Renaissance: The arts during the Marcos regime

The extremely active, albeit exaggerated, Philippine contemporary art scene aside, one remembers an earlier golden period of art about 50 years ago, during the ascendancy of President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos and his First Lady, Madame Imelda Romualdez-Marcos.

Reading through the now antediluvian articles on art during the Marcos regime, one is struck by the creative flowering of several major artists in so many fields.  Despite the difficult political climate, the arts flourished to a remarkable degree, to an intensity unmatched in the past and perhaps in the present.

Madame Imelda Romualdez-Marcos had her mantra:  “The good, the true, and the beautiful.”

*unfinished*

Asunder

We all think “telenovela” plots are way out, whether they are Filipino, Korean,  Mexican, whathaveyou…

But indeed, Truth is stranger than Fiction.

The following story is happening to friends of mine.  Although affluent, they are not “in society.”  But what is happening has jarred me enough to want to share it with you…

Jake and Faith have been married for 15 years and seem like the perfect couple:  both goodlooking, intelligent, hardworking, prosperous, and visibly in love.  Jake is a vice-president in a multinational corporation and has several businesses of his own.  Faith is a born entrepreneur, a hardworking businesswoman who imports exclusive boutique beauty products and other luxury items from Europe and from the USA.  They have no children.  After several tests, it was determined by the doctors that it was Faith who had the fertility problem.

Jake and Faith were unfazed, and since they had the resources, went to every single fertility doctor they could find.  After exhausting their list in Manila, they proceeded to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Bangkok, San Francisco, and New York.  None of the doctors could get Faith pregnant.

Unknown to Faith, Jake had become despondent and was losing faith in himself.  He desperately wanted to have children, not just one, but several.  For Jake, adoption of someone else’s child was totally out of the question.

About a year ago, on a business trip down south, Jake found himself visiting Bernie, his former flame.  Bernie is from a rich political clan, the daughter of an influential, longtime politico.  Jake had bowed out of her life years ago when he was a nobody careerwise and could not afford Bernie’s affluent style of life.  Unknown to Faith in Manila, Jake’s visits down south to Bernie became more frequent.  Before Jake and Bernie could realize what was happening, Bernie became pregnant.  Not wanting a scandal to blow up, her parents sent her to the USA to give birth there.  

Bernie gave birth to a bouncing baby boy.  Jake was delirious with happiness.  Bernie’s parents were not happy about her illicit relationship with Jake, not only because she was a mistress, but they felt that he was not rich enough, influential enough, and important enough for them, although they were very happy about their new grandson, a new heir to their political dynasty!  Bernie’s father sat Jake down and pointedly told him that the baby boy would carry their surname instead of Jake’s for as long as Jake could not marry Bernie and make an honorable woman out of her.  He stated in the strongest terms that Jake should leave his wife Faith and marry their daughter Bernie.

Bernie, for her part, also told Jake in the strongest terms that he should marry her, that he should have his marriage to Faith annulled ASAP since they could not have children anyway.

All that time, Jake carried on with his loving wife Faith back in Manila as if nothing was happening…

Three months after the birth of his son with Bernie, and ready to be expelled from their marriage and their home, Jake finally mustered the courage to tell the truth to Faith, expecting the worst.

But Faith, kind and understanding woman that she is, did not go into a rage.  Calmly, she told Jake that she was very hurt, but that she completely understood his situation.  How could he live without children of his own knowing full well that he was a healthy man capable of producing them?  Faith assured Jake that she was ready to live their life with his son from Bernie.  However, Jake did not tell Faith that Bernie and her family are pressuring him to leave her and marry Bernie instead.

Where do they go from there???!!!

I know Jake and Faith well.  Faith is a wonderful woman whose only fault is that she cannot have a child.  I can only conjecture what prompted Jake to return to Bernie and…

If this isn’t an unraveling “telenovela,” I don’t know what is…

The Families of Political Tradition

The political dynasts of the Philippines.

ALONTO [ Mindanao ].

AGUINALDO [ Kawit, Cavite ].

President Emilio F. Aguinaldo.

Minister of War Baldomero Aguinaldo.

Prime Minister Cesar Emilio Aguinaldo Virata [ Baldomero Aguinaldo’s grandson ].

Supreme Court Justice Ameurfina Aguinaldo Melencio-Herrera.

Rep. Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya [ also presently Liberal Party Secretary-General ].

Mayor Federico Aguinaldo Poblete.

Mayor Reynaldo Aguinaldo.

Vice Mayor Emilio Aguinaldo IV [ also known as “Orange”;  husband of ABS-CBN news anchor Bernadette Sembrano ].

AQUINO [ Tarlac ].

General Servillano Aquino.

Benigno Aquino Sr.

Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.

President Benigno “Noynoy” Cojuangco Aquino III.

BAUTISTA [ Cavite ].

Leonides Sarao Virata.

Prime Minister Cesar Aguinaldo Virata.

Senator Ramon Revilla.

Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr..

COJUANGCO [ Tarlac ].

Ambassador Eduardo “Danding” Murphy Cojuangco Jr..

President Corazon “Cory” Sumulong Cojuangco-Aquino.

President Benigno “Noynoy” Cojuangco Aquino III.

Congressman Jose “Pepe” Chichioco Cojuangco Sr..

Congresswoman Mercedes “Ditas” Murphy Cojuangco-Teodoro.

Congressman Jose “Peping” Sumulong Cojuangco Jr..

Secretary of Defense Gilberto “Gibo” Cojuangco Teodoro Jr..

Mayor Miguel “Dors” Cojuangco Rivilla.

