What I really find funny is how some people were the first to lambaste Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for her administration’s slow response during Typhoon Ondoy. They were the first to say that Gibo Teodoro was not worthy of becoming President because of his response during Typhoon Ondoy. And yet, these are the same people asking everyone now to keep calm and not criticize President Aquino.
I have read in one of your blogs about an ancestor of mine, Francisco Bangoy married to Ysabel Berenguer de Marquina..I could not seem to find it anymore. Could you please show the date it was written? Thank you and my best to you….
Goodbye, Tita Lil
SECOND WIND By Barbara C. Gonzalez
The Gonzalez family is interestingly complex. Five generations ago a Gonzalez family lived across the church at Baliwag, Bulacan. One of the daughters was known to be ahead of her time. She managed her father’s lands. She rode a white horse. That may be truth or myth. She was known to have had an indiscretion with the friar across the street. For the longest time I thought they had one child, a son, my great-grandfather. But reading the family history I discovered they had six children, therefore, minimally they had six indiscretions. The children carried her family name because they could not carry his. If they could have, then we would be surnamed Lopez.
My great-grandfather married and settled in Sulipan. They had 10 sons. Among them my grandfather Javier, who was a successful lawyer who died young, and his brother Bienvenido, who later became president of the University of the Philippines, who was the father of my Tita Lil.
My grandfather Javier died in his middle thirties. His brokenhearted wife died two years later. They left nine children who were parceled off. Tito Ben and my father, Vladimir, went to Bienvenido, or my Lolo Bindo.
My father was killed by the Japanese when I was six months old. At least once a year my mother and I would have lunch with Lolo Bindo, Lola Conching and their family – Tito Nol, who became my confirmation godfather; Tito Zal, who walked me down the aisle on my wedding day, taking the place of my father; Tita Eva, Tita Lilia and Tito Dodong.
Every year Tito Nol would stand me by a post and make a mark so we could see how tall I had become since my last visit. I was a very quiet, shy child, but very observant. I listened well and observed much.
Then life happened. As I met my first cousins, grandchildren of Javier, and got to know his descendants better, I realized that maybe, just maybe, of all the Gonzalezes we were the mavericks. Most of my father’s brothers and sisters had married more than once. When I was doing research for my book How Do You Know Your Pearls Are Real? I found that children who were orphaned young tended to grow up promiscuous as an offshoot of being deprived of their parents. That explained my aunts and uncles, my cousins and me, to me.
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The family of Lolo Bindo, however, was very conservative. My mom believed that Lola Conching, his wife, frowned upon my mother leaving red lipstick marks on her linen napkins. Tita Eva and Tita Lil remained single all their lives. Tito Nol married Tita Esther and had three children; Tito Zal married Tita Pacita late and had one child; Tito Dodong married and had two children. And I guess as an occasional sidecar, they have me. I love them because they were part of my childhood. I remember at the last big family reunion getting up to join the grandchildren’s photo session because I felt I was a small part of their family.
It was Lolo Bindo who told me to remember that our family name was spelled with two Zs. Doble zeta! One day he called my mother to invite her to his 60th birthday party. “I made it to 60,” he said, “very rare for a Gonzalez male.” I don’t remember what month his birthday was but he died on Dec. 30, before his 60th year was over.
Time passed. We all grew old. I would see them once in a while. Tita Lil always made it a point to find me in the Legazpi market when I was selling there. When I had art exhibits, they always bought paintings. At Christmas they called to order jewelry from me. We have become better friends now that we are all old.
Last Sunday when it was pouring rain I received text telling me that Tita Lil had passed away. I felt so sad. She was a sweet lady, always seeing that things were there when they were needed. She supervised the food, ensuring that they were prepared without garlic and onions to suit everybody’s allergies.
At her wake her choral group, the Chorus Paulinus, always sang at the mass and at the burial. They loved her like a mother and she was like a mother to them, seeing to their food at rehearsals, making them sleep there whenever necessary. Father Arnold Zamora, a priest who was once the choral director, flew in from the US to say the last mass for her and the last blessing. He will fly back on Friday. What a grand gesture!
Tita Lil had a simple but a blessed life. I know her little family will miss her. We will all miss her.
Lilia Cristina Rafols Gonzalez passed away today, Sunday, 15 September 2013 at 83 years.
She was a daughter of Dr Bienvenido Maria Sioco Gonzalez (6th President of the UP University of the Philippines and the visionary who transferred it from Ermita, Manila to Diliman, Quezon city in the late 1930s) and Concepcion Miravalles Rafols. She was a sister of +Manuel “Manolo” Gonzalez (married Ester Limdico Mapua), +Atty Gonzalo Walfrido Gonzalez (married Ma Paz Paterno Madrigal), Eva Beatriz Gonzalez, & Bienvenido “Dodong” Gonzalez (married Teresita Gaskell Sison).
Eternal rest grant unto the soul of our dearest Tita Lilia. And may perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace. Amen.
Our sincere condolences to the Gonzalez and to the Rafols families.
