way.

    And yet the SUPER BADUY paman HIKAN of the Aranta-Roxases with the very matronly KORNA was the silliest thing since they made Nixon dance the tinikling. It was meant to tickle the masses, but left a bad after taste to US ALL. Mar con Korina, a marraige made in the Bahay na Puti. At sa Baclaran at Quiapo and KASAL, too plebian for comfort.

  29. Presy Guevara said,

    June 16, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    L*ding, would this be your Gypsy Rose Act? Toto must be greatly elated. You know how many followers of this blog are who will by climbing up walls and tearing up the Internet to find out what you have left suspensefully anticipated. Genius! You’re definitely ahead of us all. Now, who could be the one that owns the power to squeeze the secret from you? Can’t wait for tomorrow.

  30. l*ding said,

    June 15, 2009 at 11:48 am

    the egg has broken comadres. meldy will get her 15 billion jewels according to the inquirer today. The Roumeloites collection is included in this lot. the most famous of this is the eagle eye necklace. that is one of a kind.

    meldy was quoted today in the inquirer that tingting c. did an inventory of her jewelries without authorization after the revolution. my say: leave ting ting alone. she was just following orders as she is one of the most trusted ladies that time by cory. you cannot give that order to just anyone. let one of your most trusted do it for the govt.

    meldy, happy days are here again. or it never left anyway. as those are just “latak”. meldy’s most valuable are stored in….

  31. larrylevi said,

    June 14, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    THE SHEER HORROR OF FILIPINO INHUMANITY is uncovered when after for 2 years laying on the bottom of the bay of Navotas, the hideously murdered corpse of mother and sister.

    The very notion that our many islands and provinces have become fuedal and medieval fiefdoms where the RUTHLESS law of murder, violence is perpetuated mafiosi style complete with private armies and hush money.

    The governors and mayors who rape and pillage anything and anyone and on a DIABOLICAL whim. Because of their Dynastic Rulers of generations of families who believe they are Gods on Earth and It is their birthright.

    Mayor Sanchezez and Congressman Jallosjos have set the template of many other copycats who think they can really get away with MURDER.

    This grisly MURDER must be solved by GMA pronto, or can the accused family will pull in favors.

    It is the DARK AGES in the Philippine economic and political landscape.

    The closing of the Filipino MIND.

    The beginning of the BLOODIEST six months in 50 years.

    There was Kennedy, Indira Gandhi killed by her elite Guards.

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