CRISOLOGO [ Ilocos Sur ].

Congressman Floro S. Crisologo.

Governor Carmelita “Carmeling” Pichay-Crisologo.

Vicente “Bingbong” Crisologo.

General Fabian Crisologo Ver.

CUENCO [ Cebu ].

DURANO [ Danao, Cebu ].

EJERCITO [ San Juan, MM ].

President Joseph Estrada.

Senator “Jinggoy” Estrada.

Mayor “JV” Ejercito.

Mayor Guia Guanzon Gomez.

GUSTILO.

JOSON [ Nueva Ecija ].

Tomas Joson.

Eduardo Joson.

KIRAM [ Sulu ].

LAUREL [ Batangas ].

LEVISTE [ Batangas ].

LOPEZ [ Iloilo ].

Benito Villanueva Lopez.

Vice-President Fernando “Nanding” Hofilena Lopez.

Congresswoman Hortensia Lopez Laguda-Starke.

LUCMAN [ Mindanao ].

MACAPAGAL [ Pampanga ].

President Diosdado “Dadong” Pangan Macapagal.

President Gloria Macaraeg Macapagal-Arroyo.

MADRIGAL [ Manila ].

Senator Vicente Lopez Madrigal.

Senator Maria Paz “Pacita” Paterno Madrigal.

Senator Maria Ana “Jamby” Abad Santos Madrigal.

MAGSAYSAY [ Zambales ].

President Ramon Magsaysay.

MARCOS [ Ilocos Norte ].

President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos.

First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos.

Governor Maria Imelda “Imee” Romualdez Marcos.

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos Jr.

MASTURA [ Mindanao ].

OSMENA [ Cebu ].

President Sergio Osmena.

PENDATUN [ Mindanao ].

RASUL [ Mindanao ].

RECTO [ Batangas ].

ROMAN [ Bataan ].

ROMUALDEZ [ Leyte and Manila ].

Justice Norberto Romualdez.

Mayor Miguel Romualdez.

First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos.

Ambassador Benjamin “Kokoy” Romualdez.

SINGSON [ Ilocos Sur ].

Governor Luis “Chavit” Crisologo Singson.

SINSUAT [ Mindanao ].

SUMULONG [ Rizal ].

TAMANO [ Mindanao ].

TILLAH [ Mindanao ].

The Families of Entrepreneurial Tradition

ABOITIZ [ Ormoc, Leyte and Cebu ].  The Aboitiz are one of the Basque immigrant families who have risen to the pinnacle of economic importance in the Philippines.

Paulino Aboitiz.

ARANETA [ de R. Hidalgo ].

Atty. Gregorio Soriano Araneta.

Atty. Salvador Araneta.

ARANETA [ Bago, Negros Occidental ].

J. Amado Araneta.

Jorge Araneta.

CACHO.

CHAN [ Negros Occidental ].

CHIONG VELOSO [ Cebu ].

Nicasio Chiong Veloso.

Genoveva “Bebing” Chiong Veloso Singson-Villalon.

Sergio “Serging” Chiong Veloso Osmena Jr..

Dr. “Vicki” [ Chiong Veloso-Singson ] Gonzalez Belo.

CO BAN KIAT [ Binondo ].

COJUANGCO [ Malolos, Bulacan and Paniqui, Tarlac ].

Ysidra Estrella Cojuangco.  Founder of the immense Cojuangco fortune.

Melecio Estrella Cojuangco.

Tecla Chichioco-Cojuangco.

Jose Chichioco Cojuangco Sr.

Antonio Cojuangco.

Eduardo Chichioco Cojuangco Sr.

Pedro Sumulong Cojuangco.

Eduardo Murphy Cojuangco Jr..

CONCEPCION [ Manila ].

Jose Concepcion.

Raul Concepcion.

CU-UNJIENG [ Binondo, Manila ].

Guillermo Cu-Unjieng.

CUYEGKENG [ Binondo, Manila ].

DEE C. CHUAN [ Binondo, Manila ].

DE LA RAMA [ Bacolod, Negros Occidental ].

Esteban de la Rama.

DE LEON [ Bacolor, Pampanga ].

Jose Leoncio Hizon de Leon Sr..

DE LEON [ San Miguel de Mayumo, Bulacan ].

Narcisa Lim Buencamino-de Leon.

DE LOS REYES [ Cavite ].

Crisanto de los Reyes.

Rodrigo Berenguer de los Reyes.

Geronimo Berenguer de los Reyes.

DE SANTOS [ Tondo, Manila ].

DE YNCHAUSTI [ Manila ].

DEL ROSARIO [ Manila ].

Ramon del Rosario.

ELIZALDE [ Manila ].

ESCALER [ Sulipan, Apalit, Pampanga and San Miguel, Manila ].

Sabina Sioco-Escaler.

Jose Sioco Escaler Sr.

Ernesto Ocampo Escaler Sr.

Michael de Leon Escaler.

ESCANO.

GABALDON [ Nueva Ecija ].

GOKONGWEI [ Cebu ].

JALANDONI [ Jaro, Iloilo ].

JISON [ Silay, Negros Occidental. ]

Francisco Lopez Jison.

LAZATIN [ San Fernando, Pampanga ].

Serafin Lazatin.

Jesus Singian Lazatin.

LEDESMA [ Jaro, Iloilo ].

Julio Ledesma.

LEGARDA [ Manila ].

LIZARES [ Talisay and Bacolod, Negros Occidental ].

Enrica “Dicang” Alunan-Lizares.

Nicolas “Colay” Alunan Lizares.

LOPEZ [ Jaro, Iloilo ].  The “ne plus ultra” of Ilonggo entrepreneurship.

