Tuesday, December 30, 2008


BHOYS AND GHELS AND GHEYS, skiers, non-skiers and apres ski poseurs, just because I didn't post anything in the last few days, that doesn't mean that I DON'T KNOW anything...
It's just that more important things came up such as skiing for 6 hours for the last five days, doing the laundry, cooking (plus palengke, ha!) and reading in front of the fire.
HOWEVER, thanks to rebo_k, I found out pala that the Patola Vine has been talking to the Grape Vine, ha...Hindi bale, kamag-anak naman sila. Parehong Vine. This from a 24 December comment:
"this came out in victor agustin's cocktales column (manila standard today)---
Heard through the grapevine
The Christmas party at the East Avenue Medical Center ended up in a rough note when two male doctors mixed it up and gotten physical over a female colleague, Dr. Chin Palafox, daughter of architect Felino Palafox.Details are still hazy, although the hospital’s chief resident, Glenn Carandang, is said to be preparing an assault complaint against fellow doctor Alfred Tengonciang."
WELL--you read it here first, fellow creepers. Buti pa si Vic--short, direct to the point and very profeysional.
This from active commenter Twilight Zone posted on 27 December:
"wow eto naka balandra din ang blogsite mo dito mam kits
I have never openly claimed first on anything and I couldn't be bothered to open this but I know for a fact that pep.ph WAS NOT the 'first read.' This comment is dated 27 December.
I know for a fact that INQUIRER ran the story on 26 December.
So I ask you, intelligent citizens, which day came first? (Hindi ito Mayan Calendar or Chinese calendar, hokay?)
The patola vine told me so!! We are so huli sa balita all because the patola vine can't read!! (So see how important being able to read, is?)
I didn't read the link but from what the Patola Vine found out ---supposedly Ricardo Po left Pa Pa and went back to his famille for bonnes vacances Noel. He will then 'go to Europe for further studies.' (I can only wonder what that means in Hollywood PR parlance. Your guess is as good as mine. It certainly doesn't carry the same meaning as when Jose Rizal said it in his time)
I forgot the other details. The altitude must be getting to me.
Before the end of this year, like everyone and his blog, I will do a year in review----if I have time and if I will be able to remember anything.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Since the Patrola Vine is busy at hospitals, I am setting up a post office.

I be da postmaster and you-s bee da client. (Or da shooter)
'Do you knows dees peoples?'
In the words of Ricardo Po, 'Kilala mo ba ako?' ay este...SILA!????


DR. TENG TENG (short for a name with too long a jail term and too criminal to remember) who injured a resident surgeon at the East Avenue Medical Center kreez-muz parteey.
'Ju want him to lay a healing hand on 'ya?
Dr. Chin-chiminey Filofax (ay Palafox pala but she ain't lookin' too foxy to me!) from the pathological department (as in lyin', falsifyn' and misdiagnosin') of opthalmology where not only can you a) be blinded by the light but also b) get a wrong prognosis from being diagnosed with a PEN LIGHT (maybe a giveway from Neozep!)
(This is why all the equipment behind her is wrapped in plastic--why use medical equipment when you have a trusty pen light?! Ay basta huwag pen knife for surgery, ha...)

PEN LIGHT!! Oh my GASUL!! I don't even use a penlight to check my dogs' ears!!
Di ba yung pen light pang Robinson's Cinema seating lang yan??
Naku ha...Do an MRI (Masterful Removal Immediately!)

I'm calling DR. HOUSE NOW!!
Is there a doctor in da house who can make a responsible decision without worrying about her place in society? What society? The SPCA?? Society for for Prevention of Cruely to Animals....(or patients?)

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Kids, the patola vine who is still diguised as a gay intern in an elf costume has been working over time at the ER (In fact, not one but TWO hospitals. Calling Dr. House and Dr. Arnie Klein!)
Grabe pala the work load kung intern....at grabe rin ang chismis!!
So waddaya ya wanna read first---the drugs or the violence?
Maybe let's do drugs first because it is connected to my previous story on Hayden Kho and Vicky Belo which once again, yup, boys and gheys, you read it here first before it came out in www.pep.ph (look for it--it's all in Tagalog and very long). They only posted today at noon while thanks to the impish patola vine, I knew this two days ago but posted yesterday before 8PM French time simply because I thought it was unimportant...Like--do I even care who these people are? Does my face need help? (yes!) I guess now I should pay attention!!
OKAY--let's get into the drugs first and pep.ph, no copying, okay??!! Get your own moles! I'm in France and you are in the Philippines so how come I get my stories first? And it's snowing, the planes are delayed, so no way can the patola vine get here except by flying carpet!
So as the patola vine was saying, H--K-- has been in prison (ay---hospital pala) for about a week for a suicide attempt due to positive overdose of cocaine, marijuana, shabu and 30 sleeping pills. My, my...when he gets out he better think of changing careers and becoming a dealer. Now I know why my suicide attempt using baby aspirin did not work! You need a LOT of drugs pala to REALLY DIE!!
The good news is, Vicky Belo came to visit him this week---how sweet! Makes your rubber heart really melt.....AND the nurses love him! That's even sweeter! Bring out the oxygen masks!!
Now let's get to the unspeakably fuggly affair at the East Avenue Medical Center involving two doctors, an ex-c0n turned doctor (you don't want HIM treating you!) and a broken arm....tsk tsk...Brian Grazer, are you listening....
The Patola Vine (yes, he is everywhere--next he'll be at the morgue!) reports that a female doctor, let's call her Dr. Chin-chiminey incited her ex-con doctor boyfriend (this is the guy you don't want treating you) to break the arm of a surgeon and chief resident (this is the guy who should be treating you but he's hurt!).
This guy ain't no traditional Chinese medicine bone setter, okay?
He a thug!
Why all this violence at a Kriz-muss party pa! Jealousy, perhaps?
A surgeon needs his hands and arms but if he can use his feet to operate they would have given him a bad pedicure!
Anyway, the thug-doctor DID NOT manage to break the surgeon's arm but it's now on a sling, poor thing!
(So if you go to East Avenue Medical Center and see a doctor with a sling---it's him! Da victim! Go say HI!)
It's bad enough to have an ex-con poking you and prescribing pills but Dr. Chin-chiminey has done worse. An opthalmologist by profession, she has been known to blind people over the course of her medical career because she thinks 'they are just charity patients....'
Ah, ganoon, ha? She ain't gettin' near my new prescription Alain Miklis....
Maybe she hasn't heard that charity begins at home then she should blind her family first! Her dad is an architect. Maybe you also might not want him near your house!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What I picked up in my travels

Isn't this the best compact ever invented? I picked it up at Heathrow T5. It's a pressed powder compact with a section underneath for blotting papers. Not that I will need it this winter but what a great invention!

I hardly ever buy Vanity Fair because it is usually full of movie star profiles and photos, the Music Issue, the Hollywood Issue, etc..plus a lot of their material comes from the British press but written for readers of People magazine.

However, I picked up the January 2009 issue with Tina Fey on the cover because I saw there was a story on Yves Saint Laurent's art and furnishings collection and one on William F Buckley and his wife Pat.
(The Wall Street, Plaza fiasco and 'Christopher Rockefeller' stories are good reads, too!)

I wish I could live a life of love as strong, splendid and fabulous as these two well-loved and animated couples. (I know what you are thinking: Duke and Duchess of Windsor---that was just a case of a closet gay married to a gold digger who looked like a man but dressed well and died unhappy. He missed her so much he couldn't wait for her to get back from the hairdresser..WHELL! My husband also can't wait for me to get back from the hairdresser because....he wants to watch The Wire!!)

William F. Buckley and his wife Pat were powerhouses of the Republican party and close friends of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, yet another couple with a great love story. In fact, they were so right of right you couldn't go wrong with the company they kept....Pat was known to say that she wished Iraq was flattened into a parking lot. The couple enjoyed each other's company so much that when Pat died in 2007, Bill followed in less than a year.