From Meldy Cojuangco to Melanie Marquez –what a night
By Larry Leviste
Philippine Daily Inquirer
“The sphinx speaks,” said my front-row seatmate Joy Onglatco.
She was referring to Imelda Cojuangco, looking wonderfully larger than life onscreen during the video tribute that preceded Criselda Lontok’s fashion show at the Fairmont Ballroom last Monday night.
Speaking in a clear and enunciated way, Cojuangco extolled the virtues of Lontok as a friend and a designer. After all these decades, we see how well Imelda speaks with poise and sophistication yet sweetly and clearly. By all indications, Meldy Cojuangco could be the next leading lady or “numero uno” commercial endorser. She is a consummate actor in the best possible sense, confident of her lines and projection.
Nedy Tantoco, the only other fashion icon in the video, described Lontok as part of the Rustan’s family for the past three decades. Nedy spoke of the rich history of how designer labels such as Criselda flourished in their stores, ushering fashion retail into the brand-new century.
It was Nedy’s mom, founder and fountainhead Gliceria “Glecy” Tantoco, who built the Rustan’s empire of high-end retail fashion; who mentored Lontok when she was first tasked as merchandiser for beautiful blouses in the ’80s.
Monday’s formal event was like a roll call of old guard society. The women came in full force, in long dresses, blooming in hot-house colors and bedecked in sparkling jewelry.
The evening’s standout was Monjierra Dini in an original Emilio Pucci. Also on our Best Dressed List would be great beauties Lorna Laurel, Chona Meija Lopez and Cristina Ponce Enrile. Most glamorous would be the former Sen. Loi Ejercito, Roi Philips, Joy Onglatco and Nini Licaros. Also notable was Dr. Elenita Binay.
Liza Ilarde Cuenca, stunning Crickette Tantoco and Dina Tantoco represented the young society set.
It was “Criselda Club” members who have been her best friends, forever supporting the label that is for mature women in plus sizes. The label has always been known for its elegant designs.
La Vie en Rose
Huge florals were the core inspiration of the new collection, La Vie en Rose. All silk numbers were seasonless, with a resort feel to them, perfect for Manila’s sultry weather. Giant daisies provided a ’60s vibe; the design was the crowd favorite.
Cut away from the body in bias or trapeze forms, Lontok’s outfits were at once figure-flattering and age-appropriate.
Models led by Melanie Marquez, Marina Benipayo, Tweetie Gonzalez, Patty Betita, Izza Agana and Suyen Chi proved that they could still outshine the younger set with their signature ramp skills, stalking the long runway like beautiful cougars.
The solo finale was 1979 Miss International Melanie Marquez, who could still pirouette like a prima ballerina, with that little-girl smile still so seductive.
Towering above the cast, she wore an opera coat over a tube and walked like the Super Model of the World she once was.
Raffles PR queen Monique Toda made sure everyone had a sip of bubbly and a taste of the most mouthwatering appetizers. Everyone was in celebration mode.
The list of dashing gentlemen was led by Ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco, with his handsome grandsons Anton and Mike Huang, and Donnie Tantoco. His granddaughters, Crickette and Dina Tantoco, led the standing ovation for the wonderful collection.
Nini Licaros had the last word. “How nice that Criselda celebrated her 30th year tonight. Didn’t Rajo Laurel celebrate his 25th year in this same ballroom last month? This makes Criselda forever young and able to enjoy maybe two more decades of solid best-selling fashion.”
I had to agree. The evening was a coup de couture.
Ado Escudero’s 80th birthday bash
Juan Antonio Ortigas Lanuza
ON JULY 13 I attended the 80th birthday bash of Ado Escudero at Villa Escudero. This was to be a full day: lunch, mass, supper and breakfast. Since I now am considered “gurang” (old), am wheelchair bound, and did not know that Ado had kept a room for me in his house, I figured I could not take a full day of activities. I went for the dinner and at past midnight left to return to my home where I arrived at past 2 a.m.
Up to today I feel this has got to be the party of the decade. However, this may be doing an injustice to the detailed planning Ado made for this most auspicious day in his life. Some may consider this to be the party of the century. Prior to this, I considered the debut of Marichu Vera Perez Maceda as THE PARTY that I remembered most because of the way it was planned and executed.
Ado arrived at the venue in the stunning lighted raft he uses for the Ascension Day fluvial parade during the town fiesta where the statue of the risen Christ is placed. He was spectacularly dressed up as an Emperor of four continents in a special outfit that could pass as that of a Pope or a Czar — all dressed in white robes with a head gear that was most impressive. Drums preceded his arrival. When he docked at the pavilion, poles were placed below his throne like chair and at least three dozen persons in Muslim costumes carried him onto the stage to where a very ornate chair was prepared for him. Then came the parade of all the groups present to curtsy to him since he was supposed to be an Emperor.
Since I was part of the Chaine des Rotisseurs group, we were at the beginning of the groups that paraded, and after greeting him, we went to our assigned table where we witnessed all the other groups. This took some time. Perhaps more than 200 persons went up to greet him — some representing four continents, others individual countries, tribes, etc.
