Birkinmania: The Hermes Birkins of Manila

Of course, it’s tacky to ask one’s freespending socialite friends, whether they are genuine establishment, fabulously nouveau riche, or the irrepressible wannabes, “How many Birkins do you have?” but one might as well ask as there seems to be a raging contest going on in walk-in closets and in chichi lunches and teas…

And I am NOT talking about the AAAs and the First Class fakes available at every “tiangge”…

“I only have 6.  But my daughter has 10.”

“She has assiduously collected 8.   She keeps them by her bedside to watch over them.”  ( Probably the only things she owns? )

“She has quite a number of them:  1 from Taipan I’s son, 1 from Taipan II’s son , 1 from Taipan III’s lesbian daughter, 1 from Senator IV, 1 from Senator V, 1 from Congressman VI, 1 from Congressman VII, 1 from Mayor VIII, 1 from Mayor IX, et. al..  She has more than 12?”

“I have 18.  And I want more…!!!”

“She freaked out when the ‘yaya’ carrying her Birkin was sandwiched between the elevator doors at Pacific Plaza towers.  She nearly died!!!  Well, the pobrecita ‘yaya’ was fired ASAP.”

“She has some 2 dozen Hermes Birkins among hundreds of  really nice bags in her 300 m2 walk-in closet in Forbes Park.  But she stopped using the Bs when JP and then DP started using them.  Hahahah!  Just wait until they move into the ‘hood!”  

“You should have seen her when her hubby’s champion golden retriever dragged her fuchsia pink Birkin through the dining room to the living room to the ‘lanai’ and made the bag his lunch.  She cried for days and days over her tattered bag!!!  It was as bad as when their big Cristal Baccarat chandelier in the dining room fell just before a dinner party years ago.  Maybe there’s something wrong with the feng shui of their house… ”  

“That’s her retinue:  There’s the ‘yaya’ with the smartphone, the ‘yaya’ with the Birkin, the ‘yaya’ with the child, the ‘yaya’ with the child’s bag, the gay ‘alalay,’ the bodyguard with the big umbrella, the bodyguard with the small umbrella, and the 2 drivers ( of 8 ), one for the day and one for the night.  Nice life.”

A taipan’s beautiful wife said:  “Toto, just to let you know that I am sick and tired of seeing women parading their Birkin for everyone to see, so I have been using mine as a gym bag to the horror of friends who love to show theirs off. Mine is stuffed with a water bottle (sometimes wet) and a towel and some snacks. Doesn’t that remind you of IRM who would parade her diamonds on her head (tiara) when Elizabeth Taylor in the same event wore hers underneath her ball gown, on her ankles, apparently the headlines the next day say:  ‘ The jewelry that Imelda wore on her head, Elizabeth Taylor wore on her feet.’ Not sure how accurate the story is though, but was widely gossiped about then….Hahaha… And just so you know, mine are real!!! Even if I shop at 168, I also shop at Hermes in PARIS!”

“Of course, I’m not going to pay attention to my bags, whatever they are.  What am I, nouveau riche???”  ( She isn’t, but megarich just the same. )

“Puh-leeze!!!  None of that stuff for me!!!  Why would I want to look like them ( a litany of “new tacky names” )???  Yes, we had them when nobody did but now…  EEEeeewww!!!  I’m happy with the darling little bags I pick up in places not known to THOSE people, thank you.”

“Hermes Birkins ( and Kellys ) are simply beautiful bags.  They come in such pretty colors, and they’re so well-made, like a genuine Paris couture gown!  They are the only reasons why I buy one every now and then.  The fact that they cost more shouldn’t be an issue or a factor.  If you like them, that is enough justification to purchase.”  reflected a doyenne of establishment society. 

“This is a very beautiful bag,” explained a rich, genuinely establishment society magazine editrix to her wide-eyed staff, “look at the quality of the leather, the fittings.   Observe how neatly and precisely it’s sewn together, you can tell that so much expert effort was expended to create it.  I want you to look at it, smell it, feel it.  In the future, girls, should you have the requisite resources, you should invest in bags of high quality like this Hermes Birkin.”        