Pierre Berge is selling (through Christie's) most of the important pieces of a collection he put together with his partner ---of what, over 40 years?--Yves Saint Laurent. It is expected to bring in $400 million, illustrating their art choices have outperformed the stock market. But that is not the point. They have always bought what they loved. Proof that it was more about love than investment: Berge is keeping the 'smelly bird', the first piece they bought together, the Yves and Moujik (Saint Laurent's dog) Warhols and the original artwork of the YSL logo. 'I decided to sell everything because the collection doesn't exist if he (Yves) does not exist....'
Now that's love....
How do I love thee, let me count the ways and the dollars.....
Talking about love in the time of cholera...ay este..suicide pala...
The Patola Vine reports from ER--(well, not quite on Dr. House's team----Makati Med lang....): (I'm telling you, this patola vine is relentless. Can you imagine posing as a gay intern in an elf costume?)
Supposedly, (now former) boyfriend (H----- K-- clue:first name German classical music composer) of reigning Walastik na Plastik surgeon VB (not Victoria Beckam but she's platicized, too) has checked into hospital due to a suicide attempt. Supposedly boy-toy fooled around with a girl-toy (no, not a plastic blow-up doll, he was already fuckin' one made of plastic, remember?) and freeze-frame faced VB froze him out.
I'm not kidding, man. I'm tellin' ya with a straight face. From too much Botox.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Like the rest of the free world, I am taking a Christmas and New Year break for a few weeks and hopefully I will be able to finish the rest of my third book which seems to not have a deadline in sight!

December is too cold for the patola vine to be patroling and whoring around unescorted so......

The patola vine is going to turn into holly or mistletoe for Christmas...('yan daw ang cost-chume niya this Christmas kasi we were busy being ourselves on Halloween....)

Unless someone with a personal, sexual or financial scandal goes under the mistletoe to get a kiss, there will be less gossip than there is fake snow at SM.

Right now, the only things going under are institutions, countries and your friendly neighborhood hedge fund.

Of course, if the people who kiss under the mistletoe are MARRIED...but not to each other, then we have a story!!! And if they cheated people that would make an even better story!

In the meantime, forget about being nice because you won't get the gift you wanted anyway.
So check your naughty list twice and email me all the info!

Heard along the patola vine: (last na ito!)

I made a TERRIBLE mistake!!! Si PaPa pala, DID NOT...take note, DID NOT spray bullets in front of RICO PunO's wife's house. Mali..mali...Talaga itong si patola vine, gagawin ko nang bonsai....
But she did do a drive by (not for hamburgers or a tuna sandwich) in front of the mother-in-law's house. (dat's da mudder of da Mrs, you feel me?)

Also, the couple who stays together and sssss--prays together are banned by certain entertainment and dining establishments, many too fabulous to mention.

Someone who witnessed/involved in (who knows!) the s-praying is going to talk. (NOT the patola vine this time) But then...."Kilala mo ba ako???" .....
Abangan....should come out in the local media unless....unless...ma-scoop ko na naman sila!

Friday, December 12, 2008


There are a few reasons (one utterly mad one) why we have chosen to buy a house in the French Alps, an hour away from Geneva.

1) The original (and at that time main) reason was that in case we had to move to London, our dogs would face 6 months quarantine but if we moved them to France (like Lord Patten did with his dogs), we would be able to ditch quarantine. THEN after a few months, they could travel back and forth on pet passports.

2) In case we were insane (or rich) enough to spend most of our time in London, France would be an ideal and convenient location for a second home.

3) And finally---I KNEW IT!! ---because it is only one hour from Geneva, we would be close to a place where we can choose to die voluntarily.
(Of course, tomorrow, I'll probably get run over by a bus in Mong Kok)

Probably because we are childless, my husband and I are big supporters of 'assisted suicide' and as early as 2000, I have done some research on it. (JUST in case..alam mo naman ako..) Dignitas in Zurich is the most famous place to go to but the whole of Switzerland, the Netherlands and some states in America (Oregon and Washington) allow it.

Already there is so little in life that we can control and if we can control when and how we die, depending on our situation, it could be either a right or a privilege.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this topic particularly in the UK (it is technically a crime to assist suicide even outside the country) but no one has been put in jail yet. Prosecuted, yes.
-I'm telling you, it's that bloody religion called Christianity!! Meanwhile Jesus' body might be underneath a parking garage --did you see that on National Geographic???

In fact, I have brought it up at dinner parties and the table would go silent or worse, my dinner partner would turn away. Except if he was Swiss.

Now reality TV has gone a step ahead of Survivor.

Broadcast challenges British ban on assisted suicide
By Sarah Lyall
The New York TimesThursday, December 11, 2008

Almost completely incapacitated by motor neuron disease, Craig Ewert, 59, looked at an interviewer and laid out his options, as he saw them."If I go through with it, I have death," Ewert said. "If I don't go through with it, my choice is essentially to suffer and to inflict suffering on my family, and then die."

He chose the quick way. On Wednesday night, Britons could watch Ewert's death on television, in a film showing how he traveled to a clinic in Zurich in 2006 and took a fatal dose of barbiturates. Broadcast on Sky Television, the film - "Right to Die?" - is said to be the first shown on British television of the moment of death in an assisted suicide case.

It has thrown a new bomb into an already contentious debate. It is illegal in Britain to "aid, abet, counsel or procure" suicide. But while the law is clear, its application is murky. Ewert's wife, Mary, was not prosecuted, despite the fact that she broke the law by, among other things, helping him travel to the clinic.

By coincidence, Britain's director of public prosecutions announced Tuesday that he would not file charges against a couple from Worcester who, in September, took their paralyzed 23-year-old son to the same Swiss clinic, Dignitas, so that he could kill himself.

Nor, said the prosecutor, Keir Starmer, would he prosecute a family friend who helped organize the trip.

In a statement, Starmer acknowledged that while there was sufficient evidence to prosecute the parents, Mark and Julie James, it would not be "in the public interest" to do so.Their son, Daniel, was an avid rugby player who was studying construction engineering. He became paralyzed from the chest down after being injured while practicing with his team in 2007. He had tried to kill himself three times.He then convinced a succession of doctors that he wanted nothing more than to die and that he could not do it on his own. "Not a day has gone by without hoping it will be my last," he wrote to Dignitas.His parents begged him to reconsider, until the end. But when he would not change his mind, they said afterward, they resolved to support him.

About 100 Britons have committed suicide at Dignitas in the last decade, said Jo Cartwright, a spokeswoman for Dignity in Dying, a lobbying group. Those cases have often provoked police investigations in Britain but have never ended in prosecutions, she said.

Meanwhile, the authorities periodically prosecute people who have assisted in suicides in Britain. They are rarely sent to jail, Cartwright said, but face many months of distress while waiting to stand trial."The law isn't working," she said. "People are being forced to go abroad to die because they have no other options."Only a handful of places, including Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington, allow assisted suicide, and only according to stringent criteria.

Britain's law against it is now being tested by Debbie Purdy, who has multiple sclerosis and who is seeking assurances that if her husband travels to Dignitas to help her kill herself, he will not be prosecuted on his return. She lost the case this year but has appealed the ruling.Parliament has been reluctant to debate the issue. But Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Wednesday that he opposed legislation that would allow assisted suicide."I believe it's necessary to ensure that there's never a case in the country where a sick or elderly person feels under pressure to agree to an assisted death, or somehow feels it's the expected thing to do," he said.

Mary Ewert, Ewert's wife, said this week that she was not sorry that her husband's suicide had been broadcast."For Craig, my husband, allowing the cameras to film his last moments in Zurich was about facing the end honestly," she wrote in The Independent, a British newspaper. "He was keen to have it shown because when death is hidden and private, people don't face their fears about it."

In the film, Ewert comes across both as severely disabled and absolutely determined that he is doing the right thing. His final moments are almost unbearably poignant.L

ying on a bed at the Dignitas center, he signs a consent form with the help of his wife. In his labored voice, he says, "I love you, sweetheart, so much."

She responds, "Have a safe journey, and see you sometime."

Using his teeth, Ewert presses the button that will turn off his ventilator. He drinks a fatal mixture of barbiturates. And then, as a piece of music he has selected - Beethoven's Ninth Symphony - plays in his room and his wife gently rubs his feet, his life begins to ebb away.