Eugenio “Ening” Hofilena Lopez Sr..

Fernando “Nanding” Hofilena Lopez.

Victoria Ledesma Lopez-Araneta.

Vicente “Cente” Villanueva Lopez.

Eusebio “Sebio” Villanueva Lopez.

Rosario “Sayong” Villanueva Lopez-Santos.

Maria “Bibing” Villanueva Lopez.

Paz Villanueva Lopez-Laguda.

LU YM / LU DO [ Cebu ].

MADRIGAL [ Manila ].

Vicente Lopez Madrigal.

Antonio “Tony” Paterno Madrigal.

Jose “Belec” Paterno Madrigal.

Consuelo “Chito” Paterno Madrigal-Collantes.

MAGSAYSAY [ Zambales ].

MONTILLA [ Pulupandan, Negros Occidental ].

Agustin Montilla.

NEPOMUCENO [ Angeles, Pampanga ].

Juan de Dios Nepomuceno.

ONGSIAKO [ Manila ].

ORTIGAS [ Manila ].

Francisco Barcinas Ortigas Sr.

Ignacio Vargas Ortigas.

Francisco “Paquito” Vargas Ortigas Jr.

Ignacio Ortigas.

OSMENA [ Cebu ].

Severo Osmena.

Sergio Osmena Sr..

Sergio “Serging” Chiong Veloso Osmena Jr..

PADILLA [ Lingayen, Pangasinan and San Miguel, Manila ].

Narciso Padilla.

Barbara Padilla – Resurreccion Hidalgo.

Sabino Bibby Padilla.

Ambrosio Bibby Padilla.

Nicanor Padilla.

PANLILIO [ San Fernando and Mexico, Pampanga ].

Luis Dayrit Panlilio.

Pablo Dayrit Panlilio.

Fe Lugue Sarmiento-Panlilio.

PATERNO [ Binondo, Manila ].

Paterno Molo de San Agustin.

Maximino Molo Agustin Paterno.

Martina Paterno-Zamora.

Susana Ramos Paterno-Madrigal.

Dr Jose Ramos Paterno.

Simon Ramos Paterno.

Vicente Tirona Paterno.

Manuel Veloso Paterno.

Simon Roces Paterno.

Victor Pardo Paterno.

PRIETO [ Manila ].

Mauro Prieto.

QUE [ Manila ].

QUE PE [ Manila and Hong Kong ].

ROXAS [ Manila ].

Domingo Roxas.

Bonifacio Roxas.

Margarita Roxas de Ayala.

Pedro Pablo Roxas.

SALGADO [ San Fernando, Pampanga ].

Filomena Salgado.

Teodora Salgado-Ullmann-Sa.

Erlinda Salgado Miranda-Oledan.

SANTOS [ Malabon ].

Roman Rodriguez Santos.

Augusto Andres Santos.

SORIANO [ Manila ].

Andres Roxas Soriano Sr..

Andres Soriano Jr..

SY [ Manila ].

SY-QUIA [ Ilocos Sur and Manila ].

Vicente Ruperto Romero Sy Quia.

Gregorio Sy-Quia y Encarnacion.

Pedro Sy-Quia y Encarnacion.

TAMBUNTING [ Binondo, Manila ].

Ildefonso Cosiam Tambunting.

TAN [ Manila ].

TANTOCO [ Malolos, Bulacan ].

Bienvenido Tantoco.

Gliceria Dimaano Rustia-Tantoco.

TINIO { Nueva Ecija ].

TUASON [ Manila ].

Antonio Tuason.  “Duque de Binondo.”

Gonzalo Tuason.

Celso Tuason.

VALDES [ Manila ].

VELASCO CHUA CHENG CO [ Binondo, Manila ].

YANGCO.

YAO [ Manila ].

Yao Shiong Shio.

Greta Yao.

Jose Yao Campos.

Jose Campos Jr.

YUCHENGCO [ Binondo, Manila ].

Yu Tiao Qui.

Enrique Yuchengco.

Alfonso Yuchengco.

Vicencia Yuchengco.

Helen Sycip Yuchengco-Dee.

Vivian Yuchengco.

YUTIVO [ Binondo, Manila ].

ZAMORA [ Manila ].

ZOBEL DE AYALA [ San Miguel, Manila ].

Margarita Roxas-de Ayala.

Antonio de Ayala.

Jacobo Zangroniz Zobel.

Trinidad Roxas de Ayala.

Enrique de Ayala Zobel.

Alfonso Roxas Zobel.

Mercedes Roxas Zobel-McMicking.

Enrique Zobel y Olgado.

Jaime Zobel de Ayala.

Jaime Augusto Zobel.

Fernando Zobel.

The Families of Intellectual Tradition

Brains, brains, and more brains…

ABAD-SANTOS.

ALZONA.

Dr. Encarnacion Amoranto Alzona, Ph.D..  B.A. in History from the University of the Philippines in 1917;  M.A. in History in 1918.  M.A. in History from Radcliffe College in 1920.  She was the first Filipina Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1923.

ARANETA [ de R. Hidalgo ].

Atty. Gregorio Soriano Araneta.

Atty. Salvador Zaragoza Araneta.

Luis Ma. Zaragoza Araneta.

BENITEZ [ Pagsanjan, Laguna ].  PWU Philippine Women’s University.

Conrado F. Benitez.

Dr. Helena Zoila Tirona Benitez.

Purisima “Petty” Benitez-Johannot.

DEFENSOR.

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

Mike Defensor.

DIOKNO.

Jose W. Diokno.

ESCALER.