The last word came from a ranking Frenchwoman who, with great curiosity and the requisite Gallic snobbery, asked her Filipino Spanish mestizo friend:  “I was in Manila and I observed that Filipina women use their Birkins in the evenings…  Don’t they know it’s a day bag?”

To which the diplomatic friend helplessly and haplessly replied:  The Philippines is a tropical country.  It’s warm.  There’s really no distinction between day and evening wear.”

“Palusot”!!!  ( Lame excuse!!! )   :P   :P  😛

23 Comments

  1. September 24, 2015 at 2:00 am

    You can give Kevin Kwan a run for his money!

  2. eduardo arroyo manzon said,

    July 16, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    is this peter paul coscolluela whose nickname is bingbing?how r u?remember me eduardo manzon?me and jack catayas r still hanging out once n a wyl,pls reply. . . .

  3. maria ramos said,

    November 22, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Mr. Gonzalez,

    November is almost at its end … where are your October musings?

  4. Cecille Santiago said,

    October 4, 2012 at 4:43 am

    “Our lot do not buy them, we inherit them.” Lady Mary Crawley’s reply to Sir Richard (her ex-future groom) when she asked how they will furnish their ex-future home, where Sir Richard replied: “The paintings, furniture, we can buy them…”

  5. monchito nocon said,

    September 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    “You don’t buy an Hermes bag. You inherit it.” – Jamby Madrigal

  6. Marjorie Ley said,

    August 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    A birkin misadventure: When Hermes Manila was newly opened, we saw ex-bold star married to a Canadian, IR, waltzing though the door carrying her birkin. She held her prized bag in a slightly raised arm, so contrived & unnatural that it was screaming “loooook, I have a birkin!!!!” Then she did her slow-motion, over-acting walk into the store. Kulang na lang, torotot at mag-curtsy kaming lahat!!!

  7. Myles Garcia said,

    August 29, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Marina Sanchez wrote:

    Madame Imelda Romualdez Marcos is delightfully BADUY ( and irritatingly BADUY to others, including her own, occasionally embarrassed daughters Imee & Irene ).

    Enough said.

    ( What can you say, Myles Garcia? )

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

    I don’t know. What else do you want me to say? (I kinda don’t like to pick on the trivial, petty stuff of Imelda.)

    But y don’t u look at the latest entry to the “Chez Romuladez” story in either December 2011 or the January 2012 archive. Maybe that will answer your query.

    FYI, I go for pithy…NOT petty.😉

  8. Enrique Bustos said,

    August 26, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Here is a picture of the house of Annabelle Rama and her Hermes collection
    http://www.ohmybuhay.com/wordpress/2012/05/31/annabelle-rama-her-hermes/

  9. Enrique Bustos said,

    August 26, 2012 at 8:36 am

    P500-M Birkin scam: There are no receipts
    By: Cheche V. Moral
    Philippine Daily Inquirer

    What happens now? It’s the question on everyone’s head after the P500-million Birkin scam story came out in Lifestyle two Sundays ago.

    It’s the same question we asked our sources, alleged victims of “Sheila,” who made off with an estimated half a billion pesos from transactions involving high-end designer bags, artworks and jewelry.

    “Nate,” one of Sheila’s victims and the first to approach the Inquirer to tell his story, says a case has been filed by at least one of the victims, but he can’t provide exact details. He lost P550,000, but he was clear from the start that he didn’t plan to pursue a court case as the cost of filing a lawsuit alone would be greater than his actual loss.

    “I’ve kept the check that bounced, though,” he says. “It sits there on my desk as a reminder.”

    There’s no consolidated effort among the victims to file a class action against Sheila because the victims don’t want to call undue attention to themselves, according to Nate. Many of them are cagey.

    “These are businessmen and women. It reflects badly on them if people find out that they’ve been conned.”

    “And, of course,” he adds, “they don’t want the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) to look into their finances… That’s the sad thing; if everyone just lets this slide, even Jake might slip away.”

    “Jake” is Sheila’s husband who has stayed behind. She’s believed to have fled abroad.