Monday, December 8, 2008


WHAT I DID ON MY LONG WEEKEND---WTF?? by Tracy Isabel Borres
(This is obviously from Fezbook but you tecchies please find the readable version yourselves because I have absolutely NO IDEA how to transfer back and forth between websites)
It seems like the Patola Vine is living up to its name as the Patrola Vine. Just as I let it out of the greenhouse....Monday na Monday pa naman....it's gone from making siko with the "who's who" at Clinton Global Initiative to making silip to the Facebook of "who the fuck is this" from (what many assume) Ateneo de Manila University. My alma mater. JUICE KO!!
(Da same is-kool that did not want to release a copy of my diploma when I lost it after moving several times. The reason? "We gave it to you in 1984 and can't give you another....' So I went to Quiapo and had a real fake made)
When the Patola Vine first made me read this to it (since thank-s God it can't read, only speak), I was MORTIFIED at the attitude of this kid, I couldn't even react! Hindi ako maka-emote, Mudder. I was i-SPEECHLESS, Tita, like in the Famas Awards.
Everyone including me would find it difficult going to poor neighborhoods and sometimes we have to get out of our comfort zones and really have to do it. However, whether you were forced (because of crimes against the papparazzi, speeding tickets or back taxes) or did it voluntarily, there is no need to tell people how horrible the situation was. It is not their fault that they are poor, that they are dirty or that they are not like 'us.'
(In the case of Tracy Isabel Borres, she's more a "Them")
Many of us will say "Ay bata lang 'yan.....Just kids...." BUT that is exactly the attitude that develops future social monsters.
Borres' entry is a lengthy, often incoherent rant of bitching and complaining about a weekend of Immersion with the Aetas, local aborigines politically incorrectly known as "Negritos.' Immersion is a Jesuit Volunteer Program (JVP) where university students VOLUNTEER to live among the less fortunate to make them a) thank their lucky stars they ain't poor, b) practice Christian values, c) get theology credit or d) all of the above.
FYI I chose to study an extra course and take an exam.
Before I pullout 'highlights' from this great example of entitlement by the clearly unentitled, let me say two things:
One: IMMERSION is voluntary. If you are like me (the reigning Miss Turd World 2008) afraid of dirt, disease, poverty, no aircon, no running water, no nuttin' DON"T FUCKIN' JOIN!
(My husband and I spent the millenium at Isla Naburot where there is no electricity and we almost ended up divorced before our marriage began)
Two: If you DO JOIN (as many members of my family have), shut the fuck up and suffer silently. Who asked YOU to go???
Now for the 'highlights" (there's more on Fezbook where THIS came from!)
"I was going to be with alone with a random aeta family.
Translation: OHMYGOD I’M IN HELL."
(The aetas could say: We were going to be alone with a spolied brat from Manila. OHMYGOD WE SHOULD HAVE JUST TAKEN NGO MONEY and a spot on TV Patrol instead of dat bitch staying here and eating our food!!!)
-No proper plumbing....I did not bathe at all during my entire stay there…."
(This was for credit in theology and practice of Christian values, not an exam for housekeeping at the Georges V)

"-There were so many children….So MANY DIRTY KADIRI CHILDREN…either coughing, wet with their sipon….I seriously did NOT WANT ANY OF THEM TOUCHING ME…."
"..AND Children started to flock around me. They were so close that I tried so hard not to breathe so I wouldn’t smell them….Plus it was so dark so God knows whether they were clean or not."
(Personally, I am not a lover of children of all sorts, kadiri or not, but dirt and sipon are part of the territory if you are going to do any charity work. Next time, to be safe, choose a leper colony.)
Tracy also boringly relates her adventures with a drunken aeta but I'll leave that for you to read on your own.
"She freakin’ picked her nose and I think she rubbed her finger against my leggings…Oh Freakin Lord..."
"Gawd lolo, go count your money….. and hover somewhere else….."
"Good for nothing bus dropped us off at the station in Cubao so I had to walk!! "
(In case she has not been outside the Philippines, a) she should see the coughing, spitting and nose picking in other emerging markets, b) people in the free world--Beijing, Hong Kong London and New York, except perhaps LA, and Cubao---WALK!)

"I'm not pregnant knocked up carrying an indigenous offspring.."
(Honey, if you were born in the Philippines, YOU ARE indigenous! Just like the aetas!)
Are these famous quotes embarrassing or what?
Whell, boys and girls and gays, albinos and aetas, I am not as much ashamed for this girl as downright embarrassed (as in I wouldn't even go to Unimart with shades on) to be HER PARENTS!
Do you remember how in the Tagalog movies Gloria Romero or Bella Flores or Rita Gomez (with red nails) or Hilda Koronel would go, "At IKAW! Wala kang pinag-aralan!!"
Clearly, this is time for Tracy Isabel Borres' close-up. 'Di ba, direk?
This is an attitude that simply propagates diminishing national pride and the 'flexible morality' of what we know as 'high society'.....What High Society? Who ARE THESE PEOPLE!???
I am HOPING I do not know her parents!!! (ay--baka nasa Fezbook ko!)
It is also this sort of behaviour that we think makes us so cosmopolitan but once we leave Cosmo Manille and into the real cosmos, people will merely laugh at our ignorance and lack of manners.
(Try the New Age Trustafarian neighborhood of Notting Hill Gate and see where THAT will get you!)
BTW--Borres has to write a 'reflection' paper on this exciting adventure but if I were the school, I would give her an expulsion paper. Or better yet, do remedial in the Kolkata branch.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


WHHHELLL Boys and Girls and Gheys it seems like KC has a big fan base even among my readers of generation snob. That only means one thing: That the Patola Vine and I have to shat-the-fuck-up because we ain't evah gonna win with our snobby opinions. (But we will still find a way to get our opinions through, good, bad or ugleh!)

"KC fought for what she wanted..." A photo? I have a hard time understanding this but then that's me and that's why I am merely a journalist and not the 'Angelina Jolie of Asia"--huh?--uh?--I don't think even a HK movie actress can claim THAT! Not even Karen Mok.
(Oh MY GAS! That's another kwento---I was staring at her at the gym and all I thought was "This is the MOST BADUY person I;ve ever seen in my life!!" but she was probably thinking, "...crazed fan..." SO I asked who she was since there are usually only 2 people at the gym, the staff told me, "Ah--Karen Mok..did you recognize her?" I said, "No but I wanted to know who she was because I never saw such an atrocious outfit out of the circus in my LIFE!" I swear over my new Lanvins that these people need a charity to raise money for their fashion handicaps)

I live with a snob and if my husband even got whiff (on the edge of his patrician nose) that I have such a bakya blog, he would say this, "How common!" What KC did would have been common. What I did was also common. In other words, being star-struck is common. As the mayordomo in Agatha Christie once said, "Crying is common. Going to the police is common."
He once lectured me for talking to Boris Becker (or course I didn't know who HE was--and HE talked to me FIRST!--"Don't you know that guy is embroiled in a sperm scandal??") and for staring at James Hewitt (again, I didn't know who HE was. I just thought he was cute. I find red hair very attractive--"Your mouth is open.") I also know where Dustin Hoffman and Lord Snowdon live but I know not to stare---at their garage doors--when I take the short cut to the Fulham Road and High Street Ken.

For him, common is fitted bedsheets (never mind if they are the best Italian or French), tissue case coverings, any form of lace for dining (worse of all for tissues and loo paper), monograms (unless they are required)---do we have to be reminded through our towels who lives here or that I own my shirt?.....

Now you know why my house looks like a dump.

OH YES! Which reminds me. I know I promised not to talk about India but my husband is reading a great book "Shantaram" on India (and if you care to know what I am reading -----"The Man Who Loved China" and "A Pilgrimage to Angkor") ----and I was reminded of a great idea at the wedding I attended in Delhi. They served drinks at the ceremony complete with wait staff!

I'm going to do that next time I get married (as if!) ---I will serve drinks at church. It's such a bore to wait, don't you think?