Atty. Jose Sioco Escaler.

Ernesto Ocampo Escaler.

Bishop Federico “Freddie” Ocampo Escaler, D.D..

FABELLA.  JRU Jose Rizal University.

Dr. Armand Fabella.

FLORENTINO.

Leona Florentino.

GALLEGO.

Manuel Gallego.

GONZALEZ [ Sulipan, Apalit, Pampanga ].

Dr. Joaquin Lopez Gonzalez.  He was one of the first “ilustrados,” one of the first Europe-educated Spanish-Filipino doctors in the early 1870s.  He finished his medical studies at the Universidad Central de Madrid and proceeded to apprentice with the famous ophthalmologist Dr. Louis de Wecker in Paris, who years later trained Dr. Jose Rizal.  Dr. Gonzalez was one of only two representatives from Pampanga to the Malolos Congress [ the other being Jose Rodriguez Infante ].  He was appointed by President Emilio Aguinaldo as the first Rector of the first state university, the Universidad Cientifico-Literaria de Filipinas, the Malolos Republic-established forerunner of the UP University of the Philippines.

Atty. Francisco Javier Eligio Sioco Gonzalez.  One of the first Filipino Ll.M. graduates of Yale University.

Dr. Bienvenido Ma. Sioco Gonzalez.  The sixth President of the UP University of the Philippines and the visionary who transferred the campus from Manila to the sprawling hectareage in Diliman, Quezon city.

Atty. Joaquin “Jake” Tomas de Aquino Valdes Gonzalez.  Founding/charter member of the Sigma Rho fraternity of the UP University of the Philippines College of Law.

Atty. Gonzalo Walfrido “GG” Rafols Gonzalez.  He was a famous corporate, intellectual property, and labor lawyer.  He served as a regent of the UP University of the Philippines.

Dr. Eva Beatriz Rafols Gonzalez.  Dean of the UP University of the Philippines and the PWU Philippine Women’s University.

Macario Diosdado Arnedo Gonzalez / Brother Andrew Benjamin Gonzalez F.S.C. of the De La Salle University [ 1940 – 2006 ].  The longtime President of the DLSU De La Salle University and the visionary who oversaw its exponential expansion.

GUERRERO.

Leon Ma. Guerrero.

Carmen “Chitang” Guerrero-Cruz-Nakpil.

KALAW.

Teodoro Kalaw Sr..

LAUREL.

LAVA.

Dr. Jesus Lava.

LEDESMA.

Carlos Ledesma Ledesma.

LEGARDA.

Dr. Benito Legarda.

LOCSIN.

Teodoro Locsin.

Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin.

Leandro V. Locsin.

MANAHAN.

Juan Manahan.

Dr. Constantino Manahan.

Dr. Antonio Manahan.

MARCOS.

President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos.

MARQUEZ.

MASTURA.

MONTINOLA.

Senator Ruperto Montinola.

Aurelio “Aureling” Javellana Montinola Jr..

Aurelio “GG” Reyes Montinola III.

NAKPIL.

Julio Nakpil.

Arch. Juan Nakpil.

Arch. Angel Nakpil.

Dr. Fernando Nakpil-Zialcita.

ONGPIN.

Roman Tanbensiang Ongpin.

Alfonso Ongpin.

Roberto V. Ongpin.

Jaime V. Ongpin.

PADILLA.

Justice Sabino Bibby Padilla.

Senator Ambrosio “Brosi” Bibby Padilla.

Justice Teodoro “Teddy” de los Reyes Padilla.

Atty. Sabino “Binoy” Belling Padilla.

Atty. Eduardo “Eddie” Padilla Lizares.

Dr. Dominga “Minguita” Belling Padilla.

Maria Teresa “Maite” Padilla Gallego-Zaldarriaga.

Marissa Padilla.

Violeta Padilla Gallego-Kramer.

Atty. Dominique “Monique” Padilla Gallego.

PARDO DE TAVERA.

Felix Pardo de Tavera.  He was exiled to the Marianas islands on account of his perceived libertarian ideas;  he was joined in exile by his wife, the heiress Gertrudis de Gorricho.

Trinidad Hermenigildo “T.H.” Pardo de Tavera.

Dr. Mita Pardo de Tavera.

Xavier Pardo de Tavera Loinaz.

Dr. Marc Loinaz.

PATERNO.

Pedro Alejandro Molo Paterno.

Vicente Tirona Paterno.

Simon Roces Paterno.

PEDROSA.

Secretary Pio Pedrosa.

PONCE-ENRILE.

Atty. Alfonso Ponce-Enrile.

Senator Juan Ponce-Enrile.

QUIASON.

Justice Camilo Danganan Quiason.

Dr. Serafin Danganan Quiason.

Atty. Enrique “Eric” Imamura Quiason.

REYES.  FEU Far Eastern University.

Nicanor Reyes.

Dr. Lourdes Reyes-Montinola.

RIZAL-MERCADO.

Dr. Jose P. Rizal.

ROCES.

Joaquin “Chino” Roces.

Alejandro “Anding” Reyes Roces.

ROXAS.

SALAS.

Rafael Salas.

SYCIP.

Washington Sycip.

TANADA.

TEEHANKEE.

Justice Claudio Teehankee.

Atty. Manuel “Dondi” Teehankee.

Dean Julio “July” Teehankee.

Dean Ben Teehankee.

TEODORO.

Gilberto “Bert” Teodoro Sr..

Gilberto “Gibo” Cojuangco Teodoro Jr..

VILLEGAS.

Bernardo “Bernie” Villegas.

Ramon N. Villegas.