Villa Escudero prepared quite a few different roasts and hot dishes as well as food catered by Via Mare. It was very, very grand. Food had to be served during the show, not following the order prepared by the party planers. It had rained earlier that afternoon thus upsetting the timetable and the guests were getting hunger pangs.
Since I do not have the list of entertainers in front of me, I shall have to rely on my memory. Ado went down from his chair when the show was about to commence and sat at the first table facing the stage on the right side. Later, after perhaps 40 minutes, while Gary Valenciano was performing, he transferred to our table and sat by my side. Ado got up and introduced Gary as a San Pablo boy. Apparently Gary’s parents lived in San Pablo for a spell and Ado considered Gary as a San Pablo native. Gary got married in Villa Escudero. Ado was a godfather of that wedding.
Gary’s performance was exciting and delivered in his inimical style. The audience loved him so much they clamored for more. He obligingly gave us encore numbers.
There was a trio of female singers who did quite well. Other individuals had their solo numbers. The whole show was packaged and involved by the Club Mwah dancers. They appeared in their very colorful costumes — some numbers I had seen in their Resorts World’s show. Their show lasted almost one hour with the other performers filling in another hour.
The volume of the music was a tad too loud for me. I stuffed my ears with Kleenex. The emcee had his microphone far too highly amplified.
The last performer I witnessed was Dulce who delivered her numbers with the kind of emotion and feeling I have witnessed her give both in Villa Escudero shows in the past and in the musical Katy. She was wonderful.
The show was properly lit to highlight the sets, costumes and props. Nothing was left to chance. Everything was painstakingly planned.
Once the ballroom dancing commenced, I decided to leave. I used to love ballroom dancing before. Alas, now that I am in a wheelchair, dancing has become a spectator event for me. I can no longer do any dancing at all. Sayang!!!
Congratulations to Ado for a very successful 80th birthday party. It will be very hard to outdo this party in the future.
The venue was beautifully decorated and had interesting lighting. He even prepared supper boxes for the drivers. The waiters were constantly checking if anyone needed a drink or food. They were very well briefed and performed their duties very diligently. As I said, no detail was left to chance.
The Philippines has a rugby team?? Oh my Lord! And here I thought the sport of rugby was restricted — nay, contained — to member countries, past and present, of the British Commonwealth. Shows you how much I know. As a former colony — first of Spain, then of the U.S. — one would think the Philippines would have gravitated more to the national sports pf those countries, e.g., soccer for Spain, and basketball, baseball, and American football, for the U.S. Well, we do like basketball, and we kind of “do” soccer, but the other two… well, one doesn’t hear much of them.
Omigod! Please don’t tell me we have a cricket team too! God save the Queen!
The mix was explosive: cougars in haute couture and respected gays cheek to cheek with 22 handsome hunks of the Philippine rugby team, aka the Philippine Volcanoes, in tuxedos!
Throw in a never-ending river of Dom Perignon and you have an outstanding night of scintillating conversation and nonstop flirting.
Despite the Volcanoes in formal wear, the event was really a jersey presentation to officially announce the partnership between Fila Philippines and the national rugby team.
Apty called “Fila’pinas,” the dinner at the Prince Albert Rotiserrie of the InterContinental Manila was hosted and organized by Fila owners Butch and
ANA ABAD Santos in twisted chartreuse satin
Cris Albert, with their son Carlo.
The three welcomed guests into a magical garden created by Robert Blancaflor, who designed a series of rooms lit in primary colors.
Ours was in lustful scarlet, making Louie Cruz remark that it was “a garden in hell!”
Silver candelabras dripping with hydrangeas were the centerpiece of the tables during the sumptuous sit-down dinner.
Also on the tables were fragrant peonies and unopened tulips.
WANDA Louwallien in turquoise silk and Isabela Albert in pink lace
But Cris Albert’s stroke of genius was placing four members of the handsome Volcanoes at each dinner table. This provided excitement and interest as society gals and gays interviewed each hunk with curious passion.
At our table were Pepito Albert, Inno Sotto and Patrick Rosas on one end, and Dennis Lustico, Louie Cruz and I on the other. Of course, we peppered the intelligent hunks with penetrating questions—all in good fun.
Gambrinus Bar provided shrimp, pepperoni and baba ganoush hors d’oeuvres to complete the trademark “Albert party.”
Dinner consisted of roasted vegetables and scallops for starters, followed by soup and the main course a choice of Prince Albert’s famous Angus prime rib or fish.
LINDA Ley in black Chanel byKarl Lagerfeld
Earlier, the hotel lobby was turned into a Fila and Volcanoes gallery with guests taking their refreshments as Sub Projekt’s R&B tunes played in the background.
Football Union president Rick Santos and Volcanoes captain Michael Letts gave their insights about the team and the future of rugby in the country.
Cris then presented official Fila jerseys to the Volcanoes, symbolically cementing the partnership between the brand and the team.
The players of Volcanoes are currently enjoying their spot in the limelight as the country’s newest heroes. They will fly to Moscow at the end of this month to prove their mettle at the Rugby World Cup Sevens.
The Philippine team battled Kenya, Samoa and Zimbabwe on June 28 and 29.