Friday, December 5, 2008


The state of California is close to broke. The governor of the world's 8th largest economy (if it were a country) is probably not going to be robbing a bank soon since there are no American banks even worth robbing. Speaking of...The US (c/o Hank Paulson) was lectured by China yesterday about its economy and their need to save. Over 60% of America's 2 trillon USD reserves are held by China. I don't know about America but if you've been to Chinese school (or have had Chinese parents) and didn't hold anything but a Chinese calligraphy brush, you can already feel the pain of a Chinese lecture. Can you imagine if they held 60% of you by the b----.......????


I have received positive reactions to the way KC behaved with Bill Clinton (although I personally would not have done that because as I told someone, I'd rather make siko other editors at press sales than siko to meet Clinton--that makes BOTH Clintons). Prepare yourselves because there will be a lot of digressions in this entry.

The comments said something like "KC seemed more human...she appeared down to earth, etc.." I am happy those comments were made because they made me realize how I (and probably other members of the international media) see things so differently. Jaded? Us???

a) The patola vine and I had lunch together yesterday (yes, like Price Charles, I talk to plants and even feed it cheese with honey and walnuts but it has to pay its bill) and it called to my attention how frivolous and out of touch people like me, members of the fashion world, are.

Let me explain by example:

Exhibit A: Jane Mulvagh, one of Vivienne Westwood's biographers, told me that she left the fashion world because she shocked herself with the shallowness of her conversation when she turned to her dinner companion and said, "How can you NOT own a pair of navy cotton twill chinos?"

Exhibit B: When I was writing for the Wall Street Journal, my editor asked me to gather 5 must-haves and (for me at least) one of them was an Alexander McQueen fur coat in white rabbit trimmed in gold (not real!) braid for HKD 800,000 (or USD 100,000). Let us NOT even bring Fendi, Dennis Basso or J Mendel into the picture because they will only complicate matters and figures.

Editor: I think you have printed one too many zeros.

Me: No, that's right. 800,000 HKD.

Editor: 800,000 is 100,000 USD for a COAT!?? WHY??

Me: Don't you understand? It's MCQUEEEEEN!!! It's beautiful!! Why are you asking me this?? How can you NOT know McQueeenn???

(There was another argument about a Balenciaga jacket so that's why I don't work for the AWSJ anymore! At least with the FT we never discuss money.....)

b) For some of us, we get to meet important people because of WHO WE WORK FOR. I know there are some members of the media who THINK important people will speak to them because of who they are. Big mistake unless you own the network. Therefore, meeting important people is not as important to us unlike say, for KC Concepcion (and others in the free world), who probably doesn't get to meet anyone more important than herself. Being starstruck probably also has to do with the circles, industries or communities one is exposed to.

To me, yoga is a new experience so I am trying to learn as much as I can about it. Although my teacher here in HK is some sort of yoga celebrity, I don't get to meet many. A journo like me who can talk figures and fashion with Kaiser Karl, Michael Burke and Sidney Toledano, Arnault, Diego della Valle, MINOR royalty (like the odd count with no account),CEOs, artists, politicians, senior bankers, etc...COULD NOT even bring herself to ask Sharon Gannon (co-founder of NYC's Jivamukti Yoga) what brand of make-up she uses because it stayed on so well. To think I have even interviewed the CEO of L'Oreal....

O--eto--sideline, okay? (Pay attention) When I met Amanda Harlech at the couture, I was so excited and kept asking her about her clothes and horses that....I forgot about my Kaiser Karl interview!!!

Add to that what happened early this week before I went out to lunch with John Scott (Sting's yoga teacher to you, the unenlightened--hahaha!):

Alex (my yoga teacher in HK): Do you mind if a friend joins us for lunch today?

Me: No, of course not.

Alex: It's John Scott. I'm sure you've heard of him. Think of it as a treat for you.

Me: (amidst the quiet of the Landmark Mandarin Spa) JAAHN SCAAATTT!!!???? HE'S FAAAAMOUS!!!! OH MY GAAAAWWWD!! (Of course, there was John Scott sitting next to me...)

So, girls and gheys, as much as I think making siko is uncool, I did have my KC Concepcion moment this week. Of course there was also the time I thought Whoopi Goldberg was a waiter and I thought Bryan Adams was an architect then worse, changed my opinion to a starving musician.....(HOPELESS! No wonder I can't be taken out in public---buti pa yung patola vine)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

KC ng-siko ng Clinton Se-kiu (security)

Before I get to the main event via the patola vine who was at the invitational CGI in Hong Kong(that's Clinton Global Initiative to the uninvited), I would like to apologize to readers who did not 'get' the PaPa story.

Kids, cyberspace is not exactly the safest place for all the news not fit to print.

I do not know the rules of the blogging game when it comes to the definition of 'public figures' since social climbers start denying they are public figures once they get hit with a scandal. What I am saying is that I am not as bold as Amiel (http://www.donavictorina.blogspot.com/) and his Council of Boldstar and RainB (they are coming out on TV soon!) or Gorrell.

In fact, I am quite the coward.
Mamamaya ma-drive by shooting pa ako, ang liit liit pa bahay kubo ko....

But like I always tell friends and family, fans and foes, it's not the WHO that makes a story but the WHATs and HOWs. That has been the basis of my books and will be the basis of this blog. By no means should you feel alienated if you don't know the people I'm talking about. Who cares about them because they are precisely that---THEMs, while we are US-es.

As I have mentioned before, there are only TWO people in this world: US and THEM.
(based on KC's behaviour with Bill in HK, I would classify her for now as a "THEM"--more on that PUBLIC FIGURE later)

It was a relatively uneventul week in Hong Kong with Jackie Chan, Vivienne Westwood, Kylie, Bill Clinton, money-launderers and corrupt politicians from Third World countries but I was....

....tongue-tied at lunch with celebrity yoga teacher JOHN SCOTT (yoga teacher of Sting to you non-yogis) where we had Indian food.....My yoga teacher, a celebrity himself in yoga circles (only one of 30 authorized by our Guruji Sri Pattabi Jois to teach the ashtanga method) took me out to lunch and invited John Scott to come, too. AND NO---I am NOT intending to follow the downward-dog spiral of Wendy Hotung! (source: Oriental Daily Magazine)

....impressed with his patience (with me) let alone his talent at a Chinese dinner with JOHN PAULINE (Mr. Beijing Olympics Water Sports Ice Cube Stadium architect to you who think SM is an architectural masterpiece).

Now that we got the name-dropping out of the way (there's MORE where THAT came from!), let us get to the main event with the patola vine who was crawling all over the CGI in Wanchai and abso-fuckin'-lutely dyin' to tell all before I lock it up in the greenhouse for the weekend.

The patola had not just one but TWO KC sightings and they were the following Kodak moments. So 'picture this' geddit???

1) At one of the dinners, KC daw made siko the Secret Service standing next to Clinton so she could take a photo with him (arms outstretched) with her camera. It might look something like the photo in this entry but with Bill next to her. You feels me? You picture it in your mind?

2) At the final evening's awards ceremony, when Clinton was giving out recognitions for the event, a CEO of a MAJOR corporation was sitting down and Clinton was standing next to him. Follow so far? You's gets the picture? THEN all of a sudden KC SQQUUEEZZES (like SQQUUEEZING into Bench or whatever-she-advertises jeans) herself in between Clinton and the CEO and the rest is Kodak history. Hindi na sha ma-crop ngayon....

You READ it here FIRST! (I can BET you PEP will come out with a 'similar' story)
(Would you by chance be interested in a Mrs Robert Miller --read: Mrs Duty Free--sighting by the patola vine at the HK Flower market? Guess not. Thought so.)

That's it for this week unless you want to hear about fashion. Baka later na after I sort through the stuff I got 90% off at the press sales today!! WOOOOHOOOO!!
Also, Hermes was on sale (only)today 45% off at the HK airport.