    Nate says there has been no move by Sheila to settle things. He confirms, though, that Jake has closed his store in Makati that sold limited-edition footwear.

    “Celina,” Sheila’s former airline coworker and wedding sponsor, says another ex-coworker has filed a case against Sheila, but Celina declines to give details. “I have to ask for permission,” she says.

    “I’m enraged!” says Celina. “I wouldn’t mind coming out in the open and screaming her name for the world to know, but she put me in a position where I can’t even do that. She wiped me out! I don’t have the P400,000 needed to file a lawsuit. Now I’m just trying to make sure that I don’t compromise myself in this lawsuit that was filed against me because of her.”

    Celina pooh-poohs claims made by a blog commenter that Jake and Sheila separated even before the scam unraveled, thereby suggesting Jake’s innocence. “Who would believe that? They were still together. She disappeared only last February.”

    The owner of the Makati salon where Sheila celebrated her birthday last year also denies having been victimized. “Almost,” he says. “But it didn’t get anywhere. She was talking to me about investments and stuff but I didn’t give it any thought. She did pay me the full amount of P150,000 for holding the party in the salon.”

    Sheila, the hairstylist says, was a good client. Her friends also went to the same salon. “She was very nice. That’s why I was so shocked when I heard whispers among my clients. Yes, some of them have lost money to her.”

    While this is the first scam of its kind to be brought out in the open, this certainly isn’t the first.

    Ingrid Go, Lifestyle columnist and the blogger behind The Bag Hag Diaries, says alleged victims have approached her to write about another woman who pulled the same fraudulent activity involving designer purses. The alleged perpetrator’s mother, says Go, works for a five-star hotel in Makati.

    Still another woman, married to an expat, got away scot-free, she says.

    Cases such as these may not prosper—if a case is filed at all—owing to one thing: There are no receipts.

    Says Celina, “One of Sheila’s victims who lost P35 million can’t do anything because she has no evidence. There are no receipts to prove their transactions.”

    “I always said no to these people coming to me because my blog isn’t about that. And you can’t really tell for sure how much of what they’re telling you is true,” says Go. “The underground economy in the Philippines is so big! There are others involved in diamonds. If only all of these people paid their taxes.”

    Go laments how the aftermath of these scams has reflected on designer bags. “They give designer brands a bad name. This is our society’s doing! We’re so in love with the idea of popularity and the things that we don’t have! Owning a Birkin won’t solve your problems. Having a Birkin won’t make you a better person, in the same way that not having one won’t make you into a lesser person. It’s all about greed. Who are we trying to impress? People that we don’t even like!”

    Go’s advice: “If you can’t afford it that you have to pay in installments, forget it! And when it comes to money, don’t trust anyone. Even your friends will turn on you because of money.”

  10. Enrique Bustos said,

    August 26, 2012 at 8:30 am

    The P500-million ‘Birkin scam,’ or how a woman’s obsession led to crime
    By Cheche V. Moral
    Philippine Daily Inquirer

    The names have been changed pending the filing of case in court.
    Nate met Sheila (not their real names) in 2004 through his friend Jack, who owns an art gallery. Nate is the gallery director in a Manila university owned by his family. A former flight attendant who had taken a break from work when she married and had children, Sheila had just started working at Jack’s gallery.
    Nate and Sheila quickly became friends. She was a very simple girl, he recalls in our interview, and even as she had no experience in the art scene, Sheila showed a knack for sales so that Jack began to trust her. Jack made her industrial partner, and later, managing director, widening her social network in the moneyed, art connoisseur set.
    “When we first met, Nine West or Cole Haan were already expensive for her,” Nate says. “When she started hanging out with people from the art scene and several of her former flight-attendant friends who had married rich, that all began to change.”
    He adds, “Louis Vuitton, she had a lot of those. Then this Birkin thing came about…”

    anonymous

    Nate and Sheila’s friendship developed into a business relationship. It all started smooth and harmless. Nate would travel to Europe with his partner Tom, and Sheila would ask him to buy a few designer bags to sell her “clients.”
    “At times, she said the orders would be three Chanels, five Goyards, one Hermes… All of these I would finance,” Nate says. “I made money by keeping the tax refund, and for each bag, depending on the price, I would get P10,000 to P25,000 each as carrier’s fee. I did that for almost 2½ years.”
    Sheila made good on her word. “I enjoyed doing it,” says Nate. “With that alone, each of my flights to Europe was already paid for. And I was also into bags. I even earned points on my credit card.”
    Then he quickly adds, “Let me be clear that I was only doing it for fun. I only did it on the side, I didn’t travel to Europe just to buy bags for her.”