VIRATA,

Leonides Sarao Virata.

Cesar Aguinaldo Virata.

ZOBEL DE AYALA.

Jacobo Zangroniz Zobel [ Jacobo Zobel Zangroniz ].  The outstanding Renaissance man of the Zobel clan.

Enrique de Ayala Zobel [ Enrique Zobel de Ayala ].  He established the “Premio Zobel” to preserve the Spanish language in the Philippines.

Filipino nary-tage, not heritage

“I don’t have any explanation why the Filipinos are like this…???” and Bambi threw her arms in the air.

After Bambi had spoken, there was an open forum and Mary, a Canadian, asked:  “Why don’t the Filipinos establish an organization that will maintain and conserve these historic structures … something like Britain’s ‘National Trust’?”

We all knew that we already had HCS Heritage Conservation Society, of which several in our group were members.  But funding so that it could have “teeth and claws” was an entirely different story…

It isn’t just those pine trees in Baguio which everyone is babbling about;  the overly emotional public outcry is probably the work of the dirty tricks department of a law or public relations firm in Manila.  The beautiful Baguio of old [ Session road, Burnham park, Baguio cathedral, the convents of various religious congregations, elegant mountain villas and gardens in the Leonard Wood area, Wright park, “Mansion House” the presidential summer residence, the original Baguio country club, the American Camp John Hay, etc. ] has long been ruined anyway by political greed, disorganized development, and multitudes of squatters from all over the country.  It isn’t like the SM group is committing the gravest sin removing those pine trees;  far worse atrocities have already been committed and even more are in the offing.  It’s sooooo much else all over the country and inside all of us…  Sooooo much of our national heritage has been destroyed, is still being destroyed, and will still be destroyed — all in the name of “progress.”  We Filipinos inherited the “disposable” mentality imposed subliminally by our American colonizers:  We throw everything away, including ourselves.  We have thrown our sense of national identity away in a frenzy of “globalization,” to the extent that our youth now want to emulate our black, Negro brothers — not even in their native Africa — but in hiphop Harlem in New York city, in the United States.

The problem with a lot of the Roman Catholic parish priests, specially those assigned to the heritage churches, is that they sincerely think that what they like for their parish churches is beautiful and suitable, when most of the time, it is exactly the opposite…

Very rare are the likes of Diocese of Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco D.D. who engaged the services of patrician artist Rafael del Casal “carte blanche” to redesign the Immaculate Conception parish church to the Cathedral of Cubao.  Both Bishop Ongtioco and Mr. del Casal are gentlemen of uncompromisingly elegant tastes and their collaboration has been exceptional.  Combined with the generous funding of Captain Oca and the other benefactors, the result is an absolute artistic marvel unique in these islands [ except for the very few areas where Mr. del Casal was not involved ].

It’s the “Uglification of the Philippines,” and the average Filipino is powerless against it.  Poor guy.  What he thinks is beautiful is actually ugly by world standards.

Unless the Filipinos of culture and resources act — the intelligentsia, the culturati, and the plutocracy — there will be nary a trace of “Filipino heritage” — whatever little of it remains — in the near future.

The most glamorous Filipina ladies of their times

Appearances, appearances, appearances… as defined by the legendary Diana Vreeland.

There are just some Filipina ladies who naturally have “star power”…

The Power of Glamour…

Yes, they all pleaded to be “simple ladies,” but by dint of inherited wealth, ancestry, social position, education, and exposure, they were pushed to the forefront of society with all the benefits as well as the attendant responsibilities.  Also, their wealth allowed them the luxury and privilege of looking beautiful in their maturity.

Pacita Ongsiako de los Reyes-Phillips.

Conching Chuidian Sunico.

Monina Acuna.

Mercedes Lopez-Araneta [ Mrs. Jose Araneta ]

Victoria Ledesma Lopez-Araneta [ Mrs. Salvador Araneta ].

Angela Olgado-Zobel [ Mrs. Jacobo Zobel ].

Mercedes Zobel-McMicking [ Mrs. Joseph McMicking ].

Virginia Llamas-Romulo [ Mrs. Carlos Romulo ].

Carmen Planas.

Lourdes “Lourding” Alunan.

Charito Moreno.

Telly Albert-Zulueta.

Clarita Tankiang.

Angelina “Gely” Fajardo-Lopez [ Mrs. Francisco Lopez ].

Lourdes Luciano-Ocampo [ Mrs. Fernando Ocampo ].

Victoria “Vicky” Syquia Quirino-Gonzalez-Delgado [ Mrs. Chito Gonzalez;  Mrs. Francisco Delgado Sr. ].

Maria Paz “Pacita” Madrigal-Warns-Gonzalez [ Mrs. Herman Warns;  Mrs. Gonzalo Gonzalez ].

Consuelo “Chito” Madrigal-Vazquez-Collantes [ Mrs. Luis Vazquez;  Mrs. Manuel Collantes ].

Maria Luisa “Ising” Madrigal-Vazquez [ Mrs. Daniel Vazquez ].

Josefina “Pitang” Buyson-Eusebio.

Nelly Montilla-Paterno-Lovina.

Lily de las Alas-Padilla [ Mrs. Ambrosio Padilla ].

Carmen “Chitang” Guerrero-Cruz-Nakpil [ Mrs. Ismael Cruz;  Mrs. Angel Nakpil ].

Priscilla “Prissy” de la Fuente-Sison [ Mrs. Carlos Moran Sison ].

Nelly Lacson-Gonzalez [ Mrs. Dindo Gonzalez ].

Letty Lizares-del Rosario.

Nena Lacson-Garcia.