Monday, December 1, 2008


I KNEW IT!!! Fashion opinion always opens a can of caviar with worms! (or in this case, questions) See previous post today.
But that's good because then I don't need to think of the next topic since I feel this week will be uneventful.
Question #1 from Charlotte: "...makes me re-think (about) the chanel i was gonna gift myself with."
Being a member of the fashion press who tells you to go out and buy the next 'must-have,' I do not want to discourage you dedicated followers of fashion to buy Chanel, LV, BV, Fendi, etc. In fact, I should encourage it because I have a job BECAUSE of the luxury goods market.
HOWEVER what I discourage is (and I hate to sound like a Chekua Mama 'during the war we ate champoy and rice', 'we wore our shoes until there were holes and we had no socks," 'our only food was lugaw' --well, you better move to the house with champoy and rice, then!) .....
.....buying stuff when you know the money could be put to better use. You feels me?
(of course we all have those Sex and the City moments of buying something extremely beautiful and expensive but not making the rent. This is why they are called 'moments' and not entire lives or else the whole world would be called the United States by now and there woud only be one road to the world's end: Wall Street)
If Charlotte wants to buy something for herself this Christmas or after closing a deal, then as they say in Pinoy showbiz, "More Power to You."
(Especially if you have a choice between buying electronics for the boyfriend or a bag for yourself, I'd choose you anytime!)
Question #2 from Rain: "does it really require a global recession for the elite to understand that a luxury bag hurts the global economy in the long run and it does not speak well of a person's sense of taste and individual style?"
There are two answers to this--a) the fashion answer b) the economics answer.
THE FASHION ANSWER: NO. For the fashion insider or individualist, the 'It" bag never was because this group of people would rather get caught with their pants down (wearing Myla or Agent Provocateur, of course) than get caught with something everyone wants or has. That slavish behaviour, as the snobby Brits put it, is for 'shop girls."
THE ECONOMICS ANSWER: NO. For the truly elite, and we really don't want to go there since I go there enough with my job, the "It" bag is beneath them because these are the haute couture clients for whom over 50,000 euros of a dress would guarantee them 100% exclusivity and privacy. A 100,000 euro off-the-rack Fendi fur also works. See...I told you we don't want to go there.
THE ECONOMICS ANSWER: YES. The "It' bag died with the recession because most of the free world (including the not-so-free like Russia) were heavily based on credit for the last 10 years. That means, now that credit has tightened and many banks are going to be 'collecting' until next year, there ain't going to be much of "It' going around.
I read somewhere that Americans borrowed up to 120% over their household incomes! This is why "Washington, Wall Street and The City (of London), we have a problem..."
(But on the trend front, the brands knew that the "It' bag idea was dying---for the last two years at least---so they introduced shoes which weren't very successful and now watches and jewellery which has yet to prove itself as a market sector)
Yan lang po....O--sige ibukas niyo na ang mga bag niyo for inspection...
"Bag ma'am...." (Guard with chopsticks)
This is still less irritating than "ID niyo ma'am..."

The (It) bag nothing to brag about....

I hate this look of jeans and t-shirt and heels or loafers and a gigantic "It" bag. It doesn't tell anyone you are particularly stylish. Just that you own 'the' bag. (It could even be a rental!)

I am not one to lust over the Birkin but I wouldn't mind owning this---The Lindy from Hermes...

Or this, the Bellevue from Loro Piana.....

Or the Globe also from Loro Piana, all of which epitomize 'Stealth Wealth."

(Which means only YOU know the cost and get to enjoy it while only those 'in the know' would recognize it)

A dear fashionable friend sent me this from New York Magazine:

Along with the economy, the luxury market faces a major upheaval. Yes, really. Former Morgan Stanley luxury analyst Claire Kent, who is now an industry consultant, spoke in London last week at the Luxury Briefing conference (where, we imagine, attendees examine each other's summer yachting photos on their Prada phones … through monocles). The luxury market has been booming for fifteen years, but all good things must come to an end. Sound scary? Fancy this:
[Kent] pointed to “luxury fatigue” and the growing fear of debt, and said consumers would increasingly be spending more money on fewer items. As a result, “masstige and aspirational brands will suffer the most,” she told the audience, adding that the handbag bubble is bursting now. “An ‘It’ handbag will become an embarrassment — a clear sign that you don’t have your own view of fashion,” she said.
Ho ho, Upper East Siders. If you don't feel embarrassed about your money yet, you may as well start now. And eBay your Birkin bags before the rest of the world catches on to your bank account.


I always believe that any "It" fashion item whether the so-over bags, OTT shoes you can't walk in and now watches and jewellery (the brands HAVE to THINK of SOMETHING!) is not a manifestation of stylishness but slavishness... to fashion. In other words, "It" items were created for fashion victims.
An "It" item only tells the public that a) you have "It" and b) you forked over the money and nothing else. It is like a Pinoy or Chinoy (the biggest offenders!) wedding where people wear jewellery that cost the same as houses or a cars yet wear cheap made-to-order tafetta gowns and even cheaper fabric-covered beaded mules (always mules).

At the top of the "It" bag pyramid is the Hermes Birkin which starts at about 10,000 USD with a rumored waiting list of at least 2 years. (Fashion folks, I can tell you for a fact that depending on who you are, you can get it as quickly as one month, instantly if you get lucky. Four is highly possible depending on who is asking and if they are 'residents'. Only losers and tourists have to wait) One has to wonder what message the person carrying this bag projects. Obviously she wants to be thought of as fashionable but the only thing the bag proves is that someone coughed up a huge amount of money for this bag. (I also have a problem with the idea of the many people in the world with hardly any net worth --such as HK secretaries and back office girls ---owning such an expensive item)

The best feeling you can have is buying an "It" bag before anyone deems it such. (This happens when you have a confident style radar because your guess is only as good as anyone else's) Of course, by the time the entire world gets wind of it, the thing ceases to have any charm for any fashion insider.
By far the most economical and pretentious way to approach this issue is to rent a bag online. (It's like movie stars renting clothes and jewels) There is one service that just launched in HK and is doing very well seeing as this is the right time NOT to own something so fashionably fleeting.
Meanwhile, I am so tired of the public and media going on about the recession. Yes, there is one and it is worldwide but should people who have been prudent and can still spend, be punished?

Yesterday's SCMP deemed "designer sale announcements" OUT because it is 'irresponsible" to tempt us with bargains at a time when we have no money. What about those who DO have money? There is also such a thing as being selective. I don't plan on going to all the sales although the Chloe 90% off was very tempting until I saw the lines. Tod's/Hogan you had to make an appointment (jeeez). I heard there were really good buys at Valentino. Fendi I missed because I was in the Turd World so now I want to kick myself with my Fendi boots. The "press only' sample sales are the best because a) non-media are not allowed- you have to show ID, b) none of the tiny Chinese editors compete with me for shoes (39-40 is model size) and c) I don't compete with them for clothes (size 2-6) and belts. Bags are war! hahahaha!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

LET US SPRAY 2---ay totoong pray ngayon...

The last fervent prayer I said was sometime in 1984/85 which was a Novena to the Infant Jesus of Prague to help me pass Spanish and Math exams. For over 20 years, I have not been in speaking terms with my Maker/the Universe simply because I have learned to believe in myself since the divine 'Help Line' was always busy or disconnected. I also had no bargaining powers so I would leave praying to other people who do it better.
Begging really got me nowhere.
However, for the first time in 30 years, I bought myself to say a prayer of thanks last Thursday night when I realized that my husband could have been one of those people in Mumbai. He was there exactly one week before this catastrophe.
My husband goes to India very often--maybe every other month--and stays either at the Taj or the Oberoi. When at the Oberoi he stays on the 19th floor, the very floor where hostages were held. He also holds a UK passport. The Mumbai staff also happened to be in HK this week so they escaped this (but they still have family there).
I look at this as a return call from God (maybe he finally fired his bitch secretary who never gave him my messages).
I guess this must be a sign for me to get back down on my knees at the time when they give me the most problems.
Well, as they say, better late than never!

Friday, November 28, 2008

..And now I wed you Money and Wife so help you God...