    It was about the time Hermes opened its first boutique here that things became complicated.
    Hermes Birkin was the one bag everyone lusted after. But even if you had P500,000 lying around, which was the estimated cost of the cheapest Birkin in Greenbelt, the boutique couldn’t stock up by the dozens. If you wanted one quick, you had to look elsewhere.
    “She asked if I wanted to invest in the Birkins,” Nate recalls.
    The deal went this way: Sheila would ask an investor to pull in P450,000. In Europe, the cheapest Birkin costs shy of P400,000. She would sell the purse for P550,000. It was a plausible proposition: Some women would rather pay the extra P50,000 (over the Manila price tag) than travel to Europe to buy a purse.
    Of the total sales, P50,000 would go to the carrier who buys the bag in Europe or elsewhere, P50,000 to Sheila as middle person, and P50,000 to the investor. In short, an investor’s P450,000 becomes P500,000 in just a month, or a profit of 11 percent—a deal even the top banks couldn’t give.

    This time, Nate was a mere investor, not a buyer/carrier.
    “We did that for about six times,” Nate says. On the seventh time, Nate asked his nephew if he wanted to invest as well. The nephew said yes and, as usual, all parties involved laughed all the way to the bank.
    “I never saw the Birkins; she just showed me photos on her phone,” Nate says. It didn’t matter. She paid him on schedule. Business was good.

    Birkin

    Then came February this year. Nate was readying for another Europe trip when Sheila called to ask if he had P2 million. It was for a crocodile Birkin, she said, which would cost that much. She was sure she could sell the bag the following week. Expected profit was a cool P200,000.
    “In a pyramid scam, this tactic doesn’t make you instantly rich, it makes you buy time,” Tom, Nate’s partner, points out. “If I ask P2 million from you, I’ll use it to temporarily make good with everybody.”
    Looking back, Nate believes the P2 million was intended to pay off checks issued investors that were due for payment. At the time, he didn’t suspect yet that anything was amiss.
    Again, Nate turned to his nephew for P500,000 with a promised profit of P50,000. “My nephew wanted to invest the entire P2 million but good thing I told him no.”
    Nate met with Sheila a few days later, on Feb. 13, in a friend’s house, where she handed him the check for the investment plus profit, dated Feb. 17.
    “She looked different,” Nate says on hindsight. “She had no makeup on, no jewelry. She looked gaunt and sick. I didn’t know then that her financial woes were already piling up.”

    On Feb. 15, a Wednesday, Sheila called Nate to say she wasn’t able to deposit the check payment of the Birkin buyer (to fund the check issued Nate). “Monday came and she called again early to say the buyer’s check bounced so she’d just deposit the amount to my account that afternoon. I kept calling the bank all day as I was leaving for Europe the next day, and nothing. I had already issued a check to my nephew dated Feb. 23. I didn’t want that to bounce, especially since I would be away. I decided to get back the check, and just paid my nephew in cash. I didn’t want any trouble with my family.”
    On their way to the airport, Tom finally told Nate: “Can’t you see, the pyramid is crumbling?”

