Comedy Relief: High-Flying Mistress

This true story happened in the late 1970s and I had forgotten about it until my aunts, visiting from the United States, recalled it yesterday.  I assure you that it is a classic for all time…

An aunt of mine [ a first cousin of my mother ], a highly successful professional in her late 40s, was flying home to Manila from San Francisco, where she kept a really beautiful house in Hillsborough [ “Hillsboring” to her children  😛 ].  As always, she took Japan Airlines, First Class.

She took her seat and in a while was joined by another Filipina, pretty, in her early 40s.  My aunt introduced herself using her maiden name, for that was how she was known professionally and socially.  The younger lady was pleasant and they enjoyed their conversations throughout the long flight.

As always when ladies get together, they got to talking about their lives, their husbands / boyfriends, their children, their work, their health…

“I’m married, with five children.  We were married in 1952.”  my aunt volunteered.

“I’m still single, but I have a slightly older boyfriend;  he’s 49 and he’s a businessman.”  the younger lady responded.

“My husband is also a businessman… and he’s 49 too!”  my aunt exclaimed.

“Oh, that’s nice, men are so reliable at that age, don’t you think?”  remarked the younger lady.

“Yes, finally!  By the way, my husband is an architect… but his hobby is collecting guns.”  my aunt stated.

“Oh what a coincidence!  My boyfriend is also mad about guns… and he’s an architect too!”  exclaimed the younger lady.

Still suspecting nothing, my aunt asked:  “So what’s your boyfriend’s name?  Maybe I know him.  Manila is so small.”

“Manila is so small.”  You bet…   😛   😛   😛

“****** ******* [ my aunt’s husband ].”  revealed the younger lady.

!!!~@#$%^&*()_++_)(*&^%$#@~!!!

My sweet, sweet, sweet aunt saw all the stars, constellations, and galaxies of the universe… !!!!!!!!

Needless to say, there was a godawful quarrel the minute my sweet, sweet, sweet aunt arrived at her house in Manila…

Bwahahahahah!!!!!!!!   😛   😛   😛

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“Eat, Pray, Love” and the Gonzalez woman

I received a very interesting and very famous book from longtime dear friends Tito & Patis Tesoro for my birthday…

“”January 02, 2011

Dear Toto,

We know that you do all these activities [ w/ the exception of prayer? ] well but perhaps you can gain additional insights from this volume.

Happy Birthday!

Tito & Patis [ Tesoro ]””

And so I finally read the famous bestseller “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert through a succession of quiet, solitary evenings in bed.  It was really a very interesting read, specially for more “sensitive” beings [ it will certainly not appeal to dense macho men ].  What I found remarkable was that Elizabeth Gilbert was able to verbalize, and very specifically at that, a lot of complex things human beings feel that are very difficult to express, leading the way for me to sincerely empathize with the many human dilemmas in the book.  That was the wonder, at least for me.

“Eat, Pray, Love” and the constant search for happiness, meaning, and balance also reminded me of not a few Gonzalez women relatives who lived / live life with the same intrepid spirit as the author, Elizabeth Gilbert.

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

I remember my late uncle Brother Andrew at dinner telling one of his many beautiful nieces, just before her big society wedding [ complete with the couture wedding gown, serious jewelry, Santuario de San Antonio, Forbes Park wedding, Manila Polo Club reception, around-the-world honeymoon, their first home in Ayala Alabang, fully furnished, interior designed, landscaped, with four new vehicles in the garage… ]:  “Young lady, I hope you will not leave your husband when you become bored with him someday…”

He had reason to be worried and he had reason to say that.  Many of the Gonzalez de Sulipan women were and are beautiful, intelligent, hardworking, willful if not strong-willed.  Several of them were long-suffering wives of abusive, philandering / wayward, take-you-for-granted husbands who, all of a sudden, simply packed up their bags with absolutely no melodrama or high strung emotions and left to start new, happy lives.  It was always that unexpected, spontaneous, calm and collected, even cool “I’m tired of this.  Goodbye.” quality which surprised everyone, which marked them as “Gonzalez women.”

One wonders if it’s a “curse” that started with the ancestress, Maria Amparo “Mariquita” Gonzalez y de los Angeles [ + 1890s ], a beautiful, intelligent, strong-willed woman who, flouting all hypocritical Victorian conventions, engaged openly in a “marital” relationship with Fray Fausto Lopez, O.S.A. of Valladolid, Spain, the “cura parroco” parish priest of her hometown of Baliuag, Bulacan, and had six predictably goodlooking children.  “Mejorar la raza.”