Since we are on the topic of social survival that involves gold-digging, social climbing, back stabbing, pepper and bullet spraying, I would like to recommend the book that should be THE REFERENCE guide for all those who REALLY have to WORK 24/7 for da mullah:
THE FORTUNE HUNTERS: Dazzling Women and the Men They Married
by Charlotte Hays

In it you will discover the secrets behind social climbing, gold digging and reinvention by international bold faced names. None of them used pepper spray to win their men and quite a few did manage matters 'amicably' as Ricardo Po likes to do... (kilala mo ba ako?) These women make Madonna's Re-Invention Tour look like a school musical. They make Philippine gold-diggers and social climbers we know look like scavengers on Smokey Mountain.

They can only be labeled BIG GAME HUNTERS.

The book opens with "Prospecting for Gold: What Kind of Woman Does It Take?"
-Believe me, if I read this book earlier and followed everything, I wouldn't be doing lowly blogging. Instead, I would be fitting at the couture and living in various homes around the world.

This juicy book is very easy to read and organized by 'personality.' Of course you can read Thackery's Vanity Fair but this is easier (even the movie sucked!).

Learn to be a 'calculating optimist' not fixated on the past. In other words, MAKAPAL!

Read about Jackie O (Never liked her), Ivana Trump (NOT a gold digger as many think), Melania Knauss (also not a gold-digger but rather very lucky), Arianna Huffington (from pillow-biting husband to Democartic powerhouse), Carolyn Bessette, Georgette Mosbacher (founder of La Prairie), Princess Diana (Never liked her, either---simply an idiot with no sense of duty and too much Hollywood), husband stealers Mercedes Bass, Pamela Whore-riman and the queen of them all, Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor who may have had the best jewels and made the best-dressed lists but STILL looked more manly than her husband. (I'm just jealous)

Whether I like the women profiled or not, over all, I admire them greatly and really wish that I could have done the same. But then here I am....

Siya--I have to feed the dogs and my husband (not at the same time), mag-microwave pa ako, mag-lalaba pa ako...

If I was a Fortune Hunter we wouldn't be having this conversation. I wouldn't even be talkin' to you-s.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


A: A LOT! (and there's going to be a whole lot of shakin' going on after you read this post! And I ain't talkin' booty!)
This is going to be a long and complicated post so you better make a cup of tea and sit down to read it.

Let me open this post be saying that thanks to MY SOS-YAL RESPONSIBILITY, I decided to abandon my plan of going to the 90% off Chloe sale. Instead, I dashed home to write before I forgot everything that I found out at lunch today.
Are we ready for Heard at Lunch with the patola vine who refuses to shaddap? I know Prince Charles advocates talking to plants but this plant really needs to shut its venus fly trap because it's catching so many insects!
This post is all about the whole truth about the pepper sprayer (and more) and nothing but the truth so help us Buddha if you are not busy with the Dalai Lama.
There is so much information that I have decided to break the story down into character segments. Think "LOST"
On a regular bitchy day I would be the first to artista-bash any movie star in a black bikini with sparkles. But this time, I will have to award the Bill Clinton Responsibilty Initiative to ANGELU DE LEON.
If Ari Gold was her agent, she would have a contract at Paramount now.
WADDAP?? You social climbers ask.
WHELLL---the patola (or PATROLA at the rate she's going) says that when Let Us Spray (see entry of 19 November 2008) happened, the only person who helped 'da victims' get to the hospital was Angelu de Leon.
I'm not saying 'da victims' is free of sin like me (hahaha!) but based on the situation, she deserved help from as many people as possible. AND at least from the club management (who were probably too doped up or blind-dead?).
(Of course, if she was stealing a 20,000 HKD dress, then she's on her own)
Not helping may not be embarrassing but it is downright disgusting and a reflection of the pretentious societal behaviour one can expect from a segment of society for whom appearances and connections really matter, no matter the situation.
The Bitch-alyzer asks: Were people blinded by the spray, blinded by the lights, blinded by the coke or just pretending to be blind because they were afraid to offend 'da addicts'--ay este--- sprayer and the lover of sprayer? (Nagtatanong lang po)
If Angelu de Leon wins the Responsibility prize, PaPa, as we know and love to call her, wins the Anna Wintour Frenemy Prize for Ultimate Pretense in the category of Violence.
This one really spices up a pepper spray story.
Supposedly, that fateful night when people lost sight of all social responsibility, PaPa came up to hug 'da victims' then brought out the pepper spray and (seriously) nearly blinded her.
Why was PaPa paranoid? It seems like the lover of the sprayer (let's call him Rico PunO, baby) went to Boracay with 'da victims' and a group of friends at a time when his affair with PaPa was na-papalpak na.
But now everything is perfecto after she shot down his wife's house....(more on that later)
It seems like violence (together with drugs, drink and gambling of course) runs in la Famiglia PaPa. But kids, remember I have nothing against vices as long as you don't use my money or use my house.
Few years ago, PaPa Bro' killed people (or someone?) over the sale of a second hand car (a mini van or Straz???--alam mo naman ako, I don't know about cars bec nag-pa-public lang ako) which he refused to pay for because he had more important debts to take care of.
NO, non, no... NOT CITIBANK debts! Worse! Gambling debts!
After stealing and killing PaPa Bro' is now 'somewhere over the rainbow....'
Your guess is as good as mine. I bet he's in Vegas with Elvis, Dodi and Diana....Maybe he's even with the car!
The Bitch-alyzer moral: Never sell a second hand car to a gambler or drug addict especially if they can't pay you up front because there is a good chance that you will first lose your car (to him), your money (to him again) and your life (yet again to him)....Isn't THAT giving too much away?
But pa yung Chloe 90% off but this is a bad-ass give away!!
The last time the late Inday Badiday asked a kid this question on her show she got this answer.
"Opo, bakla po kayo..."
But this has nothing to do with my story....or does it?
Strike One: Da word on da street is that 'da victims' wanted to file charges but da RIco PunO threatened her with, "Do you know who I am? I am the biggest de-lata company of the Century! We can everything and can stop you from doing anything..." The only thing they can't can is coke. Or they can't stop coke..Or they can't stop....Ay may Coke in cans na pala!!!
E-strike Two: Doble Cara
A make-up artist was hired to do make-up for the model (a mermaid?)of a commercial for the de-lata company (I hope this guy was paid unlike Juan Sarte of the SPLASHY cover-ad deal--is it a deal if talent wasn't paid? Ask Ari Gold).
THEN suddenly a chopper lands at the location and PaPa and RIco PunO come down and demand that PaPa gets her make-up done, too. At no extra charge.
The Bitch-alyzer wonders: Are commercial make-up artists mow doing two for one na parang Happy Hour?
Strike Three: wala pa but the following topic will surely be a BIG HIT in more ways than one.
I didn't know 'the villages' have become 'hoods because the patola vine tells me that PaPa conducted a drive-by shooting outside the house of d'orig Mrs. RIco PunO.
I wonder if that was just practice. Or maaay--beee it was 'an accident' like the pepper spray event.
But then PaPa has also threatened the sister of Mrs RIco PunO who teaches yoga.
Alam niyo, baka kailangan ni PaPa mag-yoga para she can attain enlightenment, calm and peace of mind instead of giving people a piece of her mind through violence.
The Bitch-alyzer wonders: Did PaPa run out of pepper spray and resort to bullets or did she run out of bullets and resort to pepper spray?
Didja get everything? That's IT! The patola vines get locked in the greenhouse never to come out....until Monday!


Readers of this blog may not exactly be dropping off the Rich List (because they were never on!) nor have they exactly seen their net worth halved in a few days. You may not even know (or care) about the opinion of Jim Rogers who believes the US dollar is "a flawed, maybe even doomed currency." His Hollywoed-length CV: banking guru, author of "The Investment Biker" and "The Adventure Capitalist," sold his 15 M USD NY house and moved to China with his family.

BUT I do try to look for stories in the business pages that apply to our lives of petty gossip and (mis)information.

The Analysis page of today's Financial Times has a sidebar by one of my favourite journalists, John Kay (he of the 'I'd rather walk than take Alitalia..." quote). Here are a few paragraphs that apply to us not only in finance and economics but moreso in general information---read: news and 'current' events in the genre of www.donavictorina.blogspot.com and www.delfindjmontano.blogspot.com. I would like to think my books are part of this crystal balling of society.

