Comedy Relief: “La Scala” restaurant, 1990s

Businessman and bon vivant Tony Rufino often invited his family, relatives, and friends to dine at the chic-of-the-week “La Scala” restaurant along Jupiter Street in Bel-Air.  It was a novel restaurant where the waiters and waitresses sang opera arias while serving the guests.

That night at Tony’s table, there were his cousins Cita Abad-Dinglasan, Babylin Abad-Panlilio, Jo Panlilio, me, Tony’s wife Mita Bantug-Rufino, as well as Tony’s mother Julieta “Julie” Abad-Rufino, former Vice-President Fernando “Nanding” Lopez, and former First Lady Trinidad “Trining” de Leon-Roxas.

It was all very nice with the waiters and the waitresses singing arias from Verdi, Puccini, et. al..  It was deafeningly delightful and delightfully deafening.  And seated at the various tables were the “Everybody who was Anybody” in Manila.  All very nice… until the Three Seniors with us got hungry waiting for their food…

“Waiter!  Ano ba?  Nasaan ang pagkain?  Hindi namin puwedeng kainin ang kinakanta niyo!  Kanina pa gutom ang mga kasama ko!”  inquired Julie Rufino testily.

“Gutom na kamiiiii…!!!”  complained Nanding Lopez.

“Hoy!  Kanta na kayo ng kanta, nasaan ang pagkain???  Kanina pa kami nagugutom!  Magsilbi muna kayo bago magkanta!”  demanded Trining Roxas.

After that, the Three Seniors wanted to go back to their homes and sleep PRONTO.


Harharhar!!!   😀   😀   😀



  1. May 23, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Auntie Chit!!!

    Great to see you here!!! So nice to know you’re in the swing of things, as always. We must have lunch soon.

    You might also enjoy the blog posts “The Families of Old Binan, Laguna” and “Bacolor, Pampanga before 1991″…

    How are “FrancesKellyandPatricia”???!!!


    Toto Gonzalez 😀

  2. Cita Yaptinchay Abad-Dinglasan said,

    May 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    I am back in Manila, until I start to feel like climbing the walls again or die from the pollution or the scorching heat. Call me soon- I am listed. I’d like to laugh and eat and exchange ideas with u.
    Cita – no more aunt. coz it dates me. I’d rather have a real date! hahaha

  3. Cita Yaptinchay Abad-Dinglasan said,

    May 23, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Hi Darling Toto,
    You have an absolutely sharp mind and memory, and even sharper wit… we did finally eat dinner that night at “La Scala,” which Cousin Tony Abad Rufino co-owned. I recall that at a nearby table were Chet (brother of SSS Gilbert Teodoro, Sr.) and his wife, Narcy de la Fuente-Teodoro, my guardians in Washington. They also starved, until served after the songs… Maybe that is why the restaurant is now closed. I miss it though and would love to eat again while hearing “Nessun Dorma” or “Figaro.”
    Your beloved Aunt and occasional journalist- did you see my articles on Clinton and Impeachment, Polo and the Prince Bahar, Goodbye Saks, New York, Hello Manila?
    All the best,

  4. Dr. Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    December 11, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Was “FHL” Vice-President Fernando H. Lopez?

    So the lucky lady got away with that. Then what?

  5. Enrique Bustos said,

    December 8, 2009 at 5:28 am

    During the Marcos Administration then Secretary of Agriculture & Natural Resources FHL granted special timber concessions to Asunta Development Corporation in Surigao del Norte for over 6,000 hectares the company owned and controlled by a lady and a very good friend of FHL despite an appeal for reacquisition by the former concessionaire with the Office of the President and defects in the Asunta documents among the defects was the application was filed in January but was executed before a notary public in June the application was receive on January 5 but the residence certificate of the application was issued on January 7 the license was issued in August but the application and license were paid in December the foregoing facts shows a great deal of accommodation was given to the lady. As owner of Maro Enterprises the lady got another timber license covering 12,000 hectares in Isabela several requirments were waived in her favor. Again as owner of Pacific Timber Corp. the lady got a third concession covering 23,900 hectares in Quezon and Isabela Province thus her total timber grants reached 41,900 hectares.

  6. December 8, 2009 at 5:02 am


    Oh my, it seems The Seniors did that at “La Scala” restaurant not only once, not twice, not thrice, but …


    Toto Gonzalez 😀

  7. Caloy Campos said,

    December 8, 2009 at 4:09 am

    :Hope you got the memory I shared 🙂

  8. Caloy Campos said,

    December 8, 2009 at 4:08 am

    Dear Toto,

    Yup I remember another incident, my Lola, Leonila “Inday” Garcia was the barkada of Nanding Lopez, Julie Rufino, and Dona Trining Roxas. They did eat at the “La Scala” and went home hungry, my lola together with Dona Trining bitched the management because they were hungry and they would feel bad if they missed their meals so you can imagine the invective…. I guess my Lola said “Lecheng yawa man ang service dinhi.” We are Senior Citizens, we should not miss our meals.

    Indeed they went home disgusted and my lola had her favorite meal which is Tutong Rice and Ginamos.

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