    Tom says he always had misgivings about Sheila’s dealings, but he wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. He thought it was too good to be true, but he had no reason to doubt her; she was a good friend to Nate. And up until that moment, she always delivered.
    Turned out his gut feel was right. “If you can make that much money out of nothing, why would you let other people in?” Tom says rhetorically. “You’d just keep it for yourself! The fact that she can extract money from people for nothing, she must be good, all right.”

    anonymous

    Sheila has not been seen or heard from since February. Nate and their friends suspect she’s hiding somewhere in the US. When things unraveled, it became known that the woman had duped many people, including her own closest friends and Nate’s. The others lost enormous amounts that made the P550,000 Nate had lost seem like loose change.
    “Funny because we had regular dinners and no one ever spoke of their business dealings with Sheila,” Nate says wryly. “It just seemed like good business that each wanted to keep it a secret…

    “One time Sheila went to the wife-manager of an artist to ask for P5 million,” Nate says. “Her favorite line was ‘magwalis-walis ka diyan, baka naman may mahanap kang P5 million.’ When that manager told her she had no money and to ask from our friend Jane instead, Sheila replied that how could she do that when Jane was just on an allowance from her rich husband. In truth she’d already gotten P13 million from Jane!
    “When it was suggested that she come to me instead, she told the person that we were not close. I’m the godfather of her son!”

    Nate estimates Sheila has made off with about P500 million from different people, based on the claims of those who have come forward. “We can’t really tell how much. More victims are coming out every day.”
    (Nate, Tom and Celina, another victim, spoke to Inquirer on condition of anonymity, pending the filing of a case against Sheila. Other supposed victims declined our requests for interview.)
    Nate witnessed Sheila’s transformation from the simple girl he met eight years ago to a Birkin-toting social butterfly.

    On her birthday last April, Sheila had a Makati salon closed for her private party. She had the model’s posters on the walls replaced with her own portraits, and she hired a top caterer. After the salon party, she and her guests were chauffeured to a five-star hotel, where she hosted dinner and after-dinner cocktails.
    Nate never wondered how Sheila was able to maintain her lifestyle; he just assumed her Birkin business was doing very good.
    Sheila’s husband, Jake, works for a high-profile veteran politician and wears designer suits.
    “Hermes, Louis Vuitton,” Tom says. “He never wore Hugo Boss because he said it was beneath him, and that’s what he told people.” Jake’s shoe closet of over 200 pairs of designer brands—Prada, Dior, Gucci—was even featured in a shoe blog, says Nate.

    celine

    In an art fair last year, Sheila’s young son pointed to a random painting and said he liked it. The mom didn’t think twice about plunking P75,000 for the painting, Nate says.
    Of how the couple kept their lavish lifestyle, says Tom: “I told Nate that it could be one of two things: It was either Sheila’s business was doing so good, or her husband was really corrupt.”
    One time, Nate went to a Greenbelt 4 boutique with Sheila and her husband. Jake paid for the purchases in cash. When Nate asked why he didn’t use a credit card since it was a large amount, Jake joked that it was better that way since it meant no paper trail.

    Sheila’s scheme turned out to be not just about Birkins. “To others, it would be paintings,” says Tom, who also owns an art gallery. “She would show a photo of a painting on her phone. She’ll say 10 Anita Magsaysay-Ho! Even a Monet! How can she get a Monet! All these people believed! Different approaches to different people. Minsan alahas, watches. Very creative.
    “There are lots of sad stories. She got money from someone who was getting chemo. Someone’s house got foreclosed because they invested all their savings with Sheila. She also got money from the owner of her son’s school, even the PTA. Of course, how could they not trust her? She brought her son’s entire class to Ocean Park, complete with lunch!”

    While no case has yet been filed against Sheila, the irony is that one of her former airline friends, Celina, is being sued by an investor who lost P7 million. Celina’s son had asked Jake to issue an affidavit attesting that Sheila and his mom were not “business partners,” ergo not in cahoots, as alleged in the suit, but Jake refused.
    Celina was Sheila’s senior in the airline they worked for. The older woman was a sponsor at Sheila’s wedding.
    “I had no reason to doubt her,” says Celina in a phone call to the Inquirer. “She had no history of being dishonest.”
    Distressed about being sued for Sheila’s crime, Celina laments her predicament. “I really want to go after her, but I can’t even do that because I can’t pay for a lawyer; she made off with all my money!” She lost P11 million of her personal money to her old friend.

    anonymous

    A fashion designer, who asked for anonymity, describes Sheila as a good client for about five years. She never haggled, he says. At one point, she paid him with a painting; she claimed she owned a gallery.
    “That was her packaging: young, rich and successful,” says the designer. “She always wore new things. Her bags were always the latest.”
    Nate also found out that Sheila never sold those Chanels and Celines he had been buying for her in Europe; she used them herself. “She just never wore them when we were together. But she told our friends they were gifts from me! No wonder when someone had a birthday, they would tease me, pa-Chanel ka naman.”