Celine Lacson-Heras.

Sonia Gamboa-Santos [ Mrs. Horacio Santos ].

Imelda Ongsiako-Cojuangco [ Mrs. Ramon Cojuangco ].

Marie Theresa “Bebe” Gallardo Lammoglia-Virata [ Mrs. Leonides Virata ].

Chona Recto-Ysmael-Kasten [ Mrs. Johnny Ysmael;  Mrs. Hans Kasten ].

Mary Hernandez-Prieto [ Mrs. Leo Prieto ].

Joji Felix-Velarde.

Elvira Ledesma-Manahan [ Mrs. Constantino Manahan ].

Maria “Baby” Araneta Araneta-Fores [ Mrs. Raul Fores ].

Angeles “Nene” Tuason-Quimson.

Presentacion “Presy” Moreno Lopez-Psinakis.

Imelda Romualdez-Marcos [ Mrs. Ferdinand Marcos ].

Zita Fernandez-Feliciano.

Cristina Castaner-Ponce Enrile [ Mrs. Juan Ponce Enrile ].

Edith Nakpil-Rabat.

Fe Sarmiento-Panlilio [ Mrs. Jose Panlilio ].

Angelina “Chona” Lazatin Mejia-Lopez.

Maria Victoria “Minnie” de la Rama Osmena.

Maria Regina “Regi” Lopez Araneta-Teodoro [ Mrs. Enrique Teodoro Jr. ]

Amparito Llamas-Lhuillier [ Mrs. Michel Lhuillier ].

Gemma Guerrero Cruz-Araneta.

Isabel Arrastia Preysler.

Cristina Valdes.

Gloria Diaz.

Toni Serrano-Parsons.

Maria Victoria “Marivic” Madrigal Vazquez.

Margarita “Margie” Moran-Floirendo [ Mrs. Antonio Floirendo Jr. ].

Maria Cristina “Maricris” Cardenas-Zobel [ Mrs. Inigo Zobel ].

Rose Anne Cu-Unjieng de Pampelonne.

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[ *The list is restricted to the ladies of the “de buena familia.” ]

The most beautiful Filipina ladies of their times

“Mirror, mirror on the wall…  Who are the fairest Filipinas of all???”

The Power of Beauty…

These are the most beautiful Filipinas as acknowledged by their social peers…

Pura Garcia Villanueva-Kalaw.

Guia Gonzalez Balmori.

Josephine “Nene” Beley Murphy-Cojuangco [ Mrs. Eduardo Cojuangco Sr. ].

Lily de las Alas-Padilla [ Mrs. Ambrosio Padilla ].

Maria Aurora “Baby” Aragon Quezon [ Mrs. Manuel Quezon ].

Susan Magalona.

Natividad Osorio-Aguinaldo.

Emma Benitez-Araneta-Valeriano.

Ruby de Leon Roxas-Roxas.

Rosario “Charing” Locsin Soriano-Lopez [ Mrs. Eduardo Lopez ].

Celine Lacson-Heras.

Imelda Trinidad Romualdez-Marcos [ Mrs. Ferdinand Marcos ].

Maria Soledad “Gretchen” Oppen-Cojuangco [ Mrs. Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. ].

Aurora “Rory” Murphy Cojuangco-Lagdameo [ Mrs. Ernesto Lagdameo ].

Mercedes “Mercy” Reinares Arrastia-Tuason.

Ingrid Sala-Santamaria.

Sylvia Younge Montemayor-de Leon.

Amy Gustilo-Lopez.

Diana Jean Barnes Lopez.

Rosemarie Gil.

Margarita “Tingting” de los Reyes-Cojuangco [ Mrs. Jose Cojuangco Jr. ].

Angelina “Chona” Lazatin Mejia-Lopez.

Violeta “Viol” Delgado-Cojuangco.

Margarita “Maita” Favis Gomez.

Gemma Guerrero Cruz-Araneta.

Isabel Arrastia Preysler.

Gloria Diaz.

Margarita “Margie” Moran-Floirendo [ Mrs. Antonio Floirendo ].

Claudia Lopez Bermudez.

Cherie Gil.

Monica “Nikki” Lopez Prieto-Teodoro [ Mrs. Gilberto Teodoro Jr. ].

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[ *The list is restricted to the ladies of the “de buena familia.” ]

Marrying well

“I married young and quick, from a place of love and hope, but without a lot of discussion over what the realities of marriage would mean.  Nobody advised me on my marriage.  I had been raised by my parents to be independent, self-providing, self-deciding.  By the time I reached the age of twenty-four, it was assumed by everyone that I could make all my own choices, autonomously.  Of course the world was not always like this.  If I’d been born during any other century of Western patriarchy, I would’ve been considered the property of my father, until which time he passed me over to my husband, to become marital property.  I would’ve had precious little say in the major matters of my own life.  At one time in history, if a man had been my suitor, my father might have sat that man down with a long list of questions to establish whether this would be an appropriate match.  He would have wanted to know, “How will you provide for my daughter?  What is your reputation in this community?  How is your health?  Where will you take her to live?  What are your debts and your assets?  What are the strengths of your character?”  My father would not have just given me away in marriage to anybody for the mere fact that I was in love with the fellow.  But in modern life, when I made the decision to marry, my modern father didn’t become involved at all.  He would have no more interfered with that decision than he would have told me how to style my hair.”

from “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert, p. 380, Penguin Books 2006.