The second son Joaquin studied in Madrid and Paris [ was one of the first “ilustrados” ] and became the first Filipino ophthalmologist [  he rose to professional prominence [ as one of the first Filipino medical doctors ], secretly supported the Katipunan, became the representative of Pampanga during the 1898 Malolos Congress, and later became the first rector of the first state university established by Emilio Aguinaldo in 1899, the “Universidad Cientifico-Literaria de Filipinas” ].  He married the Pampanguena heiress Florencia Sioco y Rodriguez of Bacolor and Sulipan, Apalit, Pampanga, from an affluent landed family who consistently supported rebellions and revolutions and whose women were firebrands in their own right.  Florencia’s mother, Matea Rodriguez y Tuason, an alluring and wily woman who buried two rich “hacendero” husbands, became the biggest financier of the revolutionary Katipunan in Pampanga.  Such were the fiery origins of the Gonzalez woman.

A beautiful aunt, just one of the many renowned beauties in her family, in her search for true love, had relationships with five men in succession and had a child with each of them.

A beautiful and intelligent aunt belonging to the most distinguished and most conservative branch of the family was just about to get married — the “traje de boda” was ready;  the church and the reception had been arranged;  the invitations had already been sent out — when her parents found out something utterly unacceptable about her fiance and canceled the wedding at the last minute.  She bore it all with remarkable dignity and stoicism, became a top ranking educator, and never thought of marriage for the rest of her life.

And why worry?  Because it’s there, because it’s genetic, because it continues to happen in this day and age…

A beautiful and rich cousin started off with a “good marriage” to a suitably affluent gentleman whom she eventually left out of irreconcilable differences.  She proceeded to a second relationship with a separated man which had the total disapproval of her conservative and pious “Catolico cerrado” parents who forthwith cut off all support.  She endured the financial hardships but left him as well.  She is in another relationship and hopes that all will be well.

A beautiful, intelligent, and rich cousin left the strictures of a confining marriage to a rich scion and sought her happiness with a sportsman with no financial and social cache.

An alluring, intelligent, hardworking, and ambitious cousin went through a succession of career changes and a soured marriage with a closet gay man before finding her metier and emerging as the top practitioner in her chosen field.

A beautiful, well-off, and sheltered cousin, courted by a posse of eligible bachelors who seemed to bore her, became like a moth to the flame when she almost succumbed to the charms of a fast-talking, married / separated playboy / man-about-town / boulevardier.

An appealing, intelligent, and hardworking niece became involved with a veritable procession of suitable and unsuitable men through high school to college to postgrads before finally finding true love and settling into a conventional marital relationship.

An alluring, intelligent, and hardworking niece refused to be involved with an inveterate playboy like her father and threatened to settle with an innocuous sportsman with little professional potential and less financial prospects, but one whom she could completely control.

Such startling women, the Gonzalez.  “Nasa loob ang kulo.”  Beware.

*unfinished*

Breathless

I have never had a Christmas season like this in Manila… I was actually out of breath dashing from work to lunch, work to merienda, work to cocktails to dinner… practically every day.  I can only guess that the Philippine economy is doing well, because the majority of people are in the mood to give and to attend all sorts of gatherings.

Aside from the Christmas parties, the lunches and the dinners with friends, there were family / clan reunions, gala events, “bienvenidas,” “asaltos,” “despedidas,” “important” weddings, baptisms, confirmations, children’s parties, debuts, “important” funerals, art openings, concerts, book launches, out-of-town jaunts, etc., etc., etc..

And the season hasn’t stopped… It’s just going and going and going…!!!

WOW…  *breathless*

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 370,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 16 days for that many people to see it.

 

In 2010, there were 113 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 482 posts.

The busiest day of the year was February 27th with 2 views. The most popular post that day was Politics of the Tiger.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were mail.yahoo.com, facebook.com, en.wordpress.com, chuvaness.livejournal.com, and en.wikipilipinas.org.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for toto gonzalez, remembrance of things awry, toto gonzalez blog, toto gonzales, and remembranceofthingsawry.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Politics of the Tiger February 2010
25 comments

2

CURRENT EVENTS MANILA December 2009
133 comments

3

About Toto Gonzalez August 2006
350 comments

4

The Elegance of Old Spanish Manila February 2008
429 comments

5

The Families of Old Binan, Laguna February 2010
161 comments