    The week before Sheila disappeared, Nate learned she held a garage sale, apparently to offset her other debts.
    “She had 40 pairs of Tory Burch flats. If she liked something, she bought it in all colors. The Celine bags that are so popular now, she had 12 of those, all in exotic leather.”
    Their friend Amy, who was closest to Sheila, wasn’t spared. She offered to sell Amy’s croc Birkin, and the trusting friend said yes. Sheila didn’t sell the bag, she only pawned it. “Good thing Amy knew the person she pawned it to. Amy redeemed her own bag,” Nate says.

    celine

    It wasn’t, however, the only time Sheila tried to pull a fast one on her best friend. She sold a 3-carat diamond ring to Amy, an object so cherished by the self-made IT entrepreneur that she had a safe built just for it.
    But at a party, a jeweler-friend noticed that the rock was a fake. Sheila shrugged this off, saying that the stone must have been replaced by the person she entrusted with it for cleaning. She offered to reimburse Amy, just like that. The trusting friend was appeased.

    Sheila’s tastes had gotten quite expensive through the years that on a Bangkok vacation last year with Nate, Tom and their girl friends, she refused to join them in the city’s bargain haunts. Instead she stayed behind in the hotel to get spa treatments, and shopped only in high-end malls.
    Sheila’s Twitter account, which is public but hasn’t been updated since she disappeared, also provides an insight into her lavish lifestyle. Frequent subjects of her tweet exchanges with friends were designer clothes, bags, shoes and jewelry. (Her Facebook account has been deleted.)

    Investors and creditors had cleared Sheila’s home of furniture and art pieces, says Nate, the same home she claimed she owned and had renovated for P2 million. “We were there for the blessing. It turns out they were just renting.”
    Her family has since vacated the apartment, according to Nate.
    “She just had to keep up with friends!” Tom says. “She must have thought they wouldn’t stay her friends if she didn’t have the same things they had.”
    Even in his resentment, there’s a tinge of grief in Nate’s voice over the friendship and trust that’s now in ruins. “She was really nice,” he concedes. “We never knew she would be scamming everyone.”

  11. Marina Sanchez said,

    August 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Madame Imelda Romualdez Marcos is delightfully BADUY ( and irritatingly BADUY to others, including her own, occasionally embarrassed daughters Imee & Irene ).

    Enough said.

    ( What can you say, Myles Garcia? )

    Marina Sanchez

  12. Alicia Perez said,

    August 24, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Toto,

    Most ( but not all ) of these Hermes Birkin-indulging Filipinas are possessed of resources far above 99 % of the populace. These women are married to “taipans” or captains of industry. Sometimes, they have their own inherited or created fortunes. They have world-class wealth for world-class spending. They live in sprawling houses on 2500 m2 or more properties in villages where the average price per m2 is Php 200,000.00 – 250,000.00 and where the average electric bill is Php 300,000.00/month and 2x or 3x that amount when there are big parties. They are chauffeur-driven in MBs, BMWs, Jaguars, Bentleys, etc.. They have jewelry by Graff, Mouawad, Cartier, Bulgari, & Tiffany. They have dresses by Chanel & Chloe and shoes by Blahnik & Louboutin. They have fabulous parties which cost tremendous, if not outright scandalous, sums with party planners and flowers flown in from Asia, USA, & Europe. In a very real sense, the superrich Filipina has arrived in the Pantheon of Style once jealously reserved only for Western Europeans & Americans. It’s also because the Chinese lady tycoon Yue-Sai Kan blazed the trail for all Asians.