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June is traditionally the month of weddings in the Philippines, although it is already being superseded by December, so I think that the subject of “marrying well” is timely…

“Marrying well” is not only marrying rich.  Of course it’s the point, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.  In its fullest sense, it is marrying a partner who has high career potential and prospects [ somebody who will be president or chairman of the company, CEO, COO;  somebody who will succeed the father at the helm of the conglomerate;  somebody who will start a successful, billion-peso fastfood chain;  at least somebody who will head the Finance department of the corporation…  correspondingly, somebody with substantial brains [ and preferably with considerable beauty ] to infuse into the genetic pool and to serve as a competent and suitable partner to her husband in his occupations and businesses, or at the least a trustworthy assistant in her husband’s business affairs; somebody who was expensively educated here and abroad, with the resultant savvy in the ways of the world; somebody who will bring her large inheritance into the marriage; somebody who will run the city residence, the country houses, and the houses and apartments abroad — with all their contemporary and old master art, antique furniture and objets, contemporary artisanal furniture, and all the other useless requisites of the charmed life —  to showcase one’s wealth and highly-educated, flawless taste; somebody who will look beautiful on one’s arm and serve — through her exquisitely-maintained, expensively-dressed, and magnificently-bejeweled self — as proof positive of one’s superior professional accomplishments, at least somebody who will produce beautiful children ], is financially productive, of good moral character, good manners, intelligence, and similar qualities.  Often, such a partner comes from a family that has long nurtured those sterling qualities and sustained those moral values through the years.  But it is ironic that often, such a partner also comes from a family that is tainted with inbreeding, genetic abnormalities, various health issues, inheritance wars, corporate struggles, endless lawsuits, kidnapings, if not outright murders, and other interesting and amusing attributes.  Last but not least, it would also be nice if the partner has good looks.  However, marriages to partners who look like aliens from outer space, with equally freakish characters to match, are very much tolerated and even desired when there are EE or USD $$$ billions, or even just Php billions involved.

Actually, I don’t know what to make of it…  “Marrying well” seems to be the furthest thing from the minds of the eligible bachelors and ladies these days.  Outwardly, great sex seems to be the deciding factor, but then one never really knows.  On the other hand, “marrying well” will always be the concern of parents, be they conservative Opus Dei, ascendant career professionals, or flower children, hippies, or even drug addicts during their youth in the 1960s to the 70s.  Because one still needs considerable resources to smoke grass, snort coke, and live an “haute boheme” lifestyle.  “Boheme” sans “haute” is “La Boheme” as in the tragic Rodolfo and Mimi of Giacomo Puccini fame, and that’s definitely no fun at all.

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In India…

“…   Soon she will turn eighteen, and this is the age when she will be regarded as a legitimate marriage prospect.  It will happen like this — after her eighteenth birthday, she will be required to attend family weddings dressed in a sari, signaling her womanhood.  Some nice amma [ auntie ] will come and sit beside her, start asking questions and getting to know her:  “How old are you?  What’s your family background?  What does your father do?  What universities are you applying to?  What are your interests?  When is your birthday?”  Next thing you know, Tulsi’s dad will get a big envelope in the mail with a photo of this woman’s grandson who is studying computer sciences in Delhi, along with the boy’s astrology charts and his university grades and the inevitable question, “Would your daughter care to marry him?”   …

“But it means so much to the family, to see their children wedded off successfully.  Tulsi has an aunt who just shaved her head as a gesture of thanks to God because her oldest daughter — at the Jurassic age of twenty-eight — finally got married.  And this was a difficult girl to marry off, too, she had a lot of strikes against her.  I asked Tulsi what makes an Indian girl difficult to marry off, and she said there were any number of reasons.”

“If she has a bad horoscope.  If she’s too old.  If her skin is too dark.  If she’s too educated and you can’t find a man with a higher position than hers, and this is a widespread problem these days because a woman cannot be more educated than her husband.  Or if she’s had an affair with someone and the whole community knows about it, oh, it would be quite difficult to find a husband after that…”

from “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert, p. 239, Penguin Books 2006.

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Most Filipinos, because of their nonconfrontational culture, refrain from openly discussing the prospective partner’s financial capabilities in the light of a forthcoming marriage.  But don’t fool yourselves, because they certainly bitch bigtime among themselves in private… and how!!!  Of course they’re very, very, very concerned about it [ specially if the bride is theirs and there’s this impecunious, opportunistic, carpetbagging, “ne’er-do-well” coming! ], which is only normal for chrissakes, but they will go to great lengths to pretend they’re not.  You will hear such heartwarming hypocrisies and fallacies as “As long as you love one another.”  “Love is all you need.”  “As long as he provides for you.”  “As long as she will be supportive of your goals.”  “As long as he is honest and works hard for the family.”  “As long as she can raise the children well.”  “As long as he puts food on the table.”  Well, what happens when all he can put on the table are potato chips and sodas???!!!  And what happens when she decides she’s bored with him and the children, resolves to do an “Eat, Pray, Love” thing, and runs off to Bali… or to Baguio if she has less Php cash???!!!

However, some families are direct, and they’re usually the superrich ones.  As the young ones say:  “They don’t make any bones about it.”