My mother used to (still does!) harp about my negativity and my opinions that question people's credibility, etc. Good examples---When the former burger-flipper was going out with Patricia Borromeo, he could do no wrong. Then he turns around and married Her Royal Whiteness. Others that have 'come out of the termite-infested woodwork"---Yoyo Tan, Alicia Santos-Daniels (perhaps he would like to check what his staff uses as reference to 'learn' more about their boss), The Nivera Twins, Corinna Caballero, and others too toxic to mention. I rest my case.

Anyway, back to John Kay and the future of the world:

"....Extrapolation assumes that the future will be like the past, only more so. We project current preoccupations--the rise of China and India, global terror, climate change, (blogger comment: the increasing number of baduy people on earth)---with exaggerated speed and to an exaggerated degree.

"We forget that our preoccupations change. The people who worry about these issues today would 20 years ago have worried about the coming economic hegemony of Japan and the cold war. These issues were resolved in ways that few predicted....

(blogger comment: Like who knew that the internet would be so powerful a tool in organizing and disbanding groups, disseminating information and smearing reputations?)

"Still, you might think there would be large rewards for those who succeed in anticipating these events. You would be wrong. (blogger comment: If only I knew!) People who worried before 2000 that the 'new economy' was a bubble, or warned of the terrorist threat before Sept 11 2001, or saw that credit expansion was out of control in 2006, were not popular. They were killjoys.
(blogger comment: When my husband decided to sell our London flat, I felt worse than London on a rainy day....But now, I am very grateful)

"Nor were they popular after these events. If these people had been right, then others had been blind or negligent,and the latter preferred to represent themselves as victims of unforeseeable events. (blogger comment: I am JUST WAITING to see the getting high society fall then let's see who will be the real victims) As John Maynard Keynes observed, it is usually better to be conventionally wrong than unconventionally right." (blogger comment: uh..oh...too late for me!)

Thus, I think the truthfulness and frankness of Gorrell and Amiel have made great inroads in creating a revolution on the blogosphere at least for Philippine readers and the diaspora. Perhaps people now want to know about what USED TO BE conventionally wrong??

OH YES---the photo....I forgot--the most important thing!!!

Heard along the patola vine (because yesterday, for my 8th wedding anniversary --Im NOT COPYING chuvaness, okay??---I didn't have lunch out, instead ate leftover (chicken)shepherd's pie) -----Gorrell has closed his blog temporarily because he is tired but more likely 'sick and tired' of cyber bullies.

I cannot say it enough but I hate cyber bullies who hide behind pseudonyms or anonymity. It is the worst form of cowardice.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


The writing area that looks out to the soon to be opened (6-Indian months) Six Senses spa. What I saw was a construction site. They also have a fantastic pool.

I love how they used pale rugs on pale marble floors.

You-s must be tired of hearing me talk about India so this will be my last post on India for the year.
I normally don't discuss hotels but I had such a great experience at the Imperial in Delhi that I feel I have to blog about it. This is the CHEAPEST room at the Imperial and it comes with a dressing room bigger than my guest bathroom in HK. The room also has a beautiful bathroom kitted with exclusive jasmine-based bath amenities. (I don't have a photo because I didn't take good ones)
And unlike most hotels, their turn-down service is a REAL turn-on turn-down complete with fresh towels and jasmine burner.
The thing about India, and don't say I didn't warn you, is that you should either go super cheap or super expensive. By the pictures, you know which one I chose. I have some friends who went the 'moderate' route and they didn't even get a hairdryer or a proper mattress. At least they had a car.
The great thing about the Imperial, built by Edward Lutyens in 1911 or 1920s (??), is that it is a historical hotel in the Raffles tradition--grand expansive verandah, well-maintained gardens, lots of birds. Much of the art that decorate the hotel are originals and there is even a wooden chair used by King George V during his coronation in India. Few people know of the chair's provenance so you can see these bumbais sitting on it while talking on the phone.
Their restaurant, The Spice Route, is abso-fuckin-lutely drop dead glam, gorgeous, fabulous, OTT, artistic, religious, etc. Indoors and outdoors, it does not disappoint. Well, it has to be if it took 7 years to complete! It is indeed an experience like no other. It is SO GAY!!
If tradition is not to your taste, you'd probably like the Oberoi which many Chinese and Singaporeans prefer (hint!hint! gold and black). But most locals would recommend The Imperial. It is like the Manila Peninsula to the Oberoi's Shangri-la.


TO ALL THE GIRLS AND BOYS AND GHEYS who have been asking me what happened to Papa Brian's blog, here is what I know not from the patola vine or the grape vine...excuse me, but from the Di-vine-- Brian Gorrell his-self.

1) www.delfindjmontano.blogspot.com is TEMPORARILY closed. Dat means it will open again but when, we don't know. Gorrell really needs a break and is working on a new blog template (yet again! already!) while I am still trying to work my blog. Juice ko!
(I think the Mayans were right--the 'information/technology gap' is fast closing into 21 days and I still don't know how to use a phone camera!)

2) Although he loves the Philippines and our getting high society scandals have catapulted him to fame, he is going to start a global blog which will center on HIV/AIDS advocacy. It should launch on International HIV/AIDS Day.
(baka secret pa ang URL pero get this---PP rin ang initials...o, di ba??)

3) Papa Brian is also trying to gain some weight which is not exactly my kind of problem. But it is THE problem of HIV and cancer patients. Which reminds me....
I had lunch with one of my editors who is sort of a cancer survivor (five more years she reckons) and she said...SHE SAID okay, NOT ME.. that the best part of having cancer was that she was size 0-2 and she could buy all the samples. Now that she is back to her old weight, she just got depressed at the Ferre-Cavalli sale yesterday. (o--five years to go nag-sha-shopping pa..)

Heard at lunch sadly not at the Ivy but NOT from the patola vine, either. More like the premiere cru Le Montrachet grapevine: It seems like the Estee Lauder Company (c/o Aerin Lauder) is planning a Bollywood-themed new fragrance launch in India.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Privilege in an underprivileged country...

