Mythic creatures: Chito Madrigal

Consuelo Alejandra “Chito” Paterno Madrigal married twice:  she first became Mrs. Luis “Chichos” Earnshaw Vazquez in 19__ and then Mrs. Manuel “Manoling” Collantes in 196_.  But no other surnames could possibly encapsulate all the wealth, glamour, sophistication, and even business savvy she personified throughout her long life than her own, Madrigal, which for the last several decades has denoted immense Philippine wealth [ since the 1930s and up to the present ].

Chito Madrigal.

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There was the time when a niece complained to her Tita Chito about her brother, whom she felt was mishandling one of their family businesses.

Chito censured:  “We are Madrigal women.  We stand by our men.”

By “men,” Chito meant Madrigal brothers and nephews, not husbands or brothers-in-law.

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Brother Andrew Gonzalez F.S.C., the longtime President of De La Salle University, often related, and mimicked, these lines — about slurping soup — about Chito Madrigal, a grand Manila heiress, towards Manoling Collantes, her “pendejo” wimp of a “politico” husband, which he had witnessed on at least three social occasions…

“Honey!!!  How many times do I have to remind you not to slurp your soup… especially in public???!!!”

“If not for MY MONEY, you would have never amounted to anything!!!”  Chito declared.

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Chito, like her elder sister Pacita, reveled in politics.  She was the poster girl of the “Lakambini” who supported Diosdado Macapagal in his bid for the presidency.

Chito Madrigal supported Joseph Estrada during his campaign for the presidency in 1998.  During the inaugural dinner at the Malacanang palace on 30 June 1998, everyone was already seated on the round tables when President Joseph Estrada finally walked in, expectedly handsome in an elegant barong tagalog.  Flush with the success of her political venture, Chito quickly stood up and rushed to her longtime friend to congratulate him “Joseph!!!” with an enthusiastic, wide embrace and big smacks on both cheeks [ with her right leg raised ].  Of course, it was her unique way of showing to all and sundry just exactly who had influence with the new administration.

[ I witnessed that;  my uncle De La Salle Brother Andrew Benjamin Gonzalez, F.S.C., Secretary of Education of the Estrada administration, had taken me to the inaugural dinner at the Malacanang palace.  We were seated on the first round table to the left as one entered the hall along with taipan and Manila Bulletin chairman Emilio Yap, Chito Madrigal, her husband Manoling Collantes, and other distinguished personages.  The dinner was catered by “Elar’s” and there was “lechon” galore, said to be the new president’s favorite food.   ]

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When emphysema, caused by smoking, had set in during her later years, she recalled the fashion shoots of the postwar wearing beautiful dresses by couturiers Ramon Valera and Salvacion Lim-Higgins and remarked to a niece:  “I never really enjoyed smoking.  The smell.  It just… looked goooood!!!”

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The last two years of Chito Madrigal’s life were a retreat from the busy professional and social schedules that had characterized her adult years.  Not even her close friend Carmen “Chitang” Guerrero-Nakpil was able to see her.  Most surprising was that her youngest sister, Maria Luisa “Ising” Madrigal-Vazquez, one of her two surviving sisters [ the other being Maria Paz “Pacita” Madrigal-Warns-Gonzalez, who also passed away after _ months ] was also not able to see her.  She passed away on __ March 2008.

Following her passing, her estate and her last will and testament came into question.  In her three-page will [ said to have been originally fourteen pages ], she left her estate to two favorite nieces, Susana “Chuchu” Abad Santos Madrigal-Eduque 40 % and Atty. Ana Maria Gizela “Ging” Madrigal Gonzalez-Montinola 20 % and to her favorite grandnephew Vicente Gustav Warns 40 %.  Another niece, Senator Maria Ana “Jamby” Abad Santos Madrigal, a younger sister of Susana “Chuchu” Abad Santos Madrigal-Eduque, challenged the validity and authenticity of the last will and testament of her aunt Chito and sued her eldest sister Susana “Chuchu” and first cousin Gizela “Ging.”  The case is still under litigation and will likely last for years, even decades.

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After Chito’s passing, it was published in the leading newspapers that her estate was worth a disappointing, piddling Php 26 million [ specially by the standards of her extremely affluent Madrigal family ].  There was collective laughter among the people privy to her business affairs…

“Php 26 million???  That’s not even her bathroom!!!”

3 Comments

  1. Alicia Perez said,

    January 21, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    The most notorious and most amusing story about Consuelo “Chito” Paterno Madrigal was about “the hair-pulling episode” with Pilar Lim Tuason-Manzano, another “heredera,” sometime in the 1960s at the Bayview nightclub along Dewey boulevard.

    The story in the Tuason family goes that Eugenio “Geny” Lopez Jr. was dancing with Pilar when Chito, perhaps tipsy or even drunk, sidled up to him and blurted: “Why are you dancing with that sl*t?”

    “And who’s the sl*t???!!!” retorted Pilar, who forthwith proceeded to grab Chito’s beehive hair. Pilar was a notorious firebrand in her alma mater of Saint Scholastica’s College; she was the best friend of an even more notorious firebrand, Marie Theresa “Bebe” Gallardo Lammoglia [ who later became the superrich Mrs. Leonides S. Virata ], the naughtiest girl in their batch. Pilar also “looked down” on Chito, as Pilar was a Tuason, with 200 years of affluent history, while Chito was only an arriviste Madrigal, albeit a Paterno, but a poor Paterno, on her maternal side.

    Such were the foibles of Manila’s grandes dames.

  2. Enrique Bustos said,

    December 20, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Chito Madrigal is not only a socialite she graduated law in the Catholic University of America with top honors she passed the American Bar the first Filipina to do so, she graduated in the University of Sto Tomas summa cum laude in bachelors degree in Commerce she is a classmate of Washington Sycip and Alfredo Velayo founders of the country’s biggest auditing firm Sycip Gorres and Velayo

    Chito Madrigal Collantes in an interview Chito shared her work ethic. “You have to know what you are doing and make the right decisions in order to make a decision, you have to know what you are doing, the facts, the details, everything. Otherwise, you will go bankrupt

    The Madrigal Family was invited to invest in CityTrust Bank only Chito Madrigal Collantes and her Sister Senator Pacita Madrigal Gonzalez invested in CityTrust Bank they sold their share to the Bank of the Philippine Island of the Ayala family she made a big profit from the sale, when her brother Jose “Belec” Madrigal died she became the leader of the Madrigal business empire: Solid Bank, Solid Cement, Island Cement, and Susana Realty during her term she noticed the Return of Investments of their major corporation is not satisfactory to her even if all these corporations are making profits she notice all their major Corporation are not number one in their fields she decided that the Madrigal family should already divest and sell their major corporations Solid Cement and Island Cement was sold to Cemex Philippines and Solid Bank was to Metrobank

  3. Myles Garcia said,

    December 8, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Ay! Si Tita Chito!!


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