The superrich youth are routinely sent to the Ivy League universities — Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, U-Penn, Yale [ also Stanford, UC Berkeley, Duke, et. al. ], to Oxford and Cambridge, to the Sorbonne, not only for their undergrads and postgrads, M.A.s and Ph.D.s,, but also for what is jokingly referred to as their M.R.S.s and M.R.s [ wives and husbands ]…

In fact, one wonders why there are few, if any, intermarriages between the last remaining Old Filipino, non-taipan fortunes [ although there certainly were/are/will be:  there is a forthcoming marriage of a Vicente Madrigal great-grandson and a Jacobo Zobel great-granddaughter early next year, January 2012;  Madrigal and Zobel were contemporaries — Madrigal was a self-made shipping tycoon and Zobel was a military career man from the distinguished Roxas-de Ayala-Zobel-Soriano clan ] — the Zobel, the Madrigal, the Lopez, the Cojuangco, the Ortigas, and the Aboitiz families.  One doesn’t hear of them marrying into the big taipan families either, in which case one will wonder who is achieving “mejorar la raza”…

During the various heydays of the sugar industry in Iloilo and Negros [ periodically interrupted by decades-long, near-fatal hiccups ] which created many of the country’s great fortunes, the sons and daughters of grand families ricocheted from one to the other, from one “hacienda” to the next, giving rise to the popular, albeit somewhat flawed, perception of aristocratic Ilonggo intermarriages and even “inbreeding.”  The Lopez, the Ledesma, the Jalandoni, and the Soriano families in Iloilo and the Lacson, the Lizares, and the Montilla in Negros Occidental were well-known in their circles for contracting “successful” marriages.

A generation of rich Lopez bachelors were cheerily advised by their elders to marry “beautiful girls with lots of money.”

A generation of beautiful Soriano ladies, all with a considerable inheritance, were married off to rich and promising young men of “good” Iloilo families.

The legendary Lizares matriarch “Tana Dicang” Enrica Alunan de Lizares ensured that most of her children married their financial and social peers.

A generation of Madrigal granddaughters and grandsons were advised by their eldest aunt that “It is as easy to fall in love with a rich person as it is with a poor person.  So make the right choice.”

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Manila is cruel in the sense that everyone knows, among husbands and wives, which side of the bread is buttered, more buttered, or make that generously slathered…  and the subject does come up during conversations, sometimes without reservations…

“Yes, Spanish mestiza, very pretty, even striking, but not rich.  She took all sorts of good, decent jobs when she was young:  kindergarten teacher, bank teller, etc..  He came sailing along.  Happy marriage at the beginning.  Now there’s just too much success and too much money.  As long as she’s Mrs. there will be no problems.  Even with all the mistresses she has to sit with through dinner…”

“Both grand families were very happy when they married.  ‘How suitable!  A wedding of equals!’  Big real estate married big real estate.  But there’s a glitch:  he’s a first-rate philanderer.  Doesn’t spare anybody, even ‘las muchachas.’  Has children with various maids.  She is in complete denial, preferring to cook her problems away in a house in wonderland…”

“You would think he’s so proper, aloof, and all…  No.  Like so many of his peers, he likes fooling around with ‘las criadas y muchachas.’  Has children with them.  Que horror!!!  But she’s not leaving him anytime soon.  Why waste all those Php billion Manila properties???!!!  She’s just making sure that none of his bastards will be legally recognized, despite the new Family Code.”

“There are all those rumors…  But I think they’re just mistaking him for his father, who was notorious for picking up the caddies at Manila Golf… And as for his wife, she wouldn’t know one from the other, and if she does, she certainly will never say.”

“I don’t know why she married him.  He was introduced to our group at a resto one night and he was some sort of penniless backpacker…  He even smelled.  Then he’s repackaged as ‘the this of the that’ and she marries him!?  Hardly ‘mejorar la raza’…”

“How can she allow him to treat her like that???  He treats her like a maid.  Sometimes, he’s embarrassed by her and has to explain to peers why she’s not from the ‘hood, although she is certainly ‘de buena familia.’  The truth is that no sane girl in his immediate set would have married him, cautioned as they were by their parents of his family’s eccentricities and downright weirdness.  Well, she comes from a crazy family too — her siblings are all rare birds —  so one of these days she just might casually walk out on him and he won’t know what to do…”

“When they became engaged, she was trumpeted as ‘la heredera de muy buena familia’ and his oddly bedazzled family, also very rich, pulled all the stops to welcome her.  ‘Que guapa!  Que simpatica!’  they cooed.  That was before they found out how fractious and leveraged her family was and she found out how miserly, miserable, and weird they were.  Now, it’s simply ‘No comment.’ on both sides.”

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Marriage.  As Tina Turner sang in that long-ago song:  “What’s Love, got to do, got to do with it???”

The whole idea of marriage is a tad complicated for my limited comprehension.  It is one of the reasons why I have opted to stay single.  All that winding and unwinding:  too many wind-ups as it gets on its way and too many wind-downs as it gets out of the way.  In that light, I’m perfectly happy with the comfortable menage a trois of I, Me, and Myself.   🙂   🙂   🙂

*unfinished*

The fruits of summers past

ANONAS.

ARATILES.

ATIS.

BALIMBING.

BALUBAD [ KASUY ].

BAYABAS.

BUKO.

CACAO.

CAIMITO.

CALAMANSI.

CALUMPIT / KALUMPIT.

CAMACHILE.

CEREALES.

CHESA.

CHICO.

DALANDAN.

DALANGHITA.

DAYAP.

DUHAT.

DURIAN [ DAVAO ].

GUYABANO.

INDIAN MANGO.

KAMIAS.

LANGKA.

LANZONES.

MABOLO.

MACOPA.

MANGGA.

MANGOSTEEN [ DAVAO ].

MANZANITAS.

MARANG [ DAVAO ].

MELON.

PAKWAN.

PAPAYA.

PINA.

RAMBUTAN [ THAILAND ].

SAGING NA LAKATAN.

SAGING NA LATUNDAN.

SAGING NA SABA.

SAGING NA SENORITA.

SAMPALOC.

SANTOL.

SINEGUELAS.

SUHA.

ZAPOTE.

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