    But despite all the staggering wealth, the superrich Filipina has charmingly remained BADUY. BADUY not in the sense of having no style, but BADUY in her childlike sense of fun, the genuine delight in “bueno, bonito, barrato” purchases, the willingness to jump into a “Zara,” “Forever 21,” & “Uniqlo” sale like everyone else ( albeit abroad ), the odd unwillingness to pay for beauty treatments at “Vicki Belo,” “Calayan,” & “Obagi” but fly to Switzerland and Germany anyway for stratospheric stem cell and embryonic treatments, the secret pleasure in her free birthday cake and Php 1,000.00 cash and endless movies at Rockwell from Jejo Binay, the diligence to count mileage for her First Class tickets, the audacity to ask for discounts in upscale Paris & London boutiques, the thick pokerface to negotiate for accommodations at the Plaza Athenee, Crillon, Ritz, George V, & Meurice in Paris and at the Dorchester, Savoy, & Claridge’s in London, among other quaint doings. PINAY PA RIN!

    Alicia Perez

  13. August 24, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Julius:

    Saki ( Hector Hugh Munro )!!! I’m flattered. Thank you very much.

    Cheers!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  14. August 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    i love your biting sarcasm. and the way you write is impeccable. You ought to publish this for the sake of posterity and as a comedic but cautionary roman-a-clef. Your writings reminded me of the late British author, Saki.

  15. Josh Moya said,

    August 22, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Hi Toto,

    Birkin bags are so overrated. Why spend so much to be one in a million? If you really have the money to flaunt then do what IRM did in the past and get a diamond-studded gold (not golden) bag. As far as i know she has around 8 of these.

  16. Marjorie Ley said,

    August 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Porcelain Princess has acquired a voracious appetite for the Birks of late as well. She used to collect LVs but switched to the more hi-brow and definitely more expensive brand upon seeing a more-than-a-decade-long-H-devotee-contemporary toting one during homecoming. Funny that the Princess even surpassed the devotee in the H collecting department. Years ago, she was floored upon seeing a society mag foto of Princess toting a Birk croc when she herself was still wait-listed for one. With the emperor’s unlimited treasury funds, Princess can cross the croc or any H-related finish line by leaps and bounds, just like a heady rabbit. Only the best for the best! Lucky her!

  17. August 20, 2012 at 9:14 am

    …please!
    Coscolluela family is having a 1st US reunion on 9/8/2012. My husband,Jose Peter Paul Coscolluela, son of Judge Jose Coscolluela, Jr. told me that Agustin Coscolluela is one of his Grandfather ( brother of Jose Alunan Coscolluela, Sr. and Ildefonso Coscolluela)

  18. Maritess Alava-Yong said,

    August 18, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Toto, I didn’t know that what we talked about ( and I thought, in confidence ) would be quoted by you verbatim… Oh, what a tangled web we weave… 🙂

  19. August 18, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Sarah Lawrence:

    We have a policy that comments with no real names ( like “Sarah Lawrence,” which is a college in NY ), no email addresses that can be confirmed, and no reliable identity checks will not be allowed.

    Please upload your comment again with the requisite information.

    Thank you.

    Toto Gonzalez

  20. Myles Garcia said,

    August 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    So, is Hermes B. related to the actress Jane Birkin? 🙂

  21. george shaw said,

    August 15, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    there’s this mananahi ng mga politicians( cannot be a couturier, hindi bagay), short guy, “Pa Cute”, he walks in the malls with one, sa escalator pa in Shangri-La kaya kitang kita, natalisod po, the polite colegialas behind him could not control their giggling, when they landed they rushed to the comfort room and there they let out their hysterical laughter.

  22. August 15, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    kafkaesque777:

    We have a policy that comments with no real names, no email addresses that can be confirmed, and no reliable identity checks will not be allowed.

    Please upload your comment again with the requisite information. It’s so witty, it’s great!

    Thank you.

    Toto Gonzalez

  23. celila teves said,

    August 15, 2012 at 10:35 am

    sorry, have no wish to explain but some of us need the grace to be delivered from short-sightedness.


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