Since we were so RUDELY interrupted by Pa Pa (para-ting paranoid) and her weapons of mistress destruction, I forgot to post these two pictures I took at the Lodi Gardens in Delhi.
(Of course we know the one who was REALLY RUDELY interrupted was --as Ate Vi would say----"...the victims and not the addict..." You-s feels me?)
The LODI GARDENS seem to be something like Delhi's Rizal Park except that it was built in 1936 around a series of tombs and mosques built in the 1400s and 1500s. Look at these kids playing amidst the dramatic ruins. What a privilege to be surrounded by such history! (I think they are from private schools because they are in uniforms and I heard some English. That sosyal girl lying down in the foreground even brought her own carpet to lie on!!!)
I always think it is such a privilege to work, live or study in historic places but people like my husband who went to a boarding school established in the 1400s seem to find this ordinary. In London he also works in a relatively old building but so does everyone.
They find it so ordinary that when we went to his cousin's estate in the country, and I asked what it felt like to live in such an old manor, the wife said to me, "This house is not that old...only 100 yrs old. The gardens are only from 1912 and that chair you are sitting on is as old as the house and the favourite of that guy in the painting." (and the paintings of their relatives are old that I swear their eyes follow you!)
Of course, I jumped off the seat but couldn't find anything from Ikea to sit on....
In many ways, India is like the Philippines but with 1000x more people and about 100x dirtier. There are not only LOTS of stray dogs sleeping ON the ROADS but also goats and cattle that roam the streets.
There was a sign at Lodi that said "Keep dogs on leash" with a pile of stray sleeping dogs underneath it. I didn't dare take a photo because if those dogs woke up and attacked me, the second to the last place I want to be in is in an Indian hosptital.
The first place I DON'T want to be is in an Indian jail.
The bathrooms are about as bad as Pinoy public toilets so that wasn't really a challenge for me since I paid my way to use the handicap loo which was STILL HORRIFYING!! Sometimes the flushing could pose a problem especially when the bucket they give you to flush the loo with has a hole and by the time you try to throw water into the toilet, there's nothing left but a drop. Spitting would have yielded more liquid.
You couldn't even cover the hole in the bucket because only Shiva knows where that water came from! And I gotta tell you, it ain't holy....
(This also happens sometimes in some places in Indonesia, where everyone looks like Max Alvarado or Ritchie d Horsey)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I may be too busy to write entries between and on my travels but this ABSO-FUCKIN-LUTE-LY can't wait. In fact, as I write, my masseuse is waiting for me in my living room.
As we all know, a second wife or a mistress has to try harder particularly if the man left his family for her. However, I wonder if the use chemical weapons count in this effort to maintain the status whose quo did not belong to you to begin with.
The lunch patola vine at Andok's tells me that a socialite from a prominent Philippine family (family NAME is associated with jewellery) who also ALLEGEDLY STOLE a 20,000 HKD VERSACE gown from a press rack in Hong Kong (that's YET ANOTHER STORY) sprayed pepper spray on another woman she suspected of having an affair with her current partner.
(Take note, partner. NOT husband because said socialite-stealer-sprayer is a mistress who---you guessed it!--the man left his family for)
Are you still with me?
The socialite, let's call her PP (for permanently paranoid), used the weapon of mistress destruction on yet another buena familia woman.
My, my...these buena familias aren't lookin' too buena to me no more.....
The pepper spraying was done in the Fly area of the famous Yoyo Tan gambling den posing as an embassy. Of course, I have never been hip enough to be admitted and as you know, with a lot of my gossip, I am merely the messenger.
So please lang, DO NOT pepper spray the messenger......
Supposedly everyone was crying their eyes out not from the disgracefulness ot sadness of the affair but because of the pepper spray that permeated the air.
Everyone ended up leaving.
Well, wouldn't you? Being very environmentally conscious, I never use any aerosols in my house.
Of course, the patola vine gives unbiased information and we were told (what else?) :
'It was an accident."
(This is also what people say when a house burns, a ship sinks or a car runs over a herd of carabaos. It was an accident)
I have two questions for the ladies who lunch :
1) Does one really go around town carrying pepper spray? (You know, like just in case you run into a woman who MAY be sleeping with the man you stole from someone else?)
2) If you had to spray something in a an area called FLY, wouldn't you choose to use fly spray?
Nagtatanong lang po....
This reminds me of a hair pulling incident between a former finance minister's wife and (again) a woman SUSPECTED of having an affair with her husband.
So many suspects, so little time.... Oh my gas--hindi gas----pepper spray pala!

Monday, November 17, 2008


My, my...I think I have asked for more than I could handle. The www.donavictorina.blogspot.com blog is on fire with the fabulous (read: Bryan Boy) and the fertilizer issues (what a combination) while Chuvaness has been shopping in Tokyo and back.
Meanwhile, I have done nothing with this blog because a) I have been away b) I have been on deadline and c) help is not on the way but on vacation.
Excuses, excuses and there will be more from December until February.
Before I do the dishes and take the dogs out for their midday walk, I would like to report that I had a great time in Delhi the original land of 'walang barya' and bad drivers---The Pinoys and Indonesians HAD to learn from the Bumbais). Just look at me grinning like an idiot getting my henna done at my friend's glam garden party at the Imperial. (More on that fab hotel later!)
Now I can understand why when I tell my husband our maid is on vacation he would say, "WHAT? Nora is going to be away?? (usually followed by AGAIN??). Then I'll just go to Delhi."
Because this is the land of 'no barya' and many visitors do not know that, my driver kindly asked me if I needed to borrow money from him. The first thing I thought was, "Naku land of the 5-6 ---baka-ma-5-6 pa ako ng driver dito..."
(Hopefully) more tomorrow but it will just be my review of Batman and Mama Mia from the plane movie archives since I don't get to go to the cinema and I don't know how to work our DVD.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I never thought I would see the day that I would highly recommend not one but TWO restaurants with NO AIR CONDITIONING. Both are in my latest favourite town, Siem Reap.
No. I take that back. My super-latest favourite country is Lebanon because you can ski, visit vineyards, ancient ruins and monasteries all in one town whose name I forgot so it probably can't be THAT important.
My husband says living in Cambodia and Lebanon will lower my glamour quotient considerably.
But who's counting?
The SINGING TREE (see photo above) is certainly not for the glam (or the glam at heart--in other words, mga 'feeling') The restaurant has a natural garden setting with a balcony upstairs. It serves all organic food and I highly recommend the local favourite, Amok which is fish stewed in some kind of local curry.
It is full of white people so you know they are not going to be switching on airconditioning soon.
The only white person who requires aircon 24 hours is my husband who moonlights as a heater.
BUTTERFLY CAFE AND BAR is home to over 1500 butterflies all bursting with splendid colour in a garden surrounded by fine netting. Go before 4PM which is butterfly bedtime but if you want to escape the heat and enjoy happy hour amidst tranquil surroundings, go between 4-6PM for drinks and foot baths.
Remember to bathe in sunscreen and mosquito cream! and bring a portable aircondition--hahahaha
If the heat is killing you and like me, Air Con wins over Al Gore any day, go to the lounge/bar framed by a local contemporary art gallery at the super-chic Hotel de la Paix. The gallery is curated by Don Protasio, a Pinoy, he of the designs being sold at the stylish One Hotel in the Old Market.
I have Quentin in this post because I want to make a point about foreigners wearing national costume. Quentin, not much of a looker, at least wears our barong right. (but no one beats Ferdinand Marcos, the real McCoy) I was in Jakarta last week with some foreign journalists and a few of them tucked in their batik shirts.
A tucked in batik shirt merely screams tourist.
A tucked in barong is not only a fashion crime but a disgrace.
Don't get me started on Gloria Arroyo and the terno unless we are in Disneyland where I can use Dumbo as reference.
This will certainly make a SPLASH!! (maybe because there is a soap star involved)
Pinoy TV soap star formerly not very good looking (but surgery has done wonders) who was supposedly slapped with tax evasion years ago appeared on the cover of a mega fashion publication.
(okay--it's Juday, the star, that is)
Nothing strange about that. (I've done worse because I have featured Jolina)
The magazine hired a fabulously talented and professsional make-up artist for this cover.
(Clue: He's gay. But what the-fag?)
Nothing strange about that.
The magazine credited the make-up used as some SPLASHY make-up brand.
Nothing strange about that.
Then they ran the cover as advertising.
Every editor worth their bag of freebies and press rack knows that a cover is a cover and an ad is an ad and never shall the two meet especially when it comes to budget.... well, except for the old Asian Tatlers where the ads covered almost the entire cover.
WHAT IS EVEN STRRAANGER IS that the make-up artist may have been paid very little if at all because many do it for free and for the publicity with the hope that THEY LAND HIGH PAYING COMMERCIAL WORK!
You feels me?
Unless she has some Splashy contract, there is a chance higher than the USD going to Php 25 at 1990s rates that Juday may not have been paid at all. But I heard from the patola vine Nora, that Juday got a beautiful two-carat diamond ring (Siguro mas malaki pa sa 'yo, ma'am. Thanks. Remind me to hold your bonus). Hindi naman kami sosyal like Vic Agustin who has a grapevine.
But does the em-yaks artiste have a ring?
Sadly no, just a ring tone.
Heard at lunch but this was ages ago because my memory, like my French teacher, fails me
Remember the days when a supermarket catering to the upper class had so little stock that their shelves were empty? Not refrigerator-of-a-singleton-empty but Robert-Mugabe-Zimbabwe-on-the-BBC empty.
WHELL!! Seems like payment to the suppliers were not as overflowing as the glamour of their new luxury emporium in Greenbelt 5.
Anyway, I ADORE everything at G5 so you guys start guessing which shop is the phoenix risen from the ashes.
Inquiring minds want to know the answers to questions (There are also answers to prayers but that's not my department. It's down the hall).
The answer is: Man-o-Man ('Man' naman siya, di ba?)
Have Some Bitch Crackers!
Who is manning the deposit counter? (or in his case, withdrawals)
The question is: YOU FIGURE it out this time because I'm tired of asking!
'Yan lang pow.
Until next week because this checkua leaves for Bumbai land sooner than you